The Power of 'Open': Collective Intelligence, Crowdsourcing and Co-creation



Tanja Aitamurto, Stanford University

Date and Time

October 18, 2012 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


Wallenberg Theater

FSI Contact

Kathleen Barcos

The manifestations of 'open' are permeating the society enabled by the rise of participatory culture and improved communication technologies. In her research, Tanja Aitamurto examines the impact of openness on traditionally closed processes such as journalism, policy-making and design. Aitamurto draws on several case studies, in which collective intelligence is harnessed through crowdsourcing, open innovation and co-creation. Her work is based on data from 150 in-depth interviews and about 8,000 data points recorded by netnography. Aitamurto's research is situated in social sciences, informed by organization studies and management science and engineering. She finds that the 'open' challenges the incumbent power structures when participatory mechanisms become a means to practice social control.

Tanja Aitamurto is a visiting researcher at the Program on Liberation Technology at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford. In her PhD project she examines how collective intelligence, whether harvested by crowdsourcing, co-creation or open innovation, impacts incumbent processes in journalism, public policy making and design process. Her work has been published in several academic publications, such as the New Media and Society. Related to her studies, she advises the Government and the Parliament of Finland about Open Government principles, for example about how open data and crowdsourcing can serve democratic processes.

Aitamurto has previously studied at the Center for Design Research and at the Innovation Journalism Program at Stanford. She is a PhD Student at the Center for Journalism, Media and Communication Research at Tampere University in Finland, and she holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy, and a Master of Arts in Humanities. Prior to returning to academia, she made a career in journalism in Finland specializing in foreign affairs, doing reporting in countries such as Afghanistan, Angola and Uganda. She has also taught journalism at the University of Zambia, in Lusaka, and worked at the Namibia Press Agency, Windhoek. More about Tanja’s work at and on Twitter @tanjaaita.