Collective intelligence is unparalleled in predicting the future

The last Vaud Economic Forum focused on collective intelligence. The subject may seem out of place at a time of unrest and fake news. As a result, I would like to share with you the scientific aspects presented at the Forum, which I believe happily support the educational project of Collège Champittet.

For EPFL professor Pierre Dillenbourg, the intelligence of a group exceeds that of its individual members. They mention a story at a farming fair in England. To win a cow, the public had to estimate its weight. The average guess was almost exactly the weight of the cow.

Another study shows that the IQ of a group is higher when it includes a large section of women. Both believe that collective intelligence is growing thanks to the  of the group’s members. It is essential to cultivate diversity and differences while organising the group. Going further, they highlight conflict: to define the most intelligent path, it is necessary to reformulate, argue, debate. So to acknowledge opinions that are contrary to one’ s own: a director should surround himself with people who think differently from him, “consensus being the enemy of intelligence”.

Everyone knows that it is easy to be intelligent in hindsight (“it wouldn’t have happened if…”). The real proof of intelligence is the ability to predict events. The best forecast result can be obtained by the objective assembling of opinions. Collective intelligence is unparalleled in predicting the future. In a way, it is a question of organising oneself to “borrow the brains of others”.

Author Bio

Philippe de Korodi,

Head of School

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