Science of Swarms


COINs are the most efficient social mechanisms to develop successful products in R&D, grow better customer relationships, establish better project management processes, and build higher-performing teams.

While it may appear that COINs seem to come to life serendipitously at the initiative of intrinsically motivated individuals without organizational blessing, the good news is that there are actual strategies an organization can employ to uncover, cultivate and nurture fledgling COINs to become more effective. In fact, there are even things individuals can do to become more productive COIN members.

Our approach based on CKN (Collaborative Knowledge Networks) and KFO (Knowledge Flow Optimization) offers a framework for how to be a better COIN member, how to support fledgling COINs, and most important, how to apply COIN principles in conventional organizations. We show how organizations leverage their COINs and combine customers and suppliers into a seamlessly integrated value network by embedding COINs into a broader ecosystem called a Collaborative Knowledge Network. Knowledge Flow Optimization (KFO) as a means for organizations to reassign COIN tasks and for individuals to become efficient COIN member and fully leverage their skills as creators, collaborators, and communicators.

This framework is based on a multi-year research project on Collaborative Knowledge Networks by a global group of universities under the leadership of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence and the Center for Digital Strategies at Tuck at Dartmouth.

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