Society’s most daunting problems call for new strategies that engage many diverse stakeholders in a design process in order to solve bigger and messier problems. While the Internet makes it easy to find and coordinate people, we need to advance fundamental knowledge and technologies for “collective innovation”, where groups collectively explore and refine solutions for big problem areas. To explore this, my research group contributes novel interactive systems to better understand 1) how to productively select and build on the most promising and creative ideas; 2) how to effectively engage in large-scale participatory design by gathering feedback from communities of stakeholders; and 3) how to engage citizens in decision-making processes related to civic issues. To guide and motivate the design of these systems, this research builds on theories of design thinking and collective intelligence.
Steven Dow is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego where he researches human-computer interaction, social computing, and creativity. Steven received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2015 for research on “advancing collective innovation” and was co-PI on three other National Science Foundation grants, a Google Faculty Grant, Stanford’s Postdoctoral Research Award, and the Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Grant. Before UCSD, Steven was an Assistant Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University and a postdoctoral scholar in Computer Science at Stanford University. Steven received an MS and PhD in Human-Centered Computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a BS in Industrial Engineering from University of Iowa.