Multi-Objective Decision Making Tools through Citizen Engagement

CONSENSUS was a project co-funded by the EU under the 7th Framework programme to model existing real-world use-cases within the relevant policy-making context, and consequently employ measurable quantifiers in order to investigate how and whether preferable tradeoffs can be identified. Those quantifiers were sought in multiple realms – such as analytical models, numerical simulations, statistical tools and even public opinion evaluators – in order to link the domain data to the set of objectives, and by that to reflect the expected success-rate of policies and their implementation. Furthermore, CONSENSUS intended to investigate the balance shift of the objectives, in scenarios where certain resources were being deployed to primarily address one of them through EU- or international-level policies. This investigation was meant to cover two important real-world use-cases: the one dealing with Biofuels and Climate Change (EU Renewable Energy Directive), and the other dealing with Transportation Networks (trans-European transport network guidelines). CONSENSUS also sought the citizens’ involvement in policy making according to this scheme, since their input could potentially become highly valuable in various stages, from gathering the necessary data, through formulating public opinion as one of the objectives in the model, to eventually playing the role of exploring the attained tradeoffs and contributing to their weighing.

The CONSENSUS-Consortium was composed of eight partners: Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (Greece), IBM Israel – Science and Technology LTD (Israel), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria), Athens Technology Center S.A. (Greece), University of Konstanz (Germany),Oxfam Italia ONLUS (Italy), WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature (Switzerland) and European Union Road Federation (Belgium).

ATC was one of the main Technology Providers in CONSENSUS, mainly involved in the Tasks of Integration, Pilot preparation and Execution. ATC also led the dissemination and exploitation work while also contributed in tasks related to crowdsourcing research and social analytics.

The project started in October 2013 and had a duration of 30 months.

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