An Organized Inquiry is an open social inquiry process aimed at answering big questions. People gather to inquire around a question, and then organize themselves for CollectiveIntelligence: they collect their knowledge, research capabilities, and interests, in the service of the answering the question.

Organize inquiry is related to social practices such as OpenSpace Technology (“What do we care about, what needs to be talked about?”), OpenSource development (“How do we build it?”), formalized questioning processes such as Delphi (“How do we get good answers?”), and humanist inquiries (such as Appreciative Inquiry; “What questions shall we ask, that will grow life?”)

PageMaintainer: LionKimbro

How to Do It

“How can OrganizedInquiry work?”

My initial idea is:

  1. Collect a bunch of people online, around a question.
  2. Assign people to be “question holders.” A QuestionHolder is responsible for the answer to a question.
  3. After conversation for a while, compile a report.

I’m being intentionally sparse on process details, because I am open on: “How best to do this?” But this is my idea about how to start. People could be assembled into groups around questions, or perhaps people freely float in discussion, and the question holder skims discussion and occasionally repoint it. The questions might be arranged into a hierarchy, a web, or just a jumble. However.

The only things that I think are really essential, are that (A) at least some of the people are responsible for ensuring that questions get answered, and (B) that a report containing results is compiled. (A KnowledgeDistribution.)

Some more ideas:

This is an open question, and I encourage feedback.

Final Report

The ArtOfHosting people, in their ArtOfHarvesting concept, argue that it’s best to plan from the beginning, what kind of output you would like, before you get to the end, the final report, the “harvest.”

I can imagine that a final report might look something like:

I would (personally) want the report to IntegrateImagination, and include artistic & aesthetic flourish, and the original authentic voices from within the community, in the final report. This would be a priority for me. I would want a report to represent the nature of the group that produces the report.

An Example

To choose a neutral example, imagine the core question: “Why is paper 8 1/2” by 11”?”


As answers come in, the questions can be reprioritized. New questions can rise up, older questions can drop down in priority.

At the end of a period of time, the state of the search is written up into a report.

“We have come to accept 3 major theories about why paper is 8.5” x 11” in the USA…”



See Also

Much of the work on OrganizedInquiry has moved to the Collective Problem Solving wiki:



EditNearLinks: OpenSource