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The most widely adopted means of measuring loneliness is based on one’s subjective feelings of loneliness. However, these measurements disregard important contextual information such as why and when people experience loneliness. Spectrum is a system to better understanding the context of loneliness to offer actionable insights that could encourage residents, local communities and governments to take action.


Loneliness is one of the significant factors for determining one's well-being across all ages; however, because of the lack of contextual information around why we feel this way, it’s difficult to find effective solutions that best meet one's needs.

What is it?

Collective intelligence is a type of intelligence that arises from the collaboration and cooperation of a group of individuals. It is the ability of a group to think and act collectively in order to solve problems or make decisions. Collective intelligence can be seen as a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to understand and work effectively with others in order to achieve a common goal.

There are various factors that contribute to the development of collective intelligence in a group, including diversity of perspective, effective communication, and a positive group culture. Research has shown that groups with higher levels of collective intelligence are more innovative, adaptable, and successful in achieving their goals.

Collective intelligence can be applied in a variety of settings, including business, education, and politics, and it is an important aspect of group dynamics and decision-making.

Designing a Collective Intelligence System is a complex task. It requires special skills and special knowledge. For Spectrum, we used Nesta's Collective Intelligence Design Canvas to develop a loneliness metric - the basis of the project.

Who is it for?

Our main stakeholders for this project are residents, experts, local communities, governments, corporate partners and investors living in and around London initially. The Loneliness Marker would enable individuals to make informed decisions on where to live, work and study if loneliness was an issue that was important to them. Communities cold use the Loneliness Marker to assess resilience, potential risk factors and the impact loneliness is having on residents. Governments could use the metric to implement effective policies to combat a loneliness epidemic across the UK.

How does it work?

Our approach was to:

  1. Gather & analyse the contextual data such as location, weather, and events in addition to data on demography and subjective loneliness.

  2. Build metrics called Loneliness Marker which incorporate the contextual
    information on loneliness.

  3. Create a digital platform where people can see a visualisation of the Loneliness Marker in their interest areas.

  4. Offer a place to share actionable insights on our platform for individuals,
    communities & governments.

  5. Measure impact & improve Loneliness Marker to ensure our metrics are inclusive and effective.

How does it help?

In order to determine the contributing factors to loneliness, we'd collect data not just on subjective loneliness but also on weather, time, social media, and location. Once the necessary data were collected, we'd clean the data for analysis and identify patterns & correlations between factors. Based on the data analysis, we'd create our loneliness marker which will then be used to

encourage individuals, communities & governments to take meaningful action.

loneliness marker.png

Spectrum was a collaborative project that came out of AcrossRCA, an annual programme organised by the Royal College of Art. The Spectrum team were Judith, Michi, Esther, Kamila, Elijah, Yi and Bai from the School of Design.

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