FuturlCT is a FET Flagship project using collective, participatory research, integrated across ICT, the social sciences and complexity science, to design socio-inspired technology and develop a science of global, socially interactive systems. The project will bring together, on a global level, Big Data, new modelling techniques and new forms of interaction, leading to a new understanding of society and its coevolution with technology. It aims to understand, explore and manage our complex, connected world in a more sustainable and resilient way. FuturICT is motivated by the fact that ubiquitous communication and sensing blur the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds, creating unparalleled opportunities for understanding the socio-economic fabric of our world, and for empowering humanity to make informed, responsible decisions for its future. The intimate, complex and dynamic relationship between global, networked ICT systems and human society directly influences the complexity and manageability of both. This also opens up the possibility to fundamentally change the way ICT will be designed, built and operated, to reflect the need for socially interactive, ethically sensitive, trustworthy, self-organised and reliable systems. FuturICT will create a new public resource - value-oriented tools and models to aggregate, access, query and understand vast amounts of data. Information from open sources, real-time devices and mobile sensors will be integrated with multi-scale models of the behaviour of social, technological, environmental and economic systems, which can be interrogated by policy-makers, business people and citizens alike. Together, these will build an eco-system that will lead to new business models, scientific paradigm shifts and more rapid and effective ways to create and disseminate new knowledge and social benefits - thereby forming an innovation accelerator.
Dirk Helbing, Steven Bishop, Paul Lukowicz, the FuturICT Consortium