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Project History

The IdeaLoom project is itself the result of collaboration between many individuals, approaches and organizations. Some highlights:

  1. Distilling ideas from conversation was the result of experiments by Jean-Michel Cornu, then of ImaginationForPeople (I4P), with a community discussing the future of money through a mailing list, in 2010. He composed synthesis emails, and noticed they would invite some hitherto passive participants to introduce new ideas and relaunch the conversation. He inferred a theory of conversation dynamics. He also worked on different models of memory.
  2. Marc-Antoine Parent has been studying argument mapping and communication dynamics since 2000, especially the work of Open University (Compendium, Cohere) around IBIS cartography. Historically, structured concept mapping has only been successful when done by a skilled cartographer; Marc-Antoine is developing models of assisted collective concept cartography. In 2011, he helped the Institut du Nouveau Monde (INM), a public consultation institution in Québec, to define needs around online consultation, which led to a call for proposals.
  3. Thanks to ideas set forth by Jean-Michel Cornu and La Coroutine, I4P won the call for proposals and started to design the an application (2012). I4P in turn hired Benoit Grégoire, of Coeus technology, who proceeded to unify the work of Jean-Michel Cornu and Marc-Antoine Parent with his own experience of online communities and application design. An initial interface design and implementation of Assembl was developed by Caravan.
  4. Frank Escoubès (I4P) brings together members of the Collective Intelligence research community around a research project with the EC to develop an ecosystem of collective intelligence tool in 2013. The Catalyst project allowed Marc-Antoine Parent and Benoit Grégoire to propose a standard for Collective Intelligence information interoperability, and the Catalyst partners led many large-scale conversations on their respective platforms in 2014-2015.
  5. I4P fuses with Bluenove, a leader in Open Innovation consulting, in 2014. Bluenove uses Assembl for collective intelligence missions in corporations.
  6. Marc-Antoine Parent founds Conversence in 2016, and develops IdeaLoom from the Assembl open-source project to focus on the development of next-generation concept mapping for Collective Intelligence, while Bluenove continues to develop its own version under the name of Assembl by Bluenove.