How does it work?

Koios is a platform for collaboratively solving social challenges. Learn how it works and how you can use it to solve the challenges you care about.

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The 3 pillars of Koios

Koios is built on 3 main pillars. These are

A) Problem solving

Helps you work on the actual problems. To collaboratively analyse, model, simulate and much more using principles of Systems thinking and design thinking.

B) Mobilization

Helps you to mobilize people, to motivate, organize and gather contributors, to convince decision makers, run a change project and manage teams, to start grass root movements and much more based on the ideas of Collective Intelligence.

C) Citizen science

Helps you apply the scientific method in working with a social problem. It helps you investigate, gather data, test hypothesis, manage references, share findings etc. with the help of crowdsourcing, evidence-based policy analysis and citizen science.

The problem solving process

The user interface is based on a sound theoretical foundation.

It has the following steps:

Step Description
1 IntroductionThis step helps people become aware of the problem. This step will help you get acquainted with the problem. It can be seen as a collection of introductory information.
2 What is happeningThis is where you try to define the problem and make a decisive problem statement that help to steer further investigation. What is the problem, the ideal situation, the symptoms, the things going on and what are the effects of the situation? How has behavior evolved over time? What is the scope of the investigation? What are some useful indicators of the problem?
3 What does it consist ofWhile step 1 helped give you and introduction to the problem and the previous step helped you define the problem, this step goes further and helps you get an initial understanding of the situation at hand. It helps you gather and organize relevant information and it prepares you for further analysis. Who are the stakeholders? How do they cooperate or compete? What are the group dynamics and what is the general public opinion? What are the systems involved and how should we understand the social fabric, the conflicts, emotions and mental models of people involved? How does the system adapt and why?
4 Why is it happeningThis step helps you map and track the behavior of the system. It helps you look at variables, how they change over time. What is actually going on? What are the patterns and events, and what are the underlying causal relations?
5 What will happen Here you can make an assessment of the implications of not acting upon the problem. You will use trend analysis, forecasting, futures studies and scenarios to predict where we are heading.
6 Why not solvedIn this step we analyse why the problem is not already solved. We do root cause analysis and decompose the problem into a) change resistance, b) proper coupling of systems and c) solution model drift. By doing this we develop a richer systemic understanding needed to develop a holistic and strategic perspective.
7 What can be doneIn this step you start by looking at our solution space. What is the ideal situation? We define values. What is the urgency of solving the problem? We look at leverage points, goals and requirements. We provide tools to brainstorm, find, evaluate, assess, predict, simulate and recommend solutions proposals. We go in-depth to understand solutions and their implications. We also provide tools to rank and converge solution alternatives towards feasible solution strategies.
8 How are we helpingThis step is where you and your team decide to go for a solution strategy. This is where you start to implement one or more solutions. Here you create a new change project to actually do something about the problem. This step is a transition into a new phase where you are going from an initial virtual analysis to a real world project.

At the moment this phase has not yet been prototyped on Koios but we think this phase will be just as comprehensive as all the previous steps.

It is important to note here that problem solving is not a linear process. You may jump back and forth between these steps as much as you like. However starting at the top is always a good idea. It is also advisable to revisit previous steps to fill in missing or new information and update content as you work on the problem and gain new insights.

Design philosophy

We believe societal problems are best tackled with interaction, coordination and integration.

  • Interacting with all relevant parties in an interactive process.
  • Coordinating all problem solving activities.
  • Integrate all knowledge from all relevant sources.

Koios has the potential to take this to a new level using state of the art web science.

  • On Koios you can more easily interact asynchronously with more people than ever before.
  • Koios provides a comprehensive database of related information, assets, resources, activities and much more. It provides you with better overview and lets you consolidate efforts.
  • Koios lets you reuse data, information and knowledge. It also helps you to do crowd-sourced research.
  • The platform facilitates articulation of answers to complex problems by breaking it down into manageable and understandable parts.

Learn more about the benefits compared to other approaches.

Distributed coordinated problem solving

What is unique about Koios is that it is a platform for distributed coordinated complex problem solving. Anyone on the web can join in to help solve the problems facing humanity.

Read our about page to learn what type of problems it can solve.

Collective Intelligence

Fig 1. Koios and Collective Intelligence

The illustration above shows how distributed teams or individuals organize bottom up and form networks to share data, information and knowledge. Both experts and laypersons gather to solve problems.

Experts such as scientists and analysts add scientific models, statistics and sophisticated models based on (scientific) research. In many cases laypersons will find reports, articles and data created by experts and link to it rather than the expert her self adding it on Koios.

Some users can take on the role as facilitators, moderators or project managers. All the content are then organized, aggregated and summarized into a presentation form that policy makers and laypersons can easily grasp. This enables the creation of evidence based, yet understandable, content that can be acted upon.

People who want to help solve a problem establish a core group or start alone. You decide how open the challenge should be by specifying what type of users should be able to contribute and how. You can also invite people to contribute.

Community engagement

On all problems you will need people on the ground to get a deeper understanding. Someone situated in the problem domain, a stakeholder or other actor in the system. To really understand a problem you have to be embedded in the situation.

The team itself gets involved on the ground, in communities or they can find peers that can act as proxies. These proxies are agents that interface between the real world problem situation and the virtual Koios online challenge.

Together the participants work with the people in the problem situation to uncover all issues and aspects of the problem. These embedded Koios ambassadors are important in order to uncover insights that would otherwise be missed.

The contribution of practical hands-on knowledge is important, as people at the local level have a better understanding of the real potential and limitation of their local environment.

You now have a strategic process that is systemic, multi-stakeholder and customized to the local context and culture.

An iterative process

Koios process cycles.

Fig 2. The Koios process

Koios is designed to be used online as a virtual environment. Each user, while not out doing field work, can sit at home and participate. We believe grassroots engagement combined with analytic and systemic inquiry is the key.

The iterative process is depicted in the illustration to the left.

An iterative approximation to solving the problem is important because:

  1. Complex systems change over time.
  2. The behavior of the system is the result of multiple simultaneous interactions.
  3. The systems’ reactions to external forces cannot be predicted (although they can be anticipated).

Give it a try

If you think it can work give it a try. To get started simply browse our problem catalogue or register a new problem.

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