Project Structure

The project is structured into eight work packages: four addressing social innovation and technologies that support knowledge co-creation, two use cases and two related to dissemination and management activities.

Expand the following work package headers to learn more about them.

Responsible for collecting and describing the requirements of the various stakeholders, both technical and social.

WP1 will also play an important role in refining the key scientific hypothesis of the project, implementing DecarboNet’s adaptive approach to fostering social innovation, and synchronising the work within the two use cases.

WP1 will describe stakeholders and their requirements in terms of engagement, content, functionality and user experience, and a technology roadmap to meet these requirements.

The results of WP1 will serve as input for work packages WP3, WP5 and WP6. Successfully developing and maintaining the collective awareness platform to be developed in WP3 requires a detailed understanding of the intended target audience, and an analysis of cultural aspects and motivations.

This will result in a set of technical platform requirements to be considered in WP3, as well as social requirements for successful engagement of citizens and communities. The use cases WP5 and WP6 will use the methods and technologies developed in WP3 and WP4 to provide the required feedback to drive the social innovation process in WP1, resulting in a constantly evolving decarbonisation methodology (= evolving, context-specific repository of methods and strategies for carbon footprint reductions).

Workpackage leader: Stichting Waag Society

The goal of this WP is to collect, integrate, and analyse information, coming from citizens and stakeholders, as
well as to augment and to interlink this data with other relevant structured and unstructured content on the Web
(e.g. Linked Open Data, social media, news, scientific articles) that will sup-port raising awareness in the climate
change domain. The objectives are:

  • To design and to implement tools for the continuous collection of user-generated content from citizens and stakeholders, in two languages (English and German)
  • To implement open-source text mining tools for extracting environment-related topics (e.g. pollution), events (e.g. gas price rise), actors (e.g. British Gas), and citizen and stakeholder opinions towards these.
  • To disambiguate and inter-link this automatically extracted information with relevant structured data – e.g., from the World Bank [123], United Nations [120], Open Environmental Data [68], and the GEMET Thesaurus [123] from the European Environmental Agency.

Workpackage leader: The University of Sheffield

The goal of WP3 is to design and to implement the collective awareness platform, including crowdsourcing and eco-feedback tools (T3.1) for raising awareness, triggering action and assessing opinions, and a Web-based collaboration and knowledge sharing platform (T3.2).

WP3 will rely on datasets gathered and filtered in WP2, and yield data about information flows and user activities to be processed in WP4. The crowdsourcing and eco-feedback application of T3.1 aims to engage citizens and overcome the perceived lack of personal efficacy. T3.2 will build and host a collaboration and knowledge sharing platform that pools results and amplify incentives, e.g. by highlighting the sphere of influence of social media users, or the most successful in reducing their carbon footprint.

To monitor the individual and collective progress, the user interface will not only provide a generic, multi-platform client for citizens to access real-time updates, but also an advanced visual dashboard for analysts and policy makers to explore information flows and the geographic distribution of citizen and community actions.

Workpackage leader: MODUL University Vienna

This WP is responsible for designing and developing models and services for capturing and analysing the behaviour of citizens in energy-related online communities and discussions, as well as with regards to their energy consumption patterns. DecarboNet will capture user behaviour based on monitoring activities in the crowdsourcing and knowledge co-creation components (session transcripts, server log files, etc.), as well as from the log of users’ postings on public social networking platforms that the project will collect and analyse. Additionally, DecarboNet will enable users of household energy monitoring devices (supplied by GEO) to share their data, which will also be analysed to measure (and categorise) behavioural changes and how they impact the user’s energy consumption.

Broadly, WP4 will investigate and implement techniques and procedures to influence behaviour patterns, and to monitor the triggered changes over time. Specifically, it will develop and assess (i) semantic models to represent user energy consumption activities and patterns; (ii) classification and prediction services targeting individual and group behaviour with respect to energy consumption and online discussions; (iii) algorithms to track information diffusion processes, and (iv) a set of techniques for influencing change in behaviour.

Workpackage leader: The Open University

The first use case will pursue a flexible and citizen-centred strategy to energy monitoring – a grass-roots approach that integrates both self-reported and monitored energy consumption data. To date, many energy monitoring initiatives assume the availability of smart meters, which are typically centrally controlled and not (yet) universally available. WP5, by contrast, will employ a more generic strategy that allows individuals and organisations to sign up themselves, with or without smart meters. In cases where smart meters are not available, they can opt-in either by participating in the WWF’s Footprint Calculator (self-reported data), or in the DecarboNet energy trial using self-installable, low overhead home monitoring devices such as the GEO Solo II (monitored data), which support smart plugs to monitor the usage of specific appliances. Specifically, WP5 will:

  • provide participants with energy monitoring devices as a tool to track individual and household performance via in-home displays and a Web-based interface (GEO will provide 250 Solo II Energy Monitoring Devices as an in-kind contribution);
  • provide carbon reduction recommendations for participants based on the evolving decarbonisation methodology (D1.1);
  • organise and promote energy saving campaigns to raise collective awareness, both directly (T5.2) and indirectly (T5.3) in the form of competition and collaborative actions through social media campaigns – building upon and extending existing applications including Energy Quest (GEO), Climate Quiz (MOD), and the Footprint Calculator (WWF);
  • investigate how to properly provide localised information and comparative data, considering both the geographic and the social context, and use the acquired knowledge to assess the achieved impact and the temporal dynamics of the observable changes in behaviour.

Workpackage leader: Green Energy Options

WP6 targets better informed and sustainability-aware decisions on the collective level. It will connect environmental communities and apply data integration capabilities from the content services of WP2 and the Energy Quest results of WP5. The over-arching aim of WP6 is to capture and understand the emergence of collective awareness in large, dynamic and overlapping communities based on explicit and implicit citizen feedback.

The WWF Earth Hour is a unique opportunity to apply DecarboNet technologies, as it unites hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world to support the largest environmental event in history. The movement’s call to action to go “Beyond the Hour” resonates well with DecarboNet’s aim of triggering action and measuring the impact of intervention strategies. Earth Hour will therefore provide the perfect test environment for analysing changes in perceived personal efficacy and processes that lead to collective awareness. At the same time, Earth Hour will benefit from DecarboNet’s analytic tools – tracking the unfolding of events surrounding the official event, the use case will help assess the context-aware co-production of knowledge (i.e., a multi-user document editing environment integrated into the dashboard of the DecarboNet collective awareness platform), and utilise the advanced geospatial projections of project results developed within WP3 (i.e., interactive and dynamic displays of user actions and geo-referenced information flows).

Workpackage leader: WWF Schweiz

This work package will plan and carry out tasks to maximise the scientific impact and visibility of the project, plan and carry out dissemination activities using appropriate tools, methods and channels, and devise an exploitation plan for a sustained utilisation of project results after the successful completion of the project. The objectives include:

  • ensuring the project’s scientific impact and visibility both within the research community and vis-à-vis other stakeholders;
  • effective promotional activities to support these goals and help attract (and retain) a critical mass of participating citizens (from the communities of core and associate partners, regular and ad-hoc communities of social networking platforms, from WP6 activities related to Earth Hour, etc.).

Besides scientific publications, press releases and news entries for the DecarboNet Web site, to be authored and delivered recurrently, WP7 will also prepare an exploitation plan for the project results, including an attractive sponsorship program and portfolio of incentives for third-party participants (the project partner have committed to maintain and upgrade the collective awareness platform beyond the project’s lifetime, and the associate partners have indicated to support follow-up extensions).

Workpackage leader: Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien

Project management encompasses contractual issues and administrative, financial, communication and knowledge management inside the project, and external relationships between the project and the European Commission. OU as the Project Coordinator will lead this WP, assisted by the Project Steering Board (PSB) and the Scientific Coordinator (SC) for technology management.

Overall assessment of progress within the project and of the achievement of results will be managed by the organisational management structure describes in Section 2.1, and its corresponding hierarchical reporting and control structures. Each Work Package (WP) will maintain, monitor and control its internal project plan, specifying its deliverables, tasks and milestones; these are to be reported on a regular basis to the PSB. In this manner, progress and results within the work packages will be centrally monitored and compared against the overall objectives of the project. Moreover, interdependencies between work packages, and the impact of deviations in a work package, for example, can be centrally assessed and appropriate action can be taken. Specifically, this WP will:

  • ensure effective planning, implementation, co-ordination and realisation of the project activities: including successful completion of the tasks and timely production of deliverables;
  • establish and manage internal communications within the consortium, and external communication with the European Commission, the associate partners and other stakeholders;
  • provide decision making support, encourage greater accountability and control, minimise risk, identify and exploit project-related opportunities;
  • ensure high quality standards in the project work and help the consortium partners to achieve their project objectives.

Workpackage leader: The Open University