Crowd intelligence

Expert crowds, given certain conditions, can outsmart even the smartest single expert. Crowds have been solving the most complex of problems and are creating the most innovative of solutions. To tackle the challenge of improving the measuring and management of business impacts on development GLOBAL VALUE has built and collaborated with a global, multistakeholder online expert crowd.

 262 experts from 60 countries across 6 continents

262 experts from business, research, civil society and the public sector from more than 60 countries across 6 continents were directly involved in providing insights, feedback and ideas throughout the three years of the GLOBAL VALUE project.


Crowd consultations

Crowd members were involved in various activities during the entire process of developing the GLOBAL VALUE toolkit. From collaborative stocktaking of existing tools and approaches in the very beginning of the project, to comprehensive discussions on what defines good impact assessment tools, to validating the GLOBAL VALUE tool navigator at the end of the project. The GLOBAL VALUE expert crowd ensured that the full diversity of knowledge and stakeholder perspectives were considered in all issues the project dealt with. See below a summary of what knowledge did the expert crowd generate in support of GLOBAL VALUE:

Collaborative stocktaking of tools

The first step of the expert crowd activities was a collaborative stocktaking of tools and methods. The aim of this activity was to collect as many tools and methods as possible to supplement the stocktaking done by WP1. 19 of the tools were suggested by expert crowd members, screened and categorized for featuring in the GLOBAL VALUE tool navigator.

Criteria for tools

The second activity was designed to support the development of a GLOBAL VALUE tool testing framework by providing criteria for evaluating the tools. The aim of the activity was to get a sense  of  what  the  expert  crowd and  different  stakeholder  groups  may  expect  from  a  tool  for  measuring business impacts on development. Expert crowd members where thus asked to submit 3-5 criteria they consider to be most important when evaluating a tool for measuring business impacts on development. Below see a summary of the criteria that was suggested through the consultation:

  • Suitability to different contexts (industry sectors, countries)
  • Global coverage
  • Comparability to industry standards
  • Repeatability and possibility to track impacts or changes in time
  • Thematic coverage
  • Metrics included
  • Level of analysis (including possibility to measure business impacts per business unit or on country level)
  • Procedural effectiveness (simplicity, user/friendliness) balanced with readability

  • Clarity of structure and approach
  • Adaptability
  • Provide ready-made graphs
  • Consistency
  • Availability in different languages
  • Possibility to express impacts in material terms
  • Consideration for the dynamics of processes and feedbacks

  • Relevance to decision making
  • Strategic fit
  • Provide recommendations for improvement
  • Engaging particularly marginalized stakeholder groups
  • Consistency with international (e.g. labour) standards
  • Verifiability
  • Transparency
  • Integrity of developer



These issues were considered when selecting the 15 tools to be tested and in incorporated in the tool testing criteria.

Prioritising tools for testing

GLOBAL VALUE consortium and the expert crowd selected over 200 tools available on the market. In order to support the prioritisation of tools for practical testing with collaborating multinational companies, the expert crowd was asked which ones are most widely known. The results of the consultation suggested that even though there is such a wide variety and a large number of tools supporting businesses in measuring and managing impacts – vast majority are not known. The GLOBAL VALUE toolkit thus makes all this available pool of resources more accessible with a tool navigator, practical tool testing reports, and guides to choosing tools best fit for strategic purposes.

Your chance to take part in the last consultation!

The last stakeholder and expert crowd consultation on the GLOBAL VALUE tool navigator – the largest categorised database of impact measurement and management tools – is currently still open and will be going on until the beginning of June 2017. After three years of intense work we now want to know your opinion of the GLOBAL VALUE tool navigator.

Your feedback will feed directly into the improvement of the navigator, the user guide and the overall GLOBAL VALUE toolkit.

Let us know NOW what you think of the GLOBAL VALUE tool navigator!

Expert Crowd members

Overall 262 experts became members of the GLOBAL VALUE expert crowd. This remarkable group of committed persons representing policy, civil society organisations, business, and academia perspectives, coming from a wide array of organisations globally incl. Jacobs, Xerox, TeliaSonera, London Mining, GRI, Ernst & Young, Austrian Development Agency, Global Policy Forum, ILO, IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, WBCSD, Borealis and many more. The members were primarily selected based on their expertise in different geographical areas, sustainability issues, sectoral expertise and their level of seniority.

Diversity – the key to the GLOBAL VALUE expert crowd

The GLOBAL VALUE expert crowd is based on the concepts of crowd-sourcing and open innovation. The collective intelligence of the crowd lies in the diversity of its members. Experts represent an array of specializations, stakeholder groups and expertise areas. The main condition for a crowd to be smarter than individual experts is diversity. The GLOBAL VALUE expert crowd relied on the diversity of geographical and thematic expertise that was relevant to the project. The diversity of the crowd was carefully observed throughout the project to ensure adequate representation of all stakeholder groups, regions and areas of expertise.


André Martinuzzi, Norma Schönherr, Adele Wiman & Patricia Schindler
© 2017 Institute for Managing Sustainability  │  Vienna University of Economics & Business


GLOBAL VALUE is co-funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no 613295. Sole responsibility for the project lies with the participating organisations. The European Commission is not responsible for the use that may be made of any material arising from this project.

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