HUB – Human Ecosystems Bologna

After its very first launch in Rome in September 2013 with EC(m1), after the Festival dell’Innovazione in Bari, Human Ecosystems goes back to Italy with a new project sponsored by the City of Bologna, with the support of ANCI – National Association of Italian Municipalities.

The project will start on October 7th 2015. Below the official press release.

HUB - Human Ecosystems Bologna: the emotional map of the city

HUB – Human Ecosystems Bologna: the emotional map of the city

HUB – Human Ecosystems Bologna

from 7th October to 7th December 2015 at the Urban Center of Bologna shows the

Realtime Life of the City of Collaboration 

Press Conference
12.30AM, Piazza Nettuno 3 – Bologna (Italy)

Who talks about collaboration in Bologna on social networks? And how? What are the more collaborative neighborhoods? Which topics are more discussed by citizens? What emotions are they expressing? Who are the hubs, the influencers, the bridges between communities and the experts of collaboration? In which languages does collaboration happen in town?

By launching the “HUB – Human Ecosystems Bologna” project, the City of Bologna opens an unprecedented experiment at the intersection of art, technology, research and open data aiming to foster its collaborative policies.

Supported by ANCI – National Association of Italian Municipalities, the project will show the relational ecosystem of participation, cooperation and collaboration in the City of Bologna in its digital dimension, creating a parallel and complementary track of work to the “Collaborare è Bologna” process, the policies for collaboration promoted by the City administration.

From October 7th to December 7th 2015 an interactive exhibit will animate the spaces of the Urban Center, enabling citizens and visitors to observe the themes, places, emotions and opinions of the “Collaborative Bologna”, as they are addressed and publicly expressed on major social networks by citizens.

Matteo Lepore, Councillor for the Digital Agenda and the Promotion of the City, says: “With this project we intend to concretely experience the use of big data. We have launched the new civic network in Bologna and the city wi-fi, extending the coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with free access, offering high speed connection to schools, theaters and soon to enterprises and homes. We are reaching now the European goals for 2020, with social networks at the center of our innovation policies. We are aware that the digital ecosystem is an infrastructure for development, growth and inclusion. But to make this leap, we have to learn to systematize the data we produce: with HUB, we are going in the right direction, in particular considering the transition of Bologna toward metropolitan area and the public investments to come“.

HUB - Human Ecosystems Bologna: intensity

HUB – Human Ecosystems Bologna: intensity

Confronted with maps and social graphs“, say the authors of the project, Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico, “people will be able to observe in real time the public conversations forming the ecosystems of collaboration, and to explore in new ways the digital public space of the city, discovering and creating unexpected connections“.

HUB - Human Ecosystems Bologna: relational ecosystens

HUB – Human Ecosystems Bologna: relational ecosystems

Antonella Galdi, General Deputy Secretary and  Technological Innovation and Culture Head of ANCI, states that “the project is likely to be replicated in other cities and contexts. We look forward to a trial that could “read” the city in a new way, aware of the need to use every possible tool to improve the analysis of public policies in urban territories. Moreover, this initiative is able to highlight the role of art and culture in innovation processes and, at the same time, to create new spaces, instruments, forms of relationship and involvement of citizens“.

HUB - Human Ecosystems Bologna: topics and relations among topics

HUB – Human Ecosystems Bologna: topics and relations among topics

At the end of the exhibit, the collected data will be released as set of Open Data. A new immaterial commons available to citizens, researchers, civil society and administration, opening an innovative experimentation in the field of open data policies, in which “citizens become sensors, with their interactions and everyday expressions in the new and controversial public space formed by social networks” continue Iaconesi and Persico.

According to Pina Civitella, Head Innovation Unit of the City of Bologna, the project creates “an innovative data source that provides significant opportunities for the development of value-added services for citizens, businesses, public administration, and for experimenting new forms of civic activation“.

HUB - Human Ecosystems Bologna: thematic correlations

HUB – Human Ecosystems Bologna: thematic correlations

Human Ecosystems is a city-based international project already experimented across several cities worldwide, including Sao Paulo, New Haven, Toronto, Montreal. Christian Iaione, Director of “LabGov – LABoratory for the GOVernance of the Commons” and Coordinator of CO-Bologna, points up that “the project represents the digital and organisational pillar of CO-Bologna, a program supported by the Fondazione del Monte and the City of Bologna, aiming to turn Bologna in an open and collaborative city: a collective institution empowering individuals, businesses, civil society organisations, schools and the University to care for and regenerate the city as a commons, as well as to cultivate their abilities and potential“.


HE – Human Ecosystems

“Collaborare è Bologna”

“Human Ecosystems @Ars Electronica 2015”, on “Fastforward 2” by Motherboard, 1° episode

Human Ecosystems in S. Paulo (BR), documentary by Universidade Metodista

Human Ecosystems in New Haven (USA), documentary by YWF – Yale World Fellows

HUB – Human Ecosystems Bologna is a project promoted by:

the City of Bologna

with the support of:

LabGov – LABoratory for the GOVernance of the Commons
ANCI – Associazione Nazionale Comuni Italiani

Concept and Realization:
HE – Human Ecosystems / AOS – Art is Open Source (S. Iaconesi; O. Persico)

Human Ecosystems in New Haven

Art is Open Source, Yale World Fellows and the City of New Haven present:

“HENHV” – Human Ecosystems New Haven.
The digital life of a city

Opening Ceremony
December 9th, 2014 | 10.30-11:30am
New Haven City Hall |165 Church St, New Haven
Guests of Honor:
Mayor Tony Harp, Doug Hausladen (City of New Haven), Michael Morand, Professor Alan Plattus, Dr. Michael Cappello (Yale University)

Interactive Exhibit and Closing Party
December 12 | 4:00pm
Yale Center for Engineering Innovation and Design |15 Prospect St, New Haven

December 4, 2014, New Haven – From December 9-12, New Haven’s City Hall will feature the exhibit “Human Ecosystems New Haven: The Digital Life of the City.” Inaugurated by Mayor Tony Harp, the event marks the launch of a project combining art, research, innovation and real-time open data: one that effectively turns New Haven into a “Human-Driven Smart City.” 

Human Ecosystems: Joy in New Haven

Human Ecosystems: Joy in New Haven


Yale World Fellow Salvatore Iaconesi (philosopher, robotics engineer, artist, hacker and near-future designer) and his partner Oriana Persico (communications scientist, writer, cultural and social analyst) created the global project “Human Ecosystems” in 2013. This year, the project comes to New Haven. Human Ecosystems captures, in real time, public conversations happening on major social networks in 29 languages.

The enormous amount of data harvested from social networks through the Human Ecosystems project can help city administrators, activists, organizers, artists, designers, researchers and citizens explore New Haven in completely new ways. This new source of real-time, open data will be publicly accessible and will remain in New Haven indefinitely.

As citizens, we have no idea how much information we’re producing on an hourly basis,” says Iaconesi. “We produce it everyday with our online expressions, but at the moment it’s only the social network operators, large corporations and secret services worldwide that can access them. With Human Ecosystems we give back this data to the community, creating a new digital commons, and we can teach people how to use it for their own purposes.

Love in New Haven

Love in New Haven

Since their arrival in August, Iaconesi and Persico have worked side by side with the City of New Haven, Yale professors and students, The Grove New Haven and other city organizations and individuals to bring the project to life.

Our desire as humans is to interconnect,” explains Iaconesi. “Through Human Ecosystems, New Haven’s diverse communities of citizens, activists, students, professors, researchers, cultures and organizations can learn, together, how to tap into the massive amount of data available in the Digital Public Space to create awareness, shared knowledge, civic movement, beauty and communal action.

Iaconesi and Persico began collecting data in New Haven in October, and have conducted a series of intensive open workshops across the city in an effort to teach citizens, researchers, artists and students how use the project.

The possibilities are endless,” says Persico. “You can tap into Human Ecosystems and discover the emotions of an entire city. You can find out where there is joy, love, hate, anxiety, or the sense of financial or physical insecurity. You can see where certain communities and cultures gather, how and why they come together or separate and what influences them.

In learning how to use the system, individuals and groups will be able to create art, data visualizations, generate information about the city and its overlapping, ever-connecting communities, conduct research about their town (and its hopes, fears, dreams, needs and more), research complex scientific and social issues, create civic engagement and action, create new forms forms of social innovation practices and services, and discover new ways to organize citizens.

Human Ecosystems Workshop: The Grove, New Haven

Human Ecosystems Workshop: The Grove, New Haven

From December 9-12, an exhibit at New Haven City Hall will allow citizens will to interact with info-visualizations and participate in data-driven activities allowing them to explore New Haven in completely new ways. There is incredible potential, Iaconesi says, for this project to thrive in New Haven.

In partnership with the City and members of the Yale community, Persico and Iaconesi are working to find the project a permanent home in the community – a “Real Time Museum of the City,” which will feature a human data-connected “plantarium,” a learning laboratory and exhibits.

Human Ecosystems has been established in Rome, Sao Paulo, Montreal, Toronto, Cairo, Istanbul and Budapest. In the next few years it will move across the globe, generating scientific research, artworks, community projects, education projects, participatory decision-making and policy shaping tools. But first City Elm.



HENHV is an event created by:

AOS – Art is Open Source; YWF – Yale World Fellows;  The City of New Haven

In collaboration with:

YUDW – Yale Urban Design Workshop; CEID – Yale Center for Engineering, Innovation and Design; CEI – Yale Center For Emotional Intelligence; The Grove; D&I – Yale Design and Innovation Club; PII – Peace Islands Institute; ISYSA – Italian Society of Yale Students and Affiliates

Made possible by:

Yale World Fellows

Yale World Fellows

With the partnerships of:

Yale Urban Design Workshop

Yale Urban Design Workshop

Center for Engineering Innovation and Design

Center for Engineering Innovation and Design

Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

The Grove

The Grove

Design & Innovation Club at Yale School of Management

Design & Innovation Club at Yale School of Management

City of New Haven

City of New Haven


with the support of:

Eisenhower Fellowships

Eisenhower Fellowships


Links & Info

Learn more about the PROGRAM and initiatives in town:

Learn more about the Human Ecosystems project:

Learn more about Salvatore Iaconesi:

Human Ecosystems on Facebook:


Uma Ramiah, Director of Communications, Yale World Fellows | +1 203-432-1916


Human Ecosystems: Hate in New Haven

Human Ecosystems: Hate in New Haven


Human Ecosystems New Haven: Poster

Human Ecosystems New Haven: Poster

Images of the Human Ecosystems in Sao Paulo: the real-time museum of the city

As appeared here in Human Ecosystems: here are some images of the Real Time Museum of the city in Sao Paulo, and of the first workshop which we held there.

More information here:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The photo set can be found on Flickr: Human Ecosystems on Flickr

10 Minutes in Detroit

An information visualisation built using the Human Ecosystems will be featured at the Gallery Project, in Detroit, for the Unseen exhibit.

10 Minutes in Detroit captures all the social networking activity in the city of Detroit on June 30th 2014 and visualises it in a series of different ways, using the Human Ecosystems ( ).

The exhibit will be in Detroit from August 1st to August 31st, 2014 (Eastern Market, 1550 Winder, across from Red Bull House of Art, Detroit, MI) and in Ann Arbor from September 12th to October 12th, 2014 (Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor, MI).

Unseen is curated by Rocco DePietro and Gloria Pritschet

The quest to see lies at the heart of human urgency. To breach the barrier between the visible and the invisible is compelling, emotional, informative and even magical. This process of discovery has always driven thinkers and image makers: artists, scientists and philosophers, from astronomers to nanotechnologists, from documentarians and data analysts to planners and prognosticators. As the unseen becomes seeable and seen, a pivot occurs, revealing and demanding irreversible change. No one who has seen is ever the same.

The invisible may be unseen for many reasons. It may be purposely covert for socio-political or military reasons, or to hide corruption or actions contrary to the public good. It may be inadvertently unseen because of the limits of technology or its applications, or the limits of human perception or comprehension. It may be willfully unseen from lack of curiosity, imagination, salience, awareness, or limitations of perceptual processes.

Many contemporary artists and scientists are dedicated to expressing the unseen and to making the invisible visible. They may be motivated to advance their disciplines, or may be fascinated by the prospect of discovery, or the challenge and adventure of harnessing emerging technologies to express ideas. They may believe it is important to uncover secrets, to disclose purposely hidden information, some of which strikes at the heart of democracy, personal privacy, individual well-being, individual freedom, the public’s right to know, and the health and survival of planet Earth. They may seek to awaken consciousness to initiate conversation about outcomes, implications and possibilities.

This exhibition invites the participants to visualize and express the unseen, and to comment on the impacts of the transformed vista.

In Unseen, participants’ work may express a range of conceptual dimensions. For example, they may be disclosing the purposely hidden or the inadvertently unseen. They may seek out significant and impactful information or simply delight in the creative, visually beautiful or surprising. Participants’ work may also express a range of thresholds of visibility. For example, they may be exploring micro, meso or macro levels of invisibility, from microbial and sub-atomic worlds to social, global and universal phenomena. Several examples follow:

The Hubble and Kepler telescopes are discovering evidence of earthlike and superhabitable planets, whose conditions for sustain carbon-based life surpass those of earth. However much of space is unseen by us, for intentional covert reasons or because we lack the means to perceive it.

In his book Dark Skies, Trevor Paglen, uses time-lapse photography with super sensitive equipment to capture images of military spy satellites streaking across the night sky. Photographed over a landscape reminiscent of Ansel Adams, the images are chilling reminder of what’s up there unseen.

Remote sensors and sonar probe deep within the earth and below the ocean floor in places like the arctic (where over 90% of Russia’s natural gas is located) mapping caches of gold, uranium, and rare earth minerals. Private corporations often own the proprietary maps. These same technologies offer crucial information to science, for example, in marine and desert archeology and research.

Environmental pollution related to deep earth mineral and gas extraction, and droughts; ancient aquifers are drained, the land debased, the water supply is poisoned and behind the guise of efficiency and technological advances.

Study of long term-data for natural cycles and systems reveals climate patterns, meteoric and volcanic activity, intense solar storms, and models their relationship to human activity and potential catastrophic impacts.

Disadvantaged individuals and groups that are invisible due to personal attitudes, social policy, and a history of neglect, e.g., the elderly and incarcerated black youth.

Architects and artists are working to reinterpret space in cities. Art is Open Source depicts the layers formed by people who uniquely shape the space through their use of mobile devices, ubiquitous technologies, and social networks.

Data art amasses complex critical information and presents it visually appealing and easily readable formats. Josh Begley, the originator of Dronestream, which documents the increase in drone strikes in the past decade, has created a new Apple App, Metadata, which documents drone strikes in real time.

Genetic research and engineering have enabled modification and selection of traits in foods, opening broad argument about health, safety, the power of chemical companies, and international meddling.

The Human Genome Project has sequenced the chemical base pairs of human DNA, making possible cloning technologies and genetic choice (babies by design). Private companies offer genetic tests for illness predisposition. This new era in genetics opens reconsideration of human identity, illness and morality.

Google Earth Outreach is mapping indigenous people around the world. The project protects 600,000 acres of the Surui of Brazil from exploitation, illegal mining and logging Photographer Martin Schoeller, with National Geographic, is bringing the issues facing lost tribes to global attention. Impact of such projects on their way of life is uncertain.

Animal research has revealed highly differentiated sounds and as yet untranslated complex language among elephants, dolphins, and other mammals. Increased understanding of animal language, emotion and culture challenges narrow preconceptions of animals as lesser beings, as food or objects for our entertainment.

American intelligence gathering is largely covert and secret. Edward Snowden, in revealing the extent of information collected about ordinary citizens, awakened awareness and initiated a change in generally held assumptions.

Cyber warfare, increasing in sophistication and run by rogue and government sanctioned hackers, challenges the security of nuclear facilities, financial systems, and personal data. There are no visual maps for understanding cybercrime.

Secret drone strikes in Yemen or Pakistan are supported by networks of underwater fiber optic cables, military satellites and command centers, remote sensing and vision systems, and superfast computers. Congress’ decision to continue their control in the CIA, rather than to transfer it to the Defense Department insures that they remain secret.

HAARP (The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) is an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the Defense Department and private contractors. HAARP analyzes the ionosphere and investigates the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance. Some say one of its goals is to transmit electricity wirelessly. Based in Gakona, Alaska, some experts say that HAARP is capable of modifying weather, disabling satellites, causing air crashes, earthquakes, droughts, storms, floods, and even disease.

There is a whole category of contemporary art this is full of technical and creative surprises. These works might involve hidden images, inference of the presence of the objects and content when they are not there, and movement that alters the visual and perceptual field. Some can only be fully realized with the participation and imagination of the viewer.

Human Ecosystems at the MACRO Museum of Rome for Aperitivi Formativi

What is the Human Ecosystem of the city?

How does it transform with the wide and accessible availability of ubiquitous and nomadic technologies?

How can we capture and visualize the Human Ecosystem of a city?

How can we transform this possibility to represent the Human Ecosystem into the opportunity to perceive its complexity and to perform it, to position ourselves within it and act creating new relations, new opportunities and new, yet unexplored possibilities?

These are some of the themes we will confront with on Tuesday, November 12 2013, at the MACRO Museum of Rome (in via Nizza 138) for a session of Aperitivi Formativi which will revolve around the idea (and project) of the Human Ecosystem.

Here is the Facebook Event of the day: Human Ecosystems at Aperitivi Formativi, at the MACRO Museum

About the Human Ecosystems project:

The Human Ecosystems Project

The Human Ecosystems Project

The main idea driving the philosophy of the project is that with the advent of ubiquitous and nomadic technologies (digital) information has become part of our landscape. The world is wrapped in an everchanging, liquid, emergent membrane of information which people have learned to use to take decisions, express emotions, communicate and, in general, to transform their perception of the world.

It has become, in more than one way, a new sense, a new tactility and a new possibility for performance.

We see this as a “new part of Nature” (or, possibly, an “updated part of Nature”), expressed along the models of the Ecosystem, the whole of the subjects, energies and flows of a certain environment, as described through the relational networks interweaving their lives. A new conception of the Body of the City, to which we will try to operate grabbing inspiration from the idea of Urban Acupuncture, as expressed by Marco Casagrande, and expanded to include the reality of the ubiquitous informational and communicational landscape.

And, thus, we are bringing up a series of projects which deal with both the progressive sedimentation of the ubiquitous infoscape, describing both its ruins, and its emergence. And, with them, the coagulation and continuous evolution/transformation of stories, relationships, emotions. Or, looking to the other direction of the time arrow, to possibility and opportunity.

With these projects we are trying to bring augmented sensibility to the Third Landscape of Information, the Third Infoscape, gathering inspiration from Gilles Clèment.

The project has already started in the city of Rome and, soon, more instances will start in many other cities, establishing conversations with city administrations, organizations and citizens.