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)

Festival dell’Innovazione: in Bari with Human Ecosystems and Nefula

Join us in Bari on May 21-23 2015 for the “Festival dell’Innovazione” together with Art is Open Source, Human Ecosystems, Nefula and ISIA, for a workshop on the Human Ecosystems and a Human Ecosystems installation about the real-time digital life of Bari.

The Human Ecosystems Lab will be a hands-on experience, and will give everyone the tools and knowledge to observe the public digital life of their city, and to use it for citizen activation and participation, to create generative artworks, designs, services and peer-to-peer emergent dynamics in the city. On Thursday 21st, from 9:30am to 6:30pm, at Fortino S. Antonio in Bari. Register Here.

The HE/BA (Human Ecosystems Bari) installation will feature interactive information visualizations which will show the real-time public life of the city of Bari, with all its locations, places, discussions, relations, voices all shown in real-time. From May 21st to May 23rd, from 9:00am to 8:00pm, at the Teatro Margherita in Bari.

Human Ecosystems in Reggio Calabria

The Human Ecosystems project is landing in Reggio Calabria, the beautiful city at the tip of the boot of the Italian peninsula, full of history and culture.

Here we will explore the opportunities which can be found by gaining more understandings about the digital life of the city, together with citizens, organisations, city based associations.

We will meet on December 22nd 2014 at 8pm, at the Malavenda Café (Via Zecca 1, Reggio Calabria).

Here below are the Press Release and the biographies of the participants to the event (doc format, in Italian):

Human Ecosystems Reggio Calabria Press Release

Human Ecosystems Reggio Calabria Biographies


The Event

What shape does the relational ecosystem of Reggio Calabria have? Which nodes constitute it? Which emotions do citizens express on social networks? How do they interconnect? What could happen if a real time source open data would be made available to show the meeting places in the city of different cultures and communities; their influences; their bridges, hubs, experts, boundaries, connecting and separating them across themes, opinions, places and times?

They may look like questions coming out of science fiction, but in some cities of the world (such as Sao Paulo, Toronto, New Haven) they are already a reality.

We will talk about all of this on Monday December 22nd at 8pm at the Malavenda Café together with Oriana Persico, digital communication expert and co-founder – together with Salvatore Iaconesi, robotic engineer and hacker – of the Art is Open Source network, which created the Human Ecosystems project.

Human Ecosystems enables smart cities and smart communities observing the relational ecosystems of cities in real-time, to promote citizen participation and activation, as well as peer-to-peer and ubiquitous innovation processes. The project captures in real-time citizens’ public conversations on major social networks, in 29 languages, visualises them through info-aesthetic representations and generative sounds, and transforms them into a source of Open Data which is available to anyone, to make digital public space accessible and inclusive: an Ubiquitous Commons.

In fact, at the present time, it is only large operators and the managers of the large social networking platforms who have access to this citizen-generated data, to be used for their sole strategies.

Since its launch in 2013, Human Ecosystems has been used to create participatory policies, new forms of governance, urban planning, research, education processes, art installations and performances.

Back from Yale University, where Iaconesi held a fellowship, Persico will open up a dialogue with some of the major associations and startups of the city, who confront on a daily basis with the issues of urban regeneration, participative design, open data and social innovation: Letizia Cuzzola, president of Terrearse Lab, the association which promotes the “Sud Altrove” project; Giuseppe Mangano, co-founder of Pensando Meridiano, the Laboratory for Sustainable Culture, Innovation and Social Cohesion which is implementing the Reaction City project; Angelo Marra, who has just been nominated Digital Champion for the city of Reggio Calabria and, thus, the ambassador for the city’s digital innovation; Antonio Ottomanelli, artistic director of The Third Island project, starting from Calabria to create an observatory on the major public works in Italy; Domenico Rositano, president of Calabresi Creativi, winner of the MIUR 2012 grant with the project Smart DMO; Giuseppe Rudi, co-founder of Architetti Emergenti, winner of the Culturability 2013 grant; Eleonora Scrivo, territorial responsible for Action Aid, constantly active on the issues of transparency and participation through Open Data.

The A di Città Rosarno association collaborated in the realization of the event, in its effort to use participatory urbanism as a tool for citizen awareness.

The moderation will be performed by Josephine Condemi, Reggio Calabria born journalist (on Nòva – Il Sole 24 Ore), passionate about online and offline networks, and about social innovation.

Thanks to the support provided by the Laboratori it will be possible to follow the event live in streaming and in live-tweeting using the #humanrc hashtag.

Virtual is potential. Making it become real is our responsibility.

Links & Info

Fb event:

Human Ecosystems:

Salvatore Iaconesi&Oriana Persico

A di Città Rosarno:

Architetti Emergenti:

Calabresi Creativi:

Digital Champions Calabria:

Pensando Meridiano

Terrearse Lab

The Third Island

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:

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