Workshop on Designing Crowd-powered Creativity Support Systems

4 May, 2019
Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow, Scotland
Important Dates:
Submission Deadline: 12 February 2019 event_note
Notification of Acceptance: 1 March 2019 event_note
Workshop Date: 4 May 2019 event_note


Supporting creativity has been considered as one of the grand challenges in Human Computer Interaction (HCI). The goal of creativity support systems is to make "more people more creative more often". By creativity, we refer to the process that leads to an artifact that is deemed both novel and useful in a given field and domain. Crowdsourcing is the practice of outsourcing tasks on an online platform to a crowd of people via an open call for contributions. Given the inherent emphasis of crowdsourcing in collecting insights rapidly, inexpensively and accurately, crowdsourcing has been suggested as a key approach for creativity support. Organizations have recognized the potential of crowds, with companies such as Innocentive, Quirky and OpenIDEO finding success in Open Innovation.

In this one-day workshop at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'19), we bring together scientists and practitioners interested in creativity. We invite participants working on collaborative and crowd-powered systems that in one way or another enhance creative processes or challenge the academic community’s thinking and perceptions about creativity in general. Doing so, we set to inspire the design of next-generation crowd-powered systems that support creativity. The workshop allows for participants to bring forward their ideas, designs and practical experiences in the field of supporting creativity through crowdsourcing.

Objectives of the workshop

This workshop aims to provide a forum for researchers and industry professionals to share, discuss and brainstorm their ideas about improving current and designing future crowd-powered systems that support creative work.

Involving the crowd in a creative process leads to several fundamental challenges. Crowd-powered creativity support systems operate in a space in which there is no right answer to a task. Research has shown that in situations without a ground truth, ambiguous results are still valuable. Subjective tasks are, however, prone to cheating. How can the quality of crowdsourcing results be assessed in such a divergent thinking setting? What forms of collaboration are useful and helpful in crowd settings? What incentives other than extrinsic motivation could be given to crowdworkers to participate in creative tasks? How will automation (Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence) and human agents collaborate in creative tasks?

As creativity can be an attribute of individuals or teams, we will center the workshop around the following two themes as a broad estimate of the type of system designs that we hope to stimulate with the workshop: augmenting the individual, and supporting group collaboration.


Augmenting the Individual

The goal of this theme is to augment the individual's creativity and cognition with the crowd. The theme aims to develop improved software and user interfaces that empower users to be more productive, and more innovative.

Challenges under this theme include, for example:

  • Interfaces and software for supporting peak-productive moments ("bursts") of an individual's creativity with the collective intelligence of the crowd
  • Preventing cognitive overload of the individual: Evaluating the quality of contributions from the crowd and helping explore the space of solutions contributed by the crowd

Supporting Group Ideation

This theme will explore supporting the creative work of small and large groups with the crowd.

Challenges under this theme include, but are not limited to:

  • Determining levels of collaboration to prevent early fixation of the group without limiting the quality through feedback
  • Dynamically guiding crowd efforts based on task needs, worker profiles, etc.
  • Automating repetitive tasks in group ideation

Workshop Structure

The preliminary schedule for the workshop is summarized in the table below. The main purpose of the session in the morning is to familiarize the participants with each other and their ideas for future crowd-powered creativity support systems. The emphasis in the very brief presentation session will be on group discussion, rather than on presentation of individual position papers. We will subsequently hold a "bad idea" exercise to further stimulate the participants' creativity. In this exercise, groups of 2-4 people will discuss and later present bad ideas, i.e. ideas that are deemed not feasible or practical. This exercise has been proven to help with coming up with new ideas and solutions as many bad ideas are not actually that bad or can be interpreted in a positive way. The afternoon is occupied by collaborative work in smaller groups. The purpose of these break-out sessions is to sketch out ideas or even build first prototypes of crowd-powered creativity support systems.
Start End Program Schedule
09:00 09:30 Welcome and introductions
09:30 10:00 Participants present their vision statements and ideas
10:00 10:30 Bad idea exercise
10:30 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 11:30 Discussion of ideas and formation of groups
11:30 12:30 Lunch
12:30 16:00 Break-out session in groups
16:00 17:00 Final presentations and discussion

Call for Participation

This one-day brainstorming workshop brings together researchers and industry professionals for advancing the state of the art in crowdsourcing creativity. The workshop activities will support participants to work together to ideate and design new applications and interfaces for supporting creative work with the crowd.

Our intention with this workshop is to bring researchers together to form future cross-boundary collaborations and to kick-start future joint research endeavors. Supporting creativity with technology is inherently exploratory and transdisciplinary. We therefore welcome a diverse set of members from the research community and industry, from fields, such as, but not limited to, from Communication and Social Science, legal studies, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Computer Science, and Human-Computer Interaction, and others. The workshop is open to a broad audience to stimulate the workshop participants by exposure to new points of views from different disciplines.

We invite designers, researchers and industry practitioners interested in participating to submit original contributions in the form of vision and position papers (max. 4 pages) on potential applications and unsolved challenges. We specifically encourage the participants to share their ideas for projects to facilitate the hands-on brainstorming session in the workshop. The review of submissions will follow a juried process (see Submissions will be selected based on their relevance to the workshop themes, and the originality and novelty of the submitted ideas. Submissions should follow the ACM SIGCHI Extended Abstracts format (available as Latex template and interim template for Microsoft Word). Manuscripts should be submitted as email attachments in pdf format to the workshop co-chairs at, by February 12, 2019. At least one author of each accepted paper must attend the workshop and all participants must register for both the workshop and for at least one day of the conference.


Jonas Oppenlaender
Doctoral Researcher
Center for Ubiquitous Computing
Universty of Oulu, Finland
Maximilian Mackeprang
Doctoral Researcher
Human-Centered Computing Lab
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Maja Vuković
Research Manager, Master Inventor
Thomas J. Watson Research Center,
Yorktown Heights, NY USA
Abderrahmane Khiat
Postdoctoral Researcher
Human-Centered Computing Lab
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Jorge Goncalves
Lecturer in HCI
Interaction Design Lab
University of Melbourne, Australia
Simo Hosio
Adjunct Professor
Center for Ubiquitous Computing
University of Oulu, Finland