Connective intelligence is a term crafted by Derrick de Kerckhove in 1997. It describes a kind of distributed and more evolved intelligence that goes beyond the capabilities of a single user in an interconnected ecosystem (such as the internet). It is a sort of intelligence demonstrated by a large number of people who share their knowledge through a connecting medium such as a social network. This needs to be differentiated from collective intelligence. We’ll explain in a bit.
Collective intelligence is, actually, the search for a common solution achieved by uniting the collective efforts of several individuals. As more people join their capabilities to achieve a goal, their shared efforts, approaches, and knowledge represent the “collective intelligence,” which is now something more than the mere sum of their individual ideas.
Connective intelligence, alternatively, allows the individual to grow and develop on a personal level by harnessing the discoveries achieved by all the other people who are part of that interconnected ecosystem.
To provide a practical example, the yearly United Nations Climate Change Conference is a form of collective intelligence, where some of the most prominent minds of the world meet to share their solutions to preserve the planet from imminent destruction. A Facebook dog-lovers group where everyone shares their experience about taking care of pets, how to feed them, or how to train them is a form of connective intelligence, too.
Connective intelligence is definitely a part of the evolution of humankind as much as Web 3.0 is. To fully understand a profoundly interconnected world where every single piece of both the digital and the real world share an intertwined relationship, we humans must redefine our approach to everything. Unlike older generations that often struggle to grasp the concepts such as World Wide Web (not to mention Blockchain), Millennials, on the other hand, are able to use connective intelligence to its full potential. Millennials and generations that follow are able to obtain resources and information by connecting people and ideas that enable them to move much more swiftly in the digital environment.
So, to cut the story short — connective intelligence is a form of social intelligence that will empower people to make sense of the massive amount of information that is going to hit all of us as soon as the Web 3.0 starts reshaping our society.