Coolhunting for “Honest Signals of Innovation” in Social Media



This talk describes a series of ongoing projects at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence with the goal of analyzing the new idea creation process through track- ing human interaction patterns on three levels: On the global level, macro- and microeconomic indicators such as the valuation of companies and consumer indices, or election outcomes, are predicted based on social media analysis on Twitter, Blogs, and Wikipedia. On the organizational level, productivity and creativity of companies and teams is measured through extracting “honest signals” from communication archives such as company e-mail. On the individual level, individual and team creativity is analyzed through face-to-face interaction with sociometric badges and personal e-mail logs. The analysis is leveraging the concept of swarm creativity, where a small team - the Collaborative Innovation Network (COIN) - empowered by the collaborative technologies of the Internet and social media, turns their creative labor of love into a product that changes the way how we think, work, or spend our day. The talk introduces the concept of coolhunting, finding new trends by find- ing the trendsetters, and coolfarming, helping the trendsetters getting their idea over the tipping point. The talk also presents the concept of “Virtual Mirroring” increasing individual and team creativity by analyzing and optimizing five inter- personal interaction variables of honest communication: “strong leadership”, “rotating leaders”, “balanced contribution”, “fast response”, and “honest sentiment”.


Peter A. Gloor

Peter A. Gloor

Peter A. Gloor is a Research Scientist at the Center for Collective Intelligence at MIT's Sloan School of Management where he leads a project exploring Collaborative Innovation Networks.   He is also Founder and Chief Creative Officer of software company galaxyadvisors where he puts his academic insights to practical use, helping clients to coolhunt by analyzing social networking patterns on the Internet – spot the next big thing by finding the trendsetters, and to coolfarm – make the cool trends succeed on online social networking sites.


In addition Peter is a Honorary Professor at University of Cologne, a lecturer at Aalto University in Helsinki, and Distinguished Visiting Professor at P. Universidad Católica de Chile. Previously, Peter was a Partner with Deloitte Consulting, leading its e-Business practice for Europe, a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers and the section leader for software engineering at UBS. He has a PhD in computer science and an MS (diploma) in mathematics from University of Zurich.


Peter has written 7 books, most recently “Swarm Creativity: Competitive Advantage through Collaborative Innovation Networks” (Oxford University Press, 2005), “Coolhunting: Chasing Down the Next Big Thing” (with Scott Cooper) (AMACOM, 2007), and “Coolfarming: Turn Your Great Idea into the Next Big Thing”, (AMACOM 2010).


He blogs at Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Research publications are at


Centron Insius St.Erhard Grossmann