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This work is partially funded in the 7th framework of the European scientific targeted research project +Spaces, which is co-financed by the European Commission, through theme ICT-2009.7.3 ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling under contract no. 248726

Positive Spaces is aimed at simulating real world policy-making in virtual spaces, including social networks such as Facebook or Twitter and virtual worlds like Open Wonderland. The research will develop the tools and methods needed to apply legislations and measure the ensuing reactions, which can then be extrapolated to derive conclusions about how society at large will receive the changes.

Virtual spaces represent a vast reserve of group knowledge that, once aggregated and properly processed, can be used to enhance the policy making process.

+Spaces will provide governments with an environment where policy makers can propose regulations, run a simulation, track users' reactions, and then use the +Spaces tools (including data visualization) to draw conclusions about how to fine tune different aspects of the law so it matches the expected outcome. The project will develop technologies for aggregating, filtering and analyzing this information, as well as recommender and reputation systems to ensure that only reliable sources of data are taken into account.

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  • Provide tools that will allow the exploitation of virtual spaces for assessing public reaction.
  • Build a service oriented platform that will support these tools by:
    • Exploiting virtual spaces as knowledge containers
    • Allowing added value services to be incorporated.


+Spaces will take advantage of virtual worlds, social networks and Web 2.0 applications to improve the overall democratic process, while empowering and engaging individuals through more active participation and through simulation. As a benefit for government agencies, the use of virtual spaces will support the efficient collection of citizens' feedback and will enable governments to extrapolate conclusions for real societies. This will improve the prediction of how planned policy measures will impact the people.

At a Glance - Project Title

Policy Simulation in Virtual Spaces


January 2010 – June 2012


ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling (ICT-2009.7.3)

Contract No