I am a social scientist influenced heavily by engineering sciences. My work examines civic technologies for informing, empowering, and connecting people. The empirical contexts range from virtual, mixed, and augmented reality to large-scale online collaboration systems, such as applications of collective intelligence in open and participatory journalism, deliberation and policy-making, civic crowdfunding, and applications of artificial intelligence for civic use. I develop interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks by drawing on social psychology, democratic theory, computer science, and information systems. My work has been recognized with a number of awards and published in top journals, such as New Media & Society, Design Issues, Information, Communication & Society and International Journal of Communication.

I am a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Management Science & Engineering at Stanford, where I work in the Crowdsourced Democracy Team. I received my PhD in social sciences at the School of Communication, Media and Theatre at the University of Tampere in Finland in 2014. Previously I worked as a postdoctoral Brown Fellow and as Deputy Director of the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Stanford. During my doctoral studies, I studied as a visiting student researcher at Stanford and at UC Berkeley

In my dissertation “Collective Intelligence in Open Journalism: Power, Knowledge and Value”, I introduced a theory of open journalism. My dissertation received the Gene Burd Outstanding Dissertation in Journalism Studies Award from the International Communication Association (ICA). Drawing from several empirical cases, I showed how the building blocks of collective intelligence—a large number of participants and cognitive, demographic, and socioeconomic diversity within the crowd—both support and challenge journalistic norms, practices, and values through open journalism.

My studies often have unique in-the-wild experiments, in which I collaborate with media organizations and local and national governments. I have designed and developed several online platforms and processes for crowdsourced journalism and policymaking and advised local and national governments in participatory policymaking projects. Currently I'm working with the city of Palo Alto on a crowdsourced urban planning strategy process.

More about my work at

Honors & Awards

  • Best Paper Award, Academic MindTrek, ACM (2016)
  • Gene Burd Outstanding Dissertation in Journalism Studies Award, Journalism Studies Division, International Communication Association (ICA) (2016)
  • Notable Paper Award, Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP) (2014)
  • Proclamation for work in participatory budgeting, City of Vallejo (2014)
  • Top Student Paper Award, Journalism Studies Division, ICA (2014)
  • Best Academic Paper Award, Conference on Innovation Journalism, Stanford (2008)
  • Best Master’s Thesis of the Year Award, Finnish Association for Public Policy (2004)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University Of Tampere, Social Sciences (2014)
  • Master of Public Policy, University Of Jyvaskyla, Social and Public Policy (2007)
  • Licentiate of Philosophy, University of Jyvaskyla, Humanities: Journalism Studies (2005)
  • Master of Arts, University of Jyvaskyla, Humanities: Finnish Language and Literature (2004)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • THE CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE OF JOURNALISM Contentious metadiscourse on constructive journalism and solutions journalism JOURNALISM PRACTICE Aitamurto, T., Varma, A. 2018; 12 (6): 695–713
  • Unmasking the crowd: participants' motivation factors, expectations, and profile in a crowdsourced law reform INFORMATION COMMUNICATION & SOCIETY Aitamurto, T., Landemore, H., Galli, J. S. 2017; 20 (8): 1239-1260
  • Unmasking the Crowd: Participants’ Motivation Factors, Expectations, and Profile in a Crowdsourced Law Reform Information, Communication & Society Aitamurto, T. K., Landemore, H., Saldivar Galli, J. 2016
  • Civic CrowdAnalytics: Making Sense of Crowdsourced Civic Input with Big Data Tools Academic MindTrek Aitamurto, T., Chen, K., Cherif, A., Galli, J. S., Santana, L. 2016: 86–94

    View details for DOI 10.1145/2994310.2994366

  •  Crowdsourcing as a Knowledge Search Method in Digital Journalism: Ruptured Ideals and Blended Responsibility.  Digital Journalism Aitamurto, T. 2016; 8 (2): 280–297
  • Collective Intelligence in Law Reforms: When the Logic of the Crowds and the Logic of Policymaking Collide 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences Aitamurto, T. K. 2016: 2780–2789

    View details for DOI 10.1109/HICSS.2016.349

  • Crowdsourced Deliberation: The Case of the Crowdsourced Off-Road Traffic Law in Finland Policy&Internet Aitamurto, T. K., Landemore, H. 2016; 8 (2): 174–196

    View details for DOI 10.1002/poi3.115

  • The Open Paradigm in Design Research DESIGN ISSUES Aitamurto, T., Holland, D., Hussain, S. 2015; 31 (4): 17-29
  • Motivation Factors in Crowdsourced Journalism: Social Impact, Social Change, and Peer-learning. International Journal of Communication Aitamurto, T. 2015; 9: 3523–3543
  • Five Design Principles for Crowdsourced Policymaking: Assessing the Case of Crowdsourced Off-Road Traffic Law in Finland Journal of Social Media for Organizations Aitamurto, T., Landemore, H. 2015; 2 (1): 1-19
  • Crowdsourcing for Participatory Democracies: Efficient Elicitation of Social Choice Functions Proc. 2nd AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HC0MP) Lee, D., Goel, A., Aitamurto, T., Landemore, H. 2014
  • Open innovation in digital journalism: Examining the impact of Open APIs at four news organizations NEW MEDIA & SOCIETY Aitamurto, T., Lewis, S. C. 2013; 15 (2): 314-331
  • Balancing Between Open and Closed: Co–Creation in Magazine Journalism Digital Journalism Aitamurto, T. 2013; 1 (2): 229–251
  • The Impact of Crowdfunding on Journalism: Case Study of Spot.Us, a Platform for Community-Funded Reporting. Journalism Practice Aitamurto, T. 2011; 5 (4): 429–445.