From Eevi Beck: What might be termed collective intelligence has also been studied non-commercially by researchers - anthropologists for sure, but including people like Ed Hutchins, who's often pointed to as "father" of the research area of Distributed Cognition. Also see the Wikipedia article on distributed cognition
From Wikipedia article on Civic Intelligence:
Civic intelligence focuses on the role of civil society and the public for several reasons. At a minimum, the public's input is necessary to ratify important decisions made by business or government. Beyond that, however, civil society has originated and provided the leadership for a number of vital social movements. Any inquiry into the nature of civic intelligence must be collaborative and participatory. Civic intelligence is inherently multi-disciplinary and open-ended. Cognitive scientists address some of these issues in the study of "distributed cognition." Social scientists study aspects of it with their work on group dynamics, democratic theory, on social systems generally, and in many other subfields. The concept is important in business literature ("organizational learning") and in the study of "epistemic communities" (scientific research communities, notably). No atlas of civic intelligence exists, yet the quantity and quality of examples worldwide is enormous. While a comprehensive "atlas" is not necessarily a goal, people are currently developing online resources to record at least some small percentage of these efforts. The rise in the number of transnational advocacy networks (Keck and Sikkink, 1998), the coordinated worldwide demonstrations protesting the invasion of Iraq, and the World Social Forums that provided "free space" for thousands of activists from around the world, all support the idea that civic intelligence is growing. Although smaller in scope, efforts like the work of the Friends of Nature group to create a "Green Map" of Beijing are also notable.