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The Climate CoLab is a system to help thousands of people around the world collectively develop plans for what humans should do about global climate change. This paper shows how the system combines three design elements (model-based planning, on-line debates, and electronic voting) in a synergistic way. The paper also reports early usage experience showing that: (a) the system is attracting a continuing stream of new and returning visitors from all over the world, and (b) the nascent community can use the platform to generate interesting and high quality plans to address climate change. These initial results indicate significant progress towards an important goal in developing a collective intelligence system - the formation of a large and diverse community collectively engaged in solving a single problem.