Wikistrat: The world’s first crowdsourced consultancy
Wikistrat operates a global network of over 2,000 subject-matter experts working collaboratively via our online platform to help decision-makers identify solutions to complex strategic challenges. The crowdsourced approach enables public and private sector clients to obtain deeper insights about the future – as well as plan more creative policy options and strategies – with unparalleled speed and cost efficiency.
Wikistrat’s crowdsourcing methodology – Collaborative Competition™ – allows for the generation of diverse and interdisciplinary insights unavailable through traditional analysis, with complete transparency and client interactivity. We leverage our experience of having conducted hundreds of crowdsourced studies and simulations to deliver a range of bespoke analytic services, including:
- Prediction and early warning
- Scenario planning
- Strategic forecasting
- On-the-ground collection
- Innovative policy recommendations
- Real-time analysis and monitoring of geopolitical affairs
- Modeling complex environments through the combination of big data and crowdsourcing
Wikistrat strives to promote a world in which global leaders in government and business are able to quickly and efficiently leverage the immense expertise that lies outside of their traditional reach. We believe there is wisdom in the expert crowd – wisdom that is essential for dealing with an increasingly complex world. Through our crowdsourcing network, we work to promote international security and stability, whilst advancing responsible governance and accountability.
Our mission is to deliver real-time intelligence, diverse perspectives and rigorous strategic analysis to support decision-makers facing complex challenges. Wikistrat stands available to provide analytic integrity by leveraging transparent, open-source methodologies and platforms to support clients from around the world.
What is Crowdsourced Consulting?
Crowdsourcing is an efficient, creative and rapid way of obtaining a wide range of different perspectives for any given set of issues. Ideas, insights and understandings are produced and captured in real time as dozens or even hundreds of strategic thinkers chase down a problem, analyze market conditions or evaluate strategic alternatives. By tailoring a given project’s parameters and participants, providing analytic organizing principles, and managing a technological platform to facilitate interaction among large numbers of participants, Wikistrat delivers to its clients the “wisdom of the (expert) crowd.”
In today’s complicated world, businesses and governments need broad intellectual exposure to sift through increasingly complex issues and generate greater analytic insight. Wikistrat achieves this by pulling hundreds of experts into an online venue specifically designed to foster “collaborative competition” – and then turbo-charging the dynamic by concentrating and focusing the effort to an unprecedented degree. Our proprietary “Collaborative Competition”™ methodology (patent pending) allows Wikistrat to harness large, invitation-only crowds of experts and have them collaborate and compete in small teams – generating hundreds of potential scenarios, policy options, strategies and insights.
As the future of consulting, this approach already is changing the way in which corporations and governments consume analysis and conduct their strategic planning.
Crowdsourcing is not a universal replacement for in-house studies and traditional forms of consulting (yes, we offer those too!), and there are times when traditional analyses are more efficient and adequate for the task. Moreover, you simply can’t outsource your strategic thought processes every time.
But when the time comes to tap into wider pools of thinking, explore issues more “horizontally” than “vertically,” or look at the widest range of issues impacting a market, crowdsourcing is fast, efficient and capable. In today’s black-swan world, you can never ask too many “what if” questions, or have too many bright minds proposing possible answers.
Code of Ethics
- As a U.S.-based company incorporated in the state of Delaware, Wikistrat will comply with all Delaware State and United States Federal laws and regulations governing our business.
- Wikistrat reserves the right to refuse a project on the grounds that the results might be used for a possible violation of international laws.
- Wikistrat will not perform services nor receive remuneration from any individuals or organizations that have been sanctioned by the international community, or whose goals and objectives run counter to Wikistrat’s global worldview as described in our mission statement.
- Wikistrat requires that any entity using Wikistrat’s services must declare if they are working on behalf of another client or entity to ensure that Wikistrat does not violate the rules as outlined above.
- Employees and consultants of Wikistrat are expected to use their best judgment to act, at all times and in all ways, in the best interests of Wikistrat and our clientele, and comply with Wikistrat’s membership agreements, Terms of Service and Analyst Code of Conduct.
- Wikistrat’s employees and consultants are legally committed to use only unclassified, legally shareable content in all client projects.
- Employees of Wikistrat may not bribe anyone for any reason, whether in dealings with governments or the private sector.
- Wikistrat will not work with or for any entity under financial sanction, determined by the following:
- Her Majesty Treasury List
- Bureau of Industry and Security
- Department of State
- EU Terrorism List
- FBI Top Ten Most Wanted
- Interpol Most Wanted
- ICE List (U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement)
- Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Sanctions
- CBI List (The Central Bureau of Investigation)
- SDN & Blocked Entities
- SECO List
- Treasury PML List
- UN Consolidated List
- OCC Shell Bank List
- World Bank Debarred Parties List
- It is in the interest of Wikistrat and our clientele to draw expertise from all corners of the globe and from diverse facets of society to maximize the range of analytic perspectives we provide. In the course of obtaining these perspectives, it is our priority to ensure to the greatest extent possible that individual contributors have the required academic and professional pedigrees and cultural acumen to support Wikistrat’s work. Those who violate our corporate standards will be prohibited from contributing to future engagements with the company and removed from the Wikistrat Analytic Community.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the organizational structure of Wikistrat?
Wikistrat Inc., a privately-held company, is incorporated in the U.S. State of Delaware, and is a for-profit corporation unaffiliated with any government.
Are there limitations for who Wikistrat will and will not do work for?
Wikistrat’s corporate ethics policy, mission statement, code of ethics and company values can all be found on this website. Wikistrat operates an Advisory Board of former senior government officials and operates a governance structure that practices a corporate ethics policy grounded in integrity and transparency.
Where was Wikistrat founded?
Wikistrat was founded in Sydney, Australia, in 2009.
Where is Wikistrat?
Wikistrat’s headquarters are based in Washington DC, although it operates R&D centers in Tel-Aviv and Sydney, Australia.
Who are Wikistrat’s analysts?
Wikistrat’s Analytic Community is extensive in number (2000+) and diverse in nature. They come from various backgrounds, areas of expertise and disciplines. Wikistrat staff makes an ongoing and concerted effort to diversify the Analytic Community in terms of geographic location, worldview, area of expertise and career experience in order to maximize the number of perspectives available to our clients. We welcome and encourage participation from analysts in all countries (where in accordance with all relevant legal rule sets). Wikistrat’s diverse network of analysts have no organized political agenda. All members of the Wikistrat Analytic Community have been vetted and trained on the Wikistrat platform and have legally committed to abiding by Wikistrat’s Analytic Community confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements, as well as Wikistrat’s code of conduct.
How are Wikistrat analysts remunerated?
Wikistrat provides a combination of a guaranteed fixed fees per project and potential access to additional monetary prizes for analysts participating in the lead team of all client projects. The larger the client project, the more the available funds for the analytic team according to an algorithm consistent across client projects.
Is there a difference between analysts and employees?
There is an important difference between Wikistrat company employees and members of the Wikistrat Analytic Community. Analysts of the community enjoy access to client and internal projects, and have the opportunity to learn, network, develop their analytic skills and profit from their analysis. Wikistrat’s staff is composed of project managers, data scientists, programmers and methodology designers who oversee and facilitating the crowdsourced activities.
Who has access to content produced by Wikistrat’s analytic community?
Wikistrat’s Analytic Community and clients are bound by confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements limiting the use and reproduction of content produced on the Wikistrat platform for clients. Client studies and projects’ content is only accessible for a limited time by invited contributors.
Joel Zamel, CEO
Daniel Green, CTO
Elad Schaffer, COO
Dr. Shay Hershkovitz, CSO & Director, Analytic Community
Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett, Chief Analyst
Ted Obenchain, Director, Business Development
General James L. Jones
Former National Security Advisor to the President of the United States
Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Combatant Commander USEUCOM
32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps
General James L. Jones has spent his life serving and protecting America and American ideals. He is sought after for his wisdom, guidance and political endorsement. As the former commander of U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, he led all military operations for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and later, as National Security Advisor, he brought clear vision and steady leadership to America’s mission in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan’ and the country’s interests around the world.
Chairman, Center for International Private Enterprise
Board Member, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Senior Advisor, The Robertson Foundation
Mr. Lebedev currently holds a portfolio of assignments which span the business, government and philanthropic sectors. He serves as Chairman of the publicly-funded Center for International Private Enterprise, one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy, whose mission is to promote free market institutions in emerging economies throughout the world. He is a Senior Advisor to the President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest business federation in the world. And he is Senior Advisor to the Robertson Foundation for Government, a private family fund which provides support to talented men and women wishing to pursue governmental careers in national security and international affairs. Mr. Lebedev sits on a number of advisory boards, regularly speaks on a range of international subjects, and undertakes special projects involving trade, development and global corporate governance.
“Intelligence is no longer just stolen secrets, but the wisdom of knowledgeable observers. Wikistrat delivers exactly that.”
General (ret.) Michael V. Hayden, Former Director CIA, Former Director NSA
“Wikistrat deploys exciting capabilities for highest-level clients to provide predictive analysis, and support risk assessment, contingency early warning and response, and strategic planning, by leveraging technology in a way that is very impressive.”
General (ret.) James L. Jones, Former National Security Advisor to the President of the United States of America
“Wikistrat clients gain global access to world-class experts who provide insights and recommendations that highlight opportunities and risks to their enterprises. Wikistrat excels as both a “stand alone” capability or as a complement and source of “alternative thinking” for enterprises with internal research departments.”
Steven Cambone, Former Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence (USDI)
“Wikistrat offers an extraordinary open source platform with access to vetted expertise that can address vexing yet strategic issues of our times for a wide array of clients. The access afforded by Wikistrat to that expertise and its innovative use of crowd sourcing and big data enables the client to tailor the requirements to fit his/her needs and thus avoid obtaining analysis that has little applicability to what the client is looking for to inform significant government or corporate decisions.”
David R. Shedd, Former Senior CIA Executive and Former Acting Director, Defense Intelligence Agency
“One of the strengths that we see for this crowdsourced approach is the amount of eyes assembled to look at an issue in a short amount of time. For this reason, huge amounts of information can be processed and synthesized much faster than with linear models.”
Tim Haffner, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
“Wikistrat’s delivery was two standard deviations above the norm and far exceeded expectation. That level of performance is rare. The data and information was rich and useful, but it was the speed that blew me away – we found it hard to keep up.”
Dick Bedford, Deputy DCOS SPP, NATO, Allied Command Transformation (ACT)
Wikistrat in the Media
Wikistrat in the Media
“The Case for Crowdsourcing War games“
— Nextgov, July 14, 2015
One Washington-based consulting firm, whose clients include the Pentagon, is betting on the wisdom of the crowd. For the past few years, Wikistrat has drawn upon a network of about 2,000 analysts, posing questions about potential international trends and crises.
“Greece is flirting with Russia to make Europe jealous“
— Business Insider, July 10, 2015
“Both parties benefit from the [EU-Greece] negotiations themselves, making tactical gains at minimal cost or risk,” according to a report by Wikistrat.
“Wikistrat is capitalizing on far-flung and diverse analysts“
— The Washington Times, June 17, 2015
The Wikistrat network employs an online Wikipedia-style software program for its analyses of global hot spots. It then produced in-depth intelligence reports for its clients in three weeks or less.
“With Wikistrat, crowdsourcing gets geopolitical“
— Financial Times, September 3, 2014
While some intelligence agencies have experimented with crowdsourcing to gain insights from the general public, Wikistrat uses a “closed crowd” of subject experts and bills itself as the world’s first crowdsourced analytical services consultancy.
“Crowdsourcing: The Future Of Consulting?“
— InformationWeek, June 18, 2014
Wikistrat’s eclectic community of analysts beat the CIA by predicting Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Should crowdsourcing play a bigger role in the consulting industry?
“After Crimea: Top Intelligence Analysts Forecast The 5 Things That Putin Might Do Next“
— Business Insider, March 21, 2014
In January, Wikistrat analysts forecast the potential for Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to resign (which he did a month later) and for Crimea to request annexation into Russia (which occurred this week).
“Wikistrat Briefs Alternative Futures to AFRICOM Staff“
— U.S. AFRICOM Public Affairs, February 5, 2014
This simulation provided unique insight that will assist us in developing effective multi-year security cooperation engagement strategies with African partners in the Trans-Sahel region.
“Why This Company Is Crowdsourcing, Gamifying the World’s Most Difficult Problems“
— Fast Company, December 6, 2013
One consulting house, Wikistrat, is upending the model: Instead of using a stable of in-house analysts, the company crowdsources content and pays the crowd for its time.
“Intelligence agencies turn to crowdsourcing“
— BBC, October 10, 2012
The idea of crowdsourcing geopolitical forecasting is increasing in popularity and not just for spies. Wikistrat is using crowdsourcing to generate scenarios about future geopolitical events.
“Russia, Greece, and the EU: A Putin-Shaped Shark in the Mediterranean?“
— War on the Rocks, July 16, 2015
With a team of its Russia analysts, Wikistrat […] looked at what strategic interest Russia has in Greece and whether a bailout — or similar “strings attached” financial support — might be something the Russians could plausibly offer to Greece.
“Only Shock Events Could Trigger Pakistan’s Fourth Military Coup“
— The World Post, April 14, 2015
According to Wikistrat’s latest crowdsourced analysis, a military coup is unlikely to take place in Pakistan before the 2018 election when Prime Minister Sharif’s term expires.
“A Silver Lining for the Ebola Crisis?“
— The Huffington Post, October 21, 2014
Over 60 analysts worldwide explored a range of outcomes from regional containment to global pandemic, as well as the potential for both negative and positive results. Their key conclusion? The spread of infectious diseases such as Ebola demands a new response paradigm that is less passive and more proactive.
“Can ISIS Really Pose a Threat to Jordan?“
— The World Post, July 28, 2014
Wikistrat evaluated four possible scenarios to reveal how the Islamic State might attempt to infiltrate Jordan in the coming months. None of these seem especially threatening for Jordan, though the country remains under significant burden.
“Iraq’s Sunnis Likely to Fall Out Once ISIS Campaign Runs Its Course“
— Atlantic Sentinel, June 26, 2014
The geostrategic consultancy firm Wikistrat similarly predicts that “ISIS will find it a challenge to govern a landlocked ‘Mesopotamian Caliphate’ while facing Shia enemies on its eastern and western flanks.”
“Why ‘exoatmospheric war zone’ is part of the outlook for space companies“
— Quartz, May 13, 2014
Wikistrat’s analysis finds that governments will invest more in the private space industry in a high-tension scenario than in one where international relationships don’t drive prestigious scientific missions and military spending, leaving the companies struggling for returns.
“What will we smuggle in the future? Drones, coal, and honeybees“
— The Washington Post, December 26, 2012
Everybody’s making predictions for 2013 right now, but why not aim farther? Recently, the consultancy group Wikistrat ran a large crowdsourced simulation to try to figure out what sorts of items would be smuggled in 2050.
“New global sources of demand“
— CNN, April 6, 2012
What can America anticipate when it comes to new sources of demand in the global economy? What are some of the hot goods and services of the coming years? We asked Wikistrat’s global community of strategists for some ideas and here’s what they chose to highlight.
“What comes after Chavez?“
— CNN, February 10, 2012
Chavez built his dictatorship the old-fashioned way: by destroying all the political institutions that would naturally validate a legitimate successor. Thus, we’d expect a nasty internal power struggle would invariably ensue.
“As China rises, ‘grand strategy’ talk back in style“
— Reuters, May 12, 2011
“I really think it’s caught the spirit of the moment,” says Wikistrat CEO Joel Zamel. “There is much more interest in a kind of ‘grand strategy’ approach.