What is Crowdsourced Consulting?
Wikistrat is the world’s first Crowdsourced Consultancy It leverages a global network of subject-matter experts via a patent pending crowdsourcing methodology to provide insights unavailable anywhere else. This online network offers a uniquely powerful and unprecedented strategic consulting service: the internet’s only central intelligence exchange for strategic analysis and forecasting. These ideas and insights are delivered, for the first time, on a real-time, interactive platform.
Our network of hundreds of experts follows our scenario-driven crowdsourced policy planning methodology to generate unique intelligence products.
- Real time analysis of geopolitical and economic forces through live multi-player simulations.
- Customized Commercial and Political forecasting models to meet specific corporate or government needs.
- Tailor-made risk management and strategic planning solutions.
- Training focused on teaching executives and staff how to think strategically about the global forces shaping the future and their implications for company and government operations.
Rationale for Crowdsourced Consulting
Ours is a radically new approach to traditional consulting. We believe that crowdsourcing will revolutionize the industry by shifting a significant portion of the market from typical “black box” consulting (you tell the firm your issues and an answer pops out at the other end in a big fat static report) to wide-scale employment of global talent accessed transparently via interactive and real-time delivery.
As globalization grows ever more complex and unpredictable, we expect that collaborative crowdsourcing of large numbers of analysts will become a primary analytic tool for enterprises across the board – especially in its capacity to brainstorm rapidly and provide multiple perspectives.
If you are interested in having dozens or even hundreds of strategic thinkers chase down a problem, query or brainstorm for you, then Wikistrat can mobilize them en masse for a X-week-long collaborative simulation. We would simply tailor the parameters and the participants. The key thing is, the desired effort would now involve a true “wisdom of the crowd” dynamic, with the crowd in this instance being a vetted group of analysts collaboratively competing to come up with the best answer.
Why we think that’s a better route: In today’s complex world, companies and governments benefit deeply from such intellectual exposure. We don’t think this will completely replace in-house studies and working with contractors, because deep dives on specific issues will always be needed. Plus you simply can’t outsource your strategic thought processes every time. But there is also increasingly a the need to tap into wider pools of thinking, or ones that explore issues more “horizontally” (i.e., plumbing the cross-domain connections) than “vertically” – especially when you’re talking strategic planning on an international scale. In a black- swan world, you can never ask too many “what if” questions, or have too many bright minds proposing possible answers.
When Wikistrat pulls hundreds of topic experts into an online venue explicitly designed to foster collaborative competition, we turbo-charge the dynamic by concentrating it to an unprecedented degree. We believe this represents the future of consulting and will change the way in which corporations and governments consume analysis and conduct their strategic planning.
Corporate Information – Mission Statement
Wikistrat exists to help public and private sector organizations maximize their organizational goals through the application of our crowdsourcing methodology and global network of experts. Our analysis remains objective and non-partisan, and is applied to help our clients understand, anticipate, and manage complex issues. Both the analysis we provide and solution-sets we offer all our clients are used to advance our corporate worldview of:
- Diminishing violence and extremism
- Promoting international security and stability
- Advancing responsible governance and accountability
- Promoting constructive dialogue between adversaries and conflicting parties where possible
- Promoting free speech, access to online communications, and freedom of information
Why We Exist
- Because we believe there is wisdom in the crowd.
- To overcome bureaucracy by delivering more with less.
- To provide an unbiased, external perspective and objective consulting that is grounded in analytic rigor.
- Because we believe that powerful insights about the future can be produced through collective intelligence methodologies and competitive analysis from large and diverse groups of people.
- Because we believe there is value in processing inputs from as diverse a crowd as possible, to better understand the future and anticipate change.
- Open debate
- Analytic integrity, creativity, and open-mindedness
- Analytic rigor
- Do more with less
- Client service
Code of Ethics
- As a US-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 will 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.
- Wikistrat’s employees and consultants are legally committed to use only unclassified content in open client simulations.
- 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 our clientele. 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 professionals 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, Australian-owned company, is incorporated in the US State of Delaware, and is a for profit corporation, unaffiliated with any government agency.
Are there limitations for who Wikistrat will and will not do work for?
Wikistrat’s corporate ethics policy, mission statement, and bribery and corruption policy and company values, can all be found in the tabs above. 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 an R&D in Tel-Aviv and Sydney, Australia.
Who are Wikistrat’s analysts?
Wikistrat’s Analytic Community is extensive in number (1000+) and diverse in nature. Wikistrat staff make 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 analyst 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, and Wikistrat’s code of conduct.
How are Wikistrat analysts remunerated?
Wikistrat provide a combination of a minimum revenue guarantee and potential access to project prize pool for analysts participating in the lead team of all client projects. The larger the client project the more the available funds for the analytic community according to a strict algorithm consistent across client project.
Is there a difference between analysts and employees?
There is an important difference between Wikistrat company employees and members of the Wikistrat Analytic Community. Members of the community enjoy potential access to client and internal projects, and have the opportunity to learn, network, develop their analytic skills, and profit from their analysis.
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 simulation content is only accessible for a limited time by contributors.
Joel Zamel, CEO
Joel is the Founding Director and CEO of Wikistrat. Joel has a Bachelor of Mining Engineering from the University of New South Wales and a Master’s degree in Government, Diplomacy and Strategy from the Interdisciplinary Center, specializing in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security. Joel also developed the strategic planning methodology of Collaborative-Competition™ on which Wikistrat’s flagship system is based.
Daniel Green, CTO
Daniel has a Bachelor’s degree in Technology from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with additional tertiary studies in Security and Counter-Terrorism from Monash University and Murdoch University. A co-founder of Wikistrat with Joel Zamel, Daniel has had a diverse career spanning the use of technology in a range of environments and has completed engagements for Macquarie Bank, Opera Australia, University of Sydney Union and a private security agency. Having had the privilege of access to both computers and the Internet from a young age, Daniel is quick to adapt to changes in a technical environment and uses this to keep Wikistrat innovative.
Elad Schaffer, COO
Elad is a former senior analyst specialized in the field of Counter-Terrorism. He previously held Vice President position at CeifiT consulting firm, heading the Research Department and the firm’s Marketing operations. In addition, Elad has been involved in business consulting and the development of new entrepreneurships. He holds Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. Elad oversees the growth and operation of Wikistrat’s Analytic Community.
Dr. Shay Hershkovitz, Director, Analytic Community
Shay has vast experience in the field of intelligence in general and political analysis of the Middle East in particular. He has a PhD in Political Science and lectures at several colleges and universities, specializing in political theory, consumer culture, globalization and social protest.
Before joining Wikistrat, Shay worked in strategic consulting and market research, specializing in competitive intelligence analysis and business war-games. He was involved in long-term strategic planning and executing and assisted leading companies in achieving commutative advantages in their various markets and verticals.
Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett, Chief Analyst
Dr. Barnett, a world-leading grand strategist, is the author of five books and a New York Times bestseller. He has served in various leadership positions in the consulting world in the past two decades, including positions as Senior Managing Director at Enterra Solutions, Partner at IEG Strategies, Assistant for Strategic Futures, Office of Force Transformation (OFT), Office of the Secretary of Defense. Dr. Barnett is also former Senior Advisor to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, Central Command, Special Operations Command and Joint Forces Command. In the past few years, Barnett has been authoring the successful “Globlogization” blog. He joined forces with Wikistrat in 2010 to establish a unique strategic consulting service offering.
Ted Obenchain, Director, Business Development
A Director of Business Development, Ted is responsible for orchestrating Wikistrat’s business origination efforts across the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Wikistrat, he was the director of the government services business at Eurasia Group Ltd., a global geopolitical risk consultancy. He has also worked in senior business development and analytical roles at Science Applications International Corporation, a Fortune 500 international defense company, and The Cohen Group, a strategic advisory firm founded by former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen. Ted holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs and International Economics from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
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.
Clients and Partners
Wikistrat in the Media
Wikistrat in the Media
“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?
“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.
“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).
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
“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.