The Forecasting World Events Project sponsored by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is a US government agency, part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. IARPA invests in high-risk/high-payoff research programs that have the potential to provide our nation with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries.

Although IARPA is involved in many activities of interest, one I believe many readers will be particularly interested in is their Forecasting World Events project.

Here is a bit about the project from their announcement site:

Forecasting World Events (FWE) is a nationwide research program funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). Our study will investigate various aspects of individual and group predictions to gain fresh insights into the factors that influence people’s predictions about key world events and trends. In addition, we will look at ways to leverage and integrate this information to develop more accurate overall predictions.

The Project’s forecasting questions will be quite varied in subject matter and scope, spanning such domains as global security and politics, business and economics, public health, science and technology, and social and cultural change. As a participant, you will have the opportunity to select among those domains and specific questions, making predictions for only those topics and questions where your knowledge and interest are greatest.

The Project seeks a diverse range of research participants with interests in any of the above areas. As a participant in the Project, you will use an interactive website to browse forecasting questions and offer your predictions, you will be able to login and update those forecasts as often as you like, and you will have the opportunity to interact with your fellow forecasters via optional discussion threads.

You may register to participate now. Invited participants will begin making forecasts in late spring or early summer of 2011, and registration will remain open beyond this start date. We expect that FWE will be active for three to four years, and we encourage selected participants to engage in the study for as long as possible. However, individual participants are not required to make any specific time commitment. If invited to participate, you will decide how often you wish to make predictions (or update those predictions), and you may withdraw from the study at any time.

I signed up to participate and encourage you to do the same. The study will help some good people trying to do good things for our nation and, although there is aways a risk that the research will not bear fruit, I certainly support their efforts and hope the study helps the intelligence community advance its methods, models and technologies.

Speaking of technologies, I’m hoping the predictions I’m allowed to make are on the technological front. That will let me build on work I’ve done for years in trying to project technological trends.

I’m also thinking about using some great technological capabilities to see if they can help in predictions. One that immediately comes to mind is Recorded Future. But if you know of other technologies that might relate please let me know by visiting

About Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley is Crucial Point LLC’s founder and editor of Bob has received industry recognition including Infoworld top CTO award, AFCEA’s meritorious service award, and recognition as one of the top 100 “Tech Titans” in DC by Washingtonian magazine. He was named one of the “Top 25 Most Fascinating Communicators in Government IT.”

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