Issue Campaigns combine expert and crowd judgment to guide policy decisions

While some policy debates are about what should be, many are about what will be. We can advance the latter through forecasting. Because policy issues are too big to directly forecast, however, we must first break them down in a way that makes them amenable to forecasting. In our Issue Campaign offering, we first identify forecast questions relevant to a policy issue through a combination of expert interviews and surveys. We then leverage historical data and the wisdom of the crowd to forecast these questions. The goal is to improve our collective understanding of complex policy issues otherwise mired in intractable expert disagreement.

Issue Campaign 1:

The Future of the Relationship Between the Department of Defense and Silicon Valley

Foretell’s first Issue Campaign focuses on the future of the relationship between the Department of Defense and Silicon Valley. Here is the process we will follow for this first and subsequent Issue Campaigns:

1. Identify relevant forecast questions via expert interviews

We first interview experts, such as senior members of the Department of Defense, industry professionals, and others to understand how they think about the issue, including what factors most inform their views. For example, U.S.-China tensions and the economic strength of Silicon Valley are factors commonly cited as relevant to the future of the DoD-Silicon Valley relationship. For each relevant factor, we identify a collection of forecast questions.

2. Collect expert forecasts and look for patterns

Next, we elicit the experts’ forecasts on each question. The goal of this step is to identify areas of disagreement and uncertainty. In particular, we’re interested in correlations between experts’ views on a factor—such as U.S.-China tensions—and their views on the overarching issue.

3. Collect crowd forecasts

We then publish the forecast questions on Foretell to generate additional, ongoing forecasts from our dedicated community of forecasters. 

4. Analyze ongoing forecast results

Finally, we analyze the forecasts and their relevance to the overarching issue. For example, if experts disagree about whether U.S.-China tensions will increase, the crowd can serve as a tool for arbitrating the disagreement. More generally, the crowd’s ongoing attention to these critical questions should provide a useful resource for anyone interested in this issue, including how relevant factors are trending and how current events are expected to affect them.

Upcoming Issue Campaigns

  • U.S. Tech Workforce

    Explores the ability of the U.S. to strengthen its technology workforce

  • Semiconductor trade policy

    Explores the ability of the U.S. to increase its semiconductor manufacturing capabilities relative to China

Questions or suggestions about Issue Campaigns?

Please contact csetforetell@georgetown.edu

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