I received an email this afternoon from Wikistrat inviting political scientist graduate students to participate in a competition for $10,000. Before this email, I have heard nothing about this program/website and I am still relatively ignorant about their presence and history, but it seems, at the very least, worth getting a bit more information about.
The actual competition is for a team of 5-10 political science graduate students from the same university to:
1. Forecast their team’s national trajectory;
2. Develop scenario pathways and national policy options for specific strategic issues;
3. Articulate national grand strategies;
4. Brainstorm future regional security environments (alternate futures); and
5. Simulate plausible scenarios of geopolitical crises.
The simulation, to occur in June, will last 4 weeks with an expectation of 5,000 words per week of output by the university team. Each team will be role-playing a particular country and developing plans of action for the country they are representing.
The competition is intriguing. For a relatively new enterprise, it seems like a decent way to generate content and information for a starting investment -- perhaps similar to other prize competitions for science based projects (rocket design, fuel efficiency, etc.), but this one is strategy oriented.