Computer technology keyboard 311 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters/Catherine Benson)
As instability in the Middle East continues to confuse even the world’s most
important decision makers, a small Israeli start-up has launched a new
wiki-based competition that it hopes will revolutionize grand strategic
Thirty-five teams of students and analysts from leading
academic and military institutions including Columbia, Georgetown, Oxford and
the United States Air Force have already registered for Wikistrat’s Grand
Strategy Competition. It will take place throughout June and will be judged by
Dr. Thomas Barnett, former senior adviser to the US secretary of defense, and
Michael Barrett, former director of strategy at the White House Homeland
Wikistrat CEO Joel Zamel, who together with fellow
Australian expat Daniel Green founded the company in Israel last year, said the
competition, which they have dubbed “Grand Strategy 2.0,” would provide
participants with a “Wikipedia meets Facebook collaborative space for generating
“Generically this kind of work [strategic planning] is done in
the form of static reports: that’s the industry standard,” Zamel told The
. “This is different because it’s wiki-based, allowing strategists
and analysts from around the world to collaboratively generate
“There’s a methodology that we’ve developed that is set up to
guide them through the competition, so they’re able to look at the work of other
teams that they’re competing against,” he said. “They’re also able to leverage
off the content analysis that’s in our system.
We have developed an
integrated model of globalization in all its complexity: flows of investment,
political trends, country interests and strategic forecasting that’s in our
wiki,” which they’ll be able to “integrate” with their strategies.
addition to using the competition to promote their company and to highlight the
analysis and forecasting that it provides, the organizers are excited that it
will bring together leading analysts of the future, who will be challenged to
come up with long-term national strategies for selected countries based on five
issues: global energy security, global economic “rebalancing,” Jihadist
terrorism, the Sino-American relationship and nuclear proliferation in the
“The competition is focusing on very broad-scale trends and
developments,” Zamel said, naming the emergence of new economic powers in Asia
and the resurgence of Turkey as a regional power as issues that would need to be
considered by competitors when they decide on policies for their selected
Scores will be tallied at the end of each of the four weeks of
the competition, with competitors judged by their level of analysis and by how
well they achieve their stated objectives.
The team with the highest
score at the end will win a $10,000 cash prize.
Led by chief analyst
Barnett, a world-leading grand strategist and author of The New York Times
best-seller The Pentagon’s New Map, Wikistrat provides peer-to-peer
multi-perspective analysis that allows ordinary users to interact and to predict
how global issues will pan out.