Prize Challenges

Geopolitical Forecasting Challenge

Can you create a method to forecast the future? The Geopolitical Forecasting (GF) Challenge invites solvers from around the world to develop innovative solutions and methods for integrating crowdsourced forecasts and other data into accurate, timely forecasts on worldwide issues. The challenge presents an opportunity for individuals and teams to earn prizes by creating methods that successfully demonstrate a forecast of a wide variety of geopolitical events, such as political elections, disease outbreaks, and macro-economic indicators.

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Who We Are: The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), focuses on high-risk, high-payoff research programs to tackle difficult challenges of the agencies and disciplines in the intelligence community. IARPA’s challenges invite experts from the broader research community to participate in IARPA research in a convenient, efficient, and non-contractual way.

What We’re Doing: Existing methods of geopolitical forecasting include human judgment-intensive methods, such as prediction markets, and data-intensive approaches, such as statistical models. GF Challenge solvers will develop solutions that produce probabilistic forecasts in response to numerous closed-ended forecasting questions that concern specific, objectively verifiable geopolitical events containing timeframes with deadlines and locations. The effort will run in parallel to IARPA’s most current geopolitical forecasting research program-- Hybrid Forecasting Competition (HFC). Challenge solvers will be competing on the same forecasting questions as HFC research teams, and given access to the same human forecaster data stream. In addition to the provided data stream, solvers may use other data streams and their own data and models for the challenge.

Why We’re Doing This: IARPA is looking for approaches from non-traditional sources that would improve the accuracy and timeliness of geopolitical forecasts. IARPA hosts these challenges in order to identify ways that individuals, academia, and others with a passion for forecasting can showcase their skills easily.

Who Should Participate: We’re looking for solutions from anyone who thinks they might have a way of addressing this problem, including forecasting enthusiasts, data scientists, computer programmers, and even (or especially) experts in disciplines we haven’t yet considered. Certain individuals and groups with existing agreements with IARPA may not be eligible for cash prizes, but may be able to compete for standing on the leaderboard and other non-monetary incentives. Additional eligibility rules will be available closer to launch.

Why Should You Participate: This challenge gives you a chance to join a community of leading experts to advance your research, contribute to global security and humanitarian activities, and compete for cash prizes. This is your chance to test your forecasting skills and prove yourself against the state-of-the-art, and to demonstrate your superiority over political pundits. By participating, you may:

  • Network with collaborators and experts to advance your research
  • Gain recognition for your work and your methods
  • Test your method against state-of-the-art methods
  • Win prizes from a total prize purse of $200,000

Throughout the challenge, an online leaderboard will display solvers’ rankings and accomplishments, giving you opportunities to have your work viewed and appreciated by leaders from industry, government and academia.

When We’re Doing This: The challenge will launch March 7, 2018 so keep checking back for additional details. To receive updates or request more information, email

When does pre-registration begin? January 2018
When does the challenge launch? March 7, 2018
How do I stay connected to get information about the challenge? Join our mailing list at
Where do I learn more about the specifics of the challenge?
When does the challenge end? September 2018


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