What is RANGE?

RANGE (Rethinking Assumptions in a New Geostrategic Environment) is a crowdsourced forecasting program focused on geopolitics and the transatlantic relationship.

The forecasts, generated by a community of transatlantic experts, experienced policymakers, and the informed public, are being curated by RANGE as a new source of input for analysis, publications, and elevating the public discourse. RANGE is a key part of the Bertelsmann Foundation & Bertelsmann Stiftung’s work to bring accurate, credible and forward-looking insights to governments and the public on both sides of the Atlantic.

What are the Bertelsmann Foundation and Stiftung?

The Bertelsmann Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C. dedicated to a strong and lasting transatlantic relationship. Through research, analysis, forums, audiovisual and multimedia content, the Bertelsmann Foundation seeks to educate and engage its audience on the most pressing economic, political, and social challenges facing the United States and Europe. 

The Bertelsmann Stiftung is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit private operating foundation, based in Gütersloh, Germany. Its aim is to identify and develop solutions to pressing social problems, stimulate debate, and provide impetus for social change. 

Who do I contact if I need help?

For any questions about the project, please contact [email protected].

What am I being asked to do as a participant?

We are asking participants to estimate the probability that an event will occur and to offer a rationale for their forecasts. RANGE is designed to generate real-time crowd forecasts, so we ask participants to log in regularly (several times per month) to make and update their forecasts.

We will release new sets of questions periodically and encourage participants to check in when alerted of new questions. We also encourage you to support the project in other ways, such as suggesting forecasting questions or topic areas to the RANGE team, discussing forecasts with your friends and colleagues, and encouraging them to participate on the platform as well. 

Can I invite my friends or colleagues to become forecasters?

Yes, of course! RANGE is open to the public and anyone may participate. No specific background in any of the topic areas is necessary.

Making and Updating Forecasts

How does forecasting work?

To make a forecast on RANGE, simply enter the probability (i.e., 0-100%) you think an event will occur, along with a rationale for your forecast. Here is a helpful article with tips on how to approach your first forecast.

How do you generate the crowd forecast?

The crowd forecast is an aggregation of all individual forecasts at any given time. 

Who determines what the correct answer is?

The background section for each question provides information about how we judge the correct answer. In most cases, we cite an authoritative data source, such as a well-known database or mainstream media sources. In other cases, we may provide details about how we would evaluate borderline cases. 

How often should I submit forecasts and how much time should I spend each time I submit a new forecast?

Each participant should submit and update forecasts at least once a week, although many users of RANGE have found it to be helpful to be even more active. Participants should expect to spend 15-30 minutes every week on the site reading through new questions and updating forecasts. Updating is highly encouraged: it has been proven the most accurate forecasters tend to update their forecasts more often than the average forecaster.

What should I include in my forecasting rationales?

Rationales are short explanations for your forecasts. Share considerations that significantly affected your forecast and the sources you may have used to form your judgment. These sources can often be useful for your fellow forecasters as well. The more forecasters share their rationales, the more useful the data is to decision-makers throughout the government.

Can I withdraw my forecast from a question?

No, there is no way to delete a forecast or withdraw from a question. However, you can submit another forecast to reflect how you've changed your mind. If you forecast more than once in one day, only your last forecast of the day will count toward your accuracy score.

I have a specific question regarding a forecast question, how can I get more specifics before I make a forecast?

If you need any clarifications, first read the Background section linked underneath the question. If you still need clarification, you can request a clarification from within the question page, leave a comment on the question for others to respond to, or send an email to [email protected].

Forecasting Accuracy

What does it mean to resolve a forecast question?

When we know the correct answer to a question (e.g., when an event occurs), we can "resolve" the question. A RANGE site Administrator will resolve a question, which then allows the site to measure and provide accuracy scores.

How are my forecasts scored for accuracy?

The RANGE site uses a proper scoring rule for measuring the accuracy of probabilistic forecasts called the Brier Score . This article explains how we calculate the Brier Score.

To measure how accurate you are compared to the crowd, RANGE uses a relative accuracy score (or Net Brier Points). This score is based on the Brier Score and your relative performance against all other participants. This score is what generally shows up on the site leaderboards (where a lower score / negative numbers, like in golf, are better.) This article explains how we calculate your accuracy score / Net Brier Points.

How can I know my accuracy score?

You can find your cumulative Accuracy Score (or Net Brier Points) listed in My Profile or on any of the site’s leaderboards. Please note that RANGE forecasters will not have Accuracy Scores until a forecast question has been resolved.

RANGE’s Question Topics

Can I suggest a question or topic area for the site?

Yes! When logged in, select “Suggest New Question” from the Questions dropdown menu to suggest a forecasting question and follow the instructions. The RANGE Team selects which questions to publish based on what is relevant to the participants, the public conversation, and decision-makers.

Privacy & Etiquette

What are RANGE’s policies for participant privacy?

RANGE is committed to protecting participant privacy consistent with the goals of the site as outlined in the privacy policy.

Do you have a content moderation or etiquette policy?

Our etiquette policy can be summarized as “Be kind, respect others, and stay on topic.” Inflammatory comments, personal attacks, vulgar or offensive labels, marketing efforts (“spam”), and repeated, overt political advocacy are all prohibited. If you believe that a participant’s comment violates this policy, you may flag it by clicking the orange “Flag” text below their comment. The RANGE team resolves violations of our etiquette policy on a case-by-case basis, and we reserve the right to disqualify offenders from rewards or deactivate the accounts of offenders. 

Tip: Mention someone by typing @username