Global Narratives Research & Development Project

Global Narratives is our most ambitious initiative at the Met Society. Sitting at the juncture of geopolitical risk, technology, data science and media, the Narratives project is developing a new, quantified, transparent way to understand international political risk, foreign policy and the interconnections among events, people, institutions and history.

What is Global Narratives?

The Global Narratives project is the umbrella name for a series of interrelated research and development projects designed and intended to work with each other in a unified interface. The project involves original research, software development, algorithm construction, data analysis and related innovations across a range of disciplines and subject areas. 

 

Global Narratives involves research and development of eight component parts, each of which generates outputs on its own and in concert with the other components.

  1. Global Relationships - A global-scale, interactive, dynamic relational database of individuals, institutions, figures and their related components that are agents in, objects of and considerations within geopolitical events

  2. Forecast Design - A methodology for the creation, measurement and databasing of measurable, postulated binary dependent conditions (scenarios) in the international political system, and the scenario planning architecture to support their creation and interrelationship, both at present and at their arrival 

  3. Risk Weighting - A replicable, adaptable, transparent risk quantification and weighting system for identifying and measuring the intensity of effect of global events on those scenarios, and the NLP and Machine Learning experimentation on publicly-available media outputs to replicate this task with Neural Networks

  4. Outcome Tracking - A method for the combination and weighting of multiple binary dependent conditions into structured Narratives, and the data architecture to support it

  5. Embedded Modifications - Design and methods for establishing, tracing and manipulating second-and-third order effects of political / economic developments across known and speculated risk transmission trajectories among scenarios, narratives, individuals and institutions

  6. Algorithmic Combination - The necessary mathematical mechanisms for the calculation and transmission of those weights and risks throughout the networked architecture of scenarios and narratives, and the algorithmic replicability and reliability of these transmitted weights, and the ability of these weights to represent disparate, but consistent lenses of analysis on international affairs

  7. Data Design - The data architecture and systems design to stitch these independent component parts into a single, multifunctional interactive database

  8. User Dashboard - The development of a unifying UI / UX for a comprehensive dashboard software to interact with the database and examine its outputs, to be branded as "c3i"

Interested in getting involved with Narratives?

Development History and Research Phases

The Global Narratives system has its origins in original research work carried out in 2013, before the Met Society existed. This work advanced sporadically across the intervening years until the decision arose to establish the Met Society and bring the work under the aegis of a formal research organization. Then, starting in late 2016, We began work on Phase I of work on the Global Narratives system on January 1, 2017, following a research design phase in the fourth quarter of 2016. In this First Phase of active research, we focused on answering and exploring preliminary questions across Area 3 (Risk Weighting). We completed at the end of Q1, 2017, and are now compiling a working paper on our results and progress.

The Narratives Project is now in its Second Phase of primary research, with 12 active researchers in New York City, covering developments and analysis across all global regions.  We are currently focused primarily on developments in Sections 3 and 4 (Risk Weighting and Outcome Tracking of the Narratives Framework. 

  • By tracking and quantifying the effect of international events on emergent scenarios, the Global Narratives framework will make decision-making more transparent, and support the assessment and verification of assumptions and hypotheses that go into scenario planning.
  • By regularizing and simplifying the techniques needed to create, analyze and compare emergent risk scenarios, the Global Narratives Framework will broaden the range of professionals in the foreign policy and international security sphere who can participate meaningfully in the process, helping policy makers incorporate insights from beyond the narrow cone of intelligence community specialists

We are making updates to our Global Narratives every week, so if you're interested in staying on top of the developments, please sign up for our GN weekly update memo above!

The Global Narratives Framework will provide quantitative monitoring of global risk scenarios using data derived from international political events. This method will aid policy makers, scenario planners, and intelligence analysts, among others, in concretizing and quantifying risks and connections among emergent, multi-vector contingencies. Policy choices and political decision-making in the international security and foreign policy sphere tend to be made using assessments of the relative likelihood and impact of emergent scenarios, but even the most skilled analysts rely almost entirely on implicit knowledge, subjective analytical criteria and non-scientific intelligence tradecraft. These traditional practices, which remain dominant, thereby impede an objective tracking and evaluation of emerging risks, as well as rigorous, procedural critique and evaluation of previous assessments and decisions.