Metaculus Announces Forecasting Causes

3 min readApr 12, 2021

by Gaia Dempsey, CEO at Metaculus

Interested in boosting good forecasts for altruistic causes? Metaculus is launching Forecasting Causes to support nonprofit partnerships.

At Metaculus, our aim is to improve human decision making and coordination at scale by improving and increasing the analytic capacity, reasoning, and judgment of individuals and organizations. We tackle this problem in two ways: by designing multi-stakeholder ecosystems with positive-sum incentives, and by investing in the AI capabilities and technology infrastructure needed to increase trustworthiness, accuracy, and transparency.

Our combined toolkit and community generate a technology-augmented wisdom-of-the-crowd signal. The resulting datasets and insights are increasingly used to meaningfully solve real-world, high-impact problems. As our platform grows, we’re taking steps to increase the efficacy of this connection between our insight and positive action.

We’re excited to announce Forecasting Causes: a new set of tools designed specifically to connect nonprofits working on ambitious, world-changing ideas with forecasters and community members who want to make an impact.

Forecasting Causes makes it easy for organic communities of interest to form around specific altruistic causes, and to connect the dots between the Metaculus forecasting community and nonprofits and institutions that are deeply engaged in doing world-changing work. It’s as simple as making forecasts the way we always have, with added features that bring focus to specific areas of need and generate prizes to motivate quality predictions where it matters.

Let’s explore what Forecasting Causes is and how it works:

What is Forecasting Causes?

Forecasting Causes is a framework that Metaculus has created in order to more effectively partner with and serve altruistic movements and the nonprofits that work within. Tournaments and forums provide community spaces for people who want to boost good forecasts for a Cause, on the questions most likely to impact future decision-making. By supporting causes financially, community members and non-profits alike can encourage good forecasting, resulting in effective change.

Why is Metaculus doing this?

Forecasting Causes is a continuation of work Metaculus has done for years. The Metaculus community is often inspired by altruistic causes, and Metaculus has a long history of partnering with nonprofit organizations and university researchers. By supporting with technology what has to-date been an informal process, we hope to increase the positive impact of our forecasts.

How do Forecasting Causes work?

Forecasting Cause pages serve as a home for the community interested in a particular cause. Each cause has dedicated Discussion Forums and Tournaments. Also on these pages, you’ll be able to see and learn more about our nonprofit and partner organizations. Community members can pledge to support a cause through a monthly subscription, which will be used to fund tournaments. Nonprofit partners can make lump sum donations in support of a cause.

How can I get involved?

If you’d like to boost good forecasts in a particular Forecasting Cause, you can participate in a number of valuable ways:

  • Share your expertise, brainstorm forecasting questions, and update the community with the latest research in a Discussion Forum
  • Join a Tournament and make forecasts
  • Increase forecaster rewards by becoming a Supporter
  • Reach out to researchers, experts, and activists within cause movements to enlist their help furthering a cause on the Metaculus platform

If you’re part of a non-profit looking to use the power of forecasting to further your cause, reach out to us at hello (at) metaculus (dot) com.

What are Forecasting Cause Supporters?

Forecasting Cause Supporters are people who choose to financially support a particular Forecasting Cause on Metaculus. Funds contributed by Supporters increase the cause’s current tournament prize pool and also support operations for the cause and tournament.

With Forecasting Causes, our goal is to deliver insights to nonprofit and institutional partners who can use them to guide daily decision-making, build strategic plans, plan interventions, and allocate valuable resources. Metaculus forecasts combine the best aspects of scientific culture and applied innovation culture by pairing insight derived from data with that intuited by human judgement. With Forecasting Causes we are acting to more meaningfully include those who work every day to better the world, as our technology evolves toward ever-increasing degrees of insight accuracy.

Of course, Forecasting Causes cannot succeed without the support of our amazing forecasting community. So we are here, asking for your support, your participation, and your ideas. Please join us!

Up Next…

On April 22nd, to celebrate Earth Day, we’ll launch our first-ever Forecasting Cause focused on the topic of Alt-Meat with our incredible nonprofit partner the Good Food Institute. More details coming soon!