Last fall, INFER introduced a new Team Lead opportunity for forecasters who were interested in getting others in their community involved in crowd forecasting. Team Leads were tasked with recruiting and leading a team of forecasters in a six-month forecasting tournament that ended in April.
The team that won first place in the tournament – dubbed the Future Bowl – was led by Mateo Rendon (mateoren), a data scientist based in Finland. Rendon said he enjoyed “[encouraging] team members to have lively discussions about forecasting questions, and ultimately to see them become more and more interested in forecasting.”
Future Bowl Tournament Leaderboard
One of Rendon’s teammates, Sanyero, described what made their team successful: “The most valuable factor in us winning was enthusiastic and consistent support from Mateo. He created a discussion group for us, facilitated meetups and co-forecasting events, and reminded everyone to keep up the good work.”
While many of his teammates were new to forecasting, Rendon had participated in INFER’s 2022 EA tournament, and his performance earned him a Pro Starter award at the end of that season. He employed some of the collaboration tactics he learned in the past to lead his team to victory in the Future Bowl and the $3,000 grand prize.
“The tournament was my first experience with forecasting, and with the right community and a few upvotes, forecasting [on our team felt] rewarding and fun,” said Sanyero.
One of the primary goals for the Future Bowl was to attract new forecasters like Sanyero. It came about from some of the Team Leads’ desire to have an exclusive incentive to help with recruitment efforts. The tournament was also intended to inspire friendly competition and motivate consistent forecasting practice.
Over the last six months, participating teams submitted hundreds of forecasts on 9 qualifying questions. Teams collaborated virtually, provoking thoughtful forecasts and dialogue on complex topics, such as nuclear tests conducted by North Korea, economic sanctions on Russia, and global AI innovation and competition.
Who are the Team Leads who led forecasters in this effort?
INFER’s 10 Team Leads represent six countries, including México, Honduras, Brazil, Finland, Greece, and the United States. When not forecasting on INFER, Team Leads hold professional roles as engineers, computer scientists, policy analysts, graduate and undergraduate students, teachers and professors, marketing directors, and government professionals.
Team Leads don’t need to have extensive forecasting experience or stellar accuracy to be selected for the role – only a willingness to model good forecasting practices for their teams and be champions for crowd forecasting. Perhaps because most Team Leads were already passionate forecasters, seven are also INFER Pros.
Team Leads meet together on a quarterly basis to exchange ideas and lessons learned in recruiting and engaging forecasters. In those quarterly meetings and through regular communications with the INFER team, Team Leads are plugged into program happenings and opportunities that help to advance their community engagement efforts.
The Team Lead experience has been a great way for some like Manuel Carranza to get involved first-hand with the forecasting lifecycle: “[I wanted to be a Team Lead] to understand crowd forecasting and the role that individual forecasters have in the overall ecosystem at a much deeper level.”
We thank all team members and Team Leads who participated in making the Future Bowl tournament a success. Keep an eye out for future team opportunities!
Are you interested in becoming a Team Lead? Team Leads are paid a monthly stipend for recruiting and engaging a team of 10 active forecasters per month. They recruit colleagues, students, and friends from their network. Learn more in the Team Lead role description.