This spring we’ll introduce our members to the next generation Stratfor experience. That will include a more intuitive, dynamic design that compels readers to dig deeper and empowers them to make more informed decisions. Among the exciting new features included are interconnected themes and topics that make it easier to understand how Stratfor analysis reveals the key global trends that defy regional boundaries and shape the evolution of the international system over time. To learn more about these new themes and topics and what they’ll mean for Stratfor readers, we sat down for a Q&A with Reva Goujon, Stratfor’s vice president of global analysis.
Thanks for joining us, Reva. To begin, could you give us an idea of exactly what these new themes and topics represent?
“Unless you came to our office and sat in on one of our analyst meetings, you wouldn’t have a good sense of how everything we cover, from each little piece of information we publish to the longer in depth analyses, all ties into the foundational narrative we have. And so that’s what we’re calling the themes and the topics. We want to make it much easier for Stratfor readers to track those narratives, those bigger themes and most importantly see how they’re evolving. These are the global evolutions we track for our readers in immense detail.”
How will the ability to track global developments by themes help readers and professionals who use Stratfor’s analysis make better sense of the world?
“We’re living in a world where we’re constantly inundated with information and it’s becoming harder and harder to discern what’s reliable and what’s not in our news ecosystem. And that’s where we really want to play a role. Stratfor has a view of how the world is shaping up. It’s a view that is passionately agnostic. We don’t have any political bias about what should happen. We care about what will happen. We want to make sure that we’re upholding our responsibility to step back from the noise and really focus on those broader trend lines like Russia’s expansion and its contraction, Europe’s fragmentation or North American integration. So by bringing our readers into this much bigger, wider assessment on how the world works, I think that’s going to provide some clarity to allow them to make sense of the world the way we do.”
We talk a lot about the interconnectivity of Stratfor analysis. Could you give us an example of how readers will soon be able to better track that interconnectivity through these new themes?
“Commodities are one part of the macroeconomic picture, right? But how do we look at, for example, the strengthening dollar and its impact around the world? You have to be able to look at these issues from a global lens and see what the reverberations are, who’s actually shaping the policy, where the constraints are and then what are the second and third order effects. If the United States and China engage in a trade battle, we must then understand what that means for the U.S.’s biggest regional allies, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, who are extremely vulnerable to that. How does that then play into the internal crises within each of these countries — Japan’s reactivation in the region and its regional resurgence, South Korea’s internal political crisis and how it’s going to play a bigger role within this regional alliance, and so on. Everything comes back to a deeper theme and that’s what we want to make easier for our readers – to very quickly see how those day-to-day events all thread back to a much bigger, much more complex picture.”
And how does this differ from journalism and news reporting on specific issues or developments around the world?
“We’re not writing articles in a vacuum reacting to day-to-day events. Every single thing that we discuss each day is connected to a broader theme that we care about. That helps us focus and it helps us serve our readers by helping them make sense of the world, by showing that yes, the world is extremely complex. It’s highly interconnected. There’s a lot of nuance to it, but it doesn’t have to be hard to understand. We can make it easy for you to understand and at the end of the day, the world is fairly predictable. And that’s our job, to make sure our readers can make sense of the world and most important, understand what will come next.”