Decades of simulation expertise.
The ICONS Project creates simulations and scenario-driven exercises to advance participants' understanding of complex problems and strengthen their ability to make decisions, navigate crises, think strategically, and negotiate collaboratively.
Our Areas of Expertise
- Scenario Development and Forecasting
- Educational Simulations
- Crisis Management
Founded in 1982 by University of Maryland professors, Dr. Jonathan Wilkenfeld and Dr. Richard Brecht, the ICONS Project (International Communication & Negotiation Simulations Project) has grown through the years to include thousands of simulation participants and clients throughout the United States and the world. ICONS began as a project to connect classes to learn about international relations together through joint simulations. ICONS became a pioneer in using the Internet to help facilitate these simulation activities. As the project grew, ICONS developed the ICONSnet simulation software to support online simulations and created a number of educational simulations on international topics for instructional use.
In the early 2000s, responding to new demand for ICONS' simulation expertise from outside of academia, ICONS expanded to bring the benefits of simulation-based learning to government and private sector clients through leadership, negotiation, and conflict management training as well as through policy scenario development and research support. In this capacity, we have worked with the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Fortune 500 companies, and more.
Throughout our history, the University of Maryland has been the institutional home for the ICONS Project. For many years, ICONS was part of the Government and Politics department and its Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM). In 2016, ICONS became an affiliated unit of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a research and education center based at the University of Maryland. While ICONS continues to maintain and pursue its mission to develop simulations on a wide range of topics and skill sets, the partnership with START has created further opportunity to collaborate on research and education.