We simply wrapped up the third 12 months of our Know-how, Innovation, and Nice Energy Competitors class –a part of Stanford’s Gordian Knot Middle for Nationwide Safety Innovation.

Joe Felter, Mike Brown and I train the category to:

  • Give our college students an appreciation of the challenges and alternatives for the USA in its enduring strategic competitors with the Folks’s Republic of China, Russia and different rivals.
  • Provide insights on how industrial expertise (AI, autonomy, cyber, quantum, semiconductors, entry to house, biotech, hypersonics, and others) are radically altering how we are going to compete throughout all the weather of nationwide energy e.g. diplomatic, informational, navy, financial, monetary, intelligence and legislation enforcement (our affect and footprint on the world stage).
  • Expose college students to experiential studying on coverage questions. College students shaped groups, acquired out of the classroom and talked to the stakeholders and developed coverage suggestions.

Why This Class?
The popularity that the USA is engaged in long-term strategic competitors with the Peoples Republic of China and Russia grew to become a centerpiece of the 2017 Nationwide Safety Technique and 2018 Nationwide Protection Technique. The 2021 interim Nationwide Safety Steerage and the administration’s not too long ago launched 2022 Nationwide Safety Technique clarify that China has quickly develop into extra assertive and is the one competitor probably able to combining its financial, diplomatic, navy, and technological energy to mount a sustained problem to a steady and open worldwide system. And as we’ve seen in Ukraine, Russia stays decided to wage a brutal struggle to play a disruptive function on the world stage.

Prevailing on this competitors would require greater than merely buying the fruits of this technological revolution; it should require a paradigm shift within the considering of how this expertise could be quickly built-in into new capabilities and platforms to drive new operational and organizational ideas and methods that change and optimize the best way we compete.

Class Group
The readings, lectures, and visitor audio system explored how rising industrial applied sciences pose challenges and create alternatives for the USA in its strategic competitors with nice energy rivals with an emphasis on the Folks’s Republic of China. We centered on the challenges created when U.S. authorities companies, our federal analysis labs, and authorities contractors not have unique entry to those superior applied sciences.

This course included all that you’d count on from a Stanford graduate-level class within the Masters in Worldwide Coverage – complete readings, visitor lectures from present and former senior officers/specialists, and written papers. What makes the category distinctive nonetheless, is that that is an experiential coverage class. College students shaped small groups and launched into a quarter-long venture that acquired them out of the classroom to:

  • establish a precedence nationwide safety problem, after which …
  • validate the issue and suggest an in depth answer examined towards precise stakeholders within the expertise and nationwide safety ecosystem.

The category was break up into three components.

Half 1, weeks 1 by way of 4 lined the worldwide relations theories that try to elucidate the dynamics of interstate competitors between highly effective states, U.S. nationwide safety and nationwide protection methods and insurance policies guiding our strategy to Nice Energy Competitors particularly centered on the Folks’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Chinese language Communist Occasion (CCP).

In between components 1 and a couple of of the category, the scholars had a midterm particular person venture. It required them to put in writing a 2,000-word coverage memo describing how a U.S. competitor is utilizing a selected expertise to counter U.S. pursuits and a proposal for the way the U.S. ought to reply.

Half 2, weeks 5 by way of 8, dove into the industrial applied sciences: semiconductors, house, cyber, AI and Machine Studying, Excessive Efficiency Computing, and Biotech. Every week the scholars needed to learn 5-10 articles (see class readings right here.) And every week we had visitor audio system on nice energy competitors, and expertise and its affect on nationwide energy and lectures/class dialogue.

Visitor Audio system
Along with the instructing workforce, the course drew on the expertise and experience of visitor lecturers from business and from throughout U.S. Authorities companies to offer context and perspective on industrial applied sciences and nationwide safety.

The scholars had been privileged to listen to from extraordinary  visitor audio system with vital expertise and credibility on a variety of matters associated to the course goals. Highlights of this 12 months’s audio system embrace:

On Nationwide Safety and American exceptionalism: Common Jim Mattis, US Marine Corps (Ret.), former Secretary of Protection.

On China’s actions and efforts to compete with the U.S.: Matt Pottinger – former Deputy Nationwide Safety Advisor, Elizabeth Economic system – main China scholar and former Dept of Commerce Senior Advisor for China, Tai Ming Cheung, – Creator of Innovate to Dominate: The Rise of the Chinese language Techno-Safety State.

On U.S. – China Coverage: Congressman Mike Gallagher, Chair Home Choose Committe on China.

On Innovation and Nationwide Safety: Chris Brose – Creator of The Kill Chain, Doug Beck – Director of the Protection Innovation Unit, Anja Manuel – Govt Director of the Aspen Technique and Safety Discussion board.

For Biotech: Ben Kirukup – senior biologist US Navy, Ed You – FBI Particular Agent Organic Countermeasures Unit, Deborah Rosenblum – Asst Sec of Protection for Nuclear, Chemical, and Organic Protection Applications, Joe DeSimone – Professor Chemical Engineering.

For AI: Jared Dunnmon – Technical Director for AI on the Protection Innovation Unit, Lt. Gen. (Ret) Jack Shanahan – Director, Joint Synthetic Intelligence Middle, Anshu Roy-  CEO Rhombus AI

For Cyber: Anne Neuberger – deputy nationwide safety advisor for cyber

For Semiconductors: Larry Diamond – Senior Fellow on the Hoover Establishment

Considerably, the scholars had been capable of hear the Chinese language perspective on U.S. – China competitors from Dr. Jia Qingguo – Member of the Standing Committee of the Central Committee of China.

The category closed with a stirring discuss and name to motion by former Nationwide Safety Advisor LTG ret H.R. McMaster.

Within the weeks in-between we had instructing workforce lectures adopted by audio system that led discussions on the vital industrial applied sciences.

Group-based Experiential Undertaking
The third a part of the category was distinctive – a quarter-long, team-based venture. College students shaped groups of 4-6 and chosen a nationwide safety problem going through a company or company throughout the U.S. Authorities. They developed hypotheses of how industrial applied sciences can be utilized in new and inventive methods to assist the U.S. wield its devices of nationwide energy. And in keeping with all our Gordian Knot Middle courses, they acquired out of the classroom. and interviewed 20+ beneficiaries, coverage makers, and different key stakeholders testing their hypotheses and proposed options.

Hacking For Coverage – Closing Shows:
On the finish of the quarter, every pupil groups’ coverage suggestions had been summarized in a 10-minute presentation. The presentation was the story of the workforce’s studying journey, describing the place they began, the place they ended, and the important thing inflection factors of their understanding of the issue. (A written 3000 phrase report adopted specializing in their suggestions for addressing their chosen safety problem and describing how their options could be carried out with pace and urgency.)

By the tip of the category all of the groups realized that the coverage downside that they had chosen had morphed into one thing larger, deeper, and rather more fascinating.

Their coverage shows are under.

The category is as exhausting to show because it to take. We’ve got an superior set of instructing assistants.

Group 1: Precision Match (AI for DoD Operations)

Click on right here to see the presentation.

What makes instructing worthwhile is the suggestions we get from our college students:

TIGPC has been the most effective class I’ve taken at Stanford and has triggered me to do some reflection in what I wish to do after my time at Stanford. I’m solely a sophomore however doing such a deep dive into vitality and (as Steve says) getting out of the constructing, I’m beginning to significantly take into account a profession in clear vitality safety publish commencement.

Group 2: Outbound Funding to China

Click on right here to see the presentation.

Group 3: Open-Supply AI

Click on right here to see a abstract of the presentation.

Group 4: AlphaChem

Click on right here to see the presentation.

Certainly one of my takeaways from the category is you can be the neatest individual within the room, however you’ll by no means have as a lot information as everybody else mixed so go discuss to folks, it should make you far smarter

Group 5: South China Sea

Click on right here to see the presentation.

Superior class! … unimaginable in bringing prestigious visitor audio system into the category and having participating discussions. My background was not in nationwide safety and this class actually provided an essential perspective on the alternatives for expertise innovation to affect and assist with nationwide safety.

Group 6: Chinese language Actual Property Funding within the U.S.

Click on right here to see the presentation.

Group 7: Public Personal Partnerships

Click on right here to see the presentation.

Simply wished to let you understand that, as a Senior, this is likely one of the finest courses I’ve taken throughout my 4 years at Stanford.

Group 8: Ukraine Help

Click on right here to see the presentation.

Classes Discovered

  • We mixed lecture and experiential studying so our college students can act on issues not simply admire them
    • The exterior enter the scholars obtained was a pressure multiplier
    • It made the lecture materials actual, tangible and actionable
    • Lean downside fixing strategies could be successfully employed to deal with urgent nationwide safety and coverage challenges
    • This course was akin to a “Hacking for Coverage class” and could be tweaked and replicated going ahead.
  • The category created alternatives for our greatest and brightest to have interaction and handle challenges on the nexus of expertise, innovation and nationwide safety
    • When college students are offered such alternatives they aggressively seize them with spectacular outcomes
    • The ultimate shows and papers from the category are proof that may occur
  • Pushing college students previous what they assume is affordable leads to extraordinary output. Most rise manner above the event



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