The Challenge: How to Innovate in the worlds largest bureaucracy?
Defense Entrepreneurs Forum
The Defense Entrepreneurs Forum brings emerging military leaders together through the internet and in a real world setting to hear cutting-edge ideas and engage in cross-cultural networking opportunities. In partnership with leading universities, successful veterans and venture capitalists' organizations, these innovative military thinkers are exposed to knowledgeable business leaders, instructors alongside successful innovators of all ranks. Unlike most National Security symposiums, the speakers and leaders featured at DEF are young, entrepreneurial and successful active duty personnel.
An information age world requires information age solutions. Legacy institutional defense paradigms built for past eras, while effective previously, are insufficient to meet an ever evolving 21st century security environment. Changing realities require adaptable, multi-talented people.
Furthermore, the current generation of emerging military leaders interacts with their peers differently than generations past. Online platforms allow for the exchange of ideas more broadly and quicker than ever before. DEFCON brings these virtual friendships to the real world, facilitating face to face exchanges that will lead to future engagements.
Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs tend to be young and idealistic; youth and patience are not known for being highly correlated. When the DEFCON team was putting together their second conference they invited Howard to speak in a context-setting manner about how collaborative teams of innovators can address the same great challenge the Pentagon was facing, "the collision between how the private but consumer oriented tech sector and the public but secret military tech sector operate".
Even though the boundaries are shrinking somewhat, and the differences between mil spec and professional and consumer spec are shrinking, there continues to be a lot of room for new ways to learn to collaborate at this innovation intersection. The now-annual DEFCON is one place where this is energetically and fruitfully discussed. Howard was happy to be a useful part of it, especially after prior assignments with the US Air Force and DARPA.
DEFCON Defense Entrepreneurs Forum 2013