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HomeStartupSteve Clean The Gordian Knot Middle for Nationwide Safety Innovation at Stanford

Steve Clean The Gordian Knot Middle for Nationwide Safety Innovation at Stanford


penitus cogitare, cito agere – suppose deeply, act shortly

75 years in the past, the Workplace of Naval Analysis (ONR) helped kickstart innovation in Silicon Valley with a sequence of grants to Fred Terman, Dean of Stanford’s Engineering college. Terman used the cash to arrange the Stanford Electronics Analysis Lab. He staffed it along with his lab managers who constructed the primary digital warfare and digital intelligence techniques in WWII. This lab pushed the envelope of fundamental and utilized analysis in microwave units and electronics and inside a couple of brief years made Stanford a frontrunner in these fields. The lab grew to become floor zero for the wave of Stanford’s entrepreneurship and innovation within the 1950’s and 60’s and helped kind what would later be referred to as Silicon Valley.

75 years later, ONR simply laid down a guess once more, one we consider will likely be equally transformative. They’re the primary sponsors of the brand new Gordian Knot Middle for Nationwide Safety Innovation at Stanford that Joe Felter, Raj Shah, and I’ve began.


Gordian What?

A Gordian Knot is a metaphor for an intractable drawback. At the moment, america is dealing with a number of seemingly intractable nationwide safety issues concurrently.

We intend to assist remedy them in Stanford’s Gordian Knot Middle for Nationwide Safety Innovation. Our motto of penitus cogitare, cito agere, suppose deeply, act shortly, embraces our distinctive intersection of deep drawback understanding, mixed with fast options. The Middle combines six distinctive strengths of Stanford and its location in Silicon Valley.

  1. The insights and experience of Stanford worldwide and nationwide safety coverage leaders
  2. The know-how insights and experience of Stanford Engineering
  3. Distinctive college students prepared to assist the nation win the Nice Energy Competitors
  4. Silicon Valley’s deep know-how ecosystem
  5. Our expertise in fast drawback understanding, fast iteration and deployment of options with pace and urgency
  6. Entry to danger capital at scale

Our focus will match our motto. We’re going to coordinate sources at Stanford and peer universities, and throughout Silicon Valley’s innovation ecosystem to:

  • Scale nationwide safety innovation schooling
  • Practice nationwide safety innovators
  • Supply perception, integration, and coverage outreach
  • Present a continuous output of minimal viable merchandise that may act as catalysts for options to the hardest issues

Why Now? Why Us?

During the last decade we’ve created a sequence of courses in entrepreneurship, fast innovation, and nationwide safety: Lean LaunchPad; Nationwide Science Basis I-Corps; Hacking for Protection; Hacking for Diplomacy; Expertise, Innovation and Trendy Warfare final 12 months; and this 12 months Expertise, Innovation and Nice Energy Competitors. These courses have been extensively adopted, throughout the U.S. and globally.

Concurrently, every of us was actively engaged in serving to completely different branches of the federal government perceive, react, and ship options in a quickly altering and difficult atmosphere. It’s turn into clear to us that for the primary time in three many years, the U.S. is now engaged in a Nice Energy Competitors. And we’re behind. Our nationwide energy (our affect and footprint on the world stage) is being challenged and successfully negated by autocratic regimes like China and Russia.

GKC joins a choose group of nationwide safety suppose tanks

At Stanford, the Gordian Knot Middle will sit within the Freeman Spogli Institute for Worldwide Research run by Mike McFaul, ex ambassador to Russia. And Mike has graciously agreed to be our Principal Investigator together with Riitta Katila within the Administration Science and Engineering Division (MS&E) within the Engineering College. MS&E is the place disruptive know-how meets nationwide safety, and has an extended historical past of sensible contributions from Invoice Perry, Sig Hecker and Elisabeth Pate-Cornell and others. (Stanford’s different coverage institute is the Hoover Establishment, run by Condoleezza Rice, ex secretary of state). All are world-class leaders in understanding worldwide issues, insurance policies, and establishments. Different U.S. international affairs and nationwide safety suppose tanks embody:

We intend to focus the brand new Middle on fixing issues throughout the spectrum of actions that create and maintain nationwide energy. Nationwide energy is the mix of a rustic’s diplomacy (tender energy and alliances), data, navy and financial energy in addition to its finance, intelligence, and legislation enforcement – or DIME-FIL. Our initiatives will likely be these on the intersection of DIME-FIL with the onslaught of business applied sciences (AI, machine studying, autonomy, biotech, cyber, semiconductors, industrial entry to area, et al.). And we’re going to hit the bottom operating by shifting our two nationwide safety courses — Hacking for Protection, and Expertise Innovation and Nice Energy Competitors (which this 12 months is now a required course within the Worldwide Coverage program) — into the Middle.

We hope our distinctive constitution, “suppose deeply, act shortly” can complement the extraordinary work these different establishments present.

The Workplace of Naval Analysis (ONR)

The Workplace of Naval Analysis (ONR) has been planning, fostering, and inspiring scientific analysis—and reimagining naval energy—since 1946. The grants it made to Stanford that 12 months had been the primary to any college.

At the moment, the Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps is trying to discover methods to speed up know-how improvement and supply to our naval forces. There’s broad consensus that the present tempo of know-how improvement and adoption is unsatisfactory, and that with out important reform, we are going to lose the competitors with China within the South China Sea for maritime superiority.

Rear Admiral Selby, Chief of Naval Analysis, has acknowledged that it’s now not “enterprise as ordinary.” That ONR delivering sustaining improvements for the present fleet and marine forces is now not adequate to discourage conflict or hold us within the battle. And that ONR as soon as once more wants to steer with disruptive applied sciences, new operational ideas, new kinds of program administration and mindsets. He’s on a mission to supply the Navy and U.S. Marine Corps with simply that. After we approached him concerning the thought of the Gordian Knot Middle he reminded us, that not solely did ONR sponsor Stanford in 1946, they’ve been sponsoring our Hacking for Protection class since 2016!  Now they’ve turn into our constitution sponsor for the Gordian Knot Middle.

We hope to earn it – for him, ONR, and the nation.

Steve, Joe and Raj

Classes Discovered

The Middle combines six distinctive strengths of Stanford and its location in Silicon Valley

  • The insights and experience of Stanford worldwide and nationwide safety coverage leaders
  • The know-how insights and experience of Stanford Engineering
  • Distinctive college students prepared to assist the nation win the Nice Energy Competitors
  • Silicon Valley’s deep know-how ecosystem
  • Our expertise in fast drawback understanding, fast iteration and deployment of options with pace and urgency
  • Entry to danger capital at scale

Our focus will match our motto. We’re going to coordinate sources at Stanford and peer universities and throughout Silicon Valley’s innovation ecosystem to:

  • Scale nationwide safety innovation schooling
  • Practice nationwide safety innovators
  • Supply perception, integration, and coverage outreach
  • Present a continuous output of minimal viable merchandise that may act as catalysts for options to the hardest issues



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