Small Wars Journal

'Mad Scientists' Gather to Prepare Army for Future

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 3:02pm

'Mad Scientists' Gather to Prepare Army for Future

Amy Robinson, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Public Affairs.

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. - For the third year, innovators, scientists and scholars will converge on Georgetown University's Center for Security Studies in Washington, D.C., to discuss the future of warfare during the Mad Scientist conference July 25 and 26.

Co-hosted by U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's G-2 (Intelligence) and Georgetown University, the conference will feature livestreamed discussions by professionals across academia, industry and government focusing on visualizing Multi-Domain Battle from 2030 to 2050.

"The purpose of this conference is to serve as the capstone event; a culmination of a year's study on the future and Multi-Domain Battle," said Lee Grubbs, director of TRADOC's Mad Scientist program.

The study consists of several Mad Scientist events, including the results of the science fiction writing contest, outcomes from the conference at Georgia Tech Research Institute, as well as the results of the call for papers for the Georgetown conference.

Throughout these and future Mad Scientist events, participants use four key tools to think about the future, Grubbs said.

*Historical analogies help participants look at how the past has influenced changes in warfare.
*Edge cases allow participants to explore early adoptions of new technologies that are disrupting the commercial world and discuss how these technologies will affect warfighting.
*Crowdsourcing helps the Mad Scientist program reach large groups of people and look for new and innovative solutions to common problems.
*Storytelling is used to take new ideas and technology and tell a story about how they can be applied to current and future challenges the Army may face.

Using these tools, Georgetown participants - at the conference and online - will focus talks on four key topics within the Multi-Domain Battle discussion. Topics include visualizing the future, smart cities and future installations, multi-domain organizations and formations, and potential ethical dilemmas on the future battlefield.

"As the Army thinks through and experiments with new ideas on what future organizations will look like - how those organizations will be manned, equipped and trained, the key topics we're looking at will influence every one of those things.

"TRADOC designs, acquires, builds and improves the United States Army," Grubbs said. "Each one of these topic areas touches on those four key pieces, and how they might be different in the future."

For example, if artificial intelligence is more prominent on the future battlefield, staffs may be smaller, which will affect the design of the future force. There may also be different ways to acquire, or recruit Soldiers based on future technologies.

The ideas developed during the Mad Scientist conference will be used in the Army's campaign of learning, which uses a series of experiments and wargames to improve and develop the future force.

Grubbs encourages those who are interested in a dynamic learning opportunity to join the conference online and become part of the Mad Scientist community of action. Here, people can connect with hundreds of others who are interested in thinking about how to innovate and improve future readiness.

"We give people an opportunity to learn, and we give them an opportunity to connect," he said. "They want to try to make a difference in their organization, and that's what this community of action does."

To view the conference schedule or to watch and participate live July 25 and 26, log on to the live-stream page here.

People who are interested in joining the Mad Scientist community can log on to the All Partners Access Network U.S. Army TRADOC Mad Scientist community.

Categories: Mad Scientist