Thursday, March 17, 2022
HomeStartupSteve Clean Expertise, Innovation, and Nice Energy Competitors  – Wrap Up

Steve Clean Expertise, Innovation, and Nice Energy Competitors  – Wrap Up


This text first appeared in West Level’s Trendy Battle Institute.

We simply had our remaining session of our Expertise, Innovation, and Nice Energy Competitors class. Joe FelterRaj Shah and I designed the category to provide our college students insights on how industrial know-how (AI, machine studying, autonomy, cyber, quantum, semiconductors, entry to house, biotech, hypersonics, and others) will form how we make use of all the weather of nationwide energy (our affect and footprint on the world stage).

(Meet up with the category by studying our intro to the category, and summaries of Courses 1234, 5 6, 7 and 8.)


This class has 4 elements that have been like most lecture courses in worldwide coverage:

  • Weekly Readings – 5-10 articles/week
  • 20+ visitor audio system on know-how and its impression on nationwide energy – prior secretaries of protection and state, present and prior Nationwide Safety council members, four-star generals who lead service branches
  • Lectures/Class dialogue
  • Midterm particular person challenge – a 2,000-word coverage memo that describes how a U.S. competitor is utilizing a particular know-how to counter U.S. pursuits and a proposal how the U.S. ought to reply

The fifth a part of the category was distinctive.

  • 1 / 4-long, team-based remaining challenge. College students 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. After which they received out of the classroom and interviewed 20+ beneficiaries, coverage makers, and different key stakeholders testing their hypotheses and proposed options.

On the finish of the quarter, every of the groups gave a remaining “Classes Realized” presentation with a follow-up a 3,000 to five,000-word team-written paper.

By the top the category all of the groups realized that the issue they’d chosen had morphed into one thing greater, deeper and rather more attention-grabbing.

Group Military Enterprise Capital

Unique drawback assertion: the U.S. must reevaluate and enhance its public enterprise capital relationship with corporations with dual-use applied sciences.

Last drawback assertion: the DoD must reevaluate and enhance its funding methods and partnerships with dual-use mid-stage non-public corporations.

Should you can’t see the presentation click on right here.

We knew that these college students may write a fantastic analysis paper. As we identified to them, whilst you might be the neatest particular person within the constructing, it’s unlikely that 1) all of the details are within the constructing, 2) you’re smarter than the collective intelligence sitting exterior the constructing.

Group Conflicted Capital

Unique drawback assertion: Chinese language funding in US startups with important applied sciences poses a risk to US army capabilities, however the lack of transparency in enterprise capital makes it difficult to trace them.

Last drawback assertion: Chinese language adversarial enterprise capital investments in U.S. dual-use startups proceed to threaten US army capabilities throughout important applied sciences, however the scope of the issue is comparatively small. VCs and entrepreneurs can play a task in addressing the problem by shunning identified sources of adversarial capital.

Should you can’t see the presentation click on right here.

By week 2 of the category college students shaped groups round a particular know-how problem going through a US authorities company and labored all through the course to develop their very own proposals to assist the U.S. compete extra successfully by way of new operational ideas, organizations, and/or methods.

Group Aurora

Unique Downside Assertion: How can the U.S. make use of its cyber capabilities to supply the populace of China with unrestricted Web entry to bolster civil society in opposition to CCP crackdowns, with a purpose to strain the PRC, unfold American liberal values, and uphold U.S. freedom of motion within the info area?

Last Downside Assertion: How does the USG leverage a soft-power info marketing campaign to help Hong Kong residents’ proper to self-determination and democratic governance with out putting people at undue threat (of prosecution as international brokers below the Nationwide Safety Regulation)?

Should you can’t see the presentation click on right here.

We needed to provide our college students hands-on expertise on the way to deeply perceive an issue on the intersection of our nation’s diplomacy, info, its army capabilities, financial energy, finance, intelligence, and legislation enforcement and dual-use know-how. First by having them develop hypotheses about the issue; subsequent by getting out of the classroom and speaking to related stakeholders throughout authorities, trade, and academia to validate their assumptions; and eventually by taking what they discovered to suggest and prototype options to those issues.

Group ShortCircuit

Unique Downside Assertion: U.S. semiconductor procurement is closely depending on TSMC, which creates a considerable vulnerability within the occasion a PRC invasion of Taiwan, or different kinetic disruptions within the Indo-Pacific.

Last Downside Assertion: How ought to the U.S. Authorities increase the home semiconductor workforce by way of schooling and innovation initiatives to extend its semiconductor sector competitiveness?

Should you can’t see the presentation click on right here. 

We would like our college students to construct the reflexes and abilities to deeply perceive an issue by gathering first-hand info and validating that the issue they’re fixing is the true drawback, not a symptom of one thing else. Then, college students started quickly constructing minimal viable options (coverage, software program, {hardware} …) as a solution to take a look at and validate their understanding of each the issue and what it could take to unravel it.

Group Drone

Unique Downside Assertion: Drones can be utilized as a shock factor in an amphibious assault to overwhelm defenses. In a possible Taiwan Strait Disaster, there’s a want for a low-cost and survivable counter-drone system to defend Taiwan.

Last Downside Assertion: Taiwan wants a sturdy and survivable command and management system to successfully and shortly convey the appropriate asset to the appropriate place on the proper time throughout an invasion.

Should you can’t see the presentation click on right here.

One different aim of the category was testing a instructing staff speculation – that we may flip a lecture class into one which gave again extra in output than we put in. That by tasking the scholars to 1) use what they discovered from the lectures and a couple of) then take a look at their assumptions exterior the classroom, the exterior enter they acquired could be a drive multiplier. It could make the lecture materials actual, tangible and actionable. And we and they’d find yourself with one thing fairly beneficial.

Group Apollo

Unique Downside Assertion: The House Drive should leverage industrial innovation and set up a educated, skilled acquisition workforce that can ship innovation impression that the House Drive requires.

Last Downside Assertion: The USA House Drive lacks the provision chain and speedy launch capabilities wanted to reply to contingencies in house. The non-public sector possesses these capabilities, however isn’t being adequately leveraged or incentivized.

Should you can’t see the presentation click on right here. 

We knew we have been asking rather a lot from our college students. We have been integrating a lecture class with a heavy studying checklist with the most effective practices of speculation testing from Lean Launchpad/Hacking for Protection/I-Corps. However I’ve but to guess unsuitable in pushing college students previous what they suppose is affordable. Most rise manner above the event.

Given this was the primary time we taught built-in lectures and tasks our pupil evaluations ranged from the “we should have paid them to jot down this” to “did they take the identical class as everybody else?” (Really it was, let’s repair the legitimate points they raised.)


A number of pupil quotes:

“This can be a MUST TAKE [caps theirs]. The professors and instructing staff are second to none, and the visitor audio system are really superb. This course is difficult, however you really get out of it what you place into it, and you’ll be taught a lot essential and attention-grabbing materials.”

“THIS IS A FANTASTIC COURSE! [caps theirs]. The fabric was wonderful, the instruction from legendary professions was high notch and the studying materials was well timed, attention-grabbing, and related. Anybody who’s fascinated about geopolitics and know-how innovation must take this course. Not solely that, however every week incorporates a completely different visitor speaker that’s often from the very best ranges of US authorities and is THE skilled within the topic for that week’s course. Actually superb expertise attending to take heed to and have Q&A with such unimaginable folks.”


Group Catena

Unique Downside Assertion: China’s cryptocurrency ban presents the U.S. with a chance to affect blockchain growth, entice technical expertise, and leverage digital asset know-how.

Last Downside Assertion: CCP’s financial coercion makes international locations corresponding to Australia depending on China’s economic system and susceptible to the occasion’s will. The U.S. should analyze which key Australian industries are most threatened and decide viable various buying and selling companions.

Should you can’t see the presentation click on right here.


A number of extra pupil quotes:

“That is hands-down top-of-the-line programs I’ve taken at Stanford. From the second I walked into the door, I used to be shocked by each the caliber of individuals you’re sharing oxygen with in that room, and the way welcoming and accessible they’re. Regardless of it being the primary providing of this course, the whole lot was well-organized, and our staff was all the time supported with a wealth of sources and entry we wanted to get our coverage deliverables to, alongside a wholesome dose of near-constant suggestions and encouragement from the instructing staff. Readings have been partaking and insightful, and the visitor checklist we had was merely unbelievable- Mattis, McFaul, Rice, Pottinger, amongst a number of others within the White Home, Pentagon, and past. There’s an actual feeling that everybody who labored on this course needs you to develop as a pupil but in addition train them what you’re studying.

Beware Steve Clean- he might be harsh and aggressive however exemplifies the ‘impolite however life-saving physician’ trope. I’ve discovered extra from responding to a single Clean cold-question in lecture than from three total quarters of utilized math at Stanford. Be sure you get began early in your teamwork and discuss to the lecturers as a lot as you can- this actually is a ‘you get as a lot as you give’ course, and the very best returns are available by being tenacious, loud, and unabashed in your questioning.
And, for God’s sake, don’t draw cartoons in your remaining presentation- the JCOS is perhaps watching.

“DO NOT TAKE THIS COURSE! This class is an entire waste of time.“

“This was the worst class I took at Stanford “

Whereas the optimistic suggestions accolades for the category have been rewarding, a number of feedback recognized areas we will enhance:

  • Letting the scholars know upfront the workload and distinctive format of the category
  • Higher group and timing
    • Readings: be a lot clearer on which of them are necessary vs elective
    • Make clear particulars, flows and targets for every class

    • Tie audio system to tasks / pupil displays

  • Make weekly workplace hours necessary to make sure all college students obtain common professor/pupil interplay, suggestions and steerage from week 1

All of our college students put in extraordinary quantity of labor. Our college students, a combination between worldwide coverage and engineering, will go off to senior roles in State, Protection, coverage and to the businesses constructing new disruptive applied sciences. They would be the ones to find out what the world-order will appear to be for the remainder of the century and past. Will it’s a rules-based order the place states cooperate to pursue a shared imaginative and prescient for a free and open area and the place the sovereignty of all international locations massive and small is protected below worldwide legislation? Or will it’s an autocratic and dystopian future coerced and imposed by a neo-totalitarian regime?

This class modified the trajectory of lots of our college students. A quantity expressed newfound curiosity in exploring profession choices within the subject of nationwide safety. A number of will probably be benefiting from alternatives offered by the Gordian Knot Heart for Nationwide Safety Innovation to additional pursue their contribution to nationwide safety.

Classes Realized

  • We may flip a lecture class into one which gave again extra in output than we put in.
  • Tasking the scholars to check their assumptions exterior the classroom, the exterior enter they acquired was a drive multiplier
    • It made the lecture materials actual, tangible and actionable
  • Pushing college students previous what they suppose is affordable ends in extraordinary output. Most rise manner above the event
  • The output of the category satisfied us that the work of scholars like these may materially add to the security and safety of the free world
  • It’s a nationwide safety crucial to create larger alternatives for our greatest and brightest to have interaction and tackle challenges on the nexus of know-how, innovation and nationwide safety

Notice: Impressed by our expertise with this course, we determined to extend the main focus of Stanford’s Gordian Knot Heart for Nationwide Safety Innovation on creating and empowering the extraordinary and largely untapped potential of scholars throughout the college and past.



RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments