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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 – assume deeply, act rapidly

75 years in the past, the Workplace of Naval Analysis (ONR) helped kickstart innovation in Silicon Valley with a collection of grants to Fred Terman, Dean of Stanford’s Engineering faculty. Terman used the cash to arrange the Stanford Electronics Analysis Lab. He staffed it together with his lab managers who constructed the primary digital warfare and digital intelligence techniques in WWII. This lab pushed the envelope of primary and utilized analysis in microwave units and electronics and inside a couple of quick years made Stanford a pacesetter 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 known as Silicon Valley.

75 years later, ONR simply laid down a guess once more, one we imagine 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 downside. As we speak, the US is going through 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, assume deeply, act rapidly, embraces our distinctive intersection of deep downside understanding, mixed with speedy 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 keen to assist the nation win the Nice Energy Competitors
  4. Silicon Valley’s deep know-how ecosystem
  5. Our expertise in speedy downside understanding, speedy iteration and deployment of options with pace and urgency
  6. Entry to threat capital at scale

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

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

Why Now? Why Us?

Over the past decade we’ve created a collection of lessons in entrepreneurship, speedy innovation, and nationwide safety: Lean LaunchPad; Nationwide Science Basis I-Corps; Hacking for Protection; Hacking for Diplomacy; Know-how, Innovation and Trendy Struggle final 12 months; and this 12 months Know-how, Innovation and Nice Energy Competitors. These lessons 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 surroundings. It’s turn out to be clear to us that for the primary time in three a long time, 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 assume 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 Faculty. MS&E is the place disruptive know-how meets nationwide safety, and has a protracted historical past of good 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. overseas affairs and nationwide safety assume tanks embrace:

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 mixture of a rustic’s diplomacy (mushy energy and alliances), info, navy and financial energy in addition to its finance, intelligence, and regulation enforcement – or DIME-FIL. Our initiatives will likely be these on the intersection of DIME-FIL with the onslaught of economic applied sciences (AI, machine studying, autonomy, biotech, cyber, semiconductors, business entry to area, et al.). And we’re going to hit the bottom operating by shifting our two nationwide safety lessons — Hacking for Protection, and Know-how 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, “assume deeply, act rapidly” 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.

As we speak, the Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps is trying to discover methods to speed up know-how growth and supply to our naval forces. There may be broad consensus that the present tempo of know-how growth 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 not “enterprise as typical.” That ONR delivering sustaining improvements for the present fleet and marine forces is not adequate to discourage battle or preserve us within the struggle. And that ONR as soon as once more wants to guide 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 out to be our constitution sponsor for the Gordian Knot Middle.

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

Steve, Joe and Raj

Classes Realized

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 keen to assist the nation win the Nice Energy Competitors
  • Silicon Valley’s deep know-how ecosystem
  • Our expertise in speedy downside understanding, speedy iteration and deployment of options with pace and urgency
  • Entry to threat capital at scale

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

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



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