serve as judges.
The first day, the students were shuttled to DND's Carling Campus, where DND's Public Affairs folks hosted us. After Alex briefed the entire group, they were sent to breakout rooms where each team of three to four students worked on one of the three scenarios. The CAF's intelligence command offered a few officers to serve as advisers. The Arctic person had to drop out, so I got to play that role, which was probably not so fair for these students since my Arctic understanding is meh. Since the students only competed within each scenario, my lousy advising did not provide a competitive disadvantage. The second scenario focused on a ransomware attack from abroad aimed at a Canadian hospital system. The third scenario involved a disinformation campaign.
|This is the memorial |
as it was at Camp Mirage
The second day, we hosted the students at Carleton, where each team pitched for 15 minutes (or a bit more) their ideas via slide presentations to the audience there and to the judges online. We had three panels of judges--mostly experts on their respective topics--from DND, the CAF, academia, and other CDSN partners. The students were given a guideline for how they would be assessed. After the teams presented, we presented the plaques to the winning teams for each scenario. We live streamed and posted online the event in English and French.
Much thanks to DND's MINDS program for funding Alex's event, to DND's Public Affairs folks for arranging our day at Carling, to the CAF's intel group which provided advisers to our students, to all of these and other folks who helped us find judges. And thanks to the CDSN HQ crew--Kaha, Melissa, and Racheal--for helping Alex realize his ambitious project.
When we wrote the first big grant for the CDSN, undergrads were largely an afterthought as we focused mostly on graduate students as research assistants and as participants in our events. This hackathon gave us a chance to include younger folks in defence and security thinking, and we benefited greatly. We shall see what our next Undergraduate Excellence Scholars seek to do, but we may be borrowing Alex's idea again and again, as this kind of creative thinking exercise was terrific on multiple dimensions.