Sunday, August 21, 2022

The CDSN Summer Institute 2022 Meets in Person!

We inhabited the snazzy
Board of Governors room
 We have spent the past week in Ottawa with really smart, interesting people talking defence and security.  Most of the folks were participants in our Summer Institute, and some were presenters we brought to Ottawa ... in person or via zoom.  We were very excited about this, as this was one was one of the key early ideas that animated our grant seeking long ago, but we had to cancel the 2020 effort and had to go online for the 2021 SI.


The CDSN SI 2022 Cohort!
It turns out that doing it in person is better.  Harder (we have to feed these people!) but much better.  The Summer Institute has two basic ideas--to foster the professional development of the next generation of defence scholars, scientists, policy-makers, military officers, and folks in the private sector and to build bridges between the various sectors.  So, it is in the terms of the grant knowledge dissemination and connection.  The former can be done online although we can't convey as much since zoom fatigue is a thing, and the latter cannot be done that well at all via zoom.  We organized dinners, receptions, lunches, a simulation, and more to get the folks to talk to each other and to the various people we brought in.

Our sessions included threat assessments and understanding the policy process, networking upskilling, talking with folks in the media, the intel scene, civil-military relations, a visit to NDHQ to talk with the folks from CFINTCOM (the military intelligence folks) and with DND officials, strategic foresight and redteaming, diversity and inclusivity, procurement, and bridging the gap.

Participants noted that diversity and inclusivity were running themes all week long.  The funny thing is we had only one morning dedicated to those topics, but our speakers kept bringing them up in their stuff as the existential personnel crisis the Canadian military is facing makes the right thing to do also the smart thing to do.  

I really enjoyed meeting the participants and also hanging out with the various speakers who could make it to Ottawa.  I learned a lot along the way, including a military officer is the one who is in charge of Canada's "defence intelligence enterprise" which surprised me, causing me to ask a civ-mil question.  I joked that this was all an elaborate excuse for me to learn a ton of stuff in a week.  

We will be putting out a report in the next month that describes the entire week, and we will be issuing a survey and going through our notes to figure out how to make the next iteration next summer even better

I will just post a few photos here (Carelove took great pics that will be posted online and in our report), thank all of the folks involved especially the CDSN's partners and staff,  and simply declare victory! And thanks to MINDS at DND and SSHRC for funding it!

The lessons learned from the simulation

the sim was multidimensional, including a
research ship in the Arctic needing rescue

Andy Knight joined us to discuss
multiple meanings of security

Whitney Lackenbauer helped us think about the Arctic

Martine Roy and Cathy Blue discussed making
institutions more inclusive.

We had a reception midway through to connect
our participants to last year's cohort, some of the
presenters, partners, and friends of the CDSN

We visited DND HQ
and even got to the executive floor!

Lindsay Cohn shared with us her take on
civil-military relations, and, yes, I got to present
on the Canadian cased.

Rachel Babins of Emerging Leaders in
Canadian Security discussed networking

A sign of success.  I paid the bill an hour ago,
and folks stuck around at the closing dinner.
Much thanks to the CDSN team: Kaha, Melissa, Rachel and,
out of the frame, Carelove. 
Now onto the next things: midterm report and October conference!

No comments: