Recent Events

For all the tools available to policymakers concerned with understanding how life is going to change in expected and unexpected ways during the next two decades, the one that has yet to be used may be the most poignant and entertaining: comedy.

In particular, satire, from the work of writer Mark Twain to the “newscasts” of Jon Stewart, has a rich history in popping bubbles of expectation and shaping how American society sees itself and some of its most vexing social, political, and economic contradictions. With the social-media amplified voices of today, comedy’s universal appeal can be even more important and engaging to a far wider audience that will only become more connected to one another during the coming decades.

Tying all of these influences together, the benchmark Global Risks 2035 report lays out the trends, technologies, and forces that are starting to reshape the way we learn, do business, fight, love, and invent. Like other Art of the Future project creative challenges, this contest showcased the value of creative thinking about the future, especially technology, conflict, and demography. It brought in new perspectives, which are increasingly valuable for their unexpected insights. The convening of comedians and the policy community for an evening at DC Improv provided an opportunity to develop the kind of insights about the future that only humor can reveal.

The event headliner was Erin Jackson, and Jason Weems hosted. Additionally, seven comics participated in a contest to determine who can make the best jokes about life in 2035. The winner of the contest was Denise Taylor.

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On Monday, March 7, the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security hosted a private breakfast on “The Regulation of M&A Among US Defense Companies” as part of the Atlantic Council’s Corporate Strategy Forum. The discussion featured Chris Griner, partner and Chair of the National Security/CFIUS/Compliance Group at the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP; William Kovacic, Global Competition Professor of Law and Policy at the George Washington University Law School and a former Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission; and James Hasik, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and editor of The Defense Industrialist.
On June 8, 2016, the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security’s Emerging Defense Challenges Initiative (EDC) hosted its fifteenth address in its Captains of Industry (CoI) series. The CoI series aims to provide a forum for senior executives in the aerospace and defense industry to address the various public interests their companies serve and the public policies that affect their markets. This event featured Richard Ambrose, Vice President of Space Systems at Lockheed Martin. Steven Grundman, Lund Fellow for EDC, provided brief introductory remarks before Mr. Ambrose’s talk.
This event was a part of the Atlantic Council's Defense-Industrial Policy Series, featuring a discussion on Turkey's defense-industrial policy with Dr. Ismail Demir, Turkish undersecretary for defense industries, on Thursday, May 26, from 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Dr. Ismail Demir was appointed head of the undersecretariat for defense industries (SSM) in April 2014. Prior to this, he worked at Turkish Airlines, beginning in 2003 as training director before being promoted to senior technical officer in 2005 and chief executive officer in May 2006. Dr. Demir has also worked at several universities and research institutions in Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Canada between 1992 and 2003. He earned two master of science degrees in the United States and completed his doctoral degree in mechanical engineering at Washington State University. Dr. Demir earned his bachelor's degree from the aeronautical engineering department of Istanbul Technical University in 1982.
General Neller discussed the current state and the future of the US Marine Corps, given a rapidly changing and turbulent global security environment. Called an "innovative strategist" by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, General Neller outlined his priorities for the Marine Corps and discussed how the service can help the United States achieve its strategic defense objectives.
On February 1, the Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security hosted an Art of Future Warfare project Google Hangout with Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood.

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down while ISIS rises up, the United States is left in a morally and strategically ambiguous position: should America keep troops and structures in place for extended periods of time until true security is established, or manage military engagement to mollify a war-weary American public? Through his latest writing, Matt traverses this complex landscape from the national and personal narrative perspectives. American and transatlantic leaders deal with these moral and strategic stakes every day, and Gallagher makes his readers and policy makers rethink their views on the complexities of our current and future involvement in Iraq and the Middle East region.
The Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security hosted a Commanders Series event with Admiral Michael S. Rogers, the Commander of US Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency, regarding his strategic priorities for 2016.
On January 19, 2016, the Atlantic Council hosted Mr. James F. Geurts, the Acquisition Executive for US Special Operations Command, for a Defense-Industrial Policy Series event entitled, “Acquisition for Special Operations Forces.” In a discussion moderated by the Council’s Steven Grundman, M.A. and George Lund Fellow, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Mr. Geurts spoke about the challenges of planning and executing acquisition to equip our forces' most elite warriors. His comments focused on the unique role of United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in planning and acquisition management; how acquisition for Special Forces differs from and parallels the military departments; and the key technology and system priorities of US SOCOM heading into the FY17 budget and programs.
On Wednesday, December 9, as part of the Atlantic Council’s Corporate Strategy Forum, the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security hosted a private dinner on “Europe’s Dual-Use Technology and Industrial Base.” The event featured the Chief Executive Officer of the European Defense Agency, Ambassador Jorge Domecq, who delivered keynote remarks about the shared challenge of leveraging commercial and civil technologies and businesses to address military needs.

The event gathered two dozen Council members, directors, business executives, and government officials to contribute to the conversation. Moderated by the Council’s MA and George Lund Fellow Steven Grundman, the discussion explored European and American approaches to integrating defense-unique technology with commercial/civil technology and industrial bases to promote innovation and efficiency.

The Corporate Strategy Forum convenes chief strategists of transatlantic companies in aerospace, defense, security, and government services for a private roundtable discussion about issues confronting the long-term health of these industries.


    

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