236. The Convergence: Beyond Space with Kara Cunzeman

[Editor’s Note: Mad Scientist Laboratory is pleased to announce our latest episode of “The Convergence” podcast, featuring proclaimed Mad Scientist Kara Cunzeman, Lead Futurist for Strategic Foresight, Center for Space Policy and Strategy, The Aerospace Corporation. Please note that this podcast and several of the embedded links below are best accessed via a non-DoD network due to network priorities for teleworking — Enjoy!]

In this latest episode of “The Convergence,” we talk with Kara Cunzeman, Lead Futurist for Strategic Foresight, with the Center for Space Policy and Strategy, at The Aerospace Corporation. In this role, Ms. Cunzeman is focused on cultivating a formalized approach to futures thinking through the strategic foresight Corporate Strategic Initiative (CSI), helping the enterprise adequately prepare its organizations and capabilities to proactively shape the future through innovative approaches across strategy, acquisition, science and technology portfolio management, policy, and operations.

In this episode, we discuss strategic foresight, the future of space research, public-private partnerships, and advice for the next generation of engineers. Some of the highlights include:

      • How we must conceptualize the use of space is rapidly evolving and it requires dynamic and innovative thinking to keep up with an expanding range of possibilities and competition in space.
      • Strategic foresight practitioners aren’t usually valued until something unusual happens that mainstream thinking hadn’t considered. We can’t predict, but we can prepare, and having foresight helps us alleviate pains and tensions in society when something unexpected happens.
      • We try to keep pace with strategic competitors in space, which is hard to do in the gray zone of modern warfare. Speed will be our security, requiring us to modularize technical efforts and eliminate bureaucracy and red tape.
      • The phrase “keeping at pace” sounds reactionary. The real question is how do we develop and execute our own vision while precluding our competitors from dictating our agenda?
      • While it may seem counter-intuitive, the Government can actually take risks where private industry cannot. Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and the National Security community need to engage with each other more. This collaboration will yield the greatest possible outcome.



  • Stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory, as our next podcast with Rob Albritton will be posted on 28 May 2020!



If you enjoyed this post and podcast, check out:

  • Due to the on-going COVID-19 Global Pandemic and the associated constraints on large gatherings and travel, Mad Scientist Initiative is facilitating a series of on-line Weaponized Information events, beginning on 20 May 2020, that will culminate in a one-day virtual conference on 21 July 2020. Co-sponsored by our academic partners at Georgetown University and The Center for Advanced Red Teaming, University at Albany, State University of New York, these Weaponized Information collaborative events will feature participation from the Intelligence Community, Center for a New American Security, New America, The RAND Corporation, DARPA, the Department of State, and The Athletic.

Our first three webinars are:

      • 20 May 2020: Information Disruption Age and Science Fiction, with Vincent O’Neil
      • 27 May 2020: Weaponization of Social Media, with Pete Singer; and Fictional Intelligence (FICINT), with August Cole
      • 3 June 2020: AI and Manufacturing Reality, with Dr. Marek Posard and Dr. Christopher Paul, The RAND Corporation
  • We are currently accepting registrations for our 20 May 2020 event with Vincent O’Neil — sign up now to attend virtually by clicking here [via a non-DoD network], as registration will be limited! Stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory for more information on our upcoming Weaponized Information Virtual Events and as we open registrations one week prior to each event!

REMINDER: Mad Scientist wants your Information Warfare Vignettes! We launched this crowdsourcing exercise to complement our aforementioned Weaponized Information Virtual Events and we want to hear from you! Review submission guidelines on our flyer here, then craft and submit your most innovative and insightful visions of information warfare to us at: MADSCITRADOC@gmail.com. The winner of our writing contest will be present at our virtual conference on 21 July 2020 (stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory for further information on this event!). Deadline for submission is 1 July 2020!



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