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Using international security research networks: the Global Futures Forum Jean-Louis Tiernan Sr. Coordinator, Academic Outreach Canadian Security Intelligence.

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Presentation on theme: "Using international security research networks: the Global Futures Forum Jean-Louis Tiernan Sr. Coordinator, Academic Outreach Canadian Security Intelligence."— Presentation transcript:

1 Using international security research networks: the Global Futures Forum Jean-Louis Tiernan Sr. Coordinator, Academic Outreach Canadian Security Intelligence Service

2 What the GFF is Research Foresight Expert outreach Global knowledge network Launched by Canada and the U.S Driven by governments Involves over 40 countries Serves security and intelligence Steers clear of policy prescriptions Examines transnational security issues

3 What the GFF is A multinational, multidisciplinary network led by intelligence and security agencies to gain better understanding of global security issues Works exclusively in the unclassified domain Engages in strategic-level dialogue and research aimed at enhancing common capabilities for foresight and insight (avoiding blind spots) Includes experts from a wide range of professional sectors and disciplines, both governmental and non-governmental Features self-organising communities of interest focussed on specific global security issues, on methodologies for making sense of these issues, and on ways to transform organisations to better cope with them Involves collaboration, both virtuallyon a password-protected web site and in regular face-to-face meetings at locations around the world

4 What the GFF does To reap the benefits of networked collaboration for intelligence analysis, the GFF: Tests current thinking, challenges analytic assumptions, widens the range of considered outcomes, and discovers questions that are not being asked; Complements traditional intelligence analysis by creating a context to interpret classified information; Generates collaborative insights and early warning of potential threats and opportunities that might go unrecognised by relying solely on traditional intelligence; Enables rapid learning through real-time exchanges; Encourages the sharing, co-creation, and integration of new analytic methodologies; Creates non-traditional linkages among governments, academe, think-tanks and business.

5 GFF and traditional intelligence Global Futures ForumTraditional intelligence Collaborative insights Promotes diversity of opinion Bottom-up formulation of issues that need to be considered Global perspectives Unclassified, focus on broad and longer- term issues Analysis and collection Drives towards common assessment Top-down levying of requirements for questions that need to be answered Focus on national perspectives Classified, focus on tactical and operational concerns Complementarity

6 An evolving idea: history of the GFF The GFF is the outcome of three international conferences: Rome 04 For the first recorded time after WWII, heads of assessments from over 30 countries meet in an unclassified environment to discuss global issues. The need for innovative Collaboration is recognised. Washington 05 Building on the exchange in Rome, the CIAs Global Futures Partnership proposes the GFF as a collaborative model; 34 countries join, each defining their level and mode of participation Prague 06 A year after the GFF was launched, existing and new members meet to take stock of the initiative. Topic-specific working groups (communities of interest) discuss early results; other joint initiatives are proposed Vancouver08 A year after the GFF was launched, existing and new members meet to take stock of the initiative. Topic-specific working groups (communities of interest) discuss early results; other joint initiatives are proposed

7 An evolving idea: history of the GFF The GFF is the outcome of international conferences: Rome 2004 Washington 2005 Prague 2006 Vancouver 2008 Singapore 2010

8 How it works The General Meetings The international conferences which led to the GFF have become interactive meeting points for the global analytic community. Hosted by a different country every year, the annual meeting, likened by some to a mini Davos of analysis, sets the direction of the GFF for the year ahead. It also provides a platform to examine emerging issues. Communities of interest and other substantive activities Communities of interest (COIs), led and developed by various countries, meet between the annual meetings to discuss specific global security issues. Existing and past COIs have looked into: radicalisation, global disease, illicit trafficking, social networks, technological surprise, genocide prevention, proliferation, the practise and organisation of intelligence, economic security and strategic foresight and warning. On-line collaboration Between face-to-face meetings, the current 1500 individual members use the password-protected site to share resources and exchange using blogs, discussion forums, wikis, etc.

9 Role of CSIS and Canadas place Plans and develops the participation of Canadas S&I community in the Forum; Chairs informal national advisory group (PCO, CSIS, DND, CBSA, DFAIT, RCMP) to co-ordinate input; Supports our U.S. intelligence partners in developing and expanding the Forum globally; Sets Canadian position on governance issues; Chairs GFF Steering Group; Serves as strategic facilitator: Canada now most active member country.

10 Results so far Contents point of view Community of interest on radicalisation (Meech Lake, Brussels, Ottawa, The Hague, Singapore). Those have allowed the community to understand an issue characterised by an extreme case of information overflow. Innovative methodologies to explore trends in radicalisation were used, including alternative scenarios. Systems model to understand the linkages between actors and motivations in illicit trafficking (small arms, drugs, humans). Process point of view Early signals: As a result of Canadas involvement, rehearsed professional networks are now in place and can be relied on to receive updates from various capitals or research centres. Vancouver 2008: Canada emerges as an innovator in intelligence. Significant boost to launch CSIS Academic Outreach program in 2008.

11 What next? Some upcoming activities Making foresight actionable (U.S.) – 18-19 March Prosperity and Security: the Challenges of Uncertain Economic Times (Canada) – 8 March and 15 April Practise and organisation of intelligence (Denmark) – 20-22 June Practise and organisation of intelligence (Switzerland) – early 2011 Food security (Canada) – early 2011

12 Some lessons learned Making networks work? Foresight is important can be discredited easily with bad planning Identify your needs as government Manage your expectations; set goals Star small and use precise focus Use GFF as an entrepreneurial lab

13 Becoming involved www.globalfuturesforum.org Janelle Boucher boucherja@smtp.gc.ca Jean-Louis Tiernan tiernanj@smtp.gc.ca


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