track record of ideas inspiring action
The team has worked on a variety of projects that show both their experience and the potential impact of such narrative products and engagements, at levels that range from the warfighter all the way up to the most senior defense and intelligence leadership.
They are particularly known for their collaborative novel, Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War, which has been on the official reading lists of every US military service, the CIA, NSA, Coast Guard, Royal Australian Navy, etc.
Pioneering the idea of “useful fiction,” it explored topics that ranged from realistically assessing the risks of great power conflict to supply-chain security issues. It is a best-selling book, but also the real-world lessons from this project have been briefed at locations that included the White House Situation Room, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Senate Armed Services Committee to engagements with over 75 different Department of Defense and Intelligence Community offices and units like the 82nd Airborne, the Naval Submarine Forces, and Joint Special Operations Command. It has also been briefed to multiple Fortune 500 C-suites and investment leader retreats. The book’s insights were subsequently woven into everything from the Marine Corps “Ghost Fleet” wargames and the establishment of the “Marine Information Group” concept to the Navy’s $3.6 billion “Ghost Fleet” autonomous warship program and the US Army Maneuver Center of Excellence officer courses at Fort Benning.
The team followed this up with a series of FICINT projects on other topics. This included working with the Atlantic Council, CIA, US Marine Corps Warfighting Lab, Norwegian Army, NATO’s Innovation Hub, U.S. Military Academy-West Point, Ubisoft, The Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Creativity, and the U.S. Congress.
Most recently, the authors refined this approach as part of the years-long “AI Visualized” project, which used the novel format and extensive research to explore how new technologies like AI, automation, and the Internet of Things will be applied in reality and the security, political economic, social, legal, and moral dilemmas they will cause. Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution (2020, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) received endorsements from the current or former heads of NATO, U.S. Navy, US Marines Corps, Special Operations Command, CIA, NSA/Cyber Command, Canadian Army, etc. (Full list at:https://www.burninbook.com/reviews/)
Here again, the form proved well suited to surfacing new insights, reaching new readers, and informing leaders in manner beyond the typical white paper or powerpoint. The authors have been invited to share the project’s lessons with leaders who ranged from multiple heads of state, including the US president-elect, to Cabinet members, 4-star generals, US Senators, Fortune 100 C-suites and leading venture capitalists. The locations spanned three continents and ranged from aircraft carriers to the Nobel Institute in Oslo. Policies were shaped that ranged from NATO plans for unmanned systems to US legislation on “Protecting Critical Infrastructure Against Drones and Emerging Threats.