Phoenix Challenge – A Collaboration

Phoenix Challenge 2.0 is complete! Thanks to the corporate supporters of IPA and Phoenix Challenge for making this a free event for our community. The producers of the event and the staffs of IPA and Phoenix Challenge are working to summarize the excellent discussion. For participants and registrants: we’ll have the recordings up soon and will send out an announcement when that’s done.

A Conference Series re-born through a collaboration with the Applied Research Lab for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) at the University of Maryland and the Information Professionals Association (IPA). ARLIS and IPA are working with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Staff and the Joint Staff to present this collaborative effort.

Registration is open for invited panel members as well as passive participants – go to the IPA Events Registration Website

Our confirmed keynote speaker for 13 April is former USD (I) and ASD SO/LIC Dr. Michael Vickers. Go to the agenda page to see other confirmed participants on each of the panels.

The U.S. Department of Defense has recognized the criticality of Operations in the Information Environment (OIE) and the accelerating impacts from technological change in the information space.  The 2018 National Defense Strategy directed the Department to foster a competitive mindset to counter revisionist powers and to organize for innovation in modernizing our capabilities.  Current initiatives like the Information Advantage Task Force, Deliver Uncompromised, and Project Convergence aim to address specific aspects of this multidimensional information challenge.  However, the Department does not have a venue for linking and promoting coordination across these different initiatives as well as ensuring input from key partners in the rest of the U.S. government, from Allies, and from industry and academia.  The new Phoenix Challenge proposes to fill that gap by facilitating connection and organized action.

The objective of the conference series is to promote awareness and exchange of information on core initiatives at an appropriately senior level and to ensure organizations continue to collaborate going forward on efforts ranging from research and acquisition to operational planning and execution. For this inaugural event, the team is organizing an UNCLASSIFIED online conference on 13 April 2021 to serve as a scene setting event for the U.S. Central Command Worldwide IO Conference on 14-15 April 2021.

As described here, the conference will feature a keynote and panels to be streamed to a wider registered audience and include a multitude of small breakout sessions for the smaller senior group of active participants. The small breakout sessions will not be streamed but will be private groups where senior level leaders can discuss the challenges they face with regard to OIE and come up with collaborative action plans to move forward, aided by the information and action plans of their fellow leaders. ARLIS and the IPA will capture outcomes and agreed actions and initiatives from the participants in a conference report to be shared with all.

Phoenix Challenge was designed to encourage collaboration between government, academia, and industry to encourage all to have a common understanding of government needs, policy issues, and technical challenges.  This has not changed.

Registration is open; go to the Information Professionals Association website and use the registration link.  More information will be sent to those that have registered. Panel members will be listed on our draft agenda page as they are confirmed. Most panel members are senior government officials but we also will have a limited number of invited industry participants who will present on topics of current interest.