DEF members are doing great things in the national security community! The Monterey DEF Agora recently visited DIUx. To compete in Silicon Valley, DIUx has to stay nimble. With an ambitious mission and tight timelines, the small unit must move incredibly fast while staying hyperfocused in order to be successful. They’re excelling at putting technology in the hands of early adopters, and have proven that they can move beyond the pilot to a production contract.
The Los Angeles Agora held their innaugural monthly Drink & Think last week in El Segundo, attended by a collection of active military, defense industry members and private sector entrepreneurs. The topic of the night was unmanned aerial systems and awareness; Brandon Brown of AirMap provided a fantastic overview of some of the challenges from the point of view of an insider and the group also discussed some of the different lessons that might apply to broader innovation efforts.
Lauren Fish, who gave a fantastic talk about defense innovation and the legislative process at DEF2017, co-authored A Brief History of Defense Budget Instabillity. If you’re interested in continuing resolutions and the Budget Control Act’s effects on the Department of Defense, this is a great resource.


The DEF Agoras are still going strong! After are two great events already in November, DEF Colorado Springs is hosting a DEF Agora event on November 28. The event will feature Fmr Presidential Innovation Fellow Geoff Mulligan. Geoff is a USAFA graduate who has helped develop key technologies for internet security and has testified before Congress on Computer and Internet Security.

Interested in running your own DEF event? Contact the DEF Agora director. Know any events that aren’t mentioned. E-mail us!

Have you heard? You can now *officially* join DEF! Five years in and we’re still growing, which means we need your help. We announced a beta version of the membership program in Austin at DEF2017, and your feedback since then has been incredibly helpful. Like any lean start-up, we plan to keep iterating on the basic idea that DEF wants to inspire, connect, and empower members (without a required fee).

How can you help? Let us know your thoughts! We plan to keep an open period of comment and suggestion until December 15th, 2017. Shortly after the New Year, we’ll share the final version of the plan and start to concentrate on the programming this new funding stream will support. DEF was started by a group of passionate innovators – we’re looking for your help to shape the next evolution.


Blockchain has the potential to change financial transactions, and shows some of the potential for decentralized but highly connected global networks to impact defense. Read What is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners to get a basic understanding of what Blockchain is and how it works. To learn about its place and effect in the innovation space, read Harvard Business Review’s The Truth About Blockchain and The Impact of the Blockchain Goes Beyond Financial Services.
The Atlantic is looking for service members who can share how their experiences in the military have informed or changed their views on a variety of topics. If you’re a veteran who’d like to contribute, please fill out this form.

Defense One wants to hear ideas from DEF. We were thrilled by the response we received to the last Dispatch. If you still have a project, event, or experience that will improve the national security community and you would like to write about it, submit your article. If your article needs a little work, let us know and we’ll be happy to help!

Do you know someone who’d be interested in DEF’s mission and events? Invite them to sign up for the Dispatch!

Categories: DispatchInspire