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DEF is an independent, not-for-profit group of emerging defense leaders that strive to solve national security problems from the bottom-up by exposing Defense professionals to the techniques and experiences of civilian innovators and social entrepreneurs.
“Innovation is creativity with a job to do.” - John Emmerling
I came to DEF 2014 after a major failure in my life, an unsure 25 year old with an idea in a cardboard box. I got a tremendous opportunity to meet a wide range of people and learn an extraordinary amount in just three days. I was also able to get a rough plan for not only my idea but my professional future. I can’t thank Ben and the DEF board enough and can’t wait for next year.
Office of the Secretary of Defense and Social Entrepreneur
At DEF I met a diverse group of young leaders who had dramatically different ideas, but who were united by patriotism, intellectual curiosity, and a passionate desire to improve the organizations they belong to and themselves. It was inspiring to see a group of emerging defense leaders for whom innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership were not buzz words, but deeply-held beliefs.
Nelson M. Rosario
What DEF means to me is hope. Hope for the future of our military, and hope for the future of our society. The people I have met through DEF the past two years have blown me away with their combination of passion and intellect. I have the utmost confidence that as a direct consequence of their involvement with DEF they will solve many critical problems we face as a nation.
Harvard Business School Student
DEF is the new incubator of innovative leaders across the national security establishment. It should become a rite of passage for future flag-level officers and a prestigious event for JOs to attend.
My first DEF was more than listening, thinking, and discussion. It was also developing relationships with people to continue the discourse throughout the year. It’s also a chance to get out of your comfort zone and listen to ideas from someone outside of your network. Anyone with a passion for their career or service needs to attend DEF and share the knowledge with their organization.
Defense Entrepreneurs Forum
Washington DC 20002