100 episodes

The Convergence is an Army Mad Scientist podcast with a distinct focus on divergent viewpoints, a challenging of assumptions, and insights from thought leaders and subject matter experts. The purpose of "The Convergence" is to explore technological, economic, and societal trends that disrupt the operational environment and to get a diversity of opinions on the character of warfare.

The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast The Army Mad Scientist Initiative

    • Government
    • 4.5 • 40 Ratings

The Convergence is an Army Mad Scientist podcast with a distinct focus on divergent viewpoints, a challenging of assumptions, and insights from thought leaders and subject matter experts. The purpose of "The Convergence" is to explore technological, economic, and societal trends that disrupt the operational environment and to get a diversity of opinions on the character of warfare.

    98. The OSINT Odyssey: Unmasking Digital Clues with Mr. Shawn Nilius

    98. The OSINT Odyssey: Unmasking Digital Clues with Mr. Shawn Nilius

    [Editor’s Note:  The TRADOC G-2 appreciates the value of Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) in informing us about emergent trends across the Operational Environment (OE). For almost two years, analysts within the G-2 ACE collated insights on Russia’s on-going “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine to learn about the contemporary Russian way of war, understand how they were adapting and innovating across enduring Large Scale Combat Operations, and identify potential ramifications for U.S. Army modernization across DOTMLPF-P. The associated weekly “scrum” methodology generating weekly TRADOC Running Estimates and associated Narratives is described in greater detail in this Red Diamond article.
    Beginning in January 2024, the G-2 ACE adapted this methodology to address its FY24 Program of Analysis key intelligence questions spanning the OE and conducted bi-weekly “scrums” to generate monthly OE Running Estimates and associated Narratives, and quarterly OE Assessments.
    Each of these weekly TRADOC Running Estimates and monthly OE Running Estimates were “synchronized” with corresponding classified products prior to their publication to ensure the highest fidelity and accuracy in OE reporting. Capturing these insights has proven invaluable in the G-2 describing the evolving OE — foundational to TRADOC’s mission of training Soldiers and supporting unit training; developing adaptive Leaders; guiding the Army through doctrine; and shaping the Army by building and integrating formations, capabilities, and materiel. Links to our archives of these TRADOC and OE Running Estimates may be found at the end of this blog post.
    In today’s episode of The Convergence Podcast, Army Mad Scientist sat down with Shawn Nilius, Director, Army OSINT Office, to discuss why OSINT is important to the Army, how it is being used in contemporary operations, and how he sees it evolving over the next 10 years — Enjoy!]
    Mr. Shawn M. Nilius was appointed Director, Army Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) Office in March 2022. The Army OSINT Office (AOO) serves as the OSINT operational support lead for Army OSINT and provides technical oversight, compliance, management, and governance of open-source activities while synchronizing resourcing and requirements across the Army Intelligence and Security Enterprise (AISE). Prior to becoming a Department of the Army civilian, Mr. Nilius served as a career Army Military Intelligence Officer, whose previous assignments included Director of Intelligence (G-2), U.S. Army Africa; Director, Combined Joint Intelligence Operations Center, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan; Director, Joint Intelligence Center Special Operations Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, Tampa, Florida; and Director of Intelligence (J-2), U.S. Forces – Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq. Mr. Nilius has a Masters of Science, Strategic Studies, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania; a Masters of Science, Strategic Intelligence-Middle Eastern Studies, National Intelligence University, Washington, DC; and a Bachelors of Arts, Political Science, Iowa State Unive

    • 28 min
    97. Threat #49: I Think There's Trouble Brewin' with Dr. James Giordano and Dr. James Canton

    97. Threat #49: I Think There's Trouble Brewin' with Dr. James Giordano and Dr. James Canton

    [Editor’s Note:  Humanity is entering an era of hyper-innovation as the potential of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Neurocognitive Sciences are harnessed to revolutionize human endeavors. As these exponential convergences of technologies spin ever faster cycles of adaptation and innovation, the quest for dominance and advantage will favor those who jettison outdated industrial age processes and implement (and resource!) whole-of-nation strategies integrating private and public sector science and technology enterprises.
    In today’s episode of The Convergence podcast, our “rock star” proclaimed Mad Scientists — Dr. James Giordano and Dr. James Canton — return to discuss the transformative convergence of neuroscience and artificial intelligence and its implications for the Operational Environment — Read on!]
    Proclaimed Mad Scientist Dr. James Giordano is Pellegrino Center Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Biochemistry; Chief of the Neuroethics Studies Program; and Chair of the Subprogram in Military Medical Ethics at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC.  Dr. Giordano is a Bioethicist of the Defense Medical Ethics Center at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences; Distinguished Stockdale Fellow in Science, Technology, and Ethics at the United States Naval Academy; Senior Fellow in Biosecurity, Technology, and Ethics at the U.S. Naval War College, Newport, RI; Senior Science Advisory Fellow of the Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA), Joint Staff / J-39, The Pentagon; Chair Emeritus of the Neuroethics Project of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Brain Initiative; and serves as Director of the Institute for Biodefense Research, a federally funded Washington, DC, think tank dedicated to addressing emerging issues at the intersection of science, technology and national defense. He previously served as Donovan Group Senior Fellow, U.S. Special Operations Command; member of the Neuroethics, Legal, and Social Issues Advisory Panel of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); and Task Leader of the Working Group on Dual-Use of the EU-Human Brain Project.
    Dr. Giordano is the author of 340 peer-reviewed publications, 7 books, and 45 governmental reports on science, technology, and biosecurity, and is an elected member of the European Academy of Science and Arts, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (UK), and a Fulbright Professorial Fellow. A former U.S. Naval officer, he held designations as an aerospace physiologist and research psychologist, and served with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
    Proclaimed Mad Scientist Dr. James Canton is a global futurist, social scientist, author, and strategic advisor. As a former Apple Computer executive and high-tech entrepreneur, he has been insightfully forecasting the key trends and technologies that have shaped our world, including AI-nano-bio-IT-neuroquantum-cloud. The Economist recognizes him as one of the leading global futurists. He has advised three White House Administrations, the DoD, Intelligence Community, and over 100 companies over 30 years. Dr. Canton is CEO and Chairman of the Institute for Global Futures, a leading think tank he founded in 1990 that advises business and government.
    Dr. Canton is the author of Future Smart, The Extreme Future: The Top Trends That Will Reshape the World in the Next Twenty Years

    • 1 hr 17 min
    96. Calling All Wargamers and Mad Sci Update!

    96. Calling All Wargamers and Mad Sci Update!

    [Editor’s Note: Crowdsourcing remains an effective tool for harvesting ideas and concepts from a wide array of individuals, helping us to diversify thought and challenge conventional assumptions. Army Mad Scientist seeks to crowdsource the intellect of the Nation (i.e., you — our community of action!) with two concurrent opportunities this Spring. In our latest episode of The Convergence podcast, we explore these crowdsourcing opportunities — Read the highlights here, listen to the podcast, then get busy crafting your inputs to both!]
    In today’s episode of The Convergence podcast, Army Mad Scientists Matthew Santaspirt and Raechel Melling discuss our two concurrent crowdsourcing opportunities:  Calling All Wargamers and Wicked Problems Writing Contest  — check out the highlights from this conversation below.
    [If the podcast dashboard is not rendering correctly for you, please click here to listen to the podcast.]

    Calling All Wargamers!

    Regular consumers of Army Mad Scientist content — via this blog site and The Convergence podcast — understand how wargaming can enhance Professional Military Education (PME), hone cognitive warfighting skills, and broaden our understanding of the Operational Environment. Wargaming removes hierarchies and encourages players to attempt innovative solutions, while also creating a safe environment in which to fail repeatedly and learn from mistakes. Wargaming can also help us assess concepts and capabilities with a reasonable degree of verisimilitude — before committing the Nation to costly, and in some instances, irrevocable courses of action.  In challenging our assumptions and reinvigorating our thoughts about Large-Scale Combat Operations (LSCO), wargaming can be a useful tool in facilitating life-long learning and guarding against that most fatal of flaws in assessing the Operational Environment — the failure of imagination!
    Army Mad Scientist wants to hear from you about your wargaming experiences:

    What are you learning about LSCO? 

    What wargames do you find useful for learning about military operations? 

    If you could imagine the perfect wargame, what would it look like? 

    What Great Power peripheral flashpoints are you gaming? 

    What emergent technologies (or convergences) are you integrating into your wargaming? 

    What compelling insights from gaming would you most like to share with the U.S. Army? 

    Submit your responses to these questions and more at: madscitradoc@gmail.com NLT 11:59 pm Eastern on May 1, 2024.
    Check out the following Mad Scientist Laboratory blog posts on wargaming:
    Live from D.C., it’s Fight Night (Parts One and Two) and associated podcasts (Parts 

    • 12 min
    95. African Skies: Space Exploration and National Security Perspectives with Selina Hayes

    95. African Skies: Space Exploration and National Security Perspectives with Selina Hayes

    “China sits in INDOPACOM, but the playground is Africa.”
    [Editor’s Note:  Regular readers of the Mad Scientist Laboratory will recall that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) reported, “Relatively poor countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia will account for almost all global population growth during the next two decades…” The World Economic Forum supported this assessment, projecting that Africa’s population is likely to triple by 2100. Specifically, Nigeria is set to become the second most populous country in the world by 2100, trailing only India.
    The significance of this growth is not lost on China — our pacing challenge has already established a permanent military presence in Djibouti and it is seeking to establish another military base at Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.  China is investing strategically throughout sub-Saharan Africa — it is now Africa’s biggest trading partner, with Sino-African trade exceeding $200 billion per year, and Africa has surpassed Asia as the largest market for China’s international construction projects. China continues to exert its influence across the continent via its Belt and Road Initiative.
    In today’s episode of The Convergence podcast, Army Mad Scientist sits down with Selina Hayes, Founder and CEO of The Hayes Group International, to discuss the nexus of space investment and operations in Africa — a critical region of focus for our adversaries — and the potential implications for the U.S. Army — Enjoy!]
    Selina Hayes founded Hayes Group International (HGI) to provide unique access to people, places, and data.  Designed to disrupt, Ms. Hayes has access to strategic partners and networks across Africa and the Pacific.  With her intelligence background and unique on-the-ground experience, HGI has developed and delivered solutions involving multiple intelligence sensors, information gateways, information operations, cultural intelligence, data collection, geospatial, ISR, and Space-as-a-Service.  Ms. Hayes has extensive experience leading defense and international business development strategies for emerging and disruptive ISR, PED, and geospatial technologies. She successfully combined the innovation of Silicon Valley with Washington, having successfully launched three new tec

    • 32 min
    94. A surprise Interview With a Mystery Guest

    94. A surprise Interview With a Mystery Guest

    This is a special off-schedule episode of The Convergence where we talk with a mystery guest, possibly for the last time!

    • 22 min
    93. Insights from the Israel-Hamas War with LTC Kenneth Hardy

    93. Insights from the Israel-Hamas War with LTC Kenneth Hardy

    [Editor’s Note:  It has almost been a decade since U.S. forces and coalition partners assisted Iraqi government forces in dislodging ISIS fighters from Mosul in what some observers described as the toughest urban battle since World War II.  With the Islamic Resistance Movement’s (aka Hamas) October 7, 2023 cross-border terror attacks on Israel and subsequent Israel Defense Forces’ combat operations in Gaza, new lessons are emerging about engaging an entrenched adversary across 360 square kilometers of densely populated (over 2 million Palestinian civilians) and highly urbanized terrain.
    As Dr. Brent Sterling reminded our readers and listeners, other observers are also watching and learning — especially our pacing challenge China with regard to potential operations in dense urban centers on Taiwan, North Korea with its subterranean operations beneath the Demilitarized Zone, and Iran and its “Axis of Resistance” in continuing to target U.S. and Israeli interests.
    In today’s episode of The Convergence podcast, Army Mad Scientist sits down with LTC Kenneth Hardy, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) liaison officer to the Israel Defense Forces, and discusses the on-going Israel/Hamas Conflict and key lessons the U.S. Army is learning about contemporary asymmetric warfare in dense urban terrain — Read on!]
    LTC Kenneth Hardy currently serves as the U.S. Army TRADOC Liaison Officer to the Israel Defense Forces.  A Middle East Foreign Area Officer, LTC Hardy’s previous assignments have included In-Region Training (IRT) as a U.S. Security Cooperation Officer to the Moroccan Military in Rabat, Morocco; Political/ Military advisor to the Commander, USARCENT, and Security Cooperation/Liaison Officer to Kuwait and Qatar Armed Forces; Security Assistance Officer to the Egyptian Land Forces and Border Guard in Cairo, Egypt; and Middle East Analyst and CENTCOM J2 International Engagements, Tampa, Florida.  LTC Hardy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Central Oklahoma, an Associate’s Degree in Arabic from the Defense Language Institute, and a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
    Army Mad Scientist sat down with LTC Hardy to discuss his observations regarding the October 7th Hamas attacks on Israel and insights into how this larger conflict is informing the U.S. Army about the Operational Environment.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our conversation:

    The ongoing conflict between Israel and H

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

rmell26 ,

a MUST listen!

Love the variety of guests on this podcast, everything from authors to government officials! Very entertaining with great insights into how to improve our Army for the future. Love this show!

Bark Cavanaugh ,

Gen Funk

I find it deeply disconcerting that the commanding general of all Army training uses dissimilar terms interchangeably: “Ukraine” vs “the Ukraine”, or “China” vs “the Chinese.” I’m not saying this is why Funk is 0/2 in recent wars but it certainly didn’t help.

cduckworth17 ,

A great podcast!

Great conversations about security with leading experts and entertaining hosts. The perfect length for a quick break or car ride. A must listen!!

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