C4I and Cyber Ctr Seminar Series:
Examination of a Wicked Problem–National Security Implications of the 4th Industrial Revolution

Presented by:
Dr. Linton Wells II,
C4I & Cyber Center Executive Advisor



Wicked Problems refer to challenges where there is no agreement on the definition of the problem, much less on the solution (clmiate change, terrorism, etc.). The World Economic Forum, has postulated a “4th Industrial Revolution” which will raise a number of national security issues that fall into this category. The 1st industrial revolution (1780s) was driven by “steam, water and mechanical production equipment.” The 2nd, beginning about 1870, saw “divisions of labor, electricity and mass production.” The 3rd, since 1969, has brought “electronics, IT and automated production.” The 4th industrial revolution, which is beginning, will fuse technologies such as biotech, robotics, information, nanotechnology and energy (BRINE) to “blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.” The pace of change is often rapid, affecting many sectors and transforming management, as well as production and distribution. Responses to these challenges must engage public-private, whole-of-society, and trans-national stakeholders in comprehensive, integrated ways. One emerging challenge is the replacement of labor by automation and artificial intelligence. Opinions differ as to the impact—some say new jobs will be created and overall prosperity will be increased. Others say the rate of change will exceed many people’s ability to adapt, create severe unemployment, and compound wealth inequality across society. Many would be inclined to migrate, be vulnerable to radicalization, and not be likely to be deterred by traditional means of dissuasion. A concept called BROCADE (Building Resilient Opportunities in Culturally Aware Diverse Environments) will be introduced to mitigate these pressures by leveraging commuity-based, collaborative economic approaches. GMU is an important player in BROCADE.

Speaker Information:

Dr. Linton Wells II is Executive Advisor to GMU’s Center of Excellence in C4I and Cyber, and chairs the Center’s Advisory Group. He has more than twenty years of senior civilian leadership experience with the U.S. government in national security affairs, including service as acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration and Department of Defense (DoD) Chief Information Officer (CIO). Other executive positions have been related to Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I), and the interface between decision-making and technology. From 2010 to 2014 he led the Center for Technology and National Security Policy, a research center at the U.S. National Defense University. He also was a career naval officer and completed 51 years with DoD in 2014. He is the author or editor of 6 books, 9 monographs, and over 30 articles or papers and is President and CEO of Global Resilience Strategies, linking technology, strategy and decision-making. More information is at < https:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linton_Wells_II>

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

C4I Center ENGR 4705