Students on the Defence Academy’s Advanced Command and Staff Course (ACSC) have had an intense five weeks. They are the first course to undertake the new Multi-Domain Integration (MDI) module, which included lectures from world-leading experts, interactive workshops, industry visits, and research sprints, and has now concluded with an MDI Symposium at Shrivenham.
At the Symposium, ACSC research groups faced a panel of senior leaders from across defence, as well as experts from industry and academia, and were asked to present their findings on a range of topics which could have a significant impact of defence’s future. These included promoting an integrated culture in defence and wider government, command and control in the information age and integration lessons from the current crisis in Ukraine.
With over 250 students from all three services, as well as civil servants and international personnel from over 50 countries, the MDI module benefited from a huge diversity of thought and opinion. Furthermore, students were encouraged to challenge the status quo and used a wide range of research methods to inform their findings and proposals.
However this exercise was not purely academic, as the valuable insights from students will be presented to senior defence boards, and their work will also help guide the direction of the MDI change programme.
The module was also not purely classroom-based, and there were opportunities for ACSC students to visit industry sites to learn from their approach to collaborative working and explore their technical solutions to integration.
They also spent two days studying the technique of ‘useful fiction’ – using fictional narratives to bring strategy and concepts to life. This technique will be crucial as we strive towards the culture change required to embed an integrated mindset.
People are defence’s most important asset, and the Defence Academy ensures our people are at the cutting edge of military thinking in a changing world. This module is a clear example of the Defence Academy offering innovative solutions to our most pressing defence and security challenges.