New Flinders MBA explores national security

From 2022, Flinders University’s new MBA will give students the opportunity to explore innovative ways to tackle national security challenges.

In a first for South Australia, Flinders University is tapping into a leading Department of Defence program to build innovative technological and entrepreneurial skills into its new-look Master of Business Administration (MBA) in the new year.

The launch of the ‘Hacking for National Security’ (H4NS) course through the Defence Entrepreneurship Program (DEP) sees Flinders join leading universities from the US and UK which are using these advanced techniques to make the world a safer place.

The 12-month MBA Future Business at Flinders University includes 12 comprehensive core business management subjects, with up to 26 weeks of industry engagement and work-integrated learning on offer, including the DEP.

The goal of the DEP is to give Flinders University MBA students insights into the advanced tools and techniques needed by tech start-ups and other businesses to support national security and other critical challenges including natural disasters, and energy and environmental issues critical to the future of our society.

Flinders University Professor Michael Gilding, left, Jamie Watson, executive director of H4NS course provider Common Mission.

The H4NS course is supported by Defence’s D.Start Catalyst program and delivered in partnership with Australian non-profit Common Mission Project Limited (CMP). The course gives students the same experiences as the successful ‘Hacking for Defence’ and ‘Hacking for MoD’ programs using a powerful coalition of government, industry and university representatives to address real national security issues.

H4NS aims to widen understanding of the defence and national security risks facing Australia by engaging with some of the country’s ‘best and brightest’ civilian minds using some of the world-renowned innovation tools such as the Lean Startup by Steve Blank and the Mission Model Canvas by Alex Osterwalder, and BMNT CEO Pete Newell.

“This new initiative, based on ‘real-world’ mission challenges, is a practical introduction to pressing security problems at almost real-time speed,” says Mr Jamie Watson, Executive Director of the Common Mission Project in Australia.

“The H4NS connects defence forces with leading entrepreneurs and university students to bring innovative solutions to life.”

Many student teams – from among 50 American (including Stanford, Columbia, Duke and NYU) and seven UK universities (e.g. King’s College) involved in the program – have also gone on to form companies after completing the course.

MBA coordinator and Lecturer in Innovation and Enterprise, Carla Dias Wadewitz, at Flinders at Tonsley Innovation District, where the Flinders New Venture Institute is based.

Flinders University College of Business, Government and Law Vice-President and Executive Dean, Professor Michael Gilding, says the Flinders University Defence Entrepreneurship Program is an excellent way to bring new skills, job prospects and ideas to the table.

“Flinders sees this innovative course as a great way to learn about the types of issues facing national security on many fronts,” says Professor Gilding.

“The Hacking for National Security course materials and exercises will not only fuel entrepreneurial minds but give students access to dozens of industry experts and on-the-ground defence personnel who have already faced system-wide communications failures or command decisions in the face of previously unseen, ambiguous national security attacks.”

Flinders MBA coordinator Carla Dias Wadewitz says: “The Flinders University MBA has been completely redesigned to keep in mind the future of work, industry demand and changing work and social settings. There are three options for MBAs – Future Business, Industry Focused and Specialisations.”

In South Australia, the Defence sector represents a significant proportion of the Gross State Product and employability. The DEP will leverage on Flinders University strong Defence and industry links in education and research in support of Australia’s sovereign defence industrial priority capability priorities sector.

About the new MBA at Flinders University:

The fast-tracked Flinders MBA Future Business course is a flexible offering for professionals looking for career, leadership or salary growth in 2022. It offers technology focused skills in business, marketing, financial management and economics – either fast-tracked over 12 months or tailored for work-life balance. It includes:

  • 12 world-class future focused MBA topics
  • Up to 26 weeks of industry placements or industry entrepreneurial programs including the DEP, FOMENT – the wine, viticulture and tourism accelerator – or the Innovative Manufacturing Accelerator.
  • Flexible entry points and course structure
  • No exams, entry requirements or work experience needed.

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