Cell By Cell

Among the most engaging conversations I get to have about writing, national security, innovation and pushing back against organized stupidity are with people affiliated with the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum. Whether it’s a late dinner in Washington or a “DEF Agora” in a waterfront bar led by a small group of Army officers who ended up at the Naval War College in Newport, RI, the questions are sharp yet the company welcoming. These are literally tireless advocates for the importance of writing — and writing well — even when there is no mandate or time or budget to do so. As fits their disruptive approach to shaking up the status quo in the defense community through creativity and tenacity, they often meet in small and informal cells.

But once a year the cells coalesce — well beyond bureaucracy’s intellectual tourniquets.

I’ll be speaking Saturday morning at the annual DEF conference about the Atlantic Council’s Art of Future Warfare project, the role artists can play in aiding understanding of the future of conflict and how fiction like Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War is useful to policymakers and the military.

Track the 2015 DEF conference on Twitter at #DEF2015 and @DEFConference. As well, there will be a live stream for Saturday’s talks that can be found at http://defenseentrepreneurs.org/def-2015/.