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Following the 2015 launch of Global Knowledge Networking, GCF will organize a Symposium and Workshop, convened by George Mason University and the Global Challenges Forum Foundation in collaboration with the PfP Consortium Emerging Security Challenges Working Group in partnership with NATO Allied Command for Transformation, the United States Atlantic Council, and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.


“Indeed, there is a mismatch between the change in the pace of change and our ability to develop learning systems, training systems, management systems, social safety nets and government regulations that would enable citizens to get the most out of these accelerations and cushion their worst impacts.  This mismatch … is at the center of much of the turmoil roiling politics and society in both developed and developing countries today.  It now constitutes probably the most important governance challenge across the globe.” – Thomas L. FRIEDMAN, Pulitzer Prize Winner and bestselling author of “Thank You for Being Late”.

The event takes place on 26 April 2018 at the Science and Technology Campus in Manassas, Virginia, followed by a by-invitation workshop on 27 April to bring forth actionable recommendations to be developed in collaboration with the Partnership for Peace Consortium’s Emerging Security Challenges Working Group.  Other Partners include the NATO Allied Command for Transformation (NATO ACT), the Atlantic Council of the United States, and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

This event will build on a series of previous workshops and strategic dialogues in the United States, Europe and the Middle East that have identified key challenges and pointed toward collectively owned opportunities.  They began with the establishment of the “Global Resilience Readiness Initiative” at the launch of Global Knowledge Networking (GKN) in Geneva, Switzerland in September 2015.  This event hosted by George Mason University is the 2nd GKN Symposium and is dedicated to the exploration of enhancing global resilience in the “Age of Accelerations.”


The Symposium will feature keynotes by New York Times columnist, Pulitzer Prize Winner and bestselling author Thomas L. FRIEDMAN (confirmed) and by the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation of NATO, General Denis MERCIER (invited).

The Symposium will set the scene for the following a closed-to-the-public Workshop on the following day.  The Workshop will explore people, processes, organizations and technologies that can help create a connected community to address the identified challenges. It will give focused attention to Mr. Friedman’s observations concerning “learning systems, training systems, management systems, social safety nets and government regulations” that need to be tuned to these changing conditions.

The Workshop will feature a presentation of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) on a joint project with GCF: A Global Cyber Academy that seeks to promote a strategic approach towards building cyber resilience in states and aims to establish awareness of cybersecurity as critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.