USSOCOM Innovation Foundry (IF15) Event – Outsmarting Smart Cities – Soldier Systems Daily

SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM’s Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T) Futures and UK Strategic Command, will host the fifteenth Innovation Foundry event (IF15) 17-19 April 2024, in London, England. As the second international event in the series, IF15 aims to bring together military practitioners, industry, academia, national laboratories, and futurists to explore and ideate around future scenarios and missions. This phase of the innovation cycle is being co-sponsored by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). The theme of IF15, ‘Smart Cities – Future Challenges for SOF’, will explore the challenges of physical and remote SOF operations in a range of future complex smart city scenarios. The rapidly changing nature of the future operating environment will increasingly involve operations in smart, interconnected cities. More than 50% of humanity resides in cities, and by 2030 there will be more than 60 cities with populations between 5-10 million. Many are located within global resource hot spots in an increasingly multi-polar world order that challenges hegemonic legacies. These dense urbanities are becoming ever more complex; socially, physically, and technically. This presents new challenges and opportunities for SOF operations across the full breadth of potential mission sets, in an interconnected environment where access and manoeuvre will be challenging. The confluence of domains and environments amplifies these challenges. Virtual and physical theatre entry, combat operations, sustainment, and partnering will all require novel approaches. From biometrics to autonomy, to remote sensing, future smart cities will present SOF with some of the toughest challenges. To tackle these problems SOF will need to: • Develop a vision for the future challenges posed by operating in smart cities. • Identify, understand, and combat smart city risks and vulnerabilities. • Develop plans and policies to enable operational advantage in smart cities and exploit dual-use capabilities. • Develop capabilities to understand and characterize adversarial actions in smart cities. • Develop new concepts of operation with partners and allies to operate in a range of heavily constrained smart cities scenarios. • Identify, recruit, and train for the skillsets required to operate in future smart cities. Submit NLT 04 March 2024 11:59 PM ET.