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Agility and Adaptation in National Security

Friday 9 February 2024, 10:30am–3:30pm

Adaptability in national security planning, decision making and responses are key to the successful management of risk and threat.

"The environment in which every human enterprise operates is always changing, often in completely unpredictable and unexpected ways," says Barno and Bensahel. "What matters most, is the ability to successfully adapt to unforeseen circumstances as they arise."

As the global and regional environment becomes more volatile and unexpected, national security practitioners need to prepare for a much wider range of possibilities, and this requires not only "the best and brightest", but also problem-solving systems that involve many levels of government and public participation. This is where practitioner and academic can meet and make progress.

This year's Otago National Security School looks at Agility and Adaptation, and will cover such issues as the impact of artificial intelligence on intelligence analysis and crisis management, adapting to new terrorist techniques, and recruiting and training agile and flexible thinkers.


Register for the 2024 Otago National Security School Conference


  • Retired Army Major General Mick Ryan, Adjunct Fellow, Australia Chair, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (via video conference)
  • Professor Grant Dick, Head of Department of Information Science, University of Otago
  • Dr Del Carlini, Manager Operations, Ngai Te Rangi
  • Dr Adam Norrie, Policy Branch, Ministry of Defence
  • Assistant Professor Ruxandra Oana Vlad, Homeland Security, Rabdan Academy, United Arab Emirates
  • Mr Andy George, Counter-Terrorism Strategic Coordinator, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Mr Rob Mackie, Operations Manager, Strategic Crisis Management, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Ms Sarah Foster, National Assessments Bureau
  • Ms Hema Sridhar, Centre for Informed Futures
  • Dr Jim Rolfe, Centre for Strategic Studies, Victoria University of Wellington

Conference programme

View the National Security School 2024 programme

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