54. Crossing the Valley of Death for Innovation with Trish Martinelli and David Schiff

Episode 54 April 07, 2022 00:56:01
54. Crossing the Valley of Death for Innovation with Trish Martinelli and David Schiff
The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast
54. Crossing the Valley of Death for Innovation with Trish Martinelli and David Schiff

Show Notes

National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) is a problem-solving network in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) that adapts to the emerging needs of those who serve in the defense of our national security. NSIN is dedicated to the work of bringing together defense, academic, and entrepreneurial innovators to solve national security problems in new ways.


Trish Martinelli, At-Large Director, NSIN, is an accomplished Senior Intelligence professional with a strong background in business, applicable analysis, and a keen sense of how to implement innovative planning in support of customer satisfaction.  With more than 25 years in Government, Military, Analytical, Middle East, Special Missions and Operations Expertise, she is adept and experienced in working with people of diverse backgrounds to maximize the benefit from relevant experience.


David Schiff, At-Large Director, NSIN, is working to change the culture of the DoD and Federal Government to favor innovation as a strategic advantage and strengthen the relationship between civilian industry and the Government to solve the world’s biggest problems.  He seeks to bridge the gap that has developed between these ecosystems by building more collaborative, higher-trust, more empathetic, and creative environments, which will lead to the innovative solutions we need to ensure a better world for future generations.


In this episode, Ms. Martinelli and Mr. Schiff discuss innovation, the value of hackathons and crowdsourcing in harnessing the Nation’s intellect to benefit National Security, and integrating their programs in support of U.S. Army innovation. The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview:







Stay tuned for our next episode of The Convergence podcast — To Boldly Go — featuring Steve LeonardMick RyanJon Klug, and Kathleen McInnis, discussing the lessons captured in the book To Boldly Go;  leadership, strategy, and conflict; storytelling; and the value of science fiction.

Other Episodes

Episode 1

January 15, 2020 00:27:13
Episode Cover

Sean McFate

The first episode of The Convergence features Dr. Sean McFate, foreign policy expert, author, and novelist. Dr. McFate is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington DC think tank, and a professor of strategy at the National Defense University and Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Additionally, he serves as an Advisor to Oxford University's Centre for Technology and Global Affairs. Dr. McFate's newest book is The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder, which was picked by The Economist as one of their best books of 2019. On the episode, Dr. McFate provides his opinions on the changing character of warfare, the rise of private military contractors, information warfare, and the effects these trends will have on the operational environment. ...


Episode 53

March 24, 2022 00:50:37
Episode Cover

53. Innovation at the Edge

In today’s interview, Senior Leaders and Soldiers discuss how the Army is successfully harnessing its disruptive thinkers to cultivate innovation at the tactical level. The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview: The 3rd Infantry Division’s The Marne Think Tank, the 101st Airborne Division’s EAGLEWERX, and the 18th Airborne Corps’ Dragon’s Lair are leading the U.S. Army’s efforts to crowd-source innovative ideas from every echelon of the force. While innovation tends to focus on technology, these organizations also invite creative ideas on policy, process, and quality of life.  These organizations provide opportunities for Soldiers to pitch their ideas to senior leaders, then collaborate with their peers to refine their ideas and create actionable solutions. Soldiers themselves lead their projects, developing leadership, creativity, and problem-solving skills.  Innovation requires both time and resources — the Army must dedicate specific time to innovation, particularly outside of focused technology development efforts.  This tactical-level innovation, harnessing insights from Soldiers on better ways to perform missions and duties, is often overlooked. Ideas can range from the adoption of preparedness measures for assault survivors to new methods of range scheduling, team cohesion building, and rucksack transportation.  Prerequisites for innovation include a welcoming environment and platform rather than extensive incentive structure. Soldiers already want to improve the Army – providing a positive space for them to proactively engage and collaborate on problems allows disruptive seekers to find each other and excel at innovation. The Army can cultivate its tactical innovators by fostering partnerships with academia and industry. By building a network ecosystem of interested parties, Soldiers are empowered to leverage existing technologies and processes in new ways to help solve Army problems now. Stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory for our next episode of The Convergence podcast — Crossing the Valley ...


Episode 42

September 16, 2021 00:59:29
Episode Cover

42. Global Entanglement and Multi-Reality Warfare with COL (USA-RET) Steve Banach

COL Stefan Banach (USA-Ret.) is a Distinguished Member of the 75th Ranger Regiment and served in that organization for nine years, culminating with command of the 3rd Ranger Battalion from 2001-2003. He led U.S. Army Rangers during a historic night combat parachute assault into Afghanistan on October 19, 2001, as the “spearhead” for the Global War on Terror. Steve subsequently led U.S. Army Rangers in a second combat parachute assault into Al Anbar Province in western Iraq in 2003.  He served with distinction in the United States Army from 1983 to 2010. Since then, he has provided executive consulting services to a diverse range of clients at a number of prestigious institutions.  Steve Banach also serves as the Director, Army Management Staff College, an element of Army University responsible for “igniting the leadership potential for every Army civilian.” In our interview with Steve Banach, we discussed global entanglement, multi-reality warfare, and the urgent need for a new paradigm and cognitive approach to warfare for the U.S. Army and larger Joint Force.  The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview: The U.S. military needs to develop a ‘fourth Army,’ whose form and function are capable of gaining logic from disorder. This Army will be better prepared to operate in the multi-reality, technologically integrated battlespace that is already upon us. The next war will be characterized by operations within the virtual battlespace. To prepare for this phase of warfare, the U.S. Army needs to develop new mental models to understand the vulnerabilities that arise from an increasingly interconnected world.  Such an effort should feature the development of a ‘virtual battlespace maneuver’ Our ...