Small Wars Journal

Mad Scientist Initiative Call for Ideas: Installations of the Future

Mad Scientist Initiative Call for Ideas: Installations of the Future

Due:  15 March 2018

Our Future Army will require Smart Installations that are resilient to disruptions and perform as strategic support areas, critical to multi-domain battle and capable of operating as a “smart city.’’  As we continue evolving from the Internet of Things (IoT) to the Internet of Everything (IoE), future installations will no longer be the sanctuaries they once were.  Emerging threat vectors from social media, cyber-attacks, information operations, and technology applications will exacerbate unconventional warfare.  Multiple factors will change the dynamic of how installations operate and project force in the Operational Environment (OE) of 2050.

How Do I Contribute?

We want your ideas!  The Mad Scientist Initiative uses storytelling and crowdsourcing to imagine potential futures.  Choose your creative methods:

(1) Researched Topics (see topics of interest, below)

(2) “A Soldier’s Letter Home from Garrison”

You can share your ideas by submitting papers, artwork, videos, and games.

The following are writing prompts and should not limit your imagination and creativity:

Considering Major Global Trends: demographics, urbanization, climate change, robotics, artificial intelligence, big data and analytics, technology, and increased human performance

Prompt 1:  How will the Soldier of 2050 live, train, and deploy/fight from these Smart Installations?

Prompt 2:  Soldiers’ letters home have been a window into warfare for hundreds of years.  How will Soldiers describe garrison life to their loved ones in 2050?

Prompt 3:  How will Recruiters in 2050 describe a smart installation to promote the Army profession and culture to teenagers?

Prompt 4:  What will a “day in the life” of the garrison commander of 2050 look like?

Prompt 5: What role will installation’s play in “fighting” through the obstacles of cyber and information warfare, and to conduct battles from our bases?

Best Ideas

  • Publication in a military or academic journal
  • Invited to speak at a Mad Scientist Conference
  • Mad Scientist SWAG


  • Submissions must be unclassified, unpublished, and cleared by your public affairs office and operations security managers (USG & as applicable).
  • Research papers:  max 5000 words/12 point font.
  • “A Soldier’s Letter from Garrison” – max 2000 words/12 point font; video length max 5 minutes.

Topics of Interest

  • Current / emerging threat vectors facing installations
  • “Smart City” opportunities born of technology
  • Installations as Initial Maneuver Platforms
  • Enhanced warfighter readiness through synthetic training and brain “gyms”

Send submissions to:

About Us

  • Mad Scientist is a U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Community of Action that continually explores the future of armed conflict through collaborative partnerships.
  • This Community shapes the Army’s view of future multi-domain operations & perspectives on the future OE.
  • Mad Scientist helps the Army continuously learn, anticipate, innovate, and engage broadly for more creative problem solving. 

Why Contribute? 

Connects you to a vibrant group of innovators.

Provides opportunity to attend and present at future Mad Scientist events.

Offers a vehicle for you to influence how the future Army will fight.

Improves your future readiness.

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