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GKC Overview

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Gordian Knot is a metaphor for an intractable problem. Today, the United States is facing many seemingly intractable national security problems, from great power competition to climate change, simultaneously.

We intend to help solve them in Stanford’s Gordian Knot Center for National Security Innovation.

Our motto of penitus cogitare, cito agere, think deeply, act quickly, embraces our unique intersection of deep problem understanding, combined with rapid solutions. The Center combines six unique strengths of Stanford and its location in Silicon Valley:  

  1. The insights and expertise of Stanford international and national security policy leaders
  2. The technology insights and expertise of Stanford Engineering
  3. Exceptional students willing to help the country win the Great Power Competition  
  4. Silicon Valley’s deep technology ecosystem
  5. Our experience in rapid problem understanding, rapid iteration and deployment of solutions with speed and urgency
  6. Access to risk capital at scale

Our focus matches our motto. We’re going to coordinate resources at Stanford and peer universities, and across Silicon Valley’s innovation ecosystem to:

  1. Scale national security innovation education
  2. Train national security innovators
  3. Offer insight, integration, and policy outreach
  4. Provide a continual output of minimal viable products that can act as catalysts for solutions to the toughest problems
The Gordian Knot Center for National Security Innovation is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research