National Security Innovation Education
Addressing the array of challenges facing the Navy, DoD, and broader national security community demands unprecedented imagination and creativity.
The Gordian Knot Center leverages the strengths of Stanford’s education system and Silicon Valley’s culture of innovation to tackle these problems by offering courses related to technology, innovation, and national security. GKC will build upon classes currently taught at Stanford developed and taught by GKC affiliated faculty.
Technology, Innovation, and Great Power Competition
This class examines how advances in technologies like computing power, semiconductors, AI/machine learning, autonomy, space, and cyber are at the core of 21st century great power competition. These technological advances are driving the deployment of new military and broader national security relevant technologies, as well as novel operational concepts, organization structures, and strategies.
(2022 Instructors: Joseph Felter, Steve Blank, Raj Shah)
Hacking for Defense: Solving National Security Issues with the Lean Launchpad
In a crisis, national security initiatives move at the speed of a startup yet in peacetime they default to decades-long acquisition and procurement cycles. Startups operate with continual speed and urgency 24/7. Over the last few years they've learned how to be not only fast, but also extremely efficient with resources and time using Lean startup methodologies. In this class student teams will take actual national security problems and learn how to apply Lean startup principles, ("business model canvas," "customer development," and "agile engineering) to discover and validate customer needs and to continually build iterative prototypes to test whether they understood the problem and solution. Teams take a hands-on approach requiring close engagement with actual military, Department of Defense, and other government agency end-users and conclude by briefing their results to actual DoD stakeholders.
(2023 Instructors: Steve Blank, Joseph Felter, Steve Weinstein)
Read More About GKC Classes
Student Startups Get DOD Tech Like Ukraine-Tracking Satellite
‘Hacking for Defense’ class has DOD needs on syllabus
January 31, 2023
Stanford Students Pitch Solutions to U.S. National Security Challenges to Government Officials and Technology Experts
In the class “Technology, Innovation, and Great Power Competition,” students across disciplines work in teams and propose their detailed solutions to active stakeholders.
January 11, 2023
In this popular Stanford class, students build tech for the military
As the Pentagon looks to Silicon Valley to help solve the U.S.’s biggest defense challenges, the Hacking for Defense class aims to mint a new wave of defense tech startups.
November 02, 2021
'Hacking for Defense' students team with Army to improve casualty care triage
At Stanford University in California, a group of college students huddle around a table to brainstorm potential solutions to some of the Department of Defense's most complicated pr
September 08, 2017
New Stanford class targets U.S. national security problems with Silicon Valley-style innovation
Student teams at Stanford use "lean launch pad" startup methodology to innovate at speed and find technological solutions for critical challenges facing America’s defense and intel
May 05, 2016