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TIPs has now assumed command of the Round 2  blackswan Task Force

                               You can also follow us to receive updates on Twitter @mmowgli.


Congratulations!  You've been selected to be a part of the elite blackswan Task Force. Your mission (if you choose to accept it) begins now.

URGENT: Round 2 Situation

On January 20, 2030 we experienced a major black swan event that shook our foundational beliefs and which caused reverberations around the world. 

In Round 1 of blackswan mmowgli, we asked you to help us think through this event by telling us what precursors may have led to it, either gradually, or suddenly, or in combination.  Collectively, you created over 5200 Idea Cards and more than 50 Action Plans

Given the significance and value of your work, the DoD Technology Innovation Preparedness (TIPs) group has asked that we extend your mission.  Round 2 expands off of your work in Round 1. Each of the Action Plans you generated in Round 1 represents a potential Black Swan. We need your help coming up with ideas for future technologies that will better prepare us should one of these potential Black Swans occur. We will do this within two distinct, but complementary frameworks:   

  • Anticipation: What future technology might allow us to better arm ourselves with insight and foresight about a given Round 1 black swan?
  • Antifragility: What future technology might position us to be antifragile to a given Round 1 black swan event?

Technology and Innovation Preparedness (TIPs)

Headed by General Allman, the Technology and Innovation Prepareness (TIPs) group is technology centric; however, the President has requested expansion of TIPs personnel beyond those with a technology focus.  Therefore, TIPs is assembling a Task Force drawn from all walks of life. You do not need to be a technology expert to contribute.  You may be the one person who provides the glimmer of a new idea, which others carry to fruition. Or you may be the one person whose experience solving analogous challenges from elsewhere in your life becomes the basis for new thinking in DoD. Simply by playing what you know, and building collaboratively off of what others know, you become an extension of our own imagination.

General Allman has asked me to pass along the following resources to help you get ready:

Round 1 Situation: 20-27 January

Black swan events have rare probability and high impact, making them impossible to predict. Can we anticipate and prepare for the unpredictable?

The year is 2030, and the world has just experienced a major black swan event.  At this point, we know very little about the events that have just transpired, but we do know that the world will never be the same.  At a foundational level, our core assumptions about the world have been violated and turned on their head. Though the events occurred in the United States, the ramifications have been felt around the globe.  

There is no doubt that these events will have a major impact on the future of not only the United States, but the world as a whole.  Our resilience in the face of adversity will be the single strongest factor in our ability to recover and move on to a more robust future.  It is clear that together we could have never imagined anything like this occuring, and in the aftermath we are still trying to make sense of what happened. 

Read the Round 1 Mission Brief from Secretary Jensen

Watch the Call to Action video from Round 1

Blackswan Task Force

Under Executive Order 12814, the President has established an international task force comprised of the brightest thinkers to help us understand how these recent events could have occurred. Each memeber of this team was chosen based on a special area of knowledge, experience or skillset.  Collectively, the intellectual capital of the task force will help us to determine what just happened.

It is critical that we abandon our old mental models as they have failed us thus far. Instead, we look to works like those by Joshua Cooper Ramo who suggests that our world today resembles a sandpile.  Like grains of sand building up over time, factors in place for decades have come into contact with emergent forces bursting onto the scene overnight. In order to understand the events that have just transpired, we need to identify those elements in the sandpile that have unfolded gradually and sprouted up overnight.

Individually we cannot accomplish this task. We need you to work together to create new thoughts and innovative ideas to understand what happened.  The future of our well being depends on it.

mmowgli platform

Due to a breach in security of Camp Webb, the Blackswan Task Force will utilize the mmowgli platform.  mmowgli is a messaged based innovation engine that runs via the web.  The platform is asynchronous allowing us the freedom and safety to contribute from our respective locations. 

How it Works

To begin your mission, you'll need to register a game account with the game name of your choice. Once you've signed into the game, watch the Call to Action video.  It provides you with your mission.  Next, you're ready to collaborate with others by playing Idea Cards.  Idea Cards are short, 140 character or less text that allow other players to build off of your idea and collaborate.  Other task force members can respond in one of four ways to an idea card: expand, explore, counter and adapt.

Together, Idea Cards from all the Task Force members will create idea chains, and a conversation will begin to emerge.  Points are accumulated not by how many idea cards and individual plays but by the number of responses from others to your particular idea. As a result, Task Force leaders will emerge during the course of this exercise

Towards the end of your mission, you'll need to "put it all together" to tell us what you think just happened. To do so you'll want to create an Action Plan.  Action Plans are the who, what, why, when and how of your idea.  Remember, we're harvisting the knowledge of the collective, so you'll want to invite other players to be co-authors of your Action Plan.   In this space you can "talk it over" with fellow authors and even add videos and images to bring your ideas to life.   The "best of the best" Action Plans will be sent to higher headquarters for consideration after the completion of your mission.

The Blog: Task Force Line of Communication

Daily mission updates and information will be provided to Task Force members via the blackswan mmowgli blog. If you are signed into the mmowgli game, you'll know when the blog has been updated via the blog headline. Otherwise, please go directly to our blackswan mmowgli blog for updates.

Game Masters: Task Force support staff & leadership

In order to safely communicate with members of the blackswan Task Force, support staff and leadership have assumed game aliases to provide feedback on ideas and highlight emerging themes.  Game Masters, as they are referred to, can be identified by their game names which take on the format gm_firstname.

Trouble Reports: Your lifeline to mmowgli platform administrators

If at any time you are experiencing difficulty with the mmowgli platform, please fill out a Trouble Report describing your issue.  

Mission Critical Resources

Below, we've provided you with some additional resources to get you thinking about black swans and new mental models. Feel free to incorporate them into your Idea Cards and Action Plans.  You may just be rewareded for doing so!

  • Joshua Ramo's The Age of the Unthinkable

The Need to Adapt Quickly, in Joshua Cooper Ramon's 'Age of the Unthinkable'

Joshua Cooper Ramo-Wikipedia

The Age of the Unthinkable Summary-Dr. Jack Kem, CGSC

The Age of the Unthinkable-YouTube Video

  • Nassim Taleb's Black Swan

Nassim Taleb- Home & Professional Page

Black Swan Theory-Wikipedia

Nassim Nicholas Taleb-Wikipedia

Nassim Taleb: The Future Will Not Be