Simon Everett, Ltd.

Simon Everett is an analytic design firm. We structure and implement analytic engagements to help government agencies, businesses, and non-profits solve problems, large and small. Whether our clients seek to create capabilities, improve processes, or inform decisions, we offer the proven ability to address their needs. Our consultative approach blends analytic agility with interdisciplinary expertise to produce functionally and aesthetically impactful results. We are successful when our clients tell us they can achieve better outcomes.

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Projecting the future can be a thankless task – not because you might get it wrong, but because someone might mistakenly think you’re expecting to get it right. In our business, it’s worth understanding the difference between the art & science of “projection” (for the sake of being prepared for what may come) and the magic 8-ball of “prediction” (for the sake of bragging about your Super Bowl pick).

Happily for the security of America and its allies, many US Department of Defense (DoD) organizations recognize the value of projecting how drivers may advance in the coming years so that they can prepare for a range of potential outcomes and stand ready to meet future challenges. In support of one such defense client, we recently teamed with prime contractor Barbaricum, LLC, to develop a suite of scenarios that explore how certain technologies might be employed by friendly forces, adversaries, civilian populations, and private organizations throughout Latin America over the next fifteen years. Barbaricum’s cadre of experienced military professionals, technology subject matter experts (SMEs), and regional specialists provided the “science” part of the equation. We tended to the “art” of designing structured exercises through which to elicit SME insights, constructing creative settings for the application of specified technologies, and developing compelling narratives to present potential outcomes and implications for DoD planners.

The resulting product may serve as a common framework for consideration of future force structure needs, recruitment strategies, training requirements, and capability gaps in a region that is traditionally underserved in the field of security studies. Each of these long-range planning aspects will undoubtedly be impacted by the rapid advance of technology – and this framework will help DoD better prepare for a complex future.

We’re proud of our projections and are working with Barbaricum to provide further support to our defense client. As for predictions, my season-opening call for Super Bowl LI was Steelers vs. Seahawks; outlook not so good.


Still waiting for our hoverboards

Simon Everett is pleased to be supporting the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation (VT-ARC) in assessing science and technology trends that will shape the future. On behalf of a Department of Defense client, we are prioritizing the most impactful technologies in order to develop a scenario that challenges prevailing assumptions about how political, military, economic, and social drivers will interact with technology to affect the operational environment. This project has already enabled us to develop a structured analytic framework for addressing an inherently speculative challenge, and we look forward to working with VT-ARC to assess the implications of emerging technologies for the military.

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On March 25th, Dan and I participated in the third and final workshop in the “Defense Technology Innovation” series coordinated by the Center for 21st Century Security & Intelligence (21CSI) at the Brookings Institution. At 21CSI, Ian Wallace and Peter Singer are exploring how DoD can better “spin in” information technologies. Representatives from the private, public, and non-profit sectors discussed challenges to effective technology acquisition and opportunities to promote reform. We don’t want to “scoop” Brookings by sharing any of the takeaways in advance of its forthcoming report, but we found the exchange to be encouragingly objective – viewing the issue from the perspective of both industry and government – and grounded in realistic considerations of cost, risk, and potentially conflicting incentives inherent to the acquisition process. We look forward to continuing to work with 21CSI on addressing this persistent challenge.

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