On behalf of S&T, I want to thank you. On January 12, we launched the National Conversation on Homeland Security Technology and the success we have seen so far is due to all of you who have taken the time to contribute to the discussion.
I am pleased to acknowledge that since the launch, we have welcomed over 700 new people to the S&T Collaboration Community, the National Conversation’s online forum. This brings us to over 2,000 total members since we activated the community last year for the purpose of shaping our Visionary Goals. Community members span 36 U.S. states and eight other countries—China, the U.K., Japan, Canada, Germany, Australia, India, and Mexico. Over 90 questions have been posted and 23 ideas have been submitted across all active dialogues.
I encourage you to log in to check out the activity. Also as part of the National Conversation, we have engaged hundreds of people online and at roundtables, workshops, webinars, conferences, and Town Hall meetings. There is no substitute for the face-to-face interaction these opportunities provide and we are pleased to facilitate such discussions every chance we get.
What I find to be as compelling as the topics being discussed is the dynamic that is organically occurring among participants. On a variety of issues, I see people sharing their needs, information about existing capabilities, and useful insights about cultural aspects of our stakeholders—the nuances that are often unknown or overlooked. I also see people agreeing, disagreeing, validating, and challenging one another. This is exactly what we want the National Conversation to facilitate. This discussion provides us with an opportunity to learn more about the issues we are committed to addressing.
On April 6, we launched our latest discussion, the Screening at Speed Dialogue, which addresses screening for explosives, chemical and biological agents, and illegal human activity in the areas of aviation screening, facilities protection, borders and maritime security, and mass transit security. I encourage you to check out the topics and weigh in. We are also in the process of planning our next round of in-person and virtual events and plan to release confirmed dates soon.
Finally, now that some time has gone by and you have had a chance to dive in, I ask for your feedback about how to improve our National Conversation platform. How can we push the envelope further and make it even more meaningful? Please submit any suggestions you have to STIdeaScale@hq.dhs.gov.
Dr. Reginald Brothers
Under Secretary for Science and Technology