As many of you may know, this year has served as our inaugural venture toward bringing together multiple stakeholders through the National Conversation on Homeland Security Technology. This community-wide discussion is just one of a suite of S&T initiatives to engage public safety and homeland security professionals, industry, and citizens.
As momentum builds, we are finding the conversation is defining itself as a broad opportunity for encouraging stakeholder input and discussion on efforts far beyond the mere validation of S&T’s Visionary Goals. The National Conversation is becoming a go-to mechanism for all of us to level-set on where homeland security is today, where it could be, and where we should all set our sights for the future.
Our original line-up of 2015 dialogues involves issues around: 1) the Responder of the Future, 2) Enable the Decision Maker, 3) Screening at Speed, 4) A Trusted Cyber Future, and 5) Resilience Communities. As we continue along this path, I am pleased to announce we will introduce additional dialogues over the course of the next few months on the following topics:
- The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF)—How can the new NBAF laboratory in Kansas drive a community-wide joining of forces to protect our nation’s agricultural resources?
- National Critical Infrastructure Sustainability and Resilience—What innovative approaches, practices, and systems are being explored or implemented in your community to help maintain the safety and sustainability of key services that keep our daily needs met?
- Securing International Air Travel—How can we best apply innovative technologies and processes in order to keep travelers safe and secure while also easing the traveler experience?
The release dates for the new dialogues will be announced soon. But what’s right around the corner? On May 18, we will launch the dialogue, A Trusted Cyber Future. Stay tuned and get ready!
Last but not least, I wanted to highlight that the National Conversation is connecting the community in exciting ways! On the topic of “wearables,” alone, I have seen a practitioner reach out to a solutions developer to offer up testing support, and I have seen participants exchange contact information for subject matter experts on specific issues such as how to best analyze potential health issues in our responders.
These interactions exemplify the spirit in which we started the National Conversation—it’s a forum for idea exchange, a channel through which to impart knowledge, a gathering place for people who want to expand their networks. It’s also a mechanism for reaching out and obtaining crucial information we need to do our jobs well. Keep participating and thank you for helping us mold this effort into something that will serve us all.