A Roadmap On The Geopolitical Impact Of Emerging Technologies By Chuck Brooks And Dr. David Bray


Earlier this summer, the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center published a new bipartisan report of Commission on the Geopolitical Impacts of New Technologies and Data (www.atlanticcouncil.org/geotechreport).  Fourteen months in the making, the bipartisan recommendations highlight that the technological revolution is advancing at such speed and enormity that it is reshaping both societies globally and the geopolitical landscape.

We are now entering a new era of emerging “connected” technologies that blend engineering, computing algorithms, and culture. Along with connected computing comes new capabilities enabled by machine learning and artificial intelligence. This technology convergence will be immensely impactful. Human/computer interface will extend our human brain capacities, memories, and capabilities, and that the power of computing doubles, on average, every two years. These connected technology tools can be stepping-stones to a new world in diverse areas such as genetic engineering, augmented reality, robotics, renewable energies, big data, digital security, quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

If you think about the transformative role that technology is already playing in our lives, it is easy to envision how emerging technologies can proceed in effecting societal change. We are in the early stages of profound technological innovation – namely the digital revolution, the Internet of Things, health and medicine, and manufacturing. It is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of scientific and technological advancements that will change the human condition. Incredibly, technology continues to evolve at a pace we could not have envisioned even two decades ago, and these advancements can greatly improve our lives if we harness them properly.

The GeoTech Commission Report poignantly states that “the world must now start to understand how technology and data interact with society and how to implement solutions that address these challenges and grasp these opportunities.”  For example, data analytics has the potential to improve healthcare by identifying the best pathways in treatments and administration of patient medicines, as well as predicting the spread of the flu. In commerce and trade, data analytics can predict when and what consumers are buying. The mathematical applications used in analyzing large data sets can be used to predict societal change at almost every level of human interaction.

Collaboration is Key:

A thematic takeaway from the Commission co-chaired by John Goodman and Teresa Carlson was the urgent need for collaboration and that “governments, industries and other stakeholders must work together to remain economically competitive, sustain social welfare and public safety, protect human rights and democratic processes, and preserve global peace and stability.”

Success in these cooperative public private partnerships is dependent on information sharing, planning, investment in emerging technologies, and allocation of resources coordinated by both the public and private sectors in special working partnerships. 

The result of such collaboration will both keep us apprised of new paradigms and contribute to a seismic shift in breakthrough discoveries. Such cooperation could speed up the realization of the next industrial revolution and bring benefits beyond our expectations.

Emerging Technologies for Public/Private Partnerships:

Technologies can impact society across many industry verticals. For example

Health & Medicine

* Health- Implantable devices, (bionic eyes, limbs)

* DNA nanomedicines

* Genomic techniques – gene therapy (Gene therapy to enhance strength, endurance and lifespan Gene therapy to enhance human intelligence

* Remote sensing tech (Wearables)

* Medicine for longevity, enhancement

* Real-time biomarker tracking and monitoring

* Artificially grown organ

* Human regeneration Human cells interfaced with nanotech

* Cybernetics

* Exoskeletons for mobility

* Telemedicine


* Sustainability of infrastructure

* Converged transportation ecosystems and monitoring

* Autonomous and connected cars

* Predictive analytics (parking, traffic patterns)

*  Smart Cities 

Energy & Environment:

* New Materials for stronger construction and resilience

* Solar power

* Converting waste to biofuels

* Protecting the Electrical Grid

* Batteries (long lasting)

* Renewables

* Energy efficiency.

* Instrumenting the planet to respond to crises faster

Public Safety: 

 * Instrumenting the planet to respond to crises faster

* Better situational awareness for emergency management (chemical and bio sensors, cameras, drones)

* License plate readers

* Non-lethal public safety technologies

* Advanced forensics, both physical and digital

* Interoperable and secure communications

Please also see: GovCon Expert Chuck Brooks: A Guide to Emerging Technologies Impacting Government in 2021 and Beyond GovCon Expert Chuck Brooks: A Guide for Emerging Technologies Impacting Government in 2021 and Beyond – GovCon WireFour Emerging Technology Areas Impacting Industry 4.0 Advanced Computing, Artificial intelligence, Big Data & Materials Science — COGNITIVE WORLD

In the GeoTech Commission report there are several areas of specialized cooperation that get attention, including two of the biggest threats that society faces today, pandemics, and cyber-attacks.

Mitigating Pandemics:

As we are now acutely aware of the implications of a global pandemic from Covid19, The Commission suggested that “government should launch a global pandemic surveillance and warning system and develop “rapid” and automated treatments for unknown pathogens. It should also build a digital infrastructure that includes, among other systems, “emerging biosensors and autonomous sequencers deployed in water systems, air filtration systems and other public infrastructure—to integrate their diverse data for analysis and modeling with protocols for activating rapid analysis of new pathogens, including new strains of extant pathogens to evaluate ongoing vaccine efficacy,”

Implementing Cybersecurity:

Cybersecurity is a big focus area of the report. Cybersecurity, information assurance, and resilience are the glues that will keep our world of converged sensors and algorithms operational. This has become one of the largest areas of both public and private sector spending and is consistently ranked the top priority among CIOs, CTOs, and CISOs. 

The commission urged for strengthening the National Cyber Strategy Implementation Plan, developing a geopolitical cyber deterrence strategy for critical digital assets and hardening the security of commercial space capabilities. To advance security, the government should increase its oversight of supply chain assurance, organize data on critical resources, and with allied partners, evaluate the physical and digital information technology supply chain.”

Furthermore, the report highlighted that “Governments, especially democratic governments, must work to build and sustain the trust in the algorithms, infrastructures and systems that could underpin society,” the commission noted. “The world must now start to understand how technology and data interact with society and how to implement solutions that address these challenges and grasp these opportunities. Maintaining both economic and national security and resiliency requires new ways to develop and deploy critical and emerging technologies, cultivate the needed human capital, build trust in the digital fabric with which our world will be woven and establish norms for international cooperation.”

We have entered a new renaissance of accelerated technological development that is exponentially transforming our civilization. Yet with these benefits come risks. The Atlantic Council Commission Report provides a working roadmap on the Geopolitical Impact of emerging technology and the correct paths to follow.

Please see the Report of the Commission on the Geopolitical Impacts of New Technologies and Data at Report of the Commission on the Geopolitical Impacts of New Technologies and Data – Atlantic Council

Dr. David A. Bray has served in a variety of leadership roles in turbulent environments, including bioterrorism preparedness and response from 2000-2005, time on the ground in Afghanistan in 2009, serving as the non-partisan Executive Director for a bipartisan National Commission on R&D, and providing leadership as a non-partisan federal agency Senior Executive. He accepted a leadership role in December 2019 to incubate a new global Center with the Atlantic Council.

David also provides strategy to both Boards and start-ups espousing human-centric principles to technology-enabled decision making in complex environments. Business Insider named him one of the top “24 Americans Who Are Changing the World” under 40 and he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum for 2016-2021. From 2017 to the start of 2020, David served as Executive Director for the People-Centered Internet coalition Chaired by Internet co-originator Vint Cerf, focused on providing support and expertise for community-focused projects that measurably improve people’s lives using the internet. He also was named a Marshall Memorial Fellow and traveled to Europe in 2018 to discuss Trans-Atlantic issues of common concern including exponential technologies and the global future ahead. Later in 2018, he was invited to work with the U.S. Navy and Marines on improving organizational adaptability and to work with U.S. Special Operation Command’s J5 Directorate on the challenges of countering misinformation and disinformation online. He has received both the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award and the National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal.

Dr. David Bray LinkedIn Profile: 

AC GeoTech Center on Twitter:  @ACGeoTech

Chuck Brooks, President of Brooks Consulting International, is a globally recognized thought leader and subject matter expert Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies. LinkedIn named Chuck as one of “The Top 5 Tech People to Follow on LinkedIn.” He was named by Thompson Reuters as a “Top 50 Global Influencer in Risk, Compliance,” and by IFSEC as the “#2 Global Cybersecurity Influencer.” He was featured in the 2020 Onalytica “Who’s Who in Cybersecurity” – as one of the top Influencers for cybersecurity issues. He was also named one of the Top 5 Executives to Follow on Cybersecurity by Executive Mosaic. He is also a Cybersecurity Expert for “The Network” at the Washington Post, Visiting Editor at Homeland Security Today, Expert for Executive Mosaic/GovCon, and a Contributor to FORBES. He has also been featured author in technology and cybersecurity blogs & events by IBM, AT&T, Microsoft, Cylance, Xerox, Malwarebytes, General Dynamics Mission Systems, and many others.

Chuck is on the Faculty of Georgetown University where he teaches in the Graduate Applied Intelligence and Cybersecurity Risk Programs. In government, Chuck was a “plank holder” at The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) serving as the first Legislative Director of The Science & Technology Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security. He served as a top Advisor to the late Senator Arlen Specter on Capitol Hill covering security and technology issues on Capitol Hill. He has an M.A from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from DePauw University

Chuck Brooks LinkedIn Profile: 

Chuck Brooks on Twitter:  @ChuckDBrooks

LinkedinChuck Brooks – Adjunct Professor – Georgetown University | LinkedIn

LinkedinDavid Bray, PhD – Founder & Inaugural Director @New Global Center, ExecDir for the GeoTech Commission – Atlantic Council | LinkedIn

Atlantic CouncilReport of the Commission on the Geopolitical Impacts of New Technologies and Data