ASPI-Education: what do you need?
22 Aug 2016|

Image courtesy of Flickr user Ludwig

Regular readers of The Strategist might note that I’ve been absent from its pages for a while. That’s because I’ve been focusing on a new initiative, ASPI-Education.

We’ve started ASPI-Ed for two reasons. First, because we see tailored education as another way of fulfilling our charter responsibility to promote strategic thinking; and second because it provides us with another way of promoting our research.

We think both are important and will make a real contribution to the level of debate about national security in Australia.

Our focus in ASPI-Ed courses is on enhancing the judgement of our participants. We want to help our participants think problems through, develop alternatives, analyse options and provide sound and clear advice. We aim to make the learning on each course instantly useful in the workplace.

We’re not exactly new to this game. We’ve been running the Better Policy program for the Department of Defence since 2014, and the Defence Graduates Seminar since 2013. Of course, we’ve also conducted different seminar wargames and roundtables that have added to the stock of our capabilities here.

One of those capabilities is a distinctive pedagogical approach. We create educational experiences that put our participants in work-like situations, and use these as opportunities to apply knowledge and develop new skills. That creates a dynamic, interactive environment for our participants (and our facilitators)—as far as possible from ‘chalk and talk’ as we can get.

We’re about to offer our first new course, which I’ve developed along with Richard King of Thinking in Organisations. ‘Creative Thinking for Better Policy’ is a half day, small group workshop that will apply creative thinking tools to practical problems. Registrations are now open—and if you’d like more information, please email me.

What’s next? We’ll develop some new thinking skills workshops over the next year—these are logical flow-ons from Better Policy. We’re also developing some specialised programs for security managers and policy officers in other areas.

We’re also interested in hearing what ASPI might be able to do for your organisation. If you’d like to talk, please email me direct.

ASPI-Ed will use its skilled staff, unique research base and experience to create learning experiences that will promote better thinking and policy analysis.