It is folly to underestimate the power of informal networks.
The Defense Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF), also referred to as the Virtuous Insurgency, is an organization that was started to disrupt the status quo within DoD. Over the years it has grown into an amorphous, broad reaching network that has drawn members from sectors as diverse as AI, green tech, policy, DoD, NGOs to the start-up ecosystem. The common uniting factor and rallying cry of this seemingly disparate cohort — serving side by side to positively impact a more innovative culture within the National Security landscape.
There was a time around 2009 when organizations like The Sandbox Network, The Nexus Global community and Summit Series began to reshape the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The idea was simple and very much like YPO - bring incredibly creative humans physically together to generate unique collective community capacity. Being affiliated with these sorts of networks provided a level of vetting, afforded exposure to unique collaborations and opportunities and provided a sense of belonging and identity. These efforts tended to draw optimistic individuals and organizations that were interested in serving the community vs. simply extracting value from the network. These efforts, in large part, helped to reshape norms around collaboration and transaction behavior. The Defense Entrepreneurs Forum is doing the same in the National Security arena.......
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