Log in
Log in

The Institute for Regional Security

  • Home
  • Future Strategic Leaders Congress: The rise of complex autonomous systems: current challenges for national security policymakers

Future Strategic Leaders Congress: The rise of complex autonomous systems: current challenges for national security policymakers

  • 18 May 2018
  • 5:00 PM
  • 20 May 2018
  • 1:00 PM
  • ANU Kioloa Coastal Campus (about 30 min north of Batemans Bay)


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:
  • For inquiries about reserved places for Defence, PM&C, AGD, DFAT, DIBP and Treasury please contact IFRS
  • For Governor, Chairman's Circle and Standard membership levels
  • Individuals and Future strategic Leaders Membership
  • Government and Corporate Members

Registration is closed

We have entered an era where complex autonomous systems are undertaking an increasing range of tasks previously performed by humans, with implications for the economy, society and individual. This Congress will explore the strategic national security consequences of complex autonomous systems, such as unmanned aerial vehicles. There are clear opportunities to capitalise on these developments to gain a capability edge and/or efficiencies across the national security community, including in the military, law enforcement, border control, intelligence collection and disaster management. But there are fundamental moral and ethical considerations in respect of non-human systems taking on certain roles, particularly around issues of decision-making with lethal consequences. Issues of cyber security are also paramount noting the possibility that nefarious actors like criminal gangs and terrorist organisations may exploit such technologies.

Australia must not wait to grapple with serious questions about what rapid advances in such systems might mean for society and the economy in the long-term. How can Australia employ and develop new technologies to enhance its national security capabilities and outcomes? What are the ethical considerations for Government and society about autonomous systems, particularly where there is the potential to use lethal force? How do we work with the international community to establish norms and build trust around such technologies? What are the diplomatic and strategic implications of using autonomous systems in the context of war? How can Australia protect autonomous systems from compromise by nefarious actors? These are just some of the key questions this Congress will consider.

The Congress will provide Australia’s future strategic leaders with an introduction to the core skills necessary for working in the strategic environment, including:

  • Strategic thinking – making the connections between operational and strategic outcomes
  • Writing for national security – presenting information for decision making
  • Negotiation and facilitation skills – working in groups and solving problems

Early to mid-Career members of the national security community, those currently studying in the field and those who aspire to join the national security community.

The Congress operates strictly under the Chatham House Rule.  Participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

Tickets Venue and timing
Individuals: $550
IFRS Financial Members: $490
Full time civilian student: $250 (limited places due to being heavily subsidised)
Linen pack: $25 (optional)

Costs include all meals, accommodation onsite and course materials. 

Location: ANU Coastal Campus, Kioloa, NSW South Coast (about 30 min drive north of Bateman's Bay)

Date and Times: From 5pm Friday 18th to 1pm Sunday 20 May 2018

Accommodation is shared student accommodation – it is basic but comfortable

Refunds and cancellations - full refunds will be offered until Friday 11 May (when final numbers are given).  Any unpaid registrations on this date will be cancelled unless a prior arrangement has been made.

Dress: Casual

Places can fill quickly – Contact the IFRS office to reserve your spots in advance.
T: 02 6295 1555



The Future Strategic Leaders’ Congresses are proudly sponsored by the Australian Department of Defence and the Noetic Group

Promoting Regional Security & Prosperity

© Institute for Regional Security Ltd 

Powered by Wild Apricot. Try our all-in-one platform for easy membership management