The Conclave's second day commenced with Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff, India, addressing "Indo-Pacific Challenges and Way Ahead." Admiral Kumar highlighted the region's complexities on four fronts—Geography, International Relations, Security, and Trade Relations. Emphasizing the dynamic maritime landscape, he underscored the need for collaborative solutions to address contested seas and security challenges. Asserting the Bhartiya Nava Sena's role, he concluded, "Holistic maritime security requires cooperation and collaboration, finding regional solutions for regional problems."
Mr. Tobby Simon, Founder and President of Synergia Foundation, underscored the critical challenges shaping our future, ranging from geopolitical conflicts and nuclear threats to evolving technologies and their security implications. The ongoing Synergia Conclave, a global gathering of approximately 150 participants, serves as a flagship event dedicated to addressing these challenges. Simon emphasized the foundation's commitment to non-partisan dialogue, providing talk leadership, and shaping solutions for complex issues through interdisciplinary thinking. The focus is now on leveraging advanced technology as a diplomatic tool, with the next edition aiming to introduce groundbreaking concepts on technology collaboration and amplification.
In the 4thsession of the Synergia Conclave, dedicated to "Global Future Security Challenges," General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Defense Staff, India, outlined crucial aspects of the evolving global security landscape. He emphasized that two driving forces for future security challenges are the ongoing unprecedented changes in global geopolitics and the transformative impact of technology. General Chauhan highlighted the diminishing influence of traditional diplomatic norms, citing conflicts in Afghanistan, Iran, and Ukraine as examples. The session underscored the strain on global supply chains induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting sectors like food, energy, and technology. Beyond interstate competition, contemporary security challenges encompassed pandemics, biological threats, cyber threats, trans-national terrorism, and nuclear threats. An insightful prediction was made about a shift towards newer alliances and partnerships, resulting in a multipolar global order with polycentric competition. General Chauhan also stressed the race for technological supremacy and the emergence of convergent warfare. In conclusion, he emphasized the need for flexibility and adaptability in armed forces' organizational structures and mindsets to effectively navigate the evolving geopolitical landscape.
In the 6th session of the 9th Synergia Conclave, the discussion on "Global Futures 2035" featured eminent speakers including Ambassador P S Raghavan, Chairman of the National Security Advisory Board, India, Mr Andrei Kourtunov, Director General of Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Moscow, Mr Mats Karlsson, Former Vice-President of the World Bank, Mr Nobuo Tanaka, Former Executive Director Emeritus of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Dr K Radhakrishnan, Former Chairman of ISRO, and Paul Revay, Former Director of the Trilateral Commission, European Union (EU). The panel explored plausible alternative futures, emphasizing the importance of understanding mega and macro trends across various sectors. Ambassador Raghavan highlighted the significance of regional geopolitics and the role of technology in shaping international influence. Mr. Kourtunov proposed a "bottom-up" approach to address global challenges, emphasizing the need for new world order strategies. Mats Karlsson discussed economic narratives, linking global goals to justice-informed social contracts. Mr. Nobuo Tanaka focused on energy security challenges and the imperative of collaborative efforts for net-zero emissions. Dr. Radhakrishnan delved into the Age of AI, emphasizing dynamic policymaking for equitable technological expansion. Paul Revay concluded the session, addressing diverse security risks, the need for strengthened defense, and enhanced economic cooperation.
In Session 8 of the Synergia Conclave, Major General Chris Smith, Deputy Commanding General (Strategy and Plans) for the U.S. Army Pacific, explored "AI and Advanced Ops for Military Communication." He discussed the impact of AI generative tools on predicting geopolitical and security insights, highlighting the transformative nature of technology in warfare since the 1990s. Major General Smith scrutinized the integration of technology systems in conflict zones, citing examples like Ukraine. He cautioned against flawed assumptions about the complexity of warfare and discussed the risks associated with overreliance on advanced computing for decision-making by military commanders.
As the Synergia Conclave 2023 approaches its third and final day tomorrow, anticipation grows for in-depth discussions on pivotal topics. The upcoming sessions will cover crucial subjects like "Aligning Technologies to Future Conflicts," "Deep Technology and Long-Term Goals," "Aerospace & Defense," "Future of Technology," "Global Strategic Trends – The Future starts today," "Advanced Technology and Tech Diplomacy," and a "Round Table on AI." These discussions aim to conclude the Conclave with a comprehensive exploration of cutting-edge advancements and strategic considerations for the future.