Technology, ideology and even the weather has made the world a far different place than it was just a few years ago. Business owners, their employees and their families face risks they never did before.
Malicious activities online by foreign states no longer threaten only government agencies – civilians are recognized as softer targets. That cool drone and VR tech on your holiday shopping list is the perfect platform for a terrorist attack by air. Extremism is changing where people choose to vacation and how businesses choose to invest overseas.
These various threats don’t exist in silos. They increasingly cross over with one another.
“The threat landscape has shifted dramatically in the past four years – we have a lot more exigent and emerging cross-vertical threats,” said R. Michael Martin, CEO of Valley Associates Global Security Corp.
Take, for example, drone technology. It poses risks to public safety as a delivery platform for “flying landmines” and to aircraft when operators who don’t know better fly them too close to an airport.
Or local law enforcement. The traditional emphasis on training to handle civil disobedience and riot situations now includes how to manage the safety and security of large numbers of people at a public event in a terrorism or active shooter scenario.
A first for Canada … in Ottawa
That’s why Martin and others have created Ottawa’s, and Canada’s, first high-level forum and conference that will examine these diverse threats together as part of one Big Picture.
Co-organized with the University of Ottawa’s Security and Policy Institute of Professional Development (SPI) the Readiness and Resilience in the Age of Disruption conference will bring together business leaders, law enforcement, and public and private security practitioners, Feb. 27-28.
Everything is on the agenda, from natural disasters and cyber disruptions to migration crises, terrorism, random acts of violence, and the impact of emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence.
This is a substantial departure from the typical defense or security conference which has a sector focus on just the military/defence, or the cybersecurity, or the disaster response, or the policing sides of this equation, added Martin.
“This is a complex matrix with many layers and interconnected effectors that need to be addressed,” he said. “We want to identify the gaps and provide some paths to solutions.”
Experts from around the world
The organizers plan to produce a first-of-its-kind whitepaper from the conference. This thought leadership document will provide a road map for industry, government and other stakeholders.
There will be no shortage of thought leadership from which to draw – the conference agenda boasts high-ranking individuals from the security, intelligence and defence communities in North America, Europe and the Middle East.
- John Brennan, former director of the CIA
- Dr. Erin Miller, who manages the Global Terrorism Database at The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland
- Dr. G. Keith Still of Manchester University, who will discuss Crowd Management & Social Networking and its Use in Civil Disobedience
- B.-Gen. Robert Mazzolin, Vice Director J5, U.S. Cyber Command
- Assistant Commissioner James Malizia, National Security Enforcement Team, RCMP
The Readiness and Resilience in the Age of Disruption conference takes place Feb. 27-28 at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre on Coventry Road. It will also feature a Technology Expo that will showcase new technologies and services in support of readiness and resilience.
Learn more and register now at www.continue.uottawa.ca/rr.