This is the first initiative at the NATO Defense College commemorating the 70th Anniversary!


Three forces are opening up the so-called “Second Machine Age”: the accelerating power of processors, dramatic improvements in software capabilities as well as exponential growth in the size of digital data. As the Atlantic Alliance moves into its 7th decade, however, this technological transformation is likely to raise new challenges, not only for our lives and societies, but also for our security.

It is still too early to understand both the effects and the direction of these challenges. For this reason, the Seminar aims to bring together world-leading experts to tackle different aspects related to this potentially major transformation. The general theme of the entire day concerns the rise of autonomous systems – one of the primary implications of the second machine age – and their effects on war and military affairs as well as on NATO.


This is the first of a series of small, informal discussion groups that the Research Division plans on organizing.

The theme of the first workshop is “NATO-Russian Relations: has the ship already sailed?” posing the question of whether NATO and Russian relations are on a set trajectory or not. Put simply, is change possible?  

The purpose of the event is to have open and creative exchanges on developments in Russia, implications for Russia’s foreign relations and to identify what issues might be on the horizon.

The broad theme is intended to allow for a range of topics to be explored.  The workshop will consist of three discussion sessions over the course of one day with a drinks/dinner reception on the Sunday evening prior to the workshop.

The first session will cover current developments while the second and third will examine the impact of history on today’s Russia along with a discussion looking ahead to the future.

The group has a diverse and interdisciplinary profile coming from academia, NATO, EU and think tanks. The deliverables of the event will be three-fold, first to help identify and inform future Russia-related research agendas and second to produce a Policy Brief on NATO-Russia relations. The final goal is to help form a network of Russia scholars and analysts for future partnerships and collaborations.