Barely two decades into the second millennia, the world is confronted with an uncertain future. The arctic ice is melting faster than ever before. A nuclear armageddon is no longer just a war game scenario, but a real possibility. Deadly viruses and bacteria are evolving faster than we can develop a cure. The internet has made the world smaller, but also more vulnerable. With the entire world online, it may take just a pulling of the virtual plug to plunge it into darkness and chaos. By all accounts, the future looks increasingly uncertain and insecure.
Can mankind avert the inevitable? Can we come up with solutions for problems that today seem intractable? Can collective thinking and global collaboration create a future devoid of death and destruction?
We think it can.
The Synergia Conclave 2019 is an attempt to corral the best ideas and solutions from around the world. Spread over three days, the Conclave will bring under one roof a wide array of key stakeholders, including the world's leading statesmen, policymakers, security experts, technologists, scientists, and other experts. By enabling constructive conversations and showcasing concrete and innovative ideas, the Synergia Conclave 2019 encourages people to think about the future through the lens of choice and action.
Let's not wait for the future to happen. Let's create it. Together.
Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka
Former NSA, GOI & Governor of West Bengal
MP, Sherpa to the PM at G20 and Former Cabinet Minister GOI
Chief Secretary of Karnataka
Director General, COAI
Chief Architect, Global Business Unit, NEC
Former Telecom Secretary, GOI
Former Defence Secretary, GOI
Professor Emeritus, Stanford University
Former Foreign Secretary, GOI
Former Deputy NSA & Director, VIF
Secretary of Defence Production, GOI
Former Deputy NSA, GOI
Deputy Secretary of Defence of South & SouthEast Asia
Former Director of National Intelligence, US
National Cyber Security Coordinator, GOI
CEO, CIGI Canada
Director General of DRDO
Prof. of Security Studies & Head of Int. Centre For Political Violence & Terrorism Research
Senior Adviser, Centre For Humanitarian Dialogue
MP & Chairperson of Standing Committee of Finance, GOI
Frm. Amb. & Current International Affairs Advisor, Squire Patton Boggs
Sr. VP of Product, Security Business Group, CISCO
Distinguished Visiting Prof. of Global Affairs, Natl. Chengchi University
Group Consulting Editor, Network 18
Director, Intelligence Bureau
Former Director Intelligence Bureau, GOI
Assoc. Prof. of Govt & Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Govt., Oxford Uni
Principal Anchor, Senior Editor, NDTV
Chairman & Managing Director, HAL
Member of NSAB, GOI
NSA Government of Israel
Founder & CEO, Odyssey
Former Chief of R&AW
CEO of NITI Aayog
Former Foreign Secretary, GOI
Managing Director, BAE Systems
CEO, Newspace Research
Former Managing Director, BASF
Former NSA & Foreign Secretary, GOI
MD, Thyssenkrupp Aerospace India
Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru city
CEO & MD Dynamatic Technologies
Vice Chief of Defence Staff, UK
Principal Secretary, GOK
Former Additional Secretary,Cabinet Secretariat, GOI
Experimental Test Pilot, IAF
Joint Secretary, Dept. of Defence, GOI
Chief of NTRO
Editor Of Deccan Herald
Former Foreign Secretary, GOI
Former Chairman ISRO
The convergence of wireless technologies, microelectromechanical systems, microservices and the internet has blurred the surface area between operating technology and information technology. As a digital work environment permeates business, military and critical infrastructure, long-established security protocols and perimeters will be challenging to protect.
'Intelligence Connectivity' while riding on the superhighway of 5G will enable a congruence of mobile edge computing, IoT, A.I., automation, robotics, V.R. etc. While it promises to transform professional and personal world, it offers lucrative targets for non-state and state-sponsored cyber criminals.
The perception of security is transforming- from "for the public" to "with the public". In an increasingly complex world, top-down linear approaches seem unable to cope with today's challenges which are borderless, have a multitude of stakeholders and can't be solved by "throwing money at it". Governments mist act beyond making new laws, policies, technology or allocate more resources.
Geopolitical uncertainty continues to surge, fuelled by volatile oil and gas prices, disruptions in global supply chains, shifting of alliances in the Middle East, Brexit shock to the E.U., the policies of Trump administration and the advancement of opposition to free trade. China's primacy is challenging the existing global power equilibrium.
Advanced technology is the key to a new level of production performance. Industries are reporting their success with novel approaches, from harnessing technology and skill to become Tier1 suppliers to global companies by providing best value.
As the global race to develop and deploy 5G telecommunications networks heats up, the urgency for investment in digital infrastructure is rising. The first country to achieve large-scale, reliable 5G coverage stands to reap significant economic gains—starting with higher technological innovation, elevated economic growth, and strengthened national competitiveness. The returns will be far larger than upfront investments.
US-China trade and technology tussle is fuelling fears of a renewed Cold War. Mindful of the challenge to its technological suzerainty, U.S. is severing the umbilical cord to 40 years of scientific and economic engagement that brought strategic and fiscal benefits to both sides. China, on the other hand, talks of 'a new type of Great Power relations' meaning it already sees itself as an equal to the U.S.
If 'big data' is the new oil to lubricate the digital era, then 5G is the maze of pipes that will deliver it- with faster data rates, reduced latency, energy savings, cost reductions, higher capacity and massive device connectivity to enable newer faster applications. Risks go beyond national boundaries. Therefore a universal collaborative approach becomes imperative.
Two global developments may have huge impact on India: the trade spat between China and the US now shows signs of becoming a full-scale trade war, and the prospect of rising tensions in the Gulf and elsewhere make India's oil options more difficult. Add to this the ongoing tussle with China on border issues and its stand on J&K and the need to balance our strategic relationship with our long-time ally Russia. India has to walk a tight rope to ensure its national interests are not sacrificed on the altar of geopolitical niceties. The Indian government will need to navigate through these uncertainties as it tries to revive private investment and a slump in exports as the consumption-led growth of the last two years begins to fade.
Economic compulsions, trade rivalries, shrinking resources, demographic pressures, climate change, political upheavals, religious radicalisation and renewed racism are but few risks that are likely to fuel future conflicts. The notion of security is becoming ambiguous with challenges extending beyond the physical world into outer space and cyberspace.
In today's digital age - governments, businesses and citizens are all seeking to create new opportunities and efficiencies through the use of digital technologies. For defence agencies, the secure, fluid and timely flow of data and intelligence is the life-blood of modern military activity. Admiral Timothy Fraser, CB, Vice Chief of Defence Staff, UK and Subhash Chandra, IAS, Secretary Defence Production GOI were at hand to provide the UK and Indian government perspectives on how defence forces must prepare to meet the challenges of the digital world.
The threat to digital security is growing and mutating continuously. While e-commerce, artificial intelligence, big data and distributed computing and storage offer opportunities for profitable businesses, the environment urgently needs to augment digital trust, active defence and design a resilient architecture.
The world is undergoing a momentous political, economic and social transformation and this is leading to major shifts in inter-state relations. The centre of gravity of the global economy is shifting from the trans-Atlantic to the trans-Pacific and in its wake existing security arrangements and alignments among states are also undergoing a change. The emergence of China as a front ranking power is one aspect of this transition, but Asia is now home to a cluster of major powers deploying significant economic and military capabilities. The trend towards multipolarity in Asia appears to be irreversible but this diffusion of power requires an appropriate economic and security architecture. What role can emerging powers like India play in shaping the Asian order? This is one challenge.
Cyberconflict extended the continuation of politics by other means into a new technical domain. Cyberweapons have a unique dynamic that requires a special kind of mediation. As with other conflicts, this two requires specific conflict resolution strategies.
The world is indeed changing, in some cases rapidly. Despite this, there has been one constant since the end of the Second World War – the United States of America (US) has been the dominant military and economic power in the world and the manager of global security. It has spent its treasure and lives of its youth in playing the role of global policeman. But with the world growing towards multi-polarity and rise of China, there are calls from within and without US whether it has to reimagine its position in the world to give way to regional power to play a greater stabilising role in their respective areas-namely Japan, China, Germany, Brazil and India.
Beginning in the early-to-mid 1990s the Al Qaeda terrorist network extended its reach into Southeast Asia — setting up local cells to support its global operations and fostering cooperation among indigenous radical Islamic groups. In the ensuing decade, the Islamic Caliphate was able to leverage this network to attract recruits into the Caliphate rising in the Levant. Though the Caliphate lies crushed in the ruins of Syria and Iraq, the committed cadre has gone underground, many sneaking back to their home lands. These sleeper cells and potential leaders spell serious threat to countries of Asian region which remains most vulnerable to radicalisation.
Space Race 2.0. is characterised by Individuals and enterprises with funds who are betting on a future in space that will be is more accessible and exploitable, and trips to distant planets become a reality. Asia's growing participation in the space race is indicative of the more substantial geopolitical competition in the region.
The unfolding drama between the clashing forces of the Chinese dream and the American Dream has riveted the world. While this rivalry has been confined to high offices and boardrooms, some fear that it may take more fearful shape to the detriment of the entire world. As China narrows the technological and economic gap with the US, the competition will become more dangerous, unless both seek an amalgamation of their respective dreams through collaboration as was the hallmark of their relations since 1970's till early 2000.
In an era of rising nationalist fervour and eroding support for democracy, understanding the conditions under which nationalism either promotes democracy or bolsters authoritarianism is of critical importance to political scientists, activists and policymakers alike.
The withdrawal of special provisions granted to the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) led to its bifurcation into union territories J&K and Ladakh. What holds for the in future for Kashmir, its citizens and the rest of India?