Gabriele Rizzo

Chief Futurist

HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne

Dr. Gabriele Rizzo, Ph.D., APF, is a visionary futurist and an enthusiastic innovator. He is Principal Futurist and Trusted Advisor for the United States Department of the Air Force, NATO Member at Large (“world-class expert drawn from academia, industry or government”) for Strategic Foresight and Futures Studies; professional futurist advisor for European Defense Agency, United Nations, and both NATO Strategic Commands; Emerging Science & Technology counselor and Principal Futurist advisor for one of the top 10 Aerospace, Defense & Security companies globally. He chairs the Future Technology track in NATO ACT Futures Work, where he is editor and co-author of NATO Technology Trends, co-author of Strategic Foresight Analysis and Framework for Future Alliance Operations, chairman of their Future Technology tracks, and full contributor to Longer-Term Aspects – this oeuvre framing deep futures out to 2040–2060, to inform $1T worth of Defense planning. Gabriele holds a Ph.D. in Physics – String Theory and Astrophysics – serves as Professor of Strategy at University of Rome La Sapienza and was Academic Mentor in the field of Future Capabilities at NATO Defense College. He is co-author of the European Cyber PPP 2027 Vision and Strategic Outlook, and currently chairs the Sectoral Demand working group in the European Cyber Security Organization (ECSO) – the second-largest, managing more than 350 experts from 130 entities spanning 27 countries. This working group was a cornerstone for ECSO to exceed (even tripling) all targets by the EU in the latest review. He led the Major Challenge 1: “Safety, Security and Privacy by design” in the ECSEL Joint Undertaking Core Team, and was the lead author of its 2017 SRIA and its Long Term Vision – evaluated “important pillars of strategy and implementation of R&I” by the EU. Dr. Rizzo is a highly trusted advisor to the MoD, leading and facilitating the Italian Joint Staff’s Transformation & Innovation Council and mentoring the Center for Defense Innovation, the forge of future military concepts and doctrine – gathering Italy’s best strategy, foresight, and S&T excellence. With his guidance supporting it, this organization achieved seven years of results in one. Gabriele led the foresight for the Italian national grand strategy in a forum with the coordination of the Prime Minister and with direct responsibility of the Cabinet of the Minister of Defense. He also leads foresight for the Industrial Technology Strategy in the Italian AIAD RITEC high-level group. Gabriele Rizzo is one of the few NATO Early Career Nuclear Strategists and one of the four “Outstanding Stars” among the élite group of NATO Young Disruptors. He has more than 40 publications to his credit, authored several capstone works on deep futures, and was honored with national and international awards.


The war we never prepared for: how COVID-19 will transform the future Armed Forces

April 11, 2020

Were military decision-makers presented with the COVID-19 scenario? Did the military foresight community get it right enough in advance to have a better response now? How will this pandemic impact new Forces? The COVID-19 was officially promoted to “pandemic” from WHO on March 11th­. There were several references to it as a war – and in a war you need Armed Forces able to deter, engage, compete, and win against that enemy. There are three ingredients in a successful campaign — the right strategy, the right Forces, and the right execution. While strategy and execution are the fruit of military studies and the art of command, the right Forces have to be designed, developed, integrated, secured, and fielded. And due to the extreme peculiarities of military systems, the development cycle from conception to “pressing the red button” takes 20 years. This is why Defenses around the world have since long ago started their long-term foresight exercises. Conversely, “the blanket is always short”: Forces need to be prepared to be able to face more and more challenges with a constantly reduced budget. How can we square the circle? In this talk I will give an overview of the latest foresight efforts carried out in the Defense field, looking at what information was available and what could be the future trajectory for developments of future Forces after COVID-19.