The Invisible Threat: Countering Cognitive Warfare


NATO INNOVATION CHALLENGE

Adversarial attempts to manipulate human behaviour will present an enduring challenge to Allied nations’ defence and security. This emerging threat of modern warfare goes beyond controlling the flow of information. Cognitive warfare seeks to change not only what people think, but also how they act. Attacks against the cognitive domain involve the integration of cyber, disinformation/misinformation, psychological, and social-engineering capabilities. The new operating environment for decision-makers engages their ability to both detect and respond to attacks on the cognitive domain. 

Cognitive warfare positions the mind as a battle space and contested domain. Its objective is to sow dissonance, instigate conflicting narratives, polarize opinion, and radicalize groups. Cognitive warfare can motivate people to act in ways that can disrupt or fragment an otherwise cohesive society. Ensuing disorder can influence decision-making, change ideologies, and generate distrust among Allies.

Canada is proud to host the Fall 2021 NATO Innovation Challenge

Apply before 21 October 2021

This pitch-style event invites non-traditional innovative thinkers from across all 30 NATO member nations to showcase ways of securing the cognitive domain against attacks. Whether you work at an industry start-up, in academia, or are part of an established small/medium business, NATO is looking for new technologies and measures that can combat the threat of attacks on the mind. 

International visibility and prize money can be yours. Come with your most inspiring ideas.


Organizing Partners:

On behalf of the Department of National Defence (DND), this NATO Innovation Challenge is being co-led by Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM), the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program, and the NATO Innovation Hub.