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Modern Deterrence Autumn 2020 Conference

21 October 2020, 9:00 to 15:15
Emerging Power: Involving Youth in National Security

RUSI Modern Deterrence conference in partnership with the NATO Public Diplomacy Division.

With threats and aggression facing liberal democracies increasing, national security is more important today than at any point in the past three decades. Even so, very few people are involved with it. In most countries, engagement with national security extends only to those pursuing it as their full-time careers: career soldiers and officers, blue-light personnel, employees of national security agencies. Among youth the situation is particularly worrisome: in most liberal democracies, only a very small share of young people participate in national security in some form.

That is a loss, because youth are an enormous resource as countries try to determine how they can better defend themselves against both military threats and new forms of aggression directed at civil society. RUSI’s Spring 2020 Modern Deterrence conference – organised in cooperation with the NATO Public Diplomacy Division – will highlight the posi tive role youth play in national security and how that role can be enhanced.

The conference follows the publication of two RUSI reports: The Case for National Resilience Training for Teenagers and Competitive National Service: How the Scandinavian Model Can Be Adapted by the UK.

The conference features several innovative panels:

NATO and youth: this panel will feature three 16-17-year-old British school pupils (citizens of three different NATO member states) interviewing three NATO officials explaining different aspects of what NATO does. The three students are Alp, Will and Sebastian, Sixth Form politics students at The King's School, Canterbury. This panel will be followed by a greyzone scenario table top exercise featuring NATO officials, the three interviewers and potentially additional participants.

The panel will be followed by a table-top exercise featuring NATO officials and a group of young people.

The second panel will feature recent graduates of innovative models in several countries (including Norway’s competitive national service in the armed forces; Denmark’s competitive national service in the Danish Emergency Management Agency and the armed forces; Italy’s servizio civile; the US Hacking 4 Defense programme for university students). Having completed in-depth national-security programmes, the panellists will share their important and highly relevant insights.

The third panel will feature senior officials from the countries with innovative national security models for young people featured in the second panel. They will discuss the opportunities and challenges of their respective models, including the ways in which those models could be adopted in other countries.

The conference will feature two keynotes.

Speakers will include:

  • The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP
  • The Rt Hon Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, former Secretary General, NATO
  • Agostino Miozzo MD, Director-General, Ministry of Civil Protection, Italy
  • Pernille Reuter Eriksen, Deputy Permanent Secretary of State for Defence, Ministry of Defence, Denmark
  • Madeleine Moon, former President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
  • Dr Alison Hawks, Executive Director, Hacking 4 Defense UK
  • Elle Winfield, Recent participant in Hacking4Defense
  • Nicola de Santis, Head, Engagements Section, NATO
  • Sergeant Yunus Yüksel, Danish Emergency Management Agency (former national service participant)
  • Royal Guardsman Joachim Viggo Sander Emdorf-Pedersen, Royal Danish Life Guards (current national service participant)
  • Carmelo Orlando, Graduate of Italy's servizio nazionale
  • Alp, Will and Sebastian, Sixth Form politics students at The King's School, Canterbury


8:30am Registration

9am Welcome and morning keynote

9:30-10:15am Panel 1: What does NATO do? Interview with three senior officials conducted by three teenagers.

10:15-11am Panel 2: Narrated greyzone table-top exercise.

11-11:30am Coffee break

11:30am-12:45pm Panel 3: Young national security practitioners. Graduates of innovative national programmes discuss their training and lessons learnt.

12:45-1:30pm Lunch

1:30-2:45pm Panel 4: How to involve youth in national security. Senior officials leading innovative programmes.

2:45-3:15pm Closing keynote and final remarks


Standard: £450

RUSI corporate member: £300

Government: £250

RUSI Modern Deterrence funders attend free of charge

Note that this event willl take place at 

The Willis Building

51 Lime Street

London EC3M 7DQ


Event Partner

Conference Manager

Emilia Markert
Events and Venue Manager
+44 (0) 20 7747 2648

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