Martin Schwab preparing the classroom in an undergraduate political science course, Global Politics/International Relations, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Spring 2012.

The drills process offers a wider box of thought in which to integrate and evaluate diverse human perception. Through small group drills, six people or less can approach one or more global mega-threats under extreme time pressure, though in a reflective manner to produce nine-part strategies of any length. Different small groups can rotate into six seats of global responsibility to amend strategies or approach other global mega-threats after observing previous deliberations. Drills can be repeated for any amount of time that is available to any given organization.


1) A Constant Threat to Solar Systems
Gamma-ray bursts of radiation from hypernovae within the Milky Way and human research into evasion and other protective countermeasures.
2) Multi-global Defense Systems
Asteroids and comets on Earth-crossing orbits and space-based, Earth-based and Mars-based countermeasures through global collaboration.
3) Multi-global Climate Change
Climate change on Venus, Earth and Mars and humans at Mars for comparative planetology, emergency backup and Earth restart.

4) From Yellowstone to Mars and Back
Supervolcanoes on Earth and Mars and humans at Mars for comparative planetology, emergency backup and Earth restart.
5) Evacuate Earth’s Coasts within 40 Years
Rapid climate change on Earth yields worst-case scenario of three to ten feet of global sea rise by 2060.
6) Thirsty, Salty and Sunny
Freshwater scarcity across inner solar system and harnessing space-based solar power for seawater desalination on Earth.
7) Humans vs. Diseases
Rapid pandemics of disease on Earth and accelerated medical research at the International Space Station.
8) Beyond Scarcity-based Economics
Current scarcity-based economic paradigm on Earth juxtaposed against abundant potential of knowledge generation as an emerged global/universal currency.
9) Nuclear Transformations
Nuclear powers across Earth reconfigure national arsenals and other assets into common global defenses against potentially hazardous asteroids and comets in addition to sustained lunar and Martian scientific expeditions.

2 thoughts on “Drills”

  1. Many thanks Chuck! Excellent and involved short question and prompt. In addition to developing the drills at Hawaii undergraduate political science as shown above, I integrated them into four international relations courses at Tecnologico de Monterrey – Campus Cuernavaca (Morelos, Mexico) during the 2014-2015 academic year.

    All positive experiences as a prompt for meandering discussion and student self-expression but I have never seen the signature design characteristic, reflective intensity be exploited through the drills structure. Perhaps I might see what I envision the process to be if I had a chance to run the drills in 1) an undergraduate honors course, 2) youth peace camp, 3) master’s degree seminar, 4) executive retreat, 5) emergency government and/or multi-governmental planning session or 6), an entirely new global senate built from scratch (ideal).

    In Mexico, I was lucky enough to have access to a fairly large design thinking lab room about the size of the room shown above with the same kind of audio-visual projector and screen, whiteboards, tables on wheels, bean bag chairs, good ventilation and plenty of natural light and shades. This helped compared to running the drills in a relatively narrow and cramped classroom or even a very nice seminar room mocked up to look like the United Nations Security Council.

    Only a few of my students really understood the synergistic or force multiplier point to the drills, especially ones with military, artistic, theatrical or yoga backgrounds. However, never enough students in one class to ever make the drills hum optimally. Some of the challenge is bringing students up to speed on the unique and extreme subject matter that the process is designed to approach, especially during a traditional academic schedule.

    The drills format might be ideal for using with an academic theme such as in a study abroad situation not necessarily involving the specific problem-set given here on this site. There are many possibilities that I have not had the chance yet to try. Overall, I use this site to occasionally post new ideas on related topics and to show others such as yourself what may be possible in terms of returning to better deliberation on any important issue(s), more of a lost art in my view than anything visionary.

    Much of this process is derived from team sports in the 1980s as well as the conflict resolution field during the 1990s which I always felt was in a way only codyfying the lost art of great conference diplomacy in Europe or of past interest-based negotiations among past lions of the United States Senate. Maybe such glory days in what I regard as the greatest American institution never existed beyond stylistics, in the Roman Senate model either. However, that doesn’t mean that ideal deliberations are not worth striving for.

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