Masters of Science in Applied Design for Innovation - Curriculum 697

Academic Associate

Leo Blanken, Ph.D.

Code DA/Ro, Root Hall, Room 221

(831) 656-7786, DSN 756-7786

ljblanke@nps.edu

This curriculum provides students with experiential learning around the challenges of innovation. Students will use a blend of design-thinking and analytic social science methods to engage in the problem-framing, ideation, creative collaboration, and stakeholder engagement necessary for successful innovation. This curriculum is designed to meet the changing needs of Naval Special Warfare in the context of rapidly changing technology and Great Power Competition.         

Typical course of study

There are two sets of required courses for the 697 degree. One is the "common core" of DA courses (shared by DA 699 and 698); the second set of requirements are specific for 697 students. 

Common Core (for all DA curricula)

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
DA2010Technical Writing and Composition

4

0

DA2410Modeling for Military Decision Making, I

4

0

DA4710Critical Thinking and Ethical Decision Making

4

0

DA3410Modeling for Special Operations II

4

0

DA4460Alternate Research Methods and Defense Analysis

4

0

DA3880History of Special Operations

4

0

697 Requirements

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
DA4302Coping with Wicked Problems

4

0

DA4104Militaries and Technological Change

4

0

DA3301Principles of Strategic Design

4

0

DA3302Navigating Innovation Ecosystems

4

DA3304Rapid Prototyping for the Warfighter

3

2

Educational Skill Requirements:

1.     Military Art and Operations: Graduates will understand the organization, formulation, and execution of national security strategy and national military strategy; the effects of technical developments on warfare; the capabilities and roles of military forces throughout the entire spectrum of conflict; and current defense issues.

2.     Special Operations Doctrine, Concepts, Capabilities and Institutions: Graduates will have a detailed and conceptual understanding of the development of doctrine for special operations. Work in this area should focus, first, on the defining events and experiences that have stimulated doctrinal and institutional innovations in Special Operations (SO) and, second, on the forms these innovations have taken. This examination should cover the period from the end of World War II through the post-Cold War era. These and related issues should be explored creatively in an effort to uncover the appropriate roles, missions, strengths, and limitations of military power in the emerging multipolar environment.  

3.     Revolution in Military Affairs: Students will understand how new technologies are changing the shape of modern warfare. An important aspect of this requirement is to examine the likely impact of these developments on the dynamics and characteristics of twenty-first century warfare across operational environments, ranging from irregular warfare to peer competition.  The student will examine major technological developments and trends and how technology interacts with issues of strategy, doctrine, organizations, and human agency.    

4.     Strategic and Operational Complexity: Special Operations is a style of warfare. No traditional single academic discipline can adequately address the educational requirements of the SO community, so an interdisciplinary approach is required. Each student will develop a course of study that permits him or her to pursue a disciplinary orientation that best suits their particular academic background and interests within the substantive limits of the other ESRs.

5.     Analytical Methods and Applications: Graduates will have a foundation in analytical methods and their application to military modeling, simulations, and gaming. Close attention will be given to the ways in which such analytical techniques can be used in heuristic and decision-making tools for strategic and operational planning. Attention will be given to both historical and contemporary military applications with particular focus on the ways in which such techniques can be used to address issues of interest to the joint information operations community.

6.     Ethics and Standards of Conduct: The graduate will have an ability to manage and provide leadership in the ethical considerations of special operations, including the strategic environment, organizational culture, and risk management, as well as defense acquisition, including the provisions of procurement integrity, and to appropriately apply defense acquisition standards of conduct.

7.     Innovation Networks and Systems: Graduates will have a systems-level understanding of innovation ecosystems, including defense, government, academic, private, and foreign.  As divergent perspectives on problem framing and design constraints have proven benefit for solving difficult problems, students are expected to explore, engage, and partner with organizations and individuals external to the Naval Postgraduate School.

8.     Utilization of Design Approaches:  Students will absorb and use design methodologies within the program. These methodologies are intended to generate creative innovative solutions and manage stakeholder relations, while leveraging other scientific and engineering disciplines where appropriate. Graduates will be educated in design thinking, innovation theory, and innovation adoption theory, and know how to cultivate a culture within the DoD that embraces innovation in our research, development, and acquisition programs, industry engagement, rapid-prototyping and non-traditional contractual agreements. 

9.     Innovation and Technology Adoption:  Students will become intimately familiar with all of the challenges associated with the process of innovation. This will range from topic curation, problem framing, ideation, prototyping, field experimentation, technology transition and solution adoption. This educational experience will be woven through both the classroom experience, as well as the innovation project upon which they will be working. In this manner, the concepts and theories of innovation can be questioned, modified, and challenged as they are employed by the student, in particular through external engagement with relevant users who would be likely potential adopters of the student’s innovation.

10.  Capstone/Thesis: Graduates will demonstrate their ability to conduct independent research and analysis, and demonstrate proficiency in presenting the results in writing by means of capstone project or thesis appropriate to this curriculum.