👋 Welcome

We are thrilled you are here.

The Boyd Institute is a virtual policy institute founded in March 2023. Our mission is to identify and advance asymmetric solutions to strategic global challenges.

At any given time, we are working on a handful of specific issues. Current focus areas include:

Modernizing maritime - opportunities to propel the maritime sector into the future

🚀 Unleashing space exploration - frameworks for space mining, space debris, and related issues to accelerate space exploration in a manner that benefits humanity

🌳 Leveling up natural resources intelligence - better ways to track natural resources to make smarter decisions, protect the environment, and support developing countries

🌊 Strengthening AUKUS - ways to bring stability and security to the Indo-Pacific region, including advancing the technical capabilities in Pillar II

🖥️ Improving technology statecraft - ideas to reconcile technology and statecraft to advance geopolitical competitiveness and win the future

Sign up so you can follow along, participate, and help us address the challenges of tomorrow, today.

Thank you for checking out The Boyd Institute! Sign up here to receive our weekly “Monday Mandate” newsletter and follow our work.

What do I get by subscribing?

Subscribing is free and an easy way to follow our work.

Currently, you can expect to receive one email per week. Every Monday, you will receive a “Monday Mandate” briefing on a topic related to one of our focus areas, like this one focused on leveling up the marketing of the NASA’s Artemis space program.

We take your privacy seriously and would never sell or give away your info.

What is the mission?

Our mission is to identify and advance asymmetric solutions to win the future. We want to make space for fast, creative thinking on complex challenges. Ultimately, we measure success based on decision-making impact.

We take inspiration from tech-savvy policy institutions like RAND and DARPA, creative consultancies like IDEO, and fields such as agile and applied complexity that are introducing new methods of problem solving.

Is The Boyd Institute a think tank?

Yes. But not in the boring Washington DC sense.

We think of ourselves as part think tank and part creative studio. Many challenges do not fit pre-existing categories and thus require unorthodox solutions. Our team embraces new modes of problem solving as well as a sense of play. We are not afraid to challenge the orthodoxy. We are obsessed with asymmetric solutions, whether they are actionable through policy, commercial activity, or the non-profit sector.

Who’s involved?

The Boyd Institute was founded and is led by Jeff Giesea, an entrepreneur who is passionate about applying creative thinking to major challenges. The board includes retired Air Force Brigadier General John Wilkinson and Terry Dunmire, an international attorney and investment banker with deep expertise in Africa. Our UK advisor is Peter Varnish, a retired Royal Navy officer and technologist who was part of the UK’s Defense Evaluation and Research Agency (now QinetiQ).

What are your focus areas?

The projects we focus on concentrate in four areas:

1. Space

We believe space is important for humanity's future and the ultimate high ground in battle.

2. Natural Resources & Sustainability

Technology has opened new possibilities for stewarding our planet’s resources. We are passionate about promoting a sustainable pro-growth path as global population increases.

3. AUKUS & the Indo-Pacific

The Indo-Pacific is home to half of the world’s population, nearly two-thirds of the world’s economy, and seven of the largest militaries. As geopolitics tilts toward the Indo-Pacific, we are passionate about contributing to peace and stability in the region and global competitiveness for America and allies.

4. Complexity, Decision-Making, & Tech Governance

As an extension of Boyd's legacy, we are passionate about improving our problem solving capacity and advancing new ways of addressing issues, drawing from design thinking, applied complexity, organizational behavior, and other fields. This work also informs our operating model. We are also interested in improving tech governance.

Who is John Boyd?

The Boyd Institute’s name is inspired by the late fighter pilot and maverick thinker John Boyd, who is best known for developing and championing the OODA loop. The aim is not to hang on John Boyd’s every word but to capture his essence and apply it to today’s big challenges. In doing so, we intend to push Boyd’s legacy into the future and make it our own. Our organizational values are:

Speed — embracing a high operating tempo
Openness — constantly learning and adapting
Action — having a bias toward action and valuing doing over being
Moral purpose — a passion for advancing a free and prosperous world and building a positive future
Maverick thinking — embracing synthesis and play, speaking truth to power, and breaking through silos
VRHI — developing a cadence of variety, rapidity, harmony, and initiative

How can I donate?

As a 501c3 non-profit, donations to The Boyd Institute are tax-deductible. Please contact [email protected] if you are interested in supporting our mission.

Can I write for you or submit a briefing?

The Boyd Institute is open to new contributors and submissions on a rolling basis.

We generally do not pay for contributions. However, we are open to providing micro-grants of $500-1,000 for contributions, if they are relevant to our issue areas. The deliverables include a ~1,000 word briefing related to one of our topic areas and some time dedicated to promoting the idea, such as participating on a Twitter Space or podcast.

To apply for this, please email your request to [email protected] with the following information:

  1. An abstract describing the idea, how it advances one of our focus areas, and why you are well-positioned to offer it (250 words max). If you already have a finished policy briefing that has not been published elsewhere, feel free to submit that instead. (1,500 word max)

  2. A CV or LinkedIn profile detailing your affiliations and educational background

If approval is given at this stage, we may ask for additional details about your project and will go from there.

Do you offer other grants or fellowships?

Not at this time.

How can I get involved?

Sign up to our email list to stay in the loop. Consider donating. Feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you have any inquiries.

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We accelerate solutions to global issues. Focus on space, sustainability, technology statecraft. 501c3 non-profit policy institute. 🇺🇸🇬🇧🇦🇺
I write The Global Guerrillas Report -- predictive frameworks for making sense of the world at the intersection of war, technology, and politics -- available on Substack and Patreon. https://johnrobb.substack.com/ Twitter @johnrobb
🇺🇸 Seasoned entrepreneur, post-Trump political wanderer, investor, executive coach, tech-geopolitics think tanker @BoydInst. Lover of ice cream, personal growth, and big ideas that change the world. Also dad-life.