BREAKING NEWSFLASH…it’s 2020!
Just kidding, that’s not exactly news at this point. But we do want to take the time to talk to you about what 2020 will bring for the Global SOF Foundation.
Big Schedule Change
The last thing we want to do at the Foundation is become stagnant. Because of that, we are always reassessing our events and programs to make sure we are meeting the demands of our community.
To that end, we made a big change to our 2020 schedule in that we are not having a 2020 Global SOF Symposium – US. We’ve held this event for 5 years in a row in Tampa, FL, but for a variety of factors, this year’s event has been postponed to 2021.
Those factors include:
- GEN Clarke has decided to hold SOCOM’s 2020 International SOF (ISOF) Week at the same time as SOFIC in May 2020. We have been told that GEN Clarke sees ISOF Week as a priority, meaning that our March symposium will compete with ISOF Week for international govt/military attendance next year. We’d rather work together than against each other!
- We can devote more time and resources to our busy Fall–we’ve brought Clarion on board to help run the 2020 international event in Warsaw in October 2020, so we’re expecting a lot of growth there. Plus, we’re going even bigger for Modern Warfare Week in November 2020.
But that doesn’t mean we’re just sitting around for the first part of the year. We have a new addition to the schedule…
Inaugural SOF Imperatives Forum
In just 36 days (ah!), we will hold our first ever SOF Imperatives Forum on Capitol Hill.
With our recent agreement with Navigators Global, we have found ourselves in a position to execute a day-long event with Members of Congress.
The SOF Imperatives Forum will convene senior U.S. government and military leaders, national security policy professionals, leading academics, and industry executives for an interactive discussion about the unconventional threats facing SOF and how the U.S. military and government should respond.
The agenda will be informed by our annual SOF Imperatives publication, a platform document reflecting the critical issues facing U.S. SOF. You can see previous editions of the document on our website.
The Forum will take place on 12 FEB at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. Registration is open, and there ARE sponsorships available.
Confirmed speakers so far include Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL), Lt Gen (Ret) Thomas Trask, and three former ASD SO/LICS, to name a few.
See all of this and more on the event website.
Expanded Presence at SOFIC
As you may know, SOFIC week in Tampa represents an important milestone for us–it’s the Global SOF Foundation’s “Birthday!” Last year we had a big celebration for #5, and we’re making it even bigger for #6.
We’ll be back at the popular Armature Works venue on the Tampa Riverwalk on the Monday of SOFIC week to celebrate our year and our community.
As always, there will be plenty of cool sponsorships–with even more options added this year like Pac-Man Battle Royale and Wine & Cheese Tasting. Plus, our Corporate Partners from the defense industry have the opportunity to get a free table top display at the event to help inform the SOF community about what they have to offer.
This event is always a fun time, and registration will open soon. SOFIC is a little earlier than usual this year, so save the date: Monday, 11 May 2020!
Get more info…
But that’s. Not. All.
In addition to the reception this year, we’re going to be camping out right by the Convention Center on Tuesday, 12 May! We have a space reserved for a day of Partner-Only activities–which will include food, coffee, and Happy Hour. So if you’re a representative of a Global SOF Corporate Partner, stand by for more information on that!
(Not a Partner? Contact Steve Jones for the details.)
Another Busy Fall
We’ll be spending the rest of the summer focusing on our two big events in the fall: the GSOF Symposium – Europe in Warsaw, Poland, and the Modern Warfare Week in Ft. Bragg, NC.
It’s hard to believe, but the GSOF Symposium in Poland will be our 5th edition of the European event. With Lithuania, Romania, Spain, and Belgium in the rear-view mirror, we’re excited to take the lessons learned from past events and put on an awesome event in Poland.
In a big change this year, we’ve hired Clarion Events–a Europe-based event planning company–to help us strengthen and grow this event! We’ve already established a solid partnership and are thrilled to be working with them.
Polish SOF have big shoes to fill as our event partners (the team we had last year in Brussels was nothing short of world-class)! But we think they’re up to the challenge.
It’s all happening in Warsaw from 5-7 OCT 2020. Learn more and get involved on the event website.
Modern Warfare Week is just about 6 weeks after that event. A tight timeline for sure, but we made it happen in 2019, so we’re pretty much pros now. 😉
The attendees, exhibitors, and our co-sponsor USASOC were all pretty happy with the 2019 event (see the impressive stats to the right), so we’re going to do the same thing this year… except BIGGER and BETTER.
The schedule will adjust slightly, with some changes to the length of the Demo Day (just one now) and shuffling around some reception times. But overall, we’re expecting a similar event with a better flow and even more government participation.
It’s happening from 17-20 NOV this year, and more info is coming soon. Until then, check out last year’s event.
It’s not ALL events, though...
Holding events to convene our community to build relationships and discuss solutions to global problems is a big part of what we do. But, it’s not everything! A few other things we’re excited about this year include:
- Huddles: Ok, yes, these are also events. But as small, casual, networking opportunities, they have a much different flavor. We’re visiting Orlando, DC, Huntsville, and the West Coast, so stay tuned to our event calendar to make sure you don’t miss any near you.
- SOFspot Podcast: If you haven’t yet “heard,” we have a podcast! Our guests range from SOF Legends like MG (Ret) Ken Bowra to SOF policymaker to SMEs in SOF-relevant industries. We did 28 episodes in 2019, with more coming this year!
- Growing Advisory Council: We’re now in the position to add even more leaders from the community to our Advisory Council. While it was already an impressive group, we’re looking forward to making the bench even deeper. More members will be announced next month.
- Our Staff: Speaking of the people on our team, we’re proud to announce that we’ve already grown by one more this year! Ranae Grehl, who many of you may recognize from our events, has officially come on board as our Events Manager. See our whole team on our website.
We’re only a week in, so we’ll have so much more to share with you as the year goes on! Our next team adventure is to the 2020 SHOT Show in Last Vegas from 21-24 JAN… let us know if you’ll be there so we can meet up!