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Think Tank

"Forge the Future! Bend the Possible"style=

Please watch the introductory video first: "Play at Work"

Think Tank is an opportunity for a select group of students to tackle a major issue and present creative solutions to senior leaders.  It is physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging and students are expected to work well beyond the SOS curriculum.  The rewards for both the students and the USAF, however, can be enormous.  Team members receive intensive coaching on design principles adapted from the best practices in industry, academia, and militaries from across the world.  What you will learn and practice are directly applicable to the strategic thinking skills that are highly valuable to leaders at all levels.  In the past, this approach has generated innovative ideas at all levels of the Air Force.

The specific challenge for the next class and application instruction are below.

Think Tank & alumni in the news:

Squadron Officer School revamps Think Tank model, AI-aided PCS proposal draws attention: "Squadron Officer School revamps Think Tank model, AI-aided PCS draws attention"
SOS student partners with MGMWERX to promote innovation, entrepreneurship "SOS student partners with MGMWERX to promote innovation, entrepreneurship"
Here is a look how the Think Tank project are tracked and progressing from 19A to present: Think Tank Project Tracker


*Note: The Air University Advanced Research (AUAR) elective is a separate program with a separate application process. Please only apply to the one that interests you the most.  Both are rigorous efforts that will be noted on Training Reports (AF Form 475) and both will expose you to different areas of Air University.


Design Challenge for Class 21D

The challenge for 21D is "How might international partnerships transform major combat operations of the future.

  CLICK HERE to view the Think Tank Canvas page which provides the Virtual Open House details on Monday 19 April at 1045 and 1445 CST.

For more information Squadron Officer School 21D Hybrid.

Application Instructions 

  1. Review the following resources:  

a.  Introduction to Design Thinking video Stages of Design Thinking ALL STAGES

b. The power of reframing (i.e. "when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at start to change": Reframing Problems

i. The following videos are optional, but may help explain the skill of creative reframing (which is part of the application):

1. Eric Knight Ted Talk

2. (Re)framing - The first step toward innovative ideas

3. BUILDING EMPATHY: How to hack empathy and get others to care more | Jamil Zaki | TEDxMarin

ii. You are encouraged to find additional resources to help you understand the design challenge.

2.  Take this short quiz via the hyperlink: Jeff Degraff (click on "How do you innovate"). We'll discuss the results during the one-day workshop at the offsite location.

3.  Complete the application via the Canvas Website SOS 21D VIR-R or SOS 21D Hybrid NLT 20 April 1230 CST.  Ensure you click on the appropriate application quiz (“VIR-R” or “Hybrid In-Res”).

a.  On a note card or piece of paper write the following information on one side:

i.  Name, AFSC, Flight #, Cell Phone #, Personal Email, and time zone
ii.  Results of your Innovation Genome quiz
iii.  What is the single most valuable skill you will bring to the team?

b.  On the other side of the card, SKETCH some ways to creatively reframe the issues that hinder our Air and Space Forces from working with our international partners.

c. Take a picture of both sides of the card and 'upload' via the Canvas application question.

d. Submit your application NLT 20 Apr 1230 CST of the SOS online course.

Notifications will be made week 1 through your SOS squadron chain of command.

Thank you for your interest in playing with wild ideas!

-The Think Tank Coaching Staff, Forge the Future, Bend the Possible!






25 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112