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Think Tank

"Adapt or die..."

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



Design Challenge for Class 20A

The challenge for 20A is to "Imagine a revolutionary new or unappreciated threat to the air sovereignty and air defense of the Contiguous United States (CONUS), United States Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico."

Students will be assigned to one of six teams that will develop ideas independently following a one-day workshop on design thinking methodology. Near the end of the course, each team will present their final idea to a panel of senior leaders.

  CLICK HERE to view the Think Tank Canvas page.

Application Instructions

  1. Review the following resources:  

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


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.  Obtain your Innovation Strengths Preference Indicator (ISPI) ID# from the link on CANVAS. The ISPI ID# will be used for step 4 as your username/email/first and last name.

4.  Follow the instructions for the ISPI assessment.  You will get feedback on results later in the course. Located on Canvas.

5.  Inform your Flight Commander you are interested and complete your ISPI assessment NO LATER THAN 1800 on 5 November.

Your SOS squadron chain of command will release the list of selected students late on week one of the course.

Thank you for your interest in playing with wild ideas!

-The Think Tank Coaching Staff






25 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112