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Establishing Security & Defence PLuS for Arizona State University


Arizona State University (ASU), the most innovative university in the United States, needed a firm that shared their mindset for innovation and thinking big. Together with their PLuS (Phoenix, London, and Sydney) Alliance partner schools (King’s College London, and University of New South Wales), ASU wanted to create an initiative to find new ways to make a difference in statecraft and security. To do this, they needed a strategic plan that would help them combine the resources of the three universities to become the “intellectual engine” behind the AUKUS defense partnership. The initial vision called for collaborative policy relevant research; innovative educational offerings; and timely convening functions, all drawing on the universities’ unique combination of multinational expertise, academic freedom, and commitments to public value.


Inspirata assembled a cross-functional team of Indo-pacific security experts, program/project managers, business analysts, and technical staff to help the three partner universities articulate their vision, objectives, lines of effort, milestones, decision points, and key performance indicators. The team provided the universities with the perfect bridge solution to immediately establish Security & Defence PLuS and claim the intellectual space in the national security community of interest. This allowed the universities time to hire permanent staff while their innovative alliance initiative gathered momentum. Team Inspirata employed its world-class strategic planning skills, facilitated and implemented solutions, and led the content development for the first three major efforts. We (1) developed content and advised on website design and strategic communication; (2) researched, authored, and edited the organization’s premier product (the AUKUS Briefing Book); and (3) curated a collection of essays from renowned scholars that served as the foundation for its future online journal. Finally, team Inspirata designed and prepared a confederated budget, strategic planning documents, and presentation materials for university leadership.


Our efforts enabled Security & Defence PLuS to launch on-time and on budget. The universities were able to create value and impact the public discourse on the AUKUS partnership and security in the Indo-pacific region. The initiative is on its way toward creating new innovations in education and scholarship as well as policy focused research.

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