During April 14 – 17, 2019, “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy organized the fourth edition of the international conference IAFIE – European chapter.
IAFIE – International Association for Intelligence Studies is an international association established in 2004 that brings together over 300 representatives of the international intelligence and academic community in the field.
In 2015, IAFIE – Europe was founded, focusing on the development of studies and intelligence education at european level.
Opening speeches were delivered by the Deputy Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service, Brigadier General Cristian BIZADEA, and by IAFIE-Europe Chair, Professor Bob de GRAAFF. The two adresses converged on a common message which underlined the importance of developing structured cooperation and exchanges between academics and practitioners in the field of intelligence.
The conference brought together more than 100 intelligence actors from 25 countries, belonging to the academic environment, to internationally recognized research centers, to european intelligence services and agencies. The structure of the conference was diversified so as to cover the knowledge needs of all participant: 11 sections dedicated to academics debates, in paralle with interactive and applied workshops.
Professor Ioannis NOMIKOS, of the Institute of European and American Studies (RIEAS) in Greece, received the IAFIE – Europe Award for “Excellence for lifelong activity”, being one of the pillars of the development of intelligence studies at both European and international level.
The evolutionary trends revealed during this edition referred to the education in the field of intelligence and to the development of the field, being an excellent opportunity for debate and networking with experts.
The conference facilitated the approach of the topics in a multidisciplinary manner, thus contributing to the widening of the knowledge horizon in the field of intelligence so the event represented an opportunity to consolidate the intelligence and security culture in an inter-organizational manner.
The conference offered opportunities and ways forward for integrating intelligence practice and scholarship. The presence and contributions of a considerable number of intelligence and security services helped to enhance the understanding and cooperation between the academic domain and that of intelligence practitioners from a shared European perspective.
Many contributions and discussions concluded that traditional mindframes and theories may fall short of addressing new challenges and of engaging younger generations of the intelligence workforce. Promising approaches to intelligence education include critical thinking, diversity and adaptivity.
A project that could reap major dividends to defining the role of an analysts, helping students do self-assessments, and to insist intelligence agencies and their school houses in better defining what they should be looking for in the new analysts being hired (as well as continuing education targets).
It was an amazing event, with great opportunities of networking and information sharing.