NEWS | Dec. 1, 2009

STAR–TIDES and Starfish Networks: Supporting Stressed Populations with Distributed Talent

By Linton Wells II, Walker Hardy, Vinay Gupta, and Daniel Noon Defense Horizons 70


STAR–TIDES and Starfish Networks: Supporting Stressed Populations with Distributed TalentOverview

The Department of Defense increasingly is involved in postwar stabilization and reconstruction, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, capacity-building of partner nations at home and abroad, and other such complex operations. To provide sustainable support to stressed populations in these environments, an international, networked, knowledge-sharing research project called Sustainable Technologies, Accelerated Research–Transformative Innovation for Development and Emergency Support (STAR–TIDES)1 encourages innovative approaches to public-private collaboration, whole-of-government solutions, and transnational engagement. It leverages a distributed network of people and organizations to conduct research, support real world contingencies, and bridge gaps among disparate communities.

The three main goals of STAR–TIDES are to enhance the ability of civilian coalitions (business, government, and civil society) to operate in stressed environments, extend the
military’s ability to work with civilians in such situations, and economize by identifying cost-effective logistic solutions and rationalizing supply chains.

STAR–TIDES fosters unity of effort among diverse organizations when there is no unity of command. The project is building a repository of information about potential solutions to provide “knowledge on demand” to support decisionmakers and those working in the field, rather than act as an operating agency. Information collected is made available in the public
domain via a Web site,2 and feedback, opinions, and recommendations from users are encouraged.