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The Defense Entrepreneurs Forum 2016 is over for the year. It is time for reflection, writing, and action. If you missed it, you can watch a stream of it here and here.

This is my second national conference, both held at the beautiful Gleacher Center, at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  I have also been involved with DEFx [Annapolis], DEFx [DC] 1.0, and I run the DEF Far East Agora in Yokosuka, Japan.

The next DEF events are DEFx [Silicon Valley] being held at Stanford on November 12, 2016 and DEFx [Australia] on December 08, 2016 at the Australian Defense University in Canberra, Australia. For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere contemplating going, remember December is prime beach season in Australia.

If you have never been to a DEF event, (why haven’t you!?) you would have missed the TweetWall. A Tweet Wall is a live stream of Twitter messages that runs while a speaker is talking and between events. At any point in the event, you will see attendees, inspired by the events around them, frantically putting their comments down on their phones and laptops. At one point on Saturday, #DEF2016 was trending better than #ChicagoMarathon which happened the same weekend. #DEF2016 ended up with more than 2 million impressions over 3 days.

So, because the DEF attendees did such a good job documenting the event, I am going to let their tweets speak to the event. I’m

DEF people are amazing

DEF is open to all ranks. While enlisted participation is still in a minority status, those who engage with DEF are beyond exceptional. I hope enlisted participation increases as more senior enlisted leaders realize the power of sending their enlisted personnel to attend these events.

Participants included members of Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), Defense Digital Service, as well as those leading and involved in Hacking for Defense. Note: DDS is looking for applicants – if you can program, hack the bureaucracy, and want at chance to make a difference, apply at their website linked above.

Note: DDS is looking for applicants – if you can program, hack the bureaucracy, and want at chance to make a difference, apply at their website above. I highly recommend getting involved with all these organizations.

And we certainly can’t forget the senior leaders who invested their time in the DEF misfits.

A special consideration for the Year’s Best Social Media Post by a GO/FO.

The women of DEF. I am humbled to be associated with this group of amazing women. They are growing a garden where more women innovators and defense entrepreneurs can step up and stand out. They aren’t just part of the team, they are the team.

And finally (but not completely – sorry anyone I missed) our Human Centered Design / Design Thinking Spirit Animal

There was more from DEF 2016… much more. If you want more, check out #DEF2016 and @defconference on Twitter, @defenseentrepreneurs on Facebookl, and www.defenseentrepreneurs.org.