The first Human Domain Workshop was held at the Airborne Special Operations Museum Nov. 14, in Fayetteville. This workshop brought academic specialists and military experts together for the first time to discuss the science of the human domain as it pertains to the needs of special operations forces.

“This is a rather unique group in the sense that it mixes special operations opinion leaders with the very cutting edge of the research community,” said Dr. John S. Morgan, Ph.D. U.S. Army Special Operations Command, command science advisor.

The University of North Carolina sponsored the workshop as part of its ongoing partnership with USASOC to provide a range of educational, training, scholarship, research and scientific support to the command.

The event featured more than 20 experts, including faculty from various UNC systems and outside academic institutions and industry technologists discussing their fields of study and how each applies to the study of the human domain.

The presentations and panel discussions covered areas such as political science, social media and social networking analysis, geospatial analysis, modeling and simulation and game theory.

“My belief is we can now measure how well special operations is doing in an area of operation through quantitative metrics derived from things like levels of violence, sentiment, and other indicators in an area of operations and use that to guide strategic flexibility,” said Morgan.

As USASOC continues to develop new strategies to respond to the emerging human domain, the social sciences addressed during the workshop become a more integral part of the solution.

“One of the most important things that we need to look at as we look forward is what does the world look like?” said Col. Ernesto Sirvas, USASOC G9 director, “What are the emerging trends as it relates to culture, social issues and political layout?

“We’re trying to define what the future looks like, so we can also prepare for it,” said Sirvas, “Prepare for it by having the right equipment and having the right knowledge set within our Soldiers.”