A Collaboration Between Filmmakers, Game Developers and Experts on Nuclear Threat
21st CENTURY NUCLEAR THREAT
Today, there are more than 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world, and if you live near an urban area, one is likely pointed at you. 1,800 of these weapons are on “high alert,” which means they can be launched within 15 minutes of a command being given.
We know terrorists are interested in seeking nuclear weapons and could exploit the black market for material to make nuclear devices or dirty bombs. Nuclear theft and smuggling is an alarming concern in a world in which we have 2000 tons of nuclear material—not all of which is properly secured or even accounted for. In short, nuclear weapons are likely the greatest threat to global security today.
It’s time to Flip the Script. It’s time to ignite the imagination of the world’s most creative minds and engage them—you—in solving some of the world’s most vexing challenges, from nuclear proliferation to safety and security.
That’s why N Square is building a diverse network of influencers, innovators, and creative problem solvers.
You are a creative visionary who recognizes opportunity within challenge and who brings fresh thinking to complex issues. That’s why we need you.
Innovators in technology, media, education and design know as much as anyone about dealing with wicked problems. We need your pioneering minds, your extensive networks, and your considerable resources to crack the code on nuclear proliferation, nuclear weapons safety and global security. Join a determined band of innovators that includes investigative journalist and author of Command and Control Eric Schlosser, director of multimedia sensation the bomb, Smriti Keshari, Presidents Leetha Filderman and Susanna Pollack of PopTech and Games for Change, and the teams at WGBH, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Picture Motion.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Join the Conversation is the winning student film of a short contest hosted by Physicians for Social Responsibility in collaboration with N Square. The challenge was to make a short film that educated and engaged millennials about nuclear weapons. The film highlights the disconnect between the reality of the nuclear threat and the millennial understanding and awareness of that threat. Interested in learning more? Visit the Join the Conversation TED-Ed page.
On the closing night of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, Smriti Keshari (“Food Chains”) and Eric Schlosser (author of “Fast Food Nation” and “Command and Control”) premiered their new multimedia installation the bomb to rave reviews. The bomb is a groundbreaking multimedia installation that immerses you in the strange, compelling, and unsettling reality of nuclear weapons. The 55-minute film is projected 360 degrees on massive floor to ceiling screens that surround the audience, and the band The Acid performs a live score in the center of the space.
“Surprisingly, powerful emotional trajectory” – Village Voice
“A stunning, avant garde approach to a plea for nuclear disarmament”– Entertainment Weekly
“The inherent strangeness of the experience—this not knowing what to do with oneself—made viewers vulnerable, which in turn made them more susceptible to the bomb’s message.” – Newsweek
From the team behind the internationally acclaimed documentary Food, Inc. and PBS’ AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, comes Command and Control, an eye-opening exploration of the long-hidden accidents, near misses, and high stakes connected to America’s nuclear weapons program. Based on best-selling author Eric Schlosser’s groundbreaking book, this urgent new documentary interweaves the story of an accident at a Titan II missile complex in Damascus, Arkansas, with a harrowing examination of how technological complexity and human fallibility have repeatedly brought the nation and world to the brink of nuclear disaster.
Filmed in a decommissioned Titan II missile silo in Arizona, Command and Control is directed by Robert Kenner, and written by Kenner and Eric Schlosser. The film is produced by Kenner, Melissa Robledo, Mark Samels and Schlosser.
Yvette Chin’s Epic Orphan, currently in production at Filament Games, is the concept that won Games for Change’s recent $10,000 challenge for a game that educates the public about risks associated with nuclear weapons. Epic Orphan is an episodic thriller where you are agent working in an anti-terrorism agency of a prominent superpower tasked with investigating nuclear incidents. Follow clues to solve puzzles and play other mini-games as you prevent terrorists from using uncontrolled radioactive materials to wreak havoc.
Imagine you’re the newly inaugurated U.S. president when you get word that Russian nuclear missiles have been launched and are headed toward the United States. Imagine you have only minutes to determine whether the attack is real and to decide whether to retaliate. Today, the U.S. and Russia keep nearly 2,000 nuclear weapons ready for immediate launch in a dangerous “hair-trigger status” that puts us all at unnecessary risk. Command and control systems are not perfect. People make mistakes. Sabotage can happen. Technology has flaws and systems fail. In Fall 2016, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) will release “Hair Trigger,” a new mobile game that pits the player—the new U.S. president—against time, luck and real-life close calls. In the course of the game, can you work with Russia to get weapons off hair-trigger before the next incident? Or will you blow up the world?
So what can you do?
We’ve demystified some of the issues so you can put your expertise to work.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE
The White House has made it a priority to reduce the likelihood that terrorists could use radiological or nuclear materials to disrupt the global supply chain, the economic consequences of which would be catastrophic. Just as critical is the goal to improve international capacity to prevent the illicit transport of those dangerous materials.
HOW MIGHT WE apply private sector supply chain innovation to manage, track, and monitor nuclear material?
The average American business spends $15 million a year on combatting cyber attacks, but how engaged are American companies in protecting their assets from nuclear terrorism?
How might nuclear weapons countries confidentially verify that their arsenals and materials are secure at all times? That is the subject of a Grand Challenge being launched this spring by Technology for Global Security—T4GS.
HOW MIGHT WE apply cutting-edge technologies to make us more secure from the threat of nuclear weapons?
HOW MIGHT WE create an indelible image of the threat of nuclear weapons?
The image of a polar bear on a tiny melting iceberg in the middle of the sea is burned into the collective consciousness as a symbol of climate change. What is the equivalent image that will raise awareness and arouse action for reducing the nuclear threat?
HOW MIGHT WE equip the next generation to tackle the responsibility of global nuclear security?
Nuclear issues can feel like “old news,” making it difficult to inspire widespread engagement. With a diminished focus on nuclear threats and a shrinking reliance on nuclear weapons comes a reduction of nuclear professionals equipped to tackle nuclear safety, security, and disarmament. But what if new ideas and new thinking could infuse the nuclear establishment? What if we looked at nuclear weapons risk as a design problem?
The Nuclear Risk Innovation Network will launch in waves and will eventually include active nodes in Business and Finance, Media, Technology, Education, and Arts and Culture. N Square will match funding for the most promising innovations to emerge from the network.