Collaboration in a Complex and Uncertain World

From the Cold War, to terrorism to cyber threats to global pandemic – what does the intelligence community now have to do to demonstrate value and results from their efforts?  In this complex and uncertain world one thing that is certain is the need for collaboration between every level of intelligence practitioner and every organisation large or small.

The challenges of 2020 and 2021 have highlighted an increasing requirement for improved collaboration and cooperation between intelligence professionals, and within the expanding intelligence community. In times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, the need to leverage partnerships and relationships has never been more prescient. The COVID-19 global pandemic demonstrated the need to ensure relationships between partners and agencies remain strong, to meet increasing demands for greater connectivity, and embrace the rapidly changing technological and information management landscape. Navigation of the increasingly diverse intelligence and information custodian communities will effectively leverage change and identify opportunities for future collaboration.

There are many areas to be explored to enhance collaboration but the key sub themes for Intelligence International 2022 have been identified as:


Changing expectations of data usage and information requires increasing consideration about the ethical application of technology, intelligence techniques and tradecraft. Public expectations of the want for personal privacy, balanced against a desire for transparency of officially held information, is an increasing challenge faced by those working in the intelligence profession.

As the amount of information that can be leveraged increases, the ethical use of intelligence generated is an increasing challenge for the global intelligence community.


Increasing amounts of information held by commercial entities, monetised by information brokerage, and driven by a mobile and connected society, provides new opportunities for near real time insights. The benefits of brokered information, including the ‘adtech’ ecosystem, is well known within the commercial community. This is a data driven market, leveraging highly advanced analytics to deliver competitive advantage in a complex and evolving environment. 

The intelligence community will increasingly need to look beyond its ‘business as usual’ data holdings and seek non-traditional partnerships within the private sector to access these expanded data sources to better inform decision-making.


The global intelligence community is facing an increasingly complex series of challenges. Whilst the fundamental business of ‘intelligence’ has not changed, effective capability planning is an essential part of an integrated global intelligence approach. 

Technological improvements and an expanded collection environment require the enhancement of practitioner tools and techniques. Ensuring the 21st Century intelligence workforce is ‘future ready’ will also require a reassessment of intelligence organisation capabilities, including the need for effective intelligence leadership. 

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