NORTHFIELD, Vt. — The 2019 Norwich University Military Writers’ Symposium, with the theme of “Warfare in the 21st Century: Future Battlegrounds,” will run Sept. 24 through Sept. 25. A Todd Lecture presentation, “LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media,” will conclude the symposium by one of the authors and panelists, Peter Warren Singer, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 in Mack Hall Auditorium.

All symposium events except the Meet the Authors dinner are free and open to the public. Events include book and other presentations and a panel discussion.

The Norwich University Military Writers’ Symposium, now held in the fall, replaces the William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium, which was held in the spring. Norwich continues its tradition of recognizing a first work with the annual Colby Award.

In April 2019, Paul Scharre captured the 2019 William E. Colby Award for his book, “Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War.” Norwich University awards the Colby prize, now in its 20th year, annually to a first solo work of fiction or nonfiction that has made a major contribution to the understanding of military history, intelligence operations or international affairs.

Bill Gates selected “Army of None,” the debut book by Scharre, a senior fellow and director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, as a top pick for 2018. Scharre served as a special operations reconnaissance team leader in the U.S. Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion and completed multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Colby Award winners receive a $5,000 author honorarium provided through the generosity of the Chicago-based Pritzker Military Foundation. Scharre will receive the award and honorarium during the symposium.

Scharre will join Benedetta Berti and Peter Warren Singer for a moderated panel discussion, “Warfare in the 21st Century: Future Battlegrounds” from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25. The panel discussion will be livestreamed on the Peace and War Center site at A book signing will follow the panel from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

At 7 p.m. that Wednesday, Singer will give a Todd Lecture presentation on the new weaponization of social media in Mack Hall Auditorium. The presentation will be livestreamed at the Todd Lecture website:

Berti is an Eisenhower Global Fellow and a TED Senior Fellow. She has held positions at Harvard University, West Point, the Institute for National Security Studies, and the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Since 2018, she has served as head of policy planning in the Office of the Secretary General at NATO.

Singer has been named by the Smithsonian as one of the nation’s 100 leading innovators; by Defense News as one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues; by Foreign Policy to its Top 100 Global Thinkers List; as an official “Mad Scientist” for the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command; and by Onalytica social media data analysis as one of the 10 most influential voices in the world on cybersecurity and 25th most influential in robotics. His latest book, “LikeWar,” explores how social media has changed war and politics, and war and politics has changed social media.

Author Ian Brown will give a book presentation 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 at Kreitzberg Library. Brown, a U.S. Marine Corps major and CH-53E helicopter pilot and a 2015 graduate of Norwich’s online Master of Military History program, has published works on maneuver warfare doctrine and future warfare concepts in the Marine Corps Gazette and online publication War on the Rocks. He is also the author of “A New Conception of War.”

Brown’s opinions are his alone and do not reflect those of the Krulak Center, Marine Corps University, U.S. Marine Corps, Defense Department or any part of the U.S. government.

For the full schedule, including presentations by Berti and Scharre, visit

This year’ symposium is presented in partnership with Norwich University’s Todd Lecture Series.


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