Evolving Technologies: Innovation, Competition, and Change

This online, self-paced course focuses on the critical issues leaders must grasp as we move into a global environment increasingly reshaped by geopolitical and economic competition in high-tech manufacturing, biotechnology, security, and the unknowns of future innovation. Registration accepted on a rolling basis.

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At a Glance

Course Date

April 8 – December 31, 2024





$500 reduced tuition for nonprofits

CSIS offers a reduced tuition rate for individuals working in government or nonprofit sectors.

Registration Deadline

December 31, 2024

Registration accepted on a rolling basis

Rolling Admissions


Critical technologies—artificial intelligence, quantum computing, advances in biotechnology, and more—are evolving and intersecting at an ever-increasing velocity. Together, they will change our lives and work in fundamental and unknowable ways. This online, self-paced course focuses less on how these technologies work and more on why they matter, what to watch for, and how to prepare. What political, economic, and social transformations will this Fourth Industrial Revolution bring, and how do we design policies and systems that will amplify its promise while anticipating and mitigating negative consequences?

In this course, you will

  • Analyze the geopolitical, social, economic, and security implications of critical evolving technologies.  
  • Examine the interplay between innovation and global competition and how it creates strategic advantages and vulnerabilities.  
  • Discern how U.S. policy might—or should—evolve to address key concerns about privacy, security, and technological leadership. 
  • Evaluate indicators that signify the relevance and maturity of pivotal technologies.
  • Calculate how evolving technologies will interact with one another to intensify and complicate their impact.
  • Glean crucial insights into how to seize opportunities and manage risk in your field across a technology landscape that’s changing at an ever-accelerating pace. 


Module 1 - Innovation and Competition

  • The Global Race to Define the Future with Dr. James A. Lewis
  • Deciphering Antitrust Issues in Digital Markets with Caitlin Chin-Rothmann
  • Building the Innovation Workforce with Dr. Sujai Shivakumar
  • Safeguarding Intellectual Property with Ross Ford
  • Trade and Technology with Emily Benson 

Module 2 - AI, Data, and Networks

  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution: AI and Big Data with Michael Frank  
  • Digital Infrastructure in the Age of Intelligence with Michael Frank
  • Rebuilding Trust in Information and Institutions with Suzanne Spaulding
  • Counteracting Hacking and Tracking with Marti Flacks
  • Privacy versus Big Data with Caitlin Chin-Rothmann

Module 3 - Industrial Applications and Policy

  • Why Tech Standards Matter with CSIS’s Renewing American Innovation Program
  • Semiconducting Foreign Trade with Dr. Sujai Shivakumar
  • Building Critical Mineral Security with Dr. Gracelin Baskaran
  • Game-changing Climate Technology with Dr. Joseph Majkut

Module 4 - Biotechnology

  • Uses and Misuses of Genomics with Dr. J. Stephen Morrison
  • AI-enabled Biology with Dr. Carol Kuntz
  • Medical Innovation and Human Systems with Dr. J. Stephen Morrison
  • Seeding the Future of Agriculture with David Michel

Module 5 - Security

  • Autonomous Weapons in the Future Force with Gregory C. Allen
  • Strategic Approaches to Hypersonic Missiles with Dr. Thomas Karako
  • Addressing Cyber Insecurities with Dr. James A. Lewis
  • Rethinking Intelligence with Emily Harding

Module 6 - What Does the Future Hold?

  • Decrypting Quantum with Emily Harding
  • Navigating a Crowded Space with Kari A. Bingen
  • Evolving Tech at Human Scale with Caitlin Chin-Rothmann, Michael Frank, and Barbara Petzen 


The course will be valuable to professionals across a variety of fields—corporate, government, nonprofit, or military—who are seeking a better understanding of how evolving technologies will transform their sectors. No technical background is necessary. Registrants may join the course as individuals or as a team of colleagues. While the primary policy focus will be on the U.S., EU, and China, the course is open to interested participants from around the globe.

Certification will be awarded to participants who complete the minimum course requirements.

How to Register

Early registration will open on March 25 and continue on a rolling basis. The course will open to users on April 8.  

Participants may complete the six modules at their own pace. Once users log into the course platform, they will have access to materials, lessons, and activities for three months.


For more information on the course, please contact Learning and Development Coordinator Miriam Rothschild at mrothschild@csis.org.

Why online education with CSIS?  

  • Critical content: Get expert analysis on timely issues. Dive deeper with a library of additional resources and track updates from key faculty and programs.  
  • World-class experts: Investigate the most significant issues through the perspective and acumen of the seasoned practitioners and analysts at one of the world’s top think tanks. 
  • Flexible course structure: Learn at your own pace wherever and whenever you like.   
  • Interactive discussions and projects: Synthesize and apply course insights to your own context.  
  • Facilitated networking: Meet participants from around the world in a variety of fields and make professional connections through intentional and effective collaborative learning design.
Director, Project on Critical Minerals Security and Senior Fellow, Energy Security and Climate Change Program
Emily Benson

Emily Benson

Former Director, Project on Trade and Technology and Former Senior Fellow, Scholl Chair in International Business
Kari Bingen
Director, Aerospace Security Project and Senior Fellow, International Security Program
Marti Flacks

​Marti Flacks

Former Khosravi Chair in Principled Internationalism and Former Director, Human Rights Initiative
Ross Ford
Adjunct Fellow (Non-resident), Project on Trade and Technology
Michael Frank

Michael Frank

Former Senior Fellow, Wadhwani Center for AI and Advanced Technologies
Emily Harding
Director, Intelligence, National Security, and Technology Program and Deputy Director, International Security Program
Tom Karako
Senior Fellow, International Security Program and Director, Missile Defense Project
Carol Kuntz
Adjunct Fellow (Non-Resident), Strategic Technologies Program
James Andrew Lewis
Senior Vice President; Pritzker Chair; and Director, Strategic Technologies Program
Joseph Majkut
Director, Energy Security and Climate Change Program
Sujai Shivakumar
Director and Senior Fellow, Renewing American Innovation Project
Suzanne Spaulding
Director, Defending Democratic Institutions, and Senior Adviser, Homeland Security, International Security Program
Caitlin Welsh
Director, Global Food and Water Security Program