Having worn the uniform and taken the oath to defend our country from all threats foreign and domestic, I particularly enjoy Memorial Day as I reflect on those who paid the ultimate price in defense of our ideals. And let’s be clear, pursuing and protecting our ideals isn’t always the path of least resistance; quite the contrary.

We are reminded of the challenges we face every day in the programs, blogs, papers, and other media that we consume. In addition to economic stress and political instability, we are still combating multiple ‘wars’ that deal with these challenges and more – all while bad people are trying to kill innocent people.

So it is appropriate that this week we are hosting a Summit on Entrepreneurship and Expeditionary Economics. The Summit will engage leading scholars, thinkers, and practitioners of economics, counterinsurgency, and stability operations to present and discuss their thoughts on how to achieve sustainable economic development in post-conflict, post-catastrophe areas.

We view Expeditionary Economics (EE) as a framework for thinking about how to stimulate economic growth in post-combat zones where the American military is about to perform, is performing, or has concluded a mission. The premise of EE is that long-term success of armed engagements will depend on the performance of the economy once combat subsides and the process of rebuilding begins, and further, that building a capacity to establish entrepreneurial capitalism and economic growth is the best way to achieve our post-conflict, post-catastrophe goals.

As I have stated in this blog before, entrepreneurs are leading the economic recovery – turns out that entrepreneurs can also lead the way to peace. So as we remember the brave men and women that have served and currently serve, let’s also keep in our thoughts the entrepreneurs that bravely venture out into the unknown and take risks to build companies that generate the wealth, employ our citizens, and contribute to a society worth defending. 

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  • Thom Ruhe Director of Entrepreneurship The Kauffman Foundation