Community of Practice

Contributing members

Paul Mitchell

Professor Paul Mitchell has always been an “implicit designer”. He joined the Canadian Forces College as its first academic in 1998. He created the “Directorate of Academics” in 2001 as the College began to offer a Masters in Defence Studies as part of its Staff College level curriculum and grow its academic staff. He served as its first Director of Academics until 2005, a position he reprised between 2015 and 2021.

He spent two years at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, where along with Bernard Loo, he co-developed the Military Studies Programme offered to the Singaporean Armed Forces Command and Staff School.

In 2010, he began the development of Military Design instruction at Canadian Forces College, “stumbling into” the field while trying to answer questions on the declining utility of classical applications of force in military operations. Those initial steps soon grew into design related modules and exercises now offered on both the National Security Programme and the Joint Command and Staff Programme, and supported by two additional professors.

Along with Design education, Dr. Mitchell’s research has focused on naval strategy, submarine operations, and Network Centric Warfare. He was recognised by the IMDC Convention in 2018 for Innovation in Curriculum Design. He is presently researching a book on the Royal Canadian Navy’s Victoria Class submarines and playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Canadian Forces College Approach to Design Education


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Stumbling into Design: Action Experiments in Professional Military Education at Canadian Forces College

Author: Paul Mitchell Abstract: Operations for small militaries are largely about aid to civil power…

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Professor Paul Mitchell — Stumbling into Design

Canadian Forces College Professor Paul Mitchell shares his journey in discovering design thinking and the…

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