TEDx Ofra Graicer
29 May 2020

In SOD We Trust: Strategy and the Art of Letting Go | TEDxBudapestSalon

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Presentation by Dr. Ofra Graicer


Top-Level Operators (Executives, Generals, Senior ranking officials and functionaries) must function in a reality that is ever shifting (locally, regionally, globally); in which many factors are beyond their control.

Today’s reality is more complex and more intense than ever, due to technological, cultural, social, political, economical and ecological trends. The challenges they are faced with are not only ‘physical’ but also metaphysical:
– How to comprehend something we are witnessing for the first time?
– How to understand a situation that is constantly evolving?
– How to understand a reality that I am a part of?
– How to understand reality in a systemic (wholistic) way when we are educated to analyse problems by breaking them apart?

Systemic Operational Design, originally an Israeli invention, is a theory and practice being developed and tested in military complexes around the world, aiming to solve that puzzle above. My TedX talk will roughly explain the essence of SOD and its appeal in and out of the Defence domain:

(1) ’Self Disruption’ – How to Win the Race between Civilisations [Culturally Oriented] – The West is losing the ongoing competition of values and ways of life; Mainly due to its societies resistance to change. In order to change the world, one must first change itself. The talk will explain the ideas of self-disruption and degrees of freedom, as means for the West to get a new grasp on reality.

(2) ’There can only be One’ – The Paradoxes of Design and Strategy [Design Oriented] – Unlike a common misunderstanding viewing strategy as an elaborate effort of planning/engineering in huge scales, the strategic realm is comprised essentially from tensions, paradoxes, black holes and anomalies. The talk will borrow from the languages of design, architecture and story-telling, in the pursuit of winning strategies.

(3) ’Re-Compassing in a World of Chaos – The Promise of Systemic Operational Design (SOD) [Defence Oriented] – Nation States and their militaries post 9/11 are losing more than winning today’s battles. National interests are hard to define, and national societies are getting more and more disinclined to rally around lost causes. The talk will provide an alternative to executing national policy through the use of recent examples from Europe and the Middle East. Dr. Ofra Graicer is co-instructor of the Israeli Defence Forces Generals Course; Paying forward her exper@se in Strategic Operational Design (SOD), Special Operations and Defence Systems. For the past 20 years she has been working with Government Agents and NGO Executives towards creating strategic focus and operational efficacy, in Israel and abroad. Ofra is an activist in the fields of Alternative National Security and occasionally freelances as a publicist on current affairs. She is educated in Art and Film, Political Science and Security Studies. Served as a Snipers Officer in the IDF. Married+3 and transitions culturally between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at



Budapest, Hungary
March 5, 2020

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