Day One 2025 Idea Open Call: Global Security

Remote - Washington, DC

In 2019, we came together with an idea to arm the next presidential administration in January 2020 with 100 implementation-ready policy proposals crowdsourced from the science, technology and innovation community. Not only was our call for ideas met with an overwhelming response, but along the way we honed a vision for policy entrepreneurship: how anyone can convert a merely promising idea into real movement.

Since 2020, we have helped a growing community of contributors develop promising policy ideas — an amazing number of which have already become policy. Together we have inspired over $2.6 billion in federal investment across key science and technology priorities, eight new cross-cutting federal initiatives, four executive actions, and more.

Now we sit on the verge of another Presidential election – and again FAS sees opportunity for meaningful, science-based policy innovations that can appeal to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. That’s why we’re launching “Day One 2025” – and renewing the call for bold policy ideas, grounded in science and evidence, that can tackle the country’s biggest challenges and bring us closer to the prosperous, equitable and safe future that we all hope for.

For this new effort, FAS has identified five priority areas where ideas and action are most sorely needed: Energy and Environment, Government Capacity, R&D, Innovation and Competitiveness, Global Security, and Emerging Technologies and Artificial Intelligence.

Day One 2025 Idea Open Call: Global Security

There are several high consequence events that could permanently cripple or destroy humanity, including nuclear war, global pandemics, biological attacks, or collision with a massive near-earth object. Humanity must proactively develop and pursue sound policies to address, prevent and mitigate these dangers. Through increased engagement across stakeholders, the development and implementation of policies that proactively mitigate risk, and strong domestic and international partnerships, humanity can improve prospects for long-term survival.The Day One Project is interested in ideas that fall under the following categories:  

Nuclear Weapons Policy

Global reliance and spending on nuclear weapons is growing, with dangerous implications for US and global security, stability, and survival. This expanding nuclear challenge is exacerbated by a lack of transparency among nuclear-armed nations about their arsenals, emerging weapon technologies, and the further introduction and integration of AI into the nuclear command and control and operations complex. These multiple technical advancements require informed and persistent discussions and engagement at the top most levels of government and society. Some of the key questions the Day One Project is interested in include: 

  • How can international frameworks be strengthened to enhance transparency among nuclear-armed nations regarding their arsenals, capabilities, and doctrines, while still ensuring national security needs are met?  How will the loss of legally binding treaties change the need to pursue additional non-traditional measures on stability and transparency?

  • What policies could be implemented to de-escalate tensions and reduce the risk of accidental or deliberate nuclear exchanges, especially in regions with heightened nuclear alert statuses?

  • In an area of rapid technological advancements, what innovative strategies can be pursued to ensure that nuclear modernization efforts enhance global security and stability, rather than contributing to potential arms races?

  • What steps can be taken to bolster government capacity for effective nuclear and arms control negotiations and foster innovation in arms control verification and enforcement mechanisms?

  • Given the potential integration of AI into nuclear command and control systems, what policies can ensure the responsible development and deployment of AI technologies to prevent unintended escalations and nuclear incidents?


Global pandemics and acts of bioterrorism bring widespread illness and mortality, global instability through economic disruption, and political and social unrest. Additionally, while the application of AI to rapidly produce vaccines, anticipate and respond to pandemics, eradicate whole classes of disease, and counter biowarfare is a promising area of investigation, challenges can stem from the use of AI to produce new, lethal, highly effective biological weapons, as well as the potential for bias, security, and privacy concerns with using AI in research and healthcare systems. The global community should work to reduce the amount and severity of pandemics, reduce bioterrorism threats, and accelerate the development of vaccines and treatments through ethical AI applications. Some of the key questions the Day One Project is interested in include:

  • What global health surveillance systems and information-sharing mechanisms can be developed to predict and prevent pandemics before they spread?

  • How can global biosecurity measures be enhanced to better prevent, detect, and respond to bioterrorism threats, including the development of rapid response mechanisms?

  • Given AI’s dual-use potential in both advancing and posing risks to biosecurity, what policies or regulatory frameworks can be established to promote transparency, ethical research, and security in the use of AI for biological research and vaccine development?

  • In deploying AI to combat pandemics and improve global health security, what strategies can ensure these innovations do not exacerbate existing inequalities and are accessible to all communities, including the most vulnerable?

Planetary Defense

The last collision with a massive near-earth object 65 million years ago caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, killed ¾ of all life on earth, and led to a global ice age. Another impact with a near-earth object could have catastrophic impacts on modern civilization and Earth’s ecosystems. The US and global stakeholders should work to develop a planetary defense system capable of identifying, monitoring, and neutralizing potential near-earth object threats to prevent a similar catastrophic event from occurring in the future. Some of the key questions the Day One Project is interested in include:

  • What steps can be taken to improve the detection, tracking, and cataloging of near-earth objects to ensure the timely identification of these threats, and how can international cooperation be leveraged in these efforts?

  • What R&D priorities should be set to advance the technologies capable of neutralizing or diverting potentially hazardous near-earth objects, and how can these technologies be tested in a responsible manner?

  • How can international legal and cooperative frameworks be structured to facilitate a coordinated global response to near-earth object threads, including the sharing of technology and data?

  • How can funding for planetary defense initiatives be prioritized within national budgets and international funding mechanisms to ensure sustained investment?

Want to contribute an idea focused on Global Security? Apply below.