Connections NL 2020

Monday 7 December 2020, Connections NL Defense 2020 was fully digital

Connections NL 2020 powered by SAGANET - KVMO

On Monday December 7th 2020, Connections Netherlands was successfully held in a digital format from Hoofddorp, a location within the Amsterdam Defence Line (an appropriate military location).

Except for some technical hiccups in the RAND presentation in the morning, all went smooth and well.

In the morning Sarah Grand-Clement and James Black (RAND) presented the RAND way of looking at and using wargaming in their work. Their presentations will be available on this website shortly.


After lunch, Bart Schouten from Slitherine had the floor and showed how his company, a wargame publisher primarily focussed on the hobby market, also provides software and assistance for the professional military market.


The last of the three keynotes was by Professor Jan Oliver Schwarz of Reutlingen University.


A final panel session was held live from the White Farm in Hoofddorp (our beautiful location for 2020) with Lt RNl Marines Ruben introducing wargaming for Marines and with Michiel Heijmans, Natalia Wojtowicz and Commander Niels Woudstra, RNl Navy.

Presentations and goodie-bag

Rand wargaming scenario's, downloadable here: RAND1 and RAND2

Presentation by Professor Jan Oliver Schwarz: wargaming in the private sector

Presentation by Lt Ruben, RNlN Marine Corps: wargaming with the Marines


The AAR of Connections NL 2020 can be found here: AAR


There is a digital goodie-bag with free books on wargaming and free board & PC games. It can be downloaded in PDF here: goodie-bag


Keynote speaker & panel members bio's

RAND Europe

Sarah Grand-Clément is an Senior Analyst in the Defence, Security and Infrastructure (DSI) research programme at RAND Europe. Her work spans the defence and security sectors, including counterterrorism and counter-radicalisation; European security and regional geopolitics; and future technology. She is experienced in the use of futures methodologies including scenarios and gaming.

James Black is a Research Leader in the Defence, Security and Infrastructure (DSI) research programme at RAND Europe. His work focuses on defence, geopolitical and strategic decision making in the context of deep uncertainty, including the impact of emerging technologies on society and military operations. He conducts both qualitative and quantitative research through a variety of methods, including strategic-level gaming.


Reutlingen University

Jan Oliver Schwarz is a Professor of Strategic Management and Leadership at the ESB Business School, Reutlingen University, Germany and a Senior Advisor at the Institute for Innovation and Change Methodologies (IICM), Munich, Germany. His academic and consulting work specializes in future-oriented strategy development which includes implementing corporate foresight processes and applying approaches such as scenario planning and business wargaming.   


Panel discussion
Michiel Hijmans, Commodore RNlN ret. served as a naval officer for 36 years, commanding several vessels in the Dutch fleet. He served as commander of NATO forces in anti piracy missions.
International defence policy experience from his posting a defence attaché in Washington DC and as deputy commander of the international military cooperation staff in the Hague and Brussels.

At the moment he is senior consultant in naval security and trainer in leadership of his company LiDRS.

Natalia Wojtowicz is a lecturer at the Hague University of Applied Sciences in Safety and Security Management Studies. She has worked at NATO Headquarters, Brussels in the Defence Investment Division. Thereafter she moved to the Hague to join the NATO Civil-Military Cooperation Center of Excellence where she initiated the wargaming, modelling, and simulation project and led it 2017-2020. She focused on the introduction of the civilian population into wargaming to create new formats representative of modern war. She continues to collect and discuss wargaming experiences of our times. Follow her on Twitter @Wojtowicz_N.

First lieutenant Ruben is working for the Netherlands Marine Corps as an intelligence officer. His work is analysing the terrain and the enemy. The fusion of these two analyses predicts the likely adversary actions and reactions. In wargaming sessions during the planning, he plays the adversaries to improve the final operation concept. He was asked to organize a series of wargames to reveal current shortfalls, in order to prepare the Marine Corps for future missions.