Aerospace and Defense Keynote Speaker


Aerospace and defense is being disrupted and changing faster than ever before. For a customized keynote that is energizing, impactful, and actionable – book Kaihan for your next aerospace and defense event or conference.


The aerospace and defense industries are experiencing dramatic change and disruption. Supply chain management, sustainability, the human-machine relationship, and contract availability are all top of mind. When change happens there is opportunity to re-imagine business models, re-think how you engage employees, re-evaluate what impact your organization has on the world, and develop creative solutions to complex problems.


Selecting the right keynote speaker for your aerospace and defense event is one of the most important decisions you will make this year. Content, energy, ability to connect to an audience, and actionability are all important factors to consider. Former McKinsey Consultant, NYU Professor, bestselling author, and globally recognized authority on strategy, growth, and transformation, Kaihan Krippendorff will make your event an undeniable success with a customized aerospace and defense keynote that leverages his unique perspective and deep experience in the industry.



Throughout his career as a consultant, keynote speaker, and founder of the Outthinker Strategy Network (an exclusive network of Chief Strategy Officers and Executives from Fortune 500 and private companies with $1B+ revenue), Kaihan Krippendorff has worked with some of the biggest brands in aerospace and defense including: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Collins Aerospace, and Pratt & Whitney.




The time to act is now. Don’t just be a Thinker. Be an Outthinker.



An active leader in aerospace and defense, Kaihan brings deep industry experience, proprietary research, and exclusive insights to every keynote he delivers.


Eric Shinseki


  • Spending in the defense industry, globally, is estimated to grow 2.8 percent in 2021, passing $2T (Deloitte). 
  • Defense spending in the United States is expected to remain mostly flat, while growing elsewhere in the world (Deloitte). 
  • Seventy-two percent of A&D executives stated that they are investing in improving “supply chain ecosystems” to leverage strategic partnerships (Deloitte).  
  • Globally, A&D could see a $20B increase in value through further expansion into the digital space (McKinsey). 
  • The aerospace industry has the lowest rate of spending on innovation, at 4.1 percent (Linchpin). 

Supply Chain Management

How Mobility Happens

The Human-Machine Relationship

Contract Availability

Supply Chain Management

  • Global decline in demand for air transport brought on by larger restrictions on the movement of people and goods heavily impacted the A&D industry.  
  • With 81 percent of A&D executives agreeing that their business and technology strategies must be interconnected (Accenture), digitizing supply chain management moves to the front.  
  • During the pandemic, smaller suppliers lacking agility and flexibility in their supply chains had trouble sustaining the ebb and flow of demand (Deloitte).  
  • Companies with supply chains poised to service commercial aerospace and defense should explore reduction of overflow of critical inventory between them through dynamic planning.  
  • Areas such as onshoring, vertical integration, and cyber defense are strong opportunities for growth towards more resilient supply chains (Deloitte).  
  • Utilization of tools in the digital space, such as automation, smart management systems, and data analytics is critical to improving the capabilities of A&D supply chain management. 
  • One company leveraging the digital space to enhance supply chains is Orbital Insight, who, in a partnership with Unilever, analyzes a variety of data points—from cellphone geolocation to satellite imagery—to assess and improve the effectiveness and integrity of one of Unilever’s key product supply chains (Fast Company). 

How Mobility Happens

  • As companies across industries move towards more environmentally-conscious changes, A&D are no exception. The innovation needed to reduce carbon emissions also spurs development of new eco-friendly technologies for transportation. 
  • New methods of propulsion and types of fuel are being tested as viable alternatives to conventional jet fuel; electric propulsion in aircraft has the potential to reduce carbon emissions, while decreasing costs, increasing efficiency, and reducing flight noise.
  • Rolls-Royce successfully tested its hybrid M250 turbine in 2019, and plans to integrate it with aircraft and begin experimental flights in 2021 (Deloitte).
  • Hydrogen shows promise as an efficient and responsible fuel alternative with minimal effects on the environment. Hydrogen power for aircraft is in the early stages, with many companies testing it in various use cases. 
  • Airbus SE is ahead of the curve, developing a zero-emission, hydrogen-powered aircraft (the ZEROe concept) that could enter service as soon as 2035 (DeloitteAirbus).  
  • With moves towards eco-friendliness in mobility come changes in the transportation landscape. NASA, through its Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) national campaign, seeks to encourage companies in emerging markets to explore new types of air transportation for people and goods, beginning in the urban market (NASA).  

The Human-Machine Relationship

  • In 2021, the United States’ defense budget for the modernization of the armed forces was $704.6B (Mordor Intelligence). The next greatest battlefield of A&D lies in mechanical and digital technology and how people use it.  
  • As AI/ML expands, so do its capabilities across a wide variety of aerospace and defense applications.  
  • Decision-makers in crucial positions will be less involved in the collection and organization of data, and more involved in the analysis and execution processes. 
  • AI applications in ISR, command and control, and weapons effectiveness are becoming increasingly valuable (Mordor Intelligence). Advances in AI-based biometric technologies open up new opportunities for data collection, analysis, and security.
  • Automation and robotics in A&D provide new opportunities to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of human-machine relationships.  
  • Lockheed Martin’s ONYX-powered exoskeleton, offered to customers across military, industrial, and civilian markets, seeks to enhance users’ mobility and wellbeing by improving the ergonomics of walking, carrying, and even climbing (Lockheed Martin).  

Contract Availability

  • Driven by the global effects of COVID-19, the United States Department of Defense increased spending on contracts to $445B in 2020, an increase of around 10 percent over the previous year (Bloomberg Government). 
  • While the majority of contract spending is allocated to the “big five”—Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing—the task of innovation and modernization in the defense industry will still rely on new entrants (Bloomberg Government).  
  • In 2020, the Pentagon awarded a record number of small contracts and handed out $1.5B in early funding to over a thousand firms (Fast CompanySBIR). Cutting-edge ISR technologies, especially those being developed for the Air Force (Mordor Intelligence) are of high interest.  

Trends in Aerospace and Defense

The Outthinker 8P framework – opportunities for disruption and innovation in aerospace & defense


  • Raytheon Technologies, formed by a merger of Raytheon Company and United Technologies in 2019, is an aerospace and defense technology company providing a wide portfolio of products to companies in the commercial aerospace and defense industries.  
  • Through its subsidiary Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Technologies is essentially the proprietary manufacturer of geared turbofan engines for aircraft, a technology which paid off during the pandemic for its cost effectiveness and other benefits (Forbes). 
  • Raytheon Technologies holds a strong stake in key areas of innovation in the defense industry, such as digital radar, electronic warfare and cyber security, and hypersonic weapons. 
  • The company plans to accelerate innovation and modernization through its deeply diversified team due to the merger (Forbes). 
  • In May 2020, SpaceX became the first privately held company to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, a feat not accomplished on United States soil in nearly 10 years. The company sent another team of astronauts in November, with a third mission scheduled for 2021 (Fast Company).
  • SpaceX stole the show, and continues to do so, through its industry-leading ability to recycle and reuse rockets for different uses and multiple launches. The Falcon 9, used to complete the Starlink satellite constellation, accomplished its seventh successful launch and recovery.
  • SpaceX’s Starlink constellation, comprised of over 7,500 satellites, aims to bring high-speed broadband internet to people in every kind of geographic location.
“8Ps” of StrategyOpportunity
for Disruption
Recommended Leverage Points
Position- The farmers, individual and corporate, that you are targeting.

- The need of the agricultural industry that you seek to fill.
3- What technologies do you control that can help you tap into market
segments that you previously thought unreachable?

- What are the potential business alliances you could think about with key players in the segment to serve your customers with integrated solutions? (Serving customers with more integrated solutions example: serving farmers with fertilizers, crop protection and other).
Product- The products you offer, and the characteristics that affect their value to customers.

- The technology you develop for producing those products.
8- What moves are your organization taking to implement Big Data and analytics to your operations? What IoT and blockchain applications can you use?

- What tools and technology could you utilize or develop to improve food quality, traceability, and

- How can you develop a more sustainable production model to accommodate constraints on arable

- What is the future business model needed to serve new differentiated products to your customers?
Promotion- How you connect with farmers and consumers across a variety of locations and industries.
- How to make consumers, producers, and other stakeholders aware of your products and services.
8- How are you connecting your product with individual and corporate farms who could utilize it?
- How could you anticipate market and customer needs to make customers interested in accessing your differentiated products?
PriceHow consumers and other members of the agricultural supply chain pay for access to agricultural products.7- What elements of value comprise your pricing? How do each of those elements satisfy the varying needs of your customers?
Placement- How food products reach consumers. How the technologies, data, and services reach stakeholders in the supply chain.9- What new paths might exist for helping consumers access the food they desire?
- How are you adapting your operations and supply chain to accommodate consumers’ desire for proximity to the food they eat?
- How could you anticipate customer expectation to make products more
accessible to customers/agile supply chain?
- Have you considered urbanization as a part of your growth strategy?
- How your food satisfies the needs and desires of your customer.
- How the services you provide to agribusiness fulfill their needs.
9- Where does your food rate on a taste, appearance, and freshness
- Could the services you provide to companies and farms in the agriculture industry be expanded to meet more needs?
- What senses does your food affect besides hunger? How does your
customer extract value from your food in addition to consumption?
Processes- Guiding your food production operations in a manner cognizant of social pressure.8- How can you manage the supply chain differently to improve traceability and reduce waste?
- How can you innovate systems in production, processing, storing, shipping, retailing, etc.?
- What are new capabilities to increase sustainability (impact on the environment, or ESG) components?
People- The choices you make regarding hiring, organizing, and incentivizing your people and your culture.- How are you leveraging the agricultural experience of your staff bottom-up to achieve your vision?
- How do you anticipate new organizational capabilities needed to perform your future strategy (innovation, exponential technologies needed, agile customer relationship, innovative supply chain)?
- How do you manage your talents to assure suitable development with exposure in the agrifood main challenges/allowing a more sustainable view of the opportunities/cross-sectors?