The commander of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, Gen. David G. Perkins, challenged military, industry and academic leaders attending the Mad Scientist Conference at Georgetown University here to think differently about the future.

The conference began Aug. 8 and ends today.

“There’s a preoccupation with trying to predict the future,” Perkins said. He challenged the attendees to describe the future — not predict it.

“That sounds like a nuance, but actually it’s a significant nuance,” Perkins said. He added that “describe” requires having a well-rounded understanding of the environment. It means understanding the changing variables and not ‘hardwiring’ a solution.