Alicia Wanless

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Alicia Wanless

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Alicia Wanless is a Ph.D. candidate in War Studies at King’s College, London. Past discussions of information ecology consist of two types: those attempting to bring an understanding of information into physical ecology; and those applying the term ecology to information management as a metaphor. There is a gap in drawing conceptual parallels from physical ecology to apply to the study of the information environment. Alicia’s research hypothesizes that similar forms of observation and categorization used in physical ecology, the study of environments, can be adapted to understand the information environment, “the virtual and physical space, in which information is received, processed and conveyed.”

Alicia’s work has included researching how the information environment has changed in a Digital Age, directing strategic communications campaigns in Syria, Vietnam and the former Soviet space, and advising tech companies, governments and militaries on operations and policy related to influence operations. Her current role, Director of the Partnership for Countering Influence Operations at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is one she created, developed and fundraised for. This multi-stakeholder initiative bridges industry, academia, civil society and government, among others, to tackle threats related to influence operations. Alicia was attracted to academic research to apply this practical experience to contribute to theoretical development of the information environment, in particular, filling a gap in explaining what the information environment is and how it works.