Providing insight into a World of Learning

World-renowned learning and development professionals are to provide insight at this year’s World of Learning Conference & Exhibition, returning to the NEC Birmingham on 17-18 October

Leading learning and development (L&D) experts, including figures from PwC, J.P. Morgan, Barclays Bank, the BBC and Securitas Security Services, are set to share their expertise at the well-renowned World of Learning conference and exhibition this autumn.

A highlight in the L&D calendar every year, World of Learning combines a world-class conference with an exhibition showcasing 100 L&D providers, The Technology Test Drive, Apprenticeship Zone, Learning Design Live, live workshops, one-to-one consultations and free seminars. Connecting those at the forefront of L&D innovation with an audience of senior-level L&D stakeholders, the conference programme covers key areas impacting the L&D industry today, from organisational agility to embedding learning within the culture of employers.

Opening the World of Learning Conference is Dr Fons Trompenaars, a well-known and highly respected name in the world of L&D. A consultant, trainer and author, Fons has more than 25 years’ experience helping Fortune 500 leaders and professionals from companies such as Shell, Nike and Merr increase their global effectiveness and performance. In his keynote session, 'The future of workplace learning', Fons will share unique insights with the World of Learning conference audience on how workplace learning must and will evolve, helping attendees to keep the future in mind as they accumulate knowledge and expertise throughout the rest of the conference.

Also joining the list of prestigious keynote speakers is Geoff Stead, director of Digital at Cambridge English, Cambridge University. With more than two decades of experience designing and developing digital learning products, Geoff will enlighten audiences on the latest developments in learning technology. Geoff’s continued leadership in the development of innovative new digital assessment and learning products allows him to share a privileged insight into the possibilities that modern learning technology can offer today’s L&D functions.

Louise Brownhill, chief learning officer at PwC, leads the first keynote address on the second day of the conference as she examines 'What defines a strong learning culture', while later in the day Ben Betts, CEO of HT2, will present a thought-provoking session on 'Campaign learning: your strategy to deliver performance support'. The pertinent topic of apprenticeships will be tackled by Mike Thompson, director of Early Careers at Barclays Bank, in his presentation Building a successful apprenticeship programme.

At the heart of the conference lies a theme that will be tackled by Lorna Leeson, global head of Change at XPO Logistics, as she examines the challenges of managing change. In her presentation, 'Unlearning, the challenge of change', Lorna will illustrate how to engage leadership and support the teams responsible for implementing change.

Unleashing the power of the L&D professional
Attendees who are seeking extra motivation and tips to make an impact should attend 'Unleashing the power of the L&D professional', to be presented by Jane Daly, head of Strategic Insights at Towards Maturity.

Jane comments: “We’re seeing change on a huge scale and the pressure’s on for L&D; we need to step up and deliver. At Towards Maturity we’ve been researching the concept of the new learning organisation, a concept and model introduced by Senge back in the 90s and described as an organisation that’s ‘continuously transforming itself.’ With increasingly global workforces, rapid changes in technology and a growing gig economy, now’s the time to revisit these ideas.

“At World of Learning we’ll be sharing our new research and tackling six areas that can help business success, including growth, transformation, productivity and profitability. We’re going to be giving attendees the tools to change – it’s up to the audience if they run with them or not!’

Emily O’Mahony, head of Learning Development at Securitas, will join Barry Sampson of The More Than Blended Learning Company to demonstrate practical steps to designing a flexible, future-proof and effective learning blend in their session: 'A modern approach to blended learning'.

Welcomed back for his third year as conference chair is author of Informal Learning for Organisations and L&D expert Robin Hoyle. Robin will be closing the conference with his keynote session on 'Creating an effective learning environment'. In his presentation he will cement in the minds of the conference audience the practice of embedding learning within the culture of organisations.

Robin comments: “I’m really excited about the line-up for 2017 World of Learning conference. The speakers who will be sharing their stories represent a terrific brains trust – a great mix of futurologists and ‘doers’ who have gone beyond theory into using innovative approaches to deliver results for their organisations.

“The key theme for 2017 can be summarised as ‘how do we make a difference and how do we show others that a difference has been made?’ This goes beyond ROI calculations for individual programmes and looks at the value we in L&D can really bring to the organisations with which we work and the colleagues we serve.

“I’ve been involved in World of Learning for many years. My aim and the aim of the team who work tirelessly to bring the event to fruition, is to ensure pragmatic, evidence-based and practical lessons for the L&D professional. I’m sure that this year’s event will be one of the standout meeting points in the global L&D calendar.”

Practical advice and proven strategies
Andrew Gee, senior project manager for the World of Learning, summarises: “More than ever, this year’s World of Learning conference will deliver a valuable combination of inspiration, practical advice and proven strategies for the audience to harness immediately. The goldmine of expertise shared by the top-level presenters will enhance delegates’ ability to support organisational agility in an environment of change and to truly embed learning within the culture of their organisations.”

The conference runs in parallel with the free-to-attend World of Learning Exhibition where visitors can meet more than 100 L&D providers. The exhibition also includes a comprehensive programme of free seminars and a range of interactive areas where visitors can receive practical advice and hands-on experience of tools and technologies.

Learning Design Live offers a conference programme designed specifically for anyone involved in learning tech design providing them with in-depth advice and allowing them to share ideas with other design specialists. Topics discussed include creating effective micro-learning, gamification, rapid design and development, and enhancing the visual aspects of content.

Those keen to understand how immersive learning experiences are already delivering compelling outcomes for L&D can visit the Virtual Reality (VR) Suite and see VR in action. World of Learning has partnered with eLearning Studios who have been working with companies, including L’Oreal and British Gas, to showcase how VR can be successfully used for L&D.

Also running as part of the exhibition are the immersive Inspiration Zones. These areas allow visitors to receive interactive and effective advice on best practice and new developments. The Technology Test Drive will exhibit how to utilise the latest technologies, while the Mindfulness Zone will show how to integrate mindfulness techniques into the workplace, with both aiming to create a growing and sustainable rise in employee productivity and engagement.

The Experiential Learning Zone offers a collection of specialised workshops on vital areas such as engagement, well-being and leadership development including ‘Realistic optimism – always looking on the bright side of work’ and ‘The mind-body connection: using laughter for motivation and resilience’. Visitors can also take part in a series of interactive bite-sized sessions on leadership, 70:20:10 learning, engagement and well-being. The Team Building Zone also offers the opportunity to get hands on in a variety of team building battles against the clock. In addition, the Resilience Zone will be returning to offer invaluable advice on how to cultivate behavioural agility in challenging and changing times.

Understanding the Apprenticeship Levy
With the government implementing the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017, those concerned with how best to deliver apprenticeships within their business should head to the Apprenticeship Zone. Now in its second year, visitors to the show will be able to engage with apprenticeship training providers and meet experts who are able explain all there is to know about the recently launched Levy. A dedicated free apprenticeship seminar theatre will cover everything from how the Levy works to structuring and delivering an apprenticeship programme to support business goals effectively.

Tracy Shah from the World of Learning summarises: “L&D is at an interesting juncture – agility and impact are demanded more than ever – but this comes at a time when the potential of learning technology to support these demands is increasing rapidly. This year’s World of Learning will enable visitors to explore, understand and act upon the latest developments in the sphere of L&D in order to support their organisations more effectively and visibly than ever.”

Providing insight into a World of Learning

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