The Six Most Inspiring Sessions at
the Learning Solutions Conference 2018

by Ger Driesen and Corjan Bast
04  April 2018

Before travelling to the Learning Solutions Conference (#LSCon) in Orlando, we already knew it was going to be packed with helpful sessions. The description of LSCon on their website even suggested cloning yourself: ‘You’ll want to clone yourself as you choose from over 100 dynamic sessions covering eLearning best practices, how-tos, case studies and emerging trends’. On our side we were happy that Ger Driesen contributed by delivering three sessions. Ger shared the best practice ecosystem story of GGZEcademy both at the Ecosystem Solutions Showcase sessions, and theDemoFest. He also shared the unique story ofVincent van Gogh’s inspiring learning journey. So, we couldn’t attend all the 100 sessions, but we attended a lot! Here are six sessions to start with – the six most inspiring sessions.

1. Compose Your World – Keynote by Kai Night

Are you playing your own music or do you simply play the notes that are given to you? That’s what Kai Kight’s keynote session was about in Orlando. Kai played in an orchestra, and was successful at it, but he realised that he loved to write his own notes, creating music instead of playing someone else’s. And why are we playing our music in the first place?

In his session, Kai covered the power of listening, and he encouraged us to listen better, listen more intensely and play our own music, so we can make great things happen. And after being at the conference for three days, I realised that great things happen if you listen better – professionally (why do we need training in the first place) and personally (building stronger connections).

Read the full post on LinkedIn Pulse.

2. Powerful Portraits: An Intimate Look at Humanity and Learning – Keynote by Platon Antoniou

Platon’s story is one about compassion and empathy. About being able to lead, to unite, to bring people together and to unite society. Not a message to be taken lightly, and since we’re active in the learning space, we have an important job to do.

Platon is an award-winning photographer at The New Yorker. He has shot portraits for a range of international publications and has won first prize at the World Press Photo Contest. A simple search on Google Images will show his work. Amazing. Platon tells us about his learnings from meeting many world leaders and extraordinary people. With those stories and learnings, he moved the entire audience in Orlando, making us all feel compassion.

Read the full post on LinkedIn Pulse.

The Big Shift - The case for Audacious Leadering Nancy Giordano

3. The Big Shift – The Case for Audacious Leadering – Keynote by Nancy Giordani

What does the future need and expect from us? And what are we in a unique position to create and to contribute to? Those were the key questions Nancy asked us during the closing keynote of LSCon. Nancy is a strategic futurist (yes, that title does exist) and is someone who helps leaders and organisations understand the future to build more relevant and sustainable solutions. She took us on a journey that showed us what the world could look like. And what she added in her session was something that we can use to channel the energy and inspiration we received at the conference. She taught us how to play big and offered us a practical model to guide us. Read the full post on LinkedIn Pulse.

4. From Microlearning to Micro Moments – David Kelly

David Kelly did a great job of facilitating the audience’s clear thinking around buzzwords in general and around microlearning specifically. His definition of a buzzword is brilliant: ‘a buzzword is a word whose usage spreads faster than it’s understanding’. Very smart and refreshing was David’s explanation of the ‘micro’ part in microlearning. He used the microscope as a metaphor: using a microscope to look at an object doesn’t make the object smaller (or bigger). It makes the area (scope) at which you look smaller (enabling you to see more details). You zoom in on a specific part of the context to understand it better. The magic word here is context: microlearning is not about micro content but about micro context! What does a person at work need to get a task or job done in a specific context? Of course, the content that supports or solves that specific need might be ‘micro’, but the content side is not the starting point, the context side is. David got the inspiration for this thinking from Google, which uses the idea of micro moments. A micro moment is a specific moment when a person has a particular need. There are four types of needs in Google’s model: the ‘I want to know’, ‘I want to go’, ‘I want to do’ and ‘I want to buy’ moments. The first three are easy to translate to (micro) learning. Read about the basics

5. Performance Support: Five Guidelines to Guarantee Success – Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson

This was a great new episode of the ‘Bob and Con Performance Support show’. If you have the opportunity to join a session with the ‘original thinkers’ of a model, concept, theory or approach, do it! Bob and Con are best-known from their ‘five moments of need’ approach. Their core message is to design performance support (which might include training elements) with a focus on the ‘moment of application’. During this session, the focus was on the mindset: do you think, focus, design, communicate in terms of learning solutions or performance support solutions? The biggest obstacle that Bob and Con come across most of the time while consulting on this topic is:.. the learning professional! Some good advice was explored and shared on how to shift conversations with business leaders from (classroom) training towards other solutions and how to build effective partnerships by doing so. It was great to learn from these very experienced professionals.

6. The BYOD Curated Path

The Learning Solutions conference is structured via five ‘curated paths’. These paths focus on specific topics, such as learning ecosystems, international perspectives, industry insights with concrete cases and instructional design. The fifth one is BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and it is the most special one as compared to other conferences. You bring your own laptop to the session and follow a hands-on instruction by the presenter. In this way, you leave the session with a concrete piece of work that you can use ‘tomorrow’. How about learning from super experts like Pooja Jaisingh, from Adobe Systems, or learning how to create microlearning videos using Powerpoint from Daniel Jones? With 23 BYOD sessions, the conference can be a very nice hands-on experience that allows participants to bring back home some ready-to-use solutions. Here’s an overview of the BYOD sessions.


Ger Driesen

Ger Driesen, Learning Innovation Leader at aNewSpring
Keep up with Ger on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Corjan Bast, Content Hero at aNewSpring

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Ger Driesen
Learning Innovation Leader