I Really Hope to See You at Online Educa 2011!

From November 30th till December 2nd I will be attending the excellent Online Educa which bills itself as the “The largest global e-learning conference for the corporate, education and public service sectors”.

I’ll be co-organizing two different events and would really like to meet you at either (or both!) of them. One is an Edubloggers dinner (a good Dutch tradition, now in an Internationalised version), the other a workshop in which we will create scenarios for the future of corporate learning. More information below:

1. International Online Edubloggers Dinner

The 2008 Edubloggers dinner in Berlin. This year it will be an International version. (Picture by Wilfred Rubens)
The 2008 Edubloggers dinner in Berlin. This year it will be an International version. (Picture by Wilfred Rubens)

On Thursday December 1, 2011 Wilfred Rubens and I organize the International Online Educa edubloggers dinner.


Networking, informal talk, having fun while eating and drinking.

For who?

Everybody interested in blogging about technology-enhanced learning. It’s not necessary that you have your own blog. You even don’t have to be an Evangelist. A believer is sufficient 😉


Thursday December 1, 2011 at 20.00 hrs.


In a restaurant near the place where the Online Educa is held. So at a walking distance from the Intercontinental. We will take into account that we’re in the middle of an economic crisis.


We are not sure yet. If the group is small, we will eat à la carte. If the group is bigger, it might be a buffet. Everybody pays his or hers own food and drinks. We’re Dutch, so we are going Dutch. If we have to order a buffet we might ask you to pay beforehand.


Please go here and comment on Wilfred’s blog post. Fill in your email address with your comment (it will not be visible on the blog). Do let us know if you have suggestions for restaurants on walking distance of the hotel. Furthermore, you should mention if you are vegetarian or have other special dietary needs (e.g. an allergy to something).


Due to logistics the deadline for registration is November 22, 2011.

We will inform you by old-fashioned e-mail when we have found a decent restaurant.

2. Preparing together for the future of corporate learning

When, costs and registration

This workshop will be held on November 30th from 10:00 till 13:00 and costs € 90,-. Registration is through the Online Educa website.

Description of the workshop

What will learning and development look like in the future and how can we prepare for success in these new worlds?

This workshop uses scenario planning and is a unique opportunity for those involved in defining strategies for learning and development within the workplace to consider potential futures in this field. Participants will examine the external factors shaping corporate learning and work together with industry experts and like-minded peers to create future scenarios that can be used to help them prepare more effectively for new worlds.

Scenario planning has been used extensively at Royal Dutch Shell to help change perceptions of the influence of external factors in shaping future working worlds. It is a strategic planning method used prior to defining strategies to help the organisation understand and respond more effectively to change. Willem Manders and Hans de Zwart from Shell, supported by facilitators from within the industry, guide participants through the process of:

  • understanding the external factors that can potentially shape the future of L&D
  • defining a number of L&D scenarios or worlds that could emerge as a result of external influences.

However, this is not just a workshop; the scenarios created in this session will be presented as part of the BUSINESS EDUCA conference track, enabling all BUSINESS EDUCA delegates to contribute to the development of these methods. Conference delegates will be encouraged to look for signals supporting different worlds as they take part in the wider conference and are invited to come together at the close of the conference to reflect on how these developed scenarios can be used in their respective workplaces to help shape future strategy.

In the “Closing Conversation” of BUSINESS EDUCA last year, delegates wanted to find a way to leverage the “brainpower” at the conference and create some new and tangible outcomes which will support them at work. In response to this need, this workshop is the start of a unique collaboration that all BUSINESS EDUCA delegates can be part of at ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2011.

Proposed Agenda

This half-day workshop leverages the Scenario Planning methodology adopted by Shell to help participants consider the external factors influencing Learning & Development in business in order to establish scenarios. External factors include:

  • technology playout – the impact of accelerated adoption
  • the effects of changing legal requirements
  • the influence of changing educational systems
  • the “Big Crew Change” – know-how that leaves with older staff while new staff arrives with different expectations

These factors are not exclusive and delegates will identify other external influences that are shaping our future. Industry facilitators will also provide additional perspectives and help identify challenges. Delegates should come with an open mind but expect disagreement and debate in order to allow for a rich range of outcomes.

We will have three blocks of approximately an hour:

  1. Key trends and uncertainties that will shape the future of corporate learning (in four groups)
  2. Drafting first set of scenarios based on uncertainties (in four groups)
  3. Summarise the key insights and discuss how we can leverage this during the rest of the conference (one group)

Target Audience

This workshop is specifically designed for all those directly involved in defining strategies for learning and development in the workplace. Senior learning and development executives from private, public and not-for-profit businesses are invited to network and work together. Seating for the workshop is limited.

Prerequisite Knowledge

Experience in, and responsibility for, defining learning and development strategy for business.


Participants can take the developed scenarios back to their own organisations, to look for signals which will help them prepare for the most appropriate future for their Learning & Development department.

The workshop also aims to expand the scenarios further into the main conference dialogue, allowing the contribution of BUSINESS EDUCA conference delegates to benefit the wider conference audience.

Finally, the resulting conference outcomes will be highlighted as part of the closing conversation of BUSINESS EDUCA.

The Futures of Innovation and Innovation Policies

Philine Warnke works at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI). Her talk is titled: The futures of innovation and innovation policies and she is at Lift France 11 because of the Innovation Futures (INFU) program. From the introduction:

Innovation is changing in many ways. New meanings, new actors, new models, new motivations and new targets are emerging. In the academic discourse attempts to conceptualize these changes abound. Notions like open innovation, distributed innovation, user innovation, social innovation, relational innovation, frugal innovation, design driven innovation, local innovation are hotly debated in management and academic circles alike. While innovation is adopted as a core element in more and more policy realms, “Innovation Policy” is increasingly aiming at addressing societal needs instead of funding key technologies with a view on competitiveness alone. In my talk I will reflect upon possible “innovation policy futures” in the light of these developments. In particular I will discuss the need for establishing enabling platforms for “collective experimentation”.

Warnke assumes we as an audience know about the new models for innovation (i.e. open innovation, disruptive innovation, etc.), instead she will focus on the implications this will have for innovation policy. Foresight is all about having structured futures dialogs through we can discover the potential of the present. Thinking about the future can make you see the present in a different light.

The project has taken a couple of different steps. See this PDF for some more information about those. First you look for signals, then you structure them through clustering and amplifying by thinking about transfer, generalization and radicalization. INFU has created about twenty innovation visions explained on this video:

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/21441608]

They then created some “nodes of change” and created mini-panels to discuss these nodes (something similar to the workshop we did yesterday). Several of the mini-panels pointed to completely different economic frameworks in which innovation will be embedded.

This means there are some implications for innovation policy. We will go beyond the usual innovation suspects, the focus on high- and key-tech, disciplinary excellence, the need for global breakthrough and growth and competitiveness, and we will go towards “Innovation Campsite” and an infrastructure for distributed experimental collaborative innovation. So this will not only change our priorities, but will also require new instruments.

Warnke is recently seeing a shift towards mission oriented schemes (grand challenges, moon shots, etc.), away from key technologies. There is also a shift to social innovation and systemic eco-innovation and there is a slow alignment with other policy realms. But at the same time there is still this focus on competitiveness and growth dominant drivers and global breakthroughs.

Her idea for a way forward is what she calls “Collective Experimentation”, a non-linear co-evolution of technology and society. The rationale for this is that modulation of messy innovation trajectories are only possible by experimenting local, context-specific solutions around the nexus of variation and selection. This will have a lot of challenges:

  • You need to be open for different outcomes without upfront objectives. This is hard in the current funding models.
  • You have to be open for new actors, can’t have a fixed consortium from the start.
  • You have to be open for local diversity, nothing will be best for all settings.
  • We need to start taking socio-technical approaches. Usually only technology gets the funding.
  • There needs to be a tolerance for messy innovation journeys.
  • Quality of life will need to become an orientation.
  • We need to integrate a debate about values for which there is usually no space.
  • Combining freedom and structure will be very difficult.