Our 5 takeaways from Next Learning Event 2023 

On April 18th, our colleagues Joost and Puk went to the Next Learning Event, the annual L&D event, in Den Bosch. The event was filled with keynotes and workshops and the goal was to answer the question: ‘Does L&D really contribute to organizational change and transformation?’. Spoiler alert: yes, it does.  

It’s easy to get stuck in repetitive implementations and learnings based on old procedures and patterns. But with so many available options to do better, we should step away from our old ways and embrace data and science to build a future proof L&D strategy.  

In this article we share our 5 takeaways from Next Learning that will help you to create a future proof L&D strategy. Ready? Let’s dig in!

Artificial Intelligence requires L&D upskill. Fast! 

Donald Clark, CEO at Wildfire Learning, shared the mindblowing possibilities of AI in our work and learning. And as we are all coming to realize, this future is not as far away as we thought. Donald discussed the global impact of ChatGPT, the popular artificial intelligence chatbot that reached 100 million users just two months after launching. Already today ChatGPT is used by individuals all over the world for the most diverse professional purposes – and it’s safe to say that we just got started!  

With a future of limitless AI possibilities that will inevitably impact our everyday lives, Clark made it clear that we are forced to upskill our L&D approach to remain relevant, engaging and make real impact on employee development and business results. And how should we do that? 

AI in learning makes our world a more inclusive place.  

Donald Clark also spoke about how AI enables us to create and coordinate content in more effective ways than ever before, which will impact our productivity and output. Moreover, AI enables us to make the world a more inclusive and accessible place, both in our professional and private life.  
How so? AI gives us possibilities to transfer information quickly, for example from speech to text, or text to video. These solutions make it easier for people with disabilities or disorders to find their way in the workplace. 

Reconsider the way we use blended learning. 

In many companies, blended learning is still nothing more than having a mix between online and offline trainings. They don’t actually explore how these two can work together to create the desired results in the most effective way.

Proper research and analysis should be applied, existing courses should be stripped and built back up in a blended form. Only then, blended learning can actually benefit not only you as a company but also the people that have to learn. And obviously your employee performance and business.  

Personalize learning.  

Learning is something very personal. Not everyone learns in the same way or gets the best results doing the same thing. Joost Smilde and Nathalie Rikkers from Heineken explained in their masterclass how they built an effective learning journey for their production employees.

This blended learning journey is built around individual skills, interests and abilities, in order to maximize progress and success. By including incentives at the end of each learning track, they also keep their employees motivated to participate. Taking ownership over their jobs really helps to improve their results and output on the workfloor. 

Do podcasts have a place in learning?  

The short answer is yes and no. There are a benefits and downsides to it, but it can work very well for some people. And as you know, we want to make learning personalized, so it’s definitely worth testing in your L&D strategy.  

Podcast producer and learning tech expert John Helmer explained that what makes a podcast in learning so unique, is the pure form it’s presented in. No visuals, no text, no distracting elements, purely a voice that transmits information. Because of this, podcasts end up in our consciousness much quicker than other forms of media, as visual stimuli take more processing compared to audio.  

But there are also downsides. There is the risk of distraction, as podcasts are often listened to while doing something else. That has an impact on the knowledge retention. But overall, the lack of cognitive load it takes to consume the podcasts outweighs the distractions. So, our advice: definitely worth trying.

Are you curious to hear more about the insights we gained at the Next Learning Conference? Then let’s have a chat and discuss how to create a future proof L&D strategy for your organization.