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Learn Constantly. Become Future-Proof.

Fortnightly Links no.24

We believe that to always keep learning is the best strategy a person, group or organization can adopt and live to remain effective, active, relevant and, well, happy. Every two weeks we send the most relevant articles in becoming better learners. We look at how people learn from and with each other.

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Topics: A multipotentialites follow-up, 4 ways to improve workplace learning, SMS as the future of learning, libraries and liberal arts majors.

This week I’ve included some “extra extra” links again, you’ll find them at the end of the article, if you have more time available for some good reads.

Engage polymaths for organizational success (9 min read)

I already linked part one of this series in a previous newsletter but this second one is also so packed with good insights on continual learning and how to model your organization to identify, attract and keep multipotentialites that I had to also include the follow up. An excellent view on the future of work by going through the author’s 5 principles.

Multipotentialites are about learning new things. So [the] newer the definition of work, [the] more challenging and exciting it is for them to jump in, learn and become successful.

4 Ways Learning And Development Can Improve Workplace Learning (7 min read)

Almost skipped over this one because of its listicle titling, don’t make that mistake. Very good recommendations on what L&D departments should be doing.

The future will be driven by learning agility, effectiveness, and process innovation. The big question for Learning and Development /Organization is how can meta-learning skills be fostered? How can workers become self-driven learners? What are the fundamental support required to enable this?

Infographic: Work is Learning

Synthesizes in a nice visual package some thinking from Jane Hart, Laura Overton, Charles Jennings and Harold Jarche. Especially notice at the end the “4 ways to burst the training bubble.”

How and why can L&D embrace the fact that we learn from work? What can be done to burst the ‘training bubble’ where formal learning is delivered as an event, separate to the workflow? An infographic primer exploring these key questions.

The Future Of Learning Is Spelled ‘SMS’ (10 min read)

SMS use is very widely spread (96% of smart phone users) and texts have a 98% open rate. Jamie Good explains how he uses SMS to reach participants “where they live”, favour retrieval and connect them to other parts of the course, like a private Facebook group.

I feel that we haven’t been doing a good job of performance support after training. We deliver half-day workshops and then expect participants to remember what they learned, and put it into practice. This is where text messages and chatbots can shine! They provide learners with retrieval so the learning sticks. Through texts, you can also give gentle nudges so practical application happens.

What we learned from designing an academic certificates system on the blockchain (11 min read)

Yes, the blockchain (underpinning Bitcoin) has passed various exaggerated stages of buzz and hype but this (somewhat) technical overview of the MIT Media Lab’s experiment with blockchain certificates is a good look at some of the issues and challenges of such systems.

Working on this project, we have not only learned a lot about the blockchain, but also about the way that technology can shape socioeconomic practices around the concept of credentials. We hope that sharing some of the things we have grappled with and the decisions we made (and why) will be useful for other developers and institutions interested in developing digital credential systems that make use of blockchain architectures.


The difference between schools and libraries (1 min read)

The library never makes predictions about my future based on my past reading habits. It tolerates eccentric reading because it realizes free men and women are often very eccentric.

Why I Was Wrong About Liberal-Arts Majors (2 min read)

It’s something we’ve heard often in recent years, especially coming from Silicon Valley billionaires; liberal arts programs are useless. This entrepreneur thought the same but looking at actual hires and performance, now thinks differently.

A well-­rounded liberal arts degree establishes a foundation of critical thinking. Critical thinkers can accomplish anything. Critical thinkers can master French, Ruby on Rails, Python or whatever future language comes their way. A critical thinker is a self­-learning machine that is not constrained by memorizing commands or syntax.

Philosophy, literature, art, history and language give students a thorough understanding of how people document the human experience. Technology is a part of our human experience, not a replacement to it.

The second renaissance will be digitised (3 min read)

The FT looks at Ecole 42, an innovative coding program by French entrepreneur Xavier Niel. Some good points but also glosses over the fact that what applies to coding programs doesn’t necessarily work for others and sadly doesn’t go further with one of the great promises; global access for “everyone.”

Mr Niel argues that smartly designed online courses are more effective than traditional classroom teaching methods. Students learn best by pursuing online projects by themselves and by interacting with each other. Peer-to-peer lending may be going through a rough patch, but peer-to-peer learning may be on the rise. “We are preparing people to learn together,” he says.


Ian Goldin, co-author of the Age of Discovery , believes we are entering an era of the mass production of ideas, or a Second Renaissance. Higher education has already exploded in China and India, and the internet will provide near-universal, virtual access to some of the world’s best teachers.

Also see Jon Evans’ take on TechCrunch; 42: The answer to life, the universe and education.

Extra Extras

“[O]ur lives are driven by questions, and the pursuit of interesting questions is the vehicle through which we learn most effectively”The Five Questions That Most Define My Work

Cooperation emerges when groups are small and memories are long, study finds

Social collaboration – the dynamics of ‘working-out-loud’

3 Ways Open Badges Work Like the Web

Schooled in nature


Header image by Maliha Mannan on Unsplash.

Patrick Tanguay

Editor-in-Chief for E-180 Publications. Obsessively curious transdisciplinary thinker and learner. I help connect people and ideas.