We’re back on board and refreshed from Summer holidays and finding new ways to reimagine learning for an even more brave and humane world in 2023. Something I’m sure we’re not the only ones yearning for! 

Last year, our team worked across re-greening our cities, sustainable urban-planning, gender equality and early intervention to prevent family violence, supports for climate migrants and we helped to capture community-led efforts rebuilding communities after bushfires and floods. 

We straddled incredibly important areas for organisations in Australia and abroad who are truly working to transform the cities and societies in which we work and live. And it was hardly a walk in the park. We hit hurdles, unforeseen challenges and this is what we learnt. 

1. Co-design and collaboration is expensive!

The best training that we’re all after comes from bringing expert insights on the ‘how to and design’, alongside the content expertise. Bringing these two parts together is more than a collaborative approach, side by side.  It’s creating ‘new permutations of culture’ rather than combining multiple cultures. Both parties adjust their thinking and approaches to create a new learning culture and participant experience. This takes time as we are but human, hanging onto our own prior knowledge and experience. Time is expensive. Time is precious. We are prepared to give time to what we decide is important, and for the RL group its immersive training that delivers social impact.

2. The process is scary

The process of distilling four text-books into one short course that busy health professionals and city-planners will have time to dedicate their lunch hour to is mighty hard. Our audiences, our learners, our professionals are people, and people in our community are under a lot of pressure with limited time to concentrate. Providing small bite sizes of incredible learning material that enriches their life and work is exactly what we’re after. This however, is not easy, and finding that one key message, that one key scenario that you want our professionals and communities to walk away with can be the hardest part. And in turn, the process of letting go of the wider references and details, even harder. 

This is the process of learning design, it’s scary, it’s confusing. But it’s so enriching to get to that point of clarity and know your most important message has got across. 

3. Building enthusiasm isn’t just a nice have

On that, not only are our audiences and participants time-poor and feeling pulled in multiple directions, so too are our content experts. Our trainers. Our lecturers. Our researchers who have so much to share, they too have many pressures on their personal and professional time. Ensuring that the process of translating their work into compelling courses and learning experiences is as simple as it possibly can be, is vital if anything it to be done.

Every time we asked experts to get in-front of the camera, distill their research and share their expertise, we would hold our breath hoping we hadn’t gone too far, or asked for too much. Making the filming, expertise sharing and knowledge sharing process simple, engaging and easy is the biggest benefit we can continue to bring if we’re to get ideas out there and courses produced when and where they’re most needed. 

This now more than ever.

4. Make it known.

Finally, with such incredible courses being produced, the next question for us and our clients is how on earth can we get these learnings out there for the impact in the world that they should and need to have. To make them accessible to those who need and want them. Let’s get these programs out through all of our workplaces with thousands of employees, let’s get them on international learning provider sites and universities with thousands of students, and let’s get them out there for free access by everyone who needs them most. We haven’t always got this mix right, and too often we leave programs not going as far as they could.  I cannot tell you how excited I am to be working with our clients this year to not only produce incredible learning experiences, but ensure that they get the reach they need to build a better world. 

Let’s make it hold and make space for each-other through the challenging and enriching process of learning design. Remove the barriers on experts and get their work out there, and do so as far and wide as we possibly can. We cannot wait.