Reflections on Davos: Why future-proofing your organization is the most important thing you can do and why I started EdCast
Upon reflecting on the topics discussed last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, it is clear that the Fourth Industrial Revolution was perhaps the most significant. The first revolution started with the use of water and steam to power machinery. The second replaced water and steam-powered machines with electrical power. The third is the digital revolution. The current fourth revolution is the combination of hardware, robotics, and massive computing power that will make technology an essential part of almost every aspect of people’s lives.
There is a lot to be optimistic about the opportunities that will come from these fast-paced innovations. However, as a board member of Governor Brown’s California Workforce Investment Board, I worry about the massive shift in employable skills that will be needed. It will be a challenge both for employers looking to hire a skilled workforce and for employees looking to continuously upgrade their skills.
During previous industrial revolutions, it took decades for people and organizations to develop major new skillsets on a large scale. With the rapid pace and scale of disruption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, this will not be an option. The WEF report says, “Without targeted action today to manage the near-term transition and build a workforce with future-proof skills, governments will have to cope with ever-growing unemployment and inequality, and businesses with a shrinking consumer base. Moreover, these efforts are necessary not just to mitigate the risks of the profound shifts underway but also to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The talent to manage, shape and lead the changes underway will be in short supply unless we take action today to develop it.”
Informal learning and knowledge sharing is the answer. Organizations that will succeed are the ones that create a culture where knowledge is actively shared between employees, partners and customers. This mostly comes from informal learning, through online and offline social interactions and curated insights personalized to each individual’s interest-graph. Strategic informal learning is essential to ensure all workers have the most up-to-date skills and knowledge. Informal learning also fits with the learning style of Millennials, which are now the largest group in the American workforce.
Many companies have begun creating a company culture of knowledge-sharing via informal and social learning. Nearly half of all organizations encourage informal learning, among which many have shown interest in implementing a peer-to-peer (P2P) knowledge network for their employees. But we’re just starting out – and there’s still a lot to be done to create more effective knowledge-sharing-based collaboration.
I am convinced that any corporate culture must value informal learning and reward informal learning achievements. Knowledge-sharing is vital to the success of any company. Fortune 500 companies squander nearly $32 billion per year by not sharing knowledge adequately. In a business environment filled with rapid technology change and hyper-competition, such a number is unacceptable.
So what’s the solution? Formal learning such as online classes, certification courses and e-learning based on LMS has long been a part of talent development. LMS require people to be ‘pushed’ to take courses, which are long-format and often boring. They try to create the digital replica of classroom training where one person in the room instructs others. Millennials in the workplace are digital natives and wired to learn in a peer-to-peer, informal and social learning style. They have shorter attention spans, need a compressed learning curve and rely more on knowing who/where to go for expertise. They enjoy collaboration, discussion and networking with experts in their topics of interest. It’s noteworthy that three in five young executives plan to rely more heavily on video as a learning and communication mode. The current workforce absorbs knowledge in many ways, from reading articles online and watching videos to water-cooler discussions with co-workers and scanning social media posts.
In my previous role as a venture capitalist, I acutely felt the lack of a social platform for informal knowledge sharing across teams, influencers and subject matter experts, while working with multiple small and large teams across my portfolio companies. This led me to start EdCast, a knowledge-sharing platform that was incubated at Stanford University’s StartX Labs.
At EdCast, we have a clear vision of how to future-proof individuals and organizations to stay ahead in the knowledge economy shaped by the fourth industrial revolution. We are building a massive knowledge-sharing platform that connects employees with influencers inside and outside the organization to engage in social-learning that is frictionless and effortless. A personalized feed filled with bite-size insights makes learning a daily habit rather than a once-a-year affair. Livestreamed 5-10-minute insights by influencers and thought-leaders are easy to watch, discuss, and engage with.
For our companies and societies to thrive in this fourth industrial revolution, we need to make lifelong informal learning the dominant culture of this decade.
EdCast Featured in the March Edition of Chief Learning Officer Magazine
Everyone is hearing and reading a lot about AI these days. At EdCast, we have embraced AI, Machine Learning and Natural Learning Processing (NLP) technologies in the development of our updated Knowledge Discovery and Knowledge Creation solutions. These will not only facilitate highly targeted and highly relevant learning – but they will do so in real-time.
Our Chief Evangelist, Amar Dhaliwal, recently authored a piece in the March 2017 issue of Chief Learning Officer magazine, which we are excited to feature HERE:
Please read and let us know your thoughts/questions. With AI, Machine Learning and NLP advances coming fast, what implication or prospective result are you most excited about in your organization?
Join this webinar to discuss why context is king!
In a world where access to online content, training, MOOCs, and “friends and experts” is unprecedented, traditional approaches to fostering role growth and development are no longer enough. Learning organizations must reevaluate how they equip and develop today’s modern learner.
New technologies, curation approaches and content providers are fostering newfound interest in the corporate learning space. But are new technologies and interest enough? Are you connecting employees with the right content in a dynamic and efficient way?
Join us to discuss these points by registering below:
Title: In a Learning 3.0 World, Context is King
Summary: This interactive webinar will provide easy-to-understand insights on:
- The Learning and Performance Arc: contextualization of the learner experience
- Content aggregation and how to provide seamless access to ALL learning
- User-generated learning from across the extended enterprise, easily shared within the value chain
Join us for this Training Industry webinar sponsored by GP Strategies. Your hosts, Eric Bruner, CTO of GP Strategies, and Daniel McKelvey, VP of Partner Solutions at EdCast, will share how you can facilitate a learning experience that is contextual and engaging for your employees.
Date: Feb. 16, 2017 at 10a PT / 1p ET
Limited seats available – register today
Webinar: How to Solve the Content Discovery Problem
We’re living in a paradoxical time. We are simultaneously drowning in content and starving for relevant knowledge that can improve performance.
Information overload accounts for 28B hours of wasted hours a year. That equates to almost $1T lost in productivity in the US economy alone, per Jonathan Spira, author of Overload! How too Much Information is Hazardous to Your Organization.
There is a massive amount of brilliant content living within learning management systems, company intranets, document management systems, third party courses, and the untold number of great resources available on the web. But it’s not curated, it’s not contextual, and it can be overwhelming.
Learning & Development leaders are under pressure to provide value and results, but remain at a loss for a single solution to act as a “Netflix of learning”. David Wentworth, Principal Learning Analyst at Brandon Hall Group, will host the webinar on solving the content discovery problem with EdCast. This webinar will examine how leading organizations address this problem and how that relates to the future of corporate learning management.
Discussion topics include:
- The current content landscape
- Curation strategies – Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
- Make your L&D effort more efficient
- Examples of how companies are getting it done
Date: March 9, 2017 at 10a PT / 1p ET
Limited seats available – register today
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EdCast and Watershed Partner to Deliver Personalized Learning Solutions
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – FEBRUARY 06, 2017
EdCast, the award-winning learning experience platform, is pleased to announce partnering with Watershed, the leader in learning analytics platforms, to address the growing demand for integrated human resources technology and personalized learning solutions.
“This partnership with Watershed is a natural result of where visionary companies are looking to make their learning and development programs more data-centric and efficient,” said Karl Mehta, Founder and CEO of EdCast. “We are pleased to partner with the Watershed team to learning more trackable across all sources for our enterprise customers worldwide.”
Since its founding at Stanford University, industry analysts have recognized EdCast as a new type of digital learning platform. Learner centric and learner driven. Powered by content pulled from many internal and external sources, and enhanced by collaborative knowledge sharing from within the organization. Mobile first and embedded with social and collaboration capabilities, EdCast delivers a new learning experience for employees and enhanced levels of performance for organizations. EdCast uses xAPI technology to collect data from the user’s unique learning experiences. That data is then combined with other enterprise information to provide true business impact analytics and to provide a highly personalised learning experience.
“We’re excited to partner with EdCast, and show how xAPI is helping personalize learning and change traditional L&D methods,” said Mike Rustici, Watershed founder and CEO. “And our upcoming webinar will be a great opportunity to show the L&D community how they can benefit from this technology and enhance their own programs.”
Founded in early 2016, Watershed develops a SaaS-based learning analytics platform that assesses the impact and effectiveness of corporate learning and development programs. Before receiving any investment, the company was already working with high-profile clients and global companies such as Google, Visa, AT&T, and YUM! Brands.
Watershed and EdCast are hosting a public webinar to discuss how personalization technology is changing the traditional approach of Learning and Development programs. It is an exciting topic about how HR departments are flipping the script on how they train employees and share knowledge within their companies. Join us for the webinar on February 7, 2017 at 11a PT / 2p ET. Register to attend this webinar.
Headquartered outside Nashville, Tenn., Watershed is dedicated to changing the world of corporate learning by helping training and learning departments get more from their learning and development initiatives. This includes the creation of a customizable learning analytics platform that provides actionable insights from training and performance data in real time. Made possible by a technology called the Experience API (a.k.a., Tin Can API), Watershed enables users to collect and study learning experiences and how they impact business outcomes. To learn more, visit http://www.watershedlrs.com.
EdCast uses artificial intelligence and curation to bring together all of you internal learning content, expert insights, and millions of external resources into an easy-to-use, personalized learning experience and knowledge platform.
The EdCast executive team has a track record of building large-scale transformational technology; all are passionate about the global impact of mobile and online knowledge-sharing. EdCast is based in Mountain View, CA, in the heart of Silicon Valley, with offices worldwide.
Join us to discuss how personalized learning flips the traditional L&D model
In this webinar, we will discuss how personalization technology is changing the traditional approach of Learning and Development programs. There is a lot to cover but it is an exciting topic about how HR departments are flipping the script on how they train employees and share knowledge within their companies. Join us by registering below:
Title: How Personalized Learning Flips the Traditional L&D Model
Summary: Do you know how to use technology to create more personalized and efficient learning experiences?
Join us for this webinar, as we explore how learning technology is:
- flipping the traditional approach of Learning and Development to be more self-directed,
- making the discovery and personalization of content more efficient, and
- providing an enriched, data-driven ecosystem that integrates with your existing system with xAPI and Learning Record Store (LRS) functionality.
Mike Rustici, CEO of Watershed, will join Amar Dhaliwal, Chief Evangelist at EdCast, to share insights from real-world company examples and some amazing technology. We’re only booking an hour, so come ready to see how you can use technology to personalize your learning program.
Date: Feb. 7, 2017 at 11a PT / 2p ET
Limited seats available – register today
Watershed, Founder & CEO
As an innovative software developer turned entrepreneur, Mike Rustici has been defining the e-learning industry for nearly 20 years. He helped guide the first draft of the Tin Can API (xAPI) and invented the concept of a Learning Record Store (LRS), which led to the creation of Watershed—the flagship LRS that bridges the gap between training and performance.
EdCast, Chief Evangelist
Amar was a co-founder of the learning management pioneer THINQ, and after its acquisition by Saba in 2005, led Saba’s product, engineering, cloud, and customer operations teams. He now leads the Marketing and Product teams at EdCast. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, he was a management consultant. Amar studied at The London School of Economics.
VMware chose EdCast to launch the “Virtualization for Beginners MooC” earlier in 2016 as part of their VMware Academy initiative. The results were surprising.
A MooC is defined by Wikipedia as :
“A massive open online course is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as filmed lectures, readings, and problem sets, many MOOCs provide interactive user forums to support community interactions among students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs).”
Many attempts to successfully deliver MooCs have been made over the years. EdCast was chosen for the delivery of VMware Academy courses because of the following reasons:
- Promotion of group-based learning pedagogy within the organization
- Mobile access and consumption of formal and informal content
- Advanced and intuitive peer-to-peer learning
The completion rate for the course beat the industry standards by 8x!
See the full results below in this infographic:
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Employees are drowning in content but starving for knowledge that can improve their performance today.
For the average work week, employees have only 1% of time available to focus on development and training, according to research conducted by Bersin by Deloitte. In that 1% of time, employees have to wade through a torrent of materials to hopefully find something relevant to their specific needs and job requirements. Instead of wasting that precious time, how much value could a company or employee create if the right content was available at the right time?
That very question is addressed in the infographic we put together below. See how you are being affected by the content discovery problem and what you can do to fix it.
Learn more about how to solve this problem:
Download our eBook How to Solve the Discovery Problem in Corporate Learning.
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Read time: 2 mins
What is the current state of “personalized learning”?
There has been a lot of talk about personalized learning and that conversation is going to continue. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is betting big by donating tens of millions of dollars for new K-12 software introducing the personalized learning approach for schools. Bill Gates and his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are also focusing how personalization technology can benefit how kids learn. There will be a lot of exciting developments coming from all of the attention this approach is receiving.
But, what about the workplace? What is being done in your office?
Brandon Hall Group put together some research to uncover how far personalized learning has been incorporated in learning and development programs of business of all sizes. EdCast, leading provider of personalized learning software, has partnered with the Brandon Hall Group to share the infographic below:
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All of us at EdCast would like to wish you a healthy and prosperous new year. Thank you for your continued interest in all that we are doing to deliver the best learning and knowledge sharing solution to businesses of all sizes and their learners around the world.
2016 was an amazing year at EdCast thanks to your passion and support for redefining how we all learn and share knowledge. Here are some of the highlights and updates.
Our customers, and their stories, inspire us to rush into the office every morning. During 2016 we are immensely proud of the organizations who have joined the EdCast family. They include:
- GE, HP Life, Dell EMC, NASSCOM, Wyndham Hotels, Perelman School of Medicine, VMware, Salesforce, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations), and more…
At our core, we are a technology company and our product team did us proud in 2016 with many ground breaking advances. Some highlights include:
- The single largest index of learning content aggregated from all your internal and external learning resources, contributed by your experts and from the best of the web
- The industry’s first fully integrated live video-streaming right from a mobile device
- The most advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning based content curation and learning personalization
- The first enterprise ready Virtual Learning Agent – who we call Alex and who responds to your voice commands
- An intelligent learning chatbot that lives inside of Slack
- A learning feed that provides contextual learning and knowledge from inside Salesforce
2016 was a year of great learning, growth and excitement at EdCast. Some of my personal highlights include:
- Closing our Series B round (led by GE Asset Management) of $16 million in April 2016.
- Expanding our team of bright and committed people across the globe. We are extremely proud of the talent we have attracted and the talent we continue to develop.
- Hosting our second annual user conference (Future of Learning 2020) with more than 200 people in attendance. This event is fast becoming known at the “Davos” of Learning and Knowledge Technology with some of the biggest names in the industry as speakers. Check out the highlights of the event.
- Attending the United Nations to accept an award for the work we performed to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals initiative for world-wide education.
- Continuing to expand our content partnerships to include the most respected learning providers in the industry
- Being honored with many industry awards, including:
As for 2017, we have hit the ground running by partnering with Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder of Bersin by Deloitte, to host a webinar where he will discuss if we are seeing the beginning of the end of the learning management system as we know it. It’s an important topic. We encourage you to attend – register now.
We have an amazing year of continuous innovation planned for 2017 and we look forward to sharing our progress with you. In the meantime, we welcome the chance to hear about your achievements and your plans for 2017. If it has been awhile since we discussed everything that EdCast now has to offer for your learning needs, let’s reconnect.
Thank you for your interest and support. Together we will make 2017 a great year!
All the best in 2017,
The EdCast Team