To view Fabrizio Cardinali’s keynote presentation: “How can we get Europe’s learning Industry first to the moon (and back) by the next decade?” – please visit Online Educa’s website
When Fabrizio Cardinali, CEO of eXact learning solutions North America and Chair of the European Learning Industry Group, gave his keynote address at last year’s Online Educa event in Berlin he began with a speech – a wake-up call – that President Kennedy gave in 1962 when he committed his country to the Space Race by saying, “We’ll do it right and do it first, before this decade is over.” Some seven years later – just within the deadline he’d set – the USA won the race by putting a man on the moon.
What, you may ask, has that got to do with the learning industry in its current ‘malaise’? A lot, according to Cardinali – Cardinali believes that western corporate learning industry leaders need a similar vision and commitment if they are to help their organisations continue to compete and survive global competition effectively from the emerging world labour and educational markets. And this is even more urgent in the stagnating Eurozone.
For Cardinali, this means that in the learning industry context we need the West’s competing companies to come together, to collaborate and co-operate. Cardinali suggests that as entrepreneurs and thought leaders get together they will conceive new generation solutions and business models to not only help their own businesses survive but also, in the larger context, to help western economies survive global challenges by inventing the ‘next big thing’ in educational technologies.
And this is where the Renaissance comes in. During the Renaissance, Venice had a population of just 90,000 people; Rome had 35,000 inhabitants and Renaissance Florence only had 40,000 inhabitants. It would have taken three months to go from Florence to Amboise in France – as Leonardo did when he took the ‘Mona Lisa’ on a donkey ride to the French court. The Renaissance shows us that creativity and technological innovation are not the sole preserves of large, global companies. Rather, ’adaptive’ and ‘personalised‘ might be the key features of next generation technologies and of the most effective content used to teach our children and train our employees.
“To be successful, we need to combine creativity and innovation. Interestingly, such a combination occurred in Europe during the Renaissance – so we should strive to create the circumstances that will bring about a ‘Renaissance 2.0’ perfect knowledge storm. “
Whilst technology innovators tend to compete, one against the other, all of Renaissance Florence was pervaded by a unique mood of cooperation and competition. Artists worked together, experimenting in cross-sectorial innovation far more than in vertical silos. Cardinali suggests that the learning technologies industry needs to engage in similar lateral thinking – still competing yet taking risks together. At the very least, Cardinali says, we need to do what China or India is doing in terms of investment in skills development and new learning technologies and as fast as they are doing it – but we need to find our own creative and innovative strategies and solutions to the issue of performance support and talent development.
Cardinali also finds inspiration in Charles Darwin when discussing the challenges of global competition:
“Those who survive will be those who’re the most adaptive. Similarly, it’s not the most expensive or even the best educational design content that will succeed and stand the test of time. Those who’ll be the most successful in the marketplace are those who can adapt most quickly to new jobs and profiles. In a similar way, the best digital content that will survive will be the content that’s designed to better adapt to new learning delivery technologies and devices.”
To download the whitepaper on this topic please visit our site. And for those of you in Europe, you can catch Fabrizio Cardinali talk about why Europe’s learning industry needs a “Sputnik effect” during his keynote presentation at the upcoming Information Energy 2012 conference in Utrecht, Netherlands on the 8th June. If you would like more information please contact us!