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9 things not to miss at LTSF18


It’s free, it’s fun, it sparks debate and it inspires! The 2018 Learning Technologies Summer Forum at Olympia on 12 June brings together L&D people to network and discuss the latest developments and trends in workplace learning technology.

It promises to be an action-packed day, with 12 talks in four conference rooms and more than 30 free seminars.

The informal event is a chance for professionals to further develop the key learning themes from the LT exhibition and conference held earlier this year. One of the main messages at the Summer Forum is that L&D must be more creative and be prepared to do things differently. As an example, the Learning Strategy session warns: “What got us here won’t get us there.”

The Sponge team will be at Stand 13, and we’ve picked out nine things to catch at this year’s Summer Forum.

1. Intelligence having fun: cultivating a creative mindset in learning and living

Opening address by Amy Burvall

09:30 – 10:30, Conference Room 1

Amy Burvall is an author, artist, international speaker and creativity consultant. In her thought-provoking keynote, she will argue that in a world where automation increasingly takes over much of what we do, we will be left with that most human activity of all – creativity. It is, she says, the key to success in the future. 

2. Release your learning genius: 5 ways to think like an innovator

Free seminar by Kate Pasterfield and JD Dillon

14:30 – 15:00, Theatre 2

Kate Pasterfield is Head of Innovation at Sponge and JD Dillon is Chief Learning Architect with Axonify. Together, they’ll be calling on L&D to consider different ways of doing things and to think innovatively – or risk being left behind. This session will link innovation to real world results and offering practical ways to rethink learning in your own organisation.      

3. Artificial Intelligence: changing what, why and how we learn

Conference talk with Donald Clark

11:00 – 12:00, Conference Room 1

Donald Clark has a message for L&D practitioners who are putting up the barriers to AI: “Resistance is futile!” In his provocative talk, he will show how AI is already playing a big role in learning, in areas such as engagement, support, creation and curation.

4. Women in learning – fearless!

12:20 – 13:10, Conference Room 2

This looks at some pretty uncomfortable statistics: why are women twice as likely as men to be in supporting or admin roles, and half as likely to have leadership roles in learning? And why is the situation getting worse, despite evidence that women in leadership is good for business? This session looks at the invisible barriers to women progressing in L&D.

5. Virtual Reality: putting VR to use for learning in the real world

13:30 – 14:30, Conference Room 1

In the company of experts from global brands, explore some real-world case studies where VR has been used to deliver experiential learning in a safe environment. The case studies offer an invaluable insight into what worked well and what didn’t.

6. Learning strategy: letting go – tackling the L&D habits holding us back

15:00 – 16:00, Conference Room 3

Laura Overton, CEO of Towards Maturity, is among the speakers in this talk which looks at a critical element of climbing the 'Transformation Curve'  – the ability to let go. This interactive session will reveal the small changes L&D needs to make to have a big difference. It’s this session that issues the warning that “what got us here won’t get us there”.

7. Networking

Conference & exhibition hall

In many respects, this is what the LT Summer Forum is all about and it’s one of the reasons we love it. The emphasis is very much on L&D practitioners meeting peers and sharing experiences. As well as the conference sessions and free seminars, there are plenty of opportunities to network in the exhibition hall and café. It’s a chance to learn from each other – and inspire each other too. 

8. Free seminars

Various times, Exhibition hall 

More than 30 free seminars are on offer from learning providers, including Sponge. It’s an opportunity for people in the industry to get a close-up view of learning technologies that are making an impact now and at those which are tipped for big things in the future. 

9. Innovate your learning

With Sponge, Stand 13, Exhibition Hall

Sponge’s stand is the place to head for inspiration on learning innovation. Our award-winning team will be on hand to discuss your organisational challenges and offer practical ideas for generating better results by doing things differently. From measuring learning to experimenting with new technologies and challenging the status quo, Stand 13 is the place to spark your curiosity. And, pick up the most unusual ‘giveaway’ at the event - your very own box of Brain Flakes