Reflections on #ppia

So it’s been 4 weeks since #ppia. I’ve been reluctant to write about the day because I’ve not known what to write. There has been some good follow up action happening in the online world, and this has been heartening to see. David Goddin wrote about how he thought it was a social learning masterclass. That’s very generous, and it gives me a lot of food for thought about what learning events should and could be like. Martin Couzins has curated various posts and content created in this round up post and I’m genuinely amazed such content was created at all. The Storify’s give such a great sense of the conversation being had on the day. That also gives me food for thought about learning events and why this action isn’t more prevalent.

Then I look at online interactions and how people seem to be connected through attending #ppia and are being highly engaged in each others postings. Martha Wright started a discussion on her #project365 blog about #3goodthings and the forum is truly inspiring stuff. Emma Vernon has been very disciplined and trying to post things daily on Twitter. Sarah Mason seems to have caught the bug, and she wasn’t even at the event.

What did #ppia mean for me? I’m still not sure. I brought together a group of very interested individuals who wanted to learn how to lead more positive lives for themselves, and in someway take that knowledge and apply it back to the workplace or their work practices. It’s pretty great to think I helped that to happen.

Kate Griffiths-Lambeth was so impressed by the notion of a Gratitude Visit, she wants to collect people’s stories who have done such a thing and collate them into a book she can publish. I think that’s brilliant and what a joyous read it would be.

I feel a sense of success at having made the day happen. I put a lot of work into creating something different, and I definitely did that. I threw out the rule book for what a learning event should look like and created a discussion. The environment was more than safe for exploring many threads of thought and challenging preconceptions. In and amongst that, I provided the content and delivered some key messages. A great piece of feedback from Mervyn Dinnen was that I didn’t come across as the expert. I just shared stuff and let people decide what they needed to do with it. If that’s not what L&Ders should be doing as par for the course then I don’t know what we think we’re doing.

Questions have been raised about doing another one. The jury is still out on that one. It took a lot of effort to make happen individually. Stars need to align, the universe needs to speak to me, and a bolt of lightning from God to give me some of that same motivation I had in wanting to make this happen.

I’ve spoken before about being a positive deviant. I certainly deviated from the norm of traditional L&D events. I deviated from the norm of traditional marketing methods. I deviated from the norm of ticketing the event at a high price. I deviated from the norm of giving away all the content to anyone who has an interest.

I still also don’t know what to call it. I’m stuck in calling it an event. It wasn’t a workshop but it was. It wasn’t a course but it was. It wasn’t a conference but it was. It wasn’t an unconference but it was. An event is the best thing I can think to coin it. I don’t mind it being called any of the above, but I don’t think any of them actually capture what the day was.

To my mind, #ppia is one of those events where I won’t really know what I achieved that day until some time down the line, and I’m ok with that. I’m enjoying seeing online activities and interactions amongst those who attended. I’m enjoying knowing that I delivered something which pushed the confines L&D seems to be stuck in. It was a good day. That’s enough for now.

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Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

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