Last year I had some thoughts bubbling away off the back of various #connectinghr activities such as the launch of the site, the unconference earlier in the year, and tweetups. It’s genuinely great being part of this community, which Mervyn Dinnen described as being a family. There’s a lot of folk willing to share, help, and support where it’s necessary.
What I was left feeling from it, was that L&D needs something like this. The HRD event hosted by the CIPD, is great at bringing a whole host of thinkers, facilitators and experts in the field together. The L&D 2020 sessions by Training Journal have been very interesting in helping to understand what the future of L&D looks like. And the Learning and Technologies conference is very useful for bringing together technology and how it can help bolster what L&D produce. What’s been missing, for me, from all this is the opportunity to connect and have proper discussions a la #connectinghr.
Cue an email to various L&Ders that I know, and the rumblings of an event were starting to form. I didn’t think it would be an unconference to start off with. I didn’t know what it would be to be honest. I just wanted a space for L&Ders to be able to come together and get all geeky about L&D. You would’ve thought things like this exist already, right? Well they do in various ways. Stella Collins runs a set of Brain Friendly Learning Group meetings, and I’ve heard there are others – I just don’t know about them. Particularly in the London area.
So my hat goes off to Natasha Stallard, Margaret Burnside, Martin Couzins, Debbie Carter, David Goddin, Stella Collins, and Doug Shaw for at least indulging my early musings. They then helped crystalise some thoughts and the next thing I know we’re having an unconference aimed at the L&D community, and I’m terribly excited by it! It’s been a soft launch, and in the two weeks since setting up the eventbrite page, we’ve had ten bookings. TEN! I mean, this means there’s a market, there’s interest, there’s potential for doing more – this could really be something.
I’m cautious to let it be known, I have no desire for this to be a profitable event. It’s space for L&Ders to come together and help each other do more. We are charging for attendance, and beyond covering some costs, any surplus will be donated to charity. Also, I had the initial idea, but this really does belong to the team above. I’m grateful to have been heard, and to have a group of supportive folk who thought together we could achieve something. And so was born L&D Connect.
So here it is, the first L&D Connect unconference, and it’s happening on Tuesday 24th April, from 1300-1700 at LBi. If you’re interested, you can book here, and join in the conversation on Twitter using the hastags #ldcu (L&D Connect Unconference) and #ldconnect. If you’re in L&D and want to reach out to the community, come find us, we’re here waiting to build our connections and support each other. There is a LinkedIn group where discussions will take place, and a Twitter account @LnDConnect (logo is on its way). Soon, I’m hoping we’ll be launching a blog too.