Tag Archives: ASTD2013

John Seely Brown’s keynote at #ASTD2013 – curated tweets

The yearly conference of the American Society of Training and Development is taking place as I write and while I wasn’t aware of the line up, the comments around the John Seely Brown (JSB) keynote caught my eye. I’ll include the ones I caught here and then comment on why this resonates with me and my current thinking.

In summary, JSB introduces the idea of entrepreneurial learning which is a feature of a new culture of learning and something which can help organisations survive and thrive in a constantly changing world. Each tweet gives different people’s takes on the content JSB is presenting and helps to build a multi-facted image of the content and it’s fascinating implications.

Stay with me it’s going to be a long post! But worth it!


David Kelly starts by giving some background to the speaker. David is a master of curation and adds value to the backchannel of any learning event.

More background information. This time JSB talks about “Learning, Working & Playing in the Digital Age” The article is from 1999 but very few have reached this level today.

A slide deck based on JSB’s latest book and which gives a good idea of his presentation today and is more or less essential to follow the train of thought that follows:
“Passion” here is used as a synonym for “engagement”.

Adjacency here refers to the Zone of Proximal Development. A key idea which is central to social and informal learning as well as a coaching leadership style. Seeing learning possibilities in everyday situations is also a key ingredient in Self Managed Learning (in Swedish).

And a consideration of what ideas or activities might be adjacencies for L&D professionals:

Here’s another tweet on the benefits of working in networks – what works for others could also work for you. This also brings in the power of self managed learning – that when YOU pull infomation, knowledge and understanding into your life, you will get best effect.

Aaron Silvers sums up well what JSB is talking about. That entrepreneurial learners are powered by very strong engagement which is brought about by passion (for the job) or survival. It is entrepreneurial learners who will get the complicated and complex jobs in the future. And do it without formal training (in swedish).

Factors that seem at odds with the old economy are a key part of what entrepreneurial learning is about:

The power of the network (here a “collective” but could also be a personal learning network or PLN) is commented on here as well as the motivation that must exist to engender the feelings of passion or survival:

A key action for many companies today is to capture experience from baby boomers and turn it into actionable knowledge for those who will carry on. Trust is a key factor in this work. Capturing stories of situations that have played out in the past is a good tool to use.

Culture is more important than teaching when it comes to encouraging entrepreneurial learning. And cultivating anything is a result of coaching leadership and promoting an organisational culture of personal growth.

To round off, Cammie Bean of Kineo did a great job capturing live notes: