EduTech 2023: On Being a Connector and Catalyst

Laura Overton, Elizabeth Paterson and Michelle Ockers

On 30 March this year I met with Elizabeth Paterson from Terrapin. Elizabeth was the producer of this year’s EduTech conference. Laura Overton joined us. Elizabeth  was looking for input on the speaker lineup for the Workplace Learning stream. Laura had already been engaged to do the opening keynote for the stream, and she and I would also be doing a session on engaging managers with learning.

We advised her to feature high quality practitioner case studies for the remaining slots. I gave her a list of names, drawing upon my Learning Uncut podcast guest list and  local network. Last week, five months later, I attended the conference. The photo above is with Laura and Elizabeth, recovering at the end of the conference!

I watched as many of the speakers I had recommended took to the stage. In terms of case studies, this agenda surpassed the three conferences I attended last year, including two well-known overseas events. As someone who had helped to curate the sessions I could not have been happier. I even felt a sense of pride in each of these people as I cheered them on while they shared their work, insights and hard-won lessons.

This led me to ask what my role is in the L&D network, particularly the Australian network? Harold Jarche’s PKM roles is a useful model to consider this question. In this specific example I’ve played the role of Connector, connecting speakers to the conference organiser. However, this was possible largely due to the the ongoing role I play as a Catalyst. The Learning Uncut podcast is the primary vehicle I now use for sense-making and sharing – finding real L&D professionals doing work worth sharing and supporting the do that. Shaping and creating each episode is a sense-making activity for both myself and the guest. It was both a delight to see how each of them has continued to shape how they share their work in the conference presentation format this week.

Here is the list of EduTech 2023 speakers who have been guests on Learning Uncut with a link to their episodes (in the order that they appeared on the conference agenda):

Damien Woods:

Episode 38 (29 October 2019) – Business Impact Through Design Thinking

Episode 61 (8 September 2020) – Leading Learning Transformation

Episode 87 (14 September 2021) – Learning in an Agile Organisation

Emerging Stronger Episode 21 (14 December 2021) – Taking Bold Action

Kath Hume

Episode 76 (12 April 2021 with Kathryn Elligett) – NSW Health Workforce Planning Community 

Jason Davey

Episode 65 (3 November 2020 with Dr Kuva Jacobs) – Meshing Design Thinking with Experiential Learning

Anthea Piening

Episode 115 (7 February 2023) – Onboarding to Build Competency and Connection

Josh Humphries

Episode 36 (1 October 2019 with Clay Shearan) – Lessons in Data-Driven Learning

Dr Kuva Jacobs

Episode 65 (3 November 2020 with Jason Davey) – Meshing Design Thinking with Experiential Learning

Elevate Episode 15 (2 November 2021) – Data In The Flow of Learning 

James Stack

Episode 99 (26 April 2022 with Lil Ryan) – Building Frontline Capability 5 Minutes at a Time

Catriona Malcolm

Episode 116 (21 February 2023) – Design Patterns for Learning

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