World of Learning 2012 preview: adapting to the changing workforce

World of Learning 2012

Caroline Waters OBE, director of people and policy at BT, will deliver the opening address at next month’s World of Learning conference, on how learning and development (L&D) has had to adapt to advances in technology and maintain a flexible approach.

The session will look at whether or not organisations need a new strategy for “Generation Y” workers, as well as what role flexible working will play in future workplaces and the barriers this may create in developing staff.


Caroline Waters

Caroline Waters, director of people and policy at BT.


Waters’ seminar kicks off what will be the 20th annual World of Learning conference on 2-3 October at Birmingham’s NEC.

The event will provide L&D practitioners with live workshops, one-to-one consultations and free seminars alongside its annual conference, which will bring together industry-leading speakers from across the world.

Visitors to the free exhibition will find more than 120 companies offering the latest ideas in all sectors of L&D, from e-learning, mobile learning and the use of social media, to experiential training, coaching and informal learning.

Among the firms exhibiting at the conference are e-learning provider e2train, learning and mobile platform supplier Redware, bespoke people and organisational development solutions company SML Training & Consultancy and audience response system Qwizdom.

Andrew Gee, senior project manager for World of Learning, comments: “The World of Learning Conference & Exhibition has established itself as the premier learning and development event, and continues to equip visitors with the skills and support they need to keep pace with the fast evolving L&D sector.

“We’re pleased to see a positive climate in the learning and development profession, and this has been reflected in the increased conference programme and extended exhibition at World of Learning 2012, which is set to be one of our most exciting events yet.”


Steve Wheeler

Steve Wheeler, associate professor of learning technologies at the University of Plymouth.


Chaired by Declan Curry, presenter of BBC’s On the Money business programme, the conference will feature expert speakers from Tesco, Dixons, Barclaycard, Fujitsu, npower and Macmillan Cancer Support, amongst others.

Keynote speakers include: BT’s Waters, Steve Wheeler, associate professor of learning technologies at the University of Plymouth, Sue Miller, metro and corporate L&D manager at Hilton Worldwide, and Laura Overton, managing director of Towards Maturity.

Following Waters’ opening address, Wheeler will close the first day of the conference with a session looking at emerging technologies and how they can be used in L&D.

Miller will start the second day by sharing her own experiences of how Hilton Worldwide has driven performance and profitability by developing into a learning organisation.

Finally, Overton, who was also a keynote speaker at the conference last year, will close the final day with a PechaKucha session, co-hosted by Richard Hyde, director of e-learning firm Mind Click and Martyn Stevenson-Read, L&D manager at BT retail.

In the session, a variety of learning practitioners will present PechaKuchas, four-minute presentations with 20 slides which are auto-forwarded after 20 seconds, to share tips on effectively engaging learners.


Laura Overton

Laura Overton, managing director at Towards Maturity.


In addition, there are also several free features that visitors to the exhibition can benefit from, including: the Professional Development Zone, where visitors can gain advice on their career development; the International Zone, which attracts L&D buyers from overseas; and the Modern Life Skills Zone, which offers bite-size modules on key life skills such as cognitive, personal and interpersonal abilities.

New features for this year include the Technology Test Drive where visitors can sample the latest in everything from e-learning and mobile applications to learning management systems and personality profiling.

For more details about the World of Learning 2012 and to register for the event, head to

For the latest news and updates about the World of Learning 2012 follow the exhibition on Twitter, tweet about the event using the hashtag #WOL12 and join the World of Learning Conference & Exhibition group on LinkedIn.

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