Silicon Vikings had an event on the Future of Learning Platforms on January 16th at K&L Gates in San Francisco. We had world-class panelists including: Phil Komarny, VP Innovation, Salesforce.com; Sam Herring, VP & GM, Intrepid by VitalSource; Matt Hasel, Co-Founder, TriPoint Lab. Attendees included a 25-person delegation from Norway’s Open Innovation Lab and Jo Sletback, Consul General of the Royal Norwegian Consulate in San Francisco.

Today, more than ever, individuals and companies are recognizing that learning, unlearning and re-learning, are essential elements of succeeding, or even just coping, in the new VUCA-World (Volative, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) we now live in—and where you need to learn rapidly as the world changes at growing speed. And the famous UCLA Basketball coach, John Wooden, said it better than anyone, I think: “If you’re through learning, you’re through.”

In our session we explored how learning platforms in various shapes and forms, will provide better opportunities for learners at work, or as part of one’s life-long-learning journey, can access learning content and learning activities, and engaging in collaborative learning activities with anyone, regardless of location. As learning platforms improve, and more easily provide what learners demand, learners can more easily gain new skills and competencies, or just gain knowledge that will give learners more satisfying and meaningful lives.

Some of the questions and issues addressed included:

  • What should learning platforms ideally offer learners 5-10 years from now?

  • How will learning platform evolve in the next 12-24 months?

  • What technologies may be key enablers of important functionality of future platforms?

  • What key challenges will learning platform developers face in gaining platform adoption?

  • What players are today offering innovative platforms that signal what will likely be successful?

The first half of our session the panelists presented their points-of-view and addressed a range of questions and issues about how learning platforms will evolve, and what this will mean for small and large companies, entrepreneurs, and others seeking new and richer learning experiences. The second half of our session consisted of an active Q&A session between attendees and panelists.

Event Recording:

Recording notes:

  • First five minutes or so include welcoming remarks by (1) Alidad Vakili, Attorney at K&L Gates LLP, who hosted the event; (2) Andre Eidskrem, CEO and Co-Founder of Intrahouse (a Norwegian tech company) and co-leader of the Open Innovation Lab delegation; (3) Jo Sletbak, Consul General in the Norwegian Consulate in SF; and (4) Charlotte Danielsson, CEO of Silicon Vikings. Since these speakers were far from the recorder microphone, the the audio of their welcome remarks is weak

  • The last few minutes of the recording captures the thank you ceremony where the speakers get their Silicon Vikings Guru certificates, wine and wear Silicon Vikings hats and lots of pictures get taken (See picture at top of this blog post, of our panelists plus the Norwegian Consul General)

Event Topic References:

Event Panelists

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Phil Komarny. Phil is the Vice President, Innovation for Salesforce.com. Phil has held multiple leadership roles both inside of higher education as the Chief Digital Officer for The University of Texas System, as well as outside as the CEO of Robots and Pencils. He is a highly social, entrepreneurial, award winning senior executive with a 20+ year track record of delivering innovative, high value solutions by aligning existing problems with emerging technologies. For instance, Phil was the first technology leader to introduce the Apple iPad as a platform for business transformation. He is an experienced c-level executive that has leveraged entrepreneurial instincts, a broad technical skillset, and a very strong reputation for developing and motivating teams at all levels to integrate new technologies that create value for the organization. Phil is comfortable serving as the voice of the business and building a strong rapport with management, colleagues, vendors, stakeholders and technical specialists. He has won the CIO100 for his work are Seton Hill University, grew Robots and Pencils to the 34th fastest growing technology company in 2015, and is a member of Constellation’s Business Transformation 150 (BT-150), an elite list that recognizes the top global executives leading business transformation efforts in their organizations. Phil has also won multiple Apple Distinguished Program Award for the ‘iPad for Everyone’ initiative at Seton Hill University.

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Sam Herring. Sam is Vice President and General Manager of Intrepid by VitalSource. In this role, Sam leads the VitalSource business for the corporate and professional markets. VitalSource products serving this market include the Intrepid platform, which enables organizations to solve their critical business challenges through collaborative learning experiences at scale, Bookshelf, a secure content delivery platform for the extended enterprise, and Acrobatiq, an adaptive learning platform for personalized course experiences. Sam has been a leader in the corporate learning industry for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining VitalSource, he was CEO and co-founder of Intrepid Learning Solutions, an industry-leading learning consulting and outsourcing company which was acquired by Xerox in 2015, and CEO Intrepid Learning, the learning technology business acquired by VitalSource in 2017. In 2018, Intrepid was named Business of the Year by ISA, the Association of Learning Providers. Sam is past chairman of the board of directors of ATD (the Association for Talent Development), and is a graduate of Yale and Harvard Universities.

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Matt Hasel. Matt Co-Founder of TriPoint Lab, and is a serial entrepreneur, artist/technologist and platform builder who has spent the last decade working on developing advanced immersive technology solutions at eHuman, the NASA Biocomputation Center, and Stanford School of Medicine. Before TriPoint Lab, Matt worked at Stanford University’s School of Medicine and supervised development of multimedia content and interactive applications for the teaching of Anatomy to High School, undergrad and medical students. His latest company, Tripoint Lab, specializes in accelerated learning strategies using highly interactive and immersive 3D AR/VR experiences. The company is developing state of the art, next generation higher educational platform solutions designed to accelerate mastery of highly complex medical subject matter. The company’s goal is to be a relevant learning and training resource from a first-year medical student throughout their career.

Moderator:

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Eilif Trondsen. Eilif—a transplanted Norwegian who has spent his whole professional life in Silicon Valley—has led and participated in a number of syndicated research programs and numerous consulting projects during his 35 years at SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute) and Strategic Business Insights (a spin-out from SRI, located on the Menlo Park campus of SRI). Eilif has also been Adjunct Professor of Economics at a number of Bay Area universities. Most of his work has focused on eCommerce, Learning, Innovation, and Virtual Technologies, and in recent years much of his work has focused on the Nordic region, especially Finland and Norway, including projects for Tekes and the Norwegian Research Council, and three projects funded by Nordic Innovation. He was recently the project leader of a new Nordic Innovation project awarded to Silicon Vikings, which will build a Nordic EdTech Network. He has been a Board member of Silicon Vikings for the last 7 years, and have been the Chair of the Special Interest Group on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning since its beginning.

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