Curation, Complexity, Collaboration and other Curious Learning and Capacity Building Trends

Last week, we opened the Global Learning Forum at the InsideNGO 2017 conference by discussing the trends affecting learning in international NGOs (INGOs). While many of the 120 participants in the session had specific responsibilities for learning or capacity building in their organizations, it was also exciting to see a diverse group of HR, finance and compliance professionals engaged in the discussion.

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‘Inspired and ready to be part of the journey’: Highlights from GLF 2017!

This year’s GLF/InsideNGO was one of the most dynamic and exciting conferences, with many attendees feeling that it was a turning point for the sector. We asked five members of the LINGOs team to share their learning insights and key takeaway messages from the event.

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Winners of the LINGOs Awards 2017! A year of impact.

Every year, LINGOs recognizes the outstanding learning contributions and achievements of its members and partners at an awards ceremony. This year’s winners, announced at the Global Learning Forum 2017, are truly inspirational in how they have impacted learning in their own organizations or for the benefit of the wider NGO community.
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Using GLF Ideas and Scouting Hackable Agenda Items

This is a guest post by Laura Musoke, Staff Developer at World Renew.

The Global Learning Forum (GLF) this year gave me so many great ideas – some to implement right away, some to continue working on, and some I’m eagerly waiting to put into action when the right opportunity comes along.  I’ve never been to a conference where I’ve had so many takeaways!

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Driving learner engagement by making L&D a core priority

As we step into the end of the year, most of us will begin reflecting on the hard work we’ve been putting into driving learning and development in our organizations over the last ten months. Not only does this set the tone of our strategy for next year, but it also forces us to ask ourselves some important questions. How do we get more staff enrolled in courses on our LMS? How can we improve the online learning experience? What kind of new courses can we offer to motivate them to want to continue their learning journey?

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LINGOs Global Learning Forum 2016: Can Your Organization Host?

A message from Ross Coxon, Director of the Learning Collaborative

Ross_CoxonI would like to thank Heifer for their generosity in providing us with such an amazing venue and such great hospitality, as well as thank all the other agencies who have hosted us in the past. We really appreciate a chance to see your working environments and learn a little bit more about your wonderful organizations.

GLF Attendees have asked LINGOs to set a date and location for next year’s GLF so they can start planning. Before we can do that, we need a host.

It is a long and proud tradition that a LINGOs Member hosts the Forum. Would your organization consider joining Heifer International, PATH, FHI360, MercyCorps, TNC, CRS and CARE as members who have hosted a LINGOs meeting?

Hosting the GLF can be a fun and rewarding experience! The LINGOS team does most of the heavy lifting, with help from the Planning Committee.

You are eligible to host the meeting in 2016 if:

-you would like to host the LINGOs family
-have access to a facility that can host up to 140 people
-have an amazing logistics person who can work with us

Please reach out to me directly if you are interested or need more information. I look forward to your responses, and we are already getting very excited about the coming year and the Global Learning Forum 2016!

Making Co-Creation Happen in 2016

A message from LINGOs CEO Chris Proulx about the 2016 LINGOs Co-Creation Agenda

Chris_ProulxTwo weeks ago at Heifer International, 100 learning professionals gathered at the LINGOs Global Learning Forum to engage, discuss, and share their ideas for how to continue to use learning to improve the effectiveness of organizations in the international development, humanitarian, conservation and social sectors.

As part of the conference, we facilitated an interactive brainstorming to identify the top priorities around which the LINGOs community could co-create new solutions in 2016. We invited participants to submit their ideas for projects that would make a difference to their organizations, make a difference to the sector, and have deliverables that could be created in 2016.

We are still looking for input from members of the community who could not join us the Global Learning Forum. You can provide us with your ideas for projects in the LINGOs Online Community.

So far, we have been reviewing and summarizing the input from the brainstorming session.  The top five priorities of the community so far are:

  1. Digital Badges: Credentials that transfer with employees from organization to organization mapped to a list of competencies with evidence the competencies have been retained.
  2. Professional Competency Frameworks: Shared competency model (80% solution) – with focus on tools/resources/guidance for implementation for your organization – for common key field positions.
  3. A Platform for Field Practitioners: Common knowledge/Tool/Sharing L&D platform with user-generated content and best practices organized around topics such as Environment, Economic, Poverty reduction, Health/public health, Agriculture, Food safety, Disaster relief, Gender, Civil society, Education, Water security, Sanitation, Technology.
  4. An Excellence in Leadership curriculum with certificate: Create a peer mentoring network among NGO senior leaders. Group existing courses into a cluster for organisation leadership (on and offline). Develop a learning path and a certificate aligned around core competencies.
  5. Marketing/Branding playbook for rolling out online learning: LMS marketing toolkit and do-it-yourself resources.

We are looking for your continued feedback, ideas, and suggestions for how your organization can contribute to any of these project priorities. The LINGOs staff is reviewing each of these highly ranked initiatives for which ones can be worked on in the coming year. We are considering factors such as: other related resources and initiatives in the sector, potential for reach and impact, existing resources within our member organizations, staff resources, and ability for quick wins. We will have more information before the end of the year on how to join working groups for 2016. Until then, keep sending us your ideas, feedback, and contributions.

Kimberli Jeter Named 2015 Rising Star Award Winner

KimberliFor 2015 Rising Star Award winner Kimberli Jeter, the conversation about learning and development quickly turns into a discussion about networks – between people, ideas, and the sum of their parts.

The Rising Star Award recognizes a new member of the LINGOs community who shares ideas, innovations, and best practices in support of the LINGOs vision and mission.

Kimberli, who is the Chief Learning and Partnerships Officer for PYXERA Global, works remotely from Colorado alongside teams based in Washington, D.C. and around the globe. She insists that as a learning professional, the distance can aid the final product.

In working remotely, she says, “you’re mindful of the fact that you’re serving a population you don’t get to interact with on a regular basis.”

It’s a distance that she shortens through technology and a steady curation of best practices – both of which form the heart of Kimberli’s work with PYXERA Global. There, she spearheads an initiative to provide staff with everything from information about PYXERA Global’s mission and projects as they onboard, to the courses they’ll need to master for their next promotion. To Kimberli, the success of the initiative “depends on our ability to understand the needs of the individual,” but developing the tools and programs takes a consideration of the collective.

To this end, Kimberli has leaned on the LINGOs community this year, the first since PYXERA Global joined. “Kimberli has been tasked with creating a learning strategy for a fast-growing NGO,” says Chris Proulx, CEO of LINGOs. “And when it came to LINGOs and what it could provide, she didn’t choose to take a year to get oriented, but instead has immediately jumped in and made connections within the community, asked questions, and has really worked with our team to employ the components of LINGOS that are most beneficial for PYXERA Global’s strategy.”

This includes collaborating with a working group of other member NGOs to develop “learning paths” from the array of courses available to the LINGOs community. She underscores that it’s a work in process – the group met in person for the first time at the Global Learning Forum – but it’s an important step for everyone using the new LINGOs Learning Platform. “We can build and lay out these tracks for people, so that…they can have a longer-term vision for their professional development,” she says. Training “doesn’t have to be ‘just-in-time.’”

For Kimberli, this tailored perspective on training dovetails with her experience so far in the LINGOs community. In LINGOs, she says, “you have different experiences, different perspectives, and different use cases. You can start to learn from others, create your own system…[and then] go back and contribute it to the community.”

About the Global Learning Awards

Presented annually at LINGOs’ Global Learning Forum, the Global Learning Awards celebrate individuals and organizations that have significantly supported LINGOs’ mission: ensuring that its members and the NGO community at large have access to affordable, appropriate learning wherever they work.

NetDimensions named 2015 Partner of the Year

NetDimensions Logo 2014 verticalCongratulations to NetDimensions, which has been named LINGOs’ 2015 Partner of the Year! The award honors an organization that has shown a significant commitment to helping LINGOs deliver affordable, high-quality learning solutions to people and organizations working to improve lives in developing and vulnerable communities. Chris Pirie, LINGOs Board Chair and Microsoft’s General Manager of Field Readiness and Learning, presented the award to NetDimensions CEO Jay Shaw in a ceremony Wednesday night at the Global Learning Forum.

NetDimensions supports the LINGOs community with an innovative Learning Management System based on NetDimensions Learning. The technology, which NetDimensions provides to LINGOs at greatly reduced cost, gives LINGOs’ 80+ member non-profits and their collective 200,000 employees access to learning when and where they work—in over 140 countries.

The NetDimensions Learning Management System has allowed LINGOs to deliver a wide range of learning opportunities to its members, said Chris Proulx, LINGOs’ CEO. “In our first year of partnering with NetDimensions, we’ve just cherry-picked the set of features we knew would provide immediate benefit for the diversity of organizations that we serve. Yet at the same time, there’s a potential for us to really go deeper with the platform in the future. NetDimensions has been incredibly generous with their technology as well as their expertise to help build a common platform for over 80 organizations.”

NetDimensions is a member of the UN Global Compact, and has pledged to manage its business in accordance with the Global Compact’s Ten Principles of corporate sustainability. NetDimensions’ partnership with LINGOs is one aspect of this commitment to responsible business. “We want to have the opportunity to grow as a company, to give value to our shareholders, and to serve more clients,” says Michelle Sullivan, NetDimensions’ North American Marketing Director. “In turn, we also need to provide opportunities to organizations that are making the world a better place.” For NetDimensions’ CEO Jay Shaw, this means sharing learning opportunities through LINGOs: “NetDimensions is fully committed to building our relationship with LINGOs and helping to provide a learning technology that has an impact on the world.”

The effects of NetDimensions’ generosity are far-reaching. “Their corporate experience is at a global level – across multiple countries and languages, serving corporations with tens of thousands of employees,” Proulx said. “By partnering with NetDimensions we have a solution that can scale out to the 200,000 employees that our members represent and still have the scale to expand and grow.”

Congratulations, NetDimensions, and thank you for your continued support of LINGOs! We’re looking forward to another year of helping learners around the world maximize their impact through improved training and capacity building.

About the Global Learning Awards

Presented annually at LINGOs’ Global Learning Forum, the Global Learning Awards celebrate individuals and organizations that have significantly supported LINGOs’ mission: ensuring that its members and the NGO community at large have access to affordable, appropriate learning wherever they work.

Heifer International Named 2015 Member of the Year

heifer logoCongratulations to Heifer International, which has been named LINGOs’ 2015 Member of the Year! The annual award honors a LINGOs member organization that has demonstrated commitment to LINGOs’ mission:  providing affordable, high-quality learning solutions to those working to improve lives in developing and vulnerable communities. Chris Proulx, LINGOs’ CEO, presented the award to Hilary Haddigan, Holly Dunning and Tamidra Marable of Heifer International in a ceremony Wednesday night at the Global Learning Forum.

In a statement before the ceremony, Hilary Haddigan, Chief of Mission Effectiveness at Heifer, thanked LINGOs for the “recognition of the journey Heifer is on,” noting that it was an honor for Heifer to be in service to the communities where it works.

Heifer International, a longtime LINGOs member organization, is dedicated to ending hunger and poverty, and to caring for the Earth. In support of this mission, Heifer has worked closely with the LINGOs community to develop and share best practices for organizational learning and capacity building.

When a new Learning Management System was rolled out to the LINGOs community this year, Heifer consistently provided the community with its findings and solutions to shared challenges.

“The idea was to go through [the LMS rollout] together,” says Holly Dunning, Talent Development Manager at Heifer. “We were creating a lot of materials that we were sharing with the rest of the [LINGOs community]. We didn’t want to miss a second of it.”

In its push to build capacity across the organization, Heifer has also been a leading champion and adopter of PMD Pro, a training and professional certification designed for project managers in the development sector. Tamidra Marable, Talent Development Manager at Heifer, says that PMD Pro is “a central tool” in Heifer’s goal to help 4 million families achieve a living income by 2020, adding that as staff and partners are trained in the approach, everyone “gains a common taxonomy and understanding of our way of working.”

In short, it’s about collaboration – and strategy. Proulx calls Heifer International “a model organization in terms of linking business strategy to learning and performance improvement.”

For NGOs that are developing learning plans of their own, Proulx says that “the takeaway from Heifer is to align the learning activities that you’re doing with your organization’s specific business challenges or objectives. [Learning success] is about focus, more than it is about breadth and depth of resources.”

About the Global Learning Awards

Presented annually at LINGOs’ Global Learning Forum, the Global Learning Awards celebrate individuals and organizations that have significantly supported LINGOs’ mission: ensuring that its members and the NGO community at large have access to affordable, appropriate learning wherever they work.