Conference Spotlight: Online Educa Berlin

by | May 27, 2014 | Articles

5 industry ‘gurus’ explain why corporate L&D leaders shouldn’t miss Online Educa Berlin!

ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN (OEB) is one of the largest global conferences on technology-supported learning, and yet, most L&D professionals haven’t heard of it, despite its focus on corporate L&D issues that are addressed through its Business Educa programme.
You may not have heard much about the event, but you will have heard of some of the industry ‘gurus’ on the OEB steering boardCharles JenningsJay CrossDonald ClarkJaan NetzowBert de Coutere and our own Laura Overton.
Online_Educa_Berlin_2014_Steering_Board_Headshots
The organisers are currently inviting L&D professionals to submit ideas for workshops and presentations under this year’s theme, Changing Learning, so we thought we would ask these steering board members a few questions you might want to ask:

“What makes Online Educa unique?”

JC: Online Educa brings together viewpoints from a hundred countries: it’s the most diverse L&D gathering on the planet. This is the place to explore the future of learning in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
BdC: Unlike any other learning conference I know, OEB is a place where different worlds in training and education meet: the academic world, the corporate training people, the education system, the policy makers and the ‘edu-preneurs.’  These different worlds have more in common than they sometimes care to admit, so the crossover of ideas and best practices is extremely valuable.
CJ: In my view it is a great ‘melting pot’ for participants to hear about and discuss projects and initiatives with practitioners and experts from across the globe. It doesn’t matter if your work is focused on the practical aspects of small projects, or whether you are responsible for developing and executing learning strategy for a global corporation – I always find the event proves valuable.
JN: For me it’s all about discovering and discussing the latest trends in learning technology.
DC: I think it’s unique because it’s in Berlin; not too US, not too English…
LO: We have some amazing conferences in the UK, but for me OEB is about the opportunity to really connect and network with different individuals who stretch your thinking!

“What is so special about the Business Educa programme?”

JC: Business Educa is a conference, within a conference, that enables people to discuss common challenges and opportunities.
JN: You meet knowledgeable experts, who understand not only how learning can support your company’s business goals, but also how it interacts with career, skill and performance management.
CJ: Since its inception, Business Educa has been based on collaborative sharing, rather than a simple series of presentations. Participants share in PechaKucha and Ignite sessions, unconferences and collaborative problem solving. In these creative discussions, BE provides a great environment to collaborate and work with colleagues and experts around the world.
BdC: Business Educa helps L&D professionals reflect on and apply this year’s themes to corporate learning. For example, participants explore how the expectations on training the next generation of employees are shaped by current educational practices. L&D professionals also take away insight from current research, and the latest e-learning innovations.
LO: Business Educa is a must for solution-seekers. Attending gives you the chance to ask questions and network.  If you host a workshop too, you can get a whole room-full of creative thinkers to work on some really thorny issues!
DC: You only have to look at the testimonials of CLOs who have attended in the past to understand why Business Educa is special!

“What advice would you give to those considering a first time visit to OEB/Business Educa?”

CJ: OEB and Business Educa offer such a wealth of experiences and opportunities, that it’s important to make sure you are well prepared. If you’re going to be part of the Business Educa stream, make sure you get all the main sessions in your diary. The Opening and Closing sessions tie the Business Educa stream together – be there. The interactive sessions are enjoyable (even fun!); they’re a great way to build your network and get useful insights at the same time. Come prepared to share your own experiences and play an active part in these sessions.
JC: Aside from the formal program, immerse yourself in the agora of the Marlene Bar at the Intercontinental Hotel and the nearby Christmas markets.
JN: Meet like-minded people from the Corporate Sector; those influencing the sector (OEB Steering Committee) are always happy to connect!
DC: The real heart of OEB is the mixture of government, education and business; take full advantage of the opportunity to broaden your perspectives in each of these areas.
LO: Think about submitting a paper to contribute, don’t just attend – it’s a great way to broaden your network (and reduce the conference fees!)*
BdC: Go with an open mind towards the ‘other worlds’, in terms of sharing your challenges, your own experience and best practices. Expect to make a few friends too, and don’t be surprised if you visit again in the next few years. Over time OEB becomes a yearly update for a lot of people.

“What 3 words sum up your experience of OEB/Business Educa?”

Word Cloud OEB 2014 by Towards Maturity
Get involved and find out more
Business Educa is a strand within the programme, dedicated to the needs of CLO’s and HR professionals who are looking to deliver individual potential and business results. Why not consider sharing your story, or book your place to come along!
*note that the conference selection process will be overseen by an independent committee; all accepted applicants will be notified in August and will be eligible for a significantly reduced conference registration fee.

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