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NOAH Conference 2015 roundup

City lights at night

This blog post comes from LEO Learning’s CEO Jonathan Satchell, who recently attended the NOAH Conference 2015.

I was delighted to be invited to speak at the NOAH Conference 2015 in Berlin in early June, especially given this was an event focused on the digital economy. It was an honour to be joining a lineup of speakers including Eric Schmidt from Google, Arianna Huffington from The Huffington Post and Oliver Samwer from Rocket Internet.

The NOAH Conference has been going for seven years in London, and is hugely popular with investors and digital entrepreneurs. 2015 marked its first appearance in Berlin, with 2,200 delegates over the two days. The conference was insightful for me, as I was unaware of the quantum of the burgeoning digital economy in Germany’s capital.

The presentations

IMG_1324-712x534Arianna Huffington speaking at the NOAH Conference speakers’ dinner in berlin

Before the conference got started, I attended the speakers’ dinner, during which Arianna Huffington spoke about her new book, ‘Thrive’. ‘Thrive’ is all about how entrepreneurs should strive to achieve a healthy work-life balance to avoid burning out. With some of technology’s biggest innovators in attendance, Arianna’s points resonated with a captive audience, and gave us all something to think about ahead of the two-day conference.

On the first day of the conference, I gave my plenary speech about how LTG is a challenger in the disruptive learning space, and how the innovative use of learning technologies can be used to move learning to the heart of business strategy, as pioneered by our subsidiary LEO Learning. Other education challengers such as Lecturio’s CFO Stefan Wisbauer, Babbel’s CEO Markus Witte and Bettermarks’ Arndt Kwiatkowski also spoke about disrupting learning with technology, and it was interesting to hear the commonality of the views about how digital learning is making a profound difference in how we teach our children and how we train employees in corporate environments.

Highlights and key themes

I particularly enjoyed the Connected Car panel discussion, involving companies such as Porsche, Ford and BMW. This session highlighted the incredible rate of progress in car technology, and it is clear that this is going to be a fascinating area to watch in the coming years. LEO Learning has worked extensively with automotive clients, and it is always exciting to see the innovative ideas coming out of this sector. The accelerated speed at which change is happening in all aspects of technology shows that it is vital to stay on top of the latest developments, whether this is in engineering, sports or learning.

IMG_1329-712x534Martin Sorrell of WPP’s presentation from NOAH Conference 2015

Another highlight was Sir Martin Sorrell’s keynote. The CEO of WPP joined the conference by video link, and delivered a session on the key global trends we’re seeing in the world today. This included the exponential rise of the web, the acceptance of social responsibility and, aptly, industry consolidation – which was the reason for the creation of Learning Technologies Group in 2013 within a highly fragmented learning technologies industry.

Networking and conversations

The NOAH Conference has always been renowned for its fantastic networking opportunities, and I certainly found this to be the case. There were many interesting people at the event, from the other speakers to the delegates, and it is clear there is a great appetite for technology-fuelled change among digital champions and challengers alike.

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In summary, the NOAH Conference 2015 was a vibrant, well-attended event, attracting some of the world’s brightest and best digital innovators, and I am looking forward to seeing how some of the ambitious ideas from the challengers and champions in attendance unfold over the coming years. If you are looking to implement disruptive learning technologies in your own organisation for measurable business transformation, the LEO Learning team would be delighted to help you, so please get in touch if you would like to find out more.

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