eLN Connect 2019

A day of learning inspiration, collaboration and support
Wednesday, 20th November 2019

Leonardo Royal Hotel London Tower Bridge

eLN Connect: Creating a culture of curious learners

2019’s event took place on Wednesday, 20th November in London, UK. The conference theme explored how Learning & Development professionals can support organisations in building and fostering learning cultures that thrive.

With people’s skills continuously evolving and workplaces rapidly changing, organisations require a different approach to fulfilling learning needs.

As Learning & Development professionals, we must recognise this and evolve too. This means a shift in our mindset to create learning which is continuous and integrated within the flow of work. We also need to support our people, so they take ownership of their learning, allowing them to identify how their skills and careers develop. Creating the right environment and culture is critical and we brought L&D together to explore how we can, or already are, doing this.

Reserve your place

Our keynote speakers

eLN Connect keynote speaker Nicole Bradfield

Nicole Bradfield

Within People

Nicole helps leaders around the world grow the business they love. She believes that leading and shaping an organisation is an incredible privilege, and the richest of learning experiences.

With a brand agency background Nicole has over 20 years experience helping organisations tell amazing stories. And it’s the opportunity to help leaders connect to authentic purpose and values and set out an inspiring vision of the future that makes those stories more truthful, powerful and meaningful for everyone - which is the work she now loves to do.

Nicole opened our conference with a lively and interactive keynote session.

eLN Connect keynote speaker Robin Hoyle

Robin Hoyle

Head of Learning Innovation,
Huthwaite International

Robin is a writer, broadcaster and blogger who has worked in L&D for over 30 years. He first started to design computer based training (as it was called in those days) in the mid 80’s using Phillips Laser Disc technology.

He went on to make TV programmes, produce generic digital learning for leaders and create bespoke content - designing award winning programmes and platforms for global businesses. He's now Head of Learning Innovation for global sales communications skills research agency, Huthwaite International, the inventors of SPIN® Selling.

Robin closed our conference and summarised the day's debates and overall theme.

Our invited speakers

Deidre Bond

Deirdre Bond

Senior Learning Partner,
HM Revenue & Customs

Deirdre is a qualified Chartered Member of the CIPD and professional HR leader with over 35 years’ experience working front line and in corporate environments. Since joining HMRC she’s held positions as Corporate Senior HRBP and HR Organisation Design Senior Consultant, where she’s implemented a review of the function, leading on a reshape of the Directorate, shaping the culture programme and raising the capability of Organisation Design. Now Senior Learning Partner, she’s creating a new Learning Approach/culture, defining the leadership and accelerated development offer and embedding knowledge management into the way HMRC works.

Andrew Jacobs

Andrew Jacobs

L&D Transformation Lead,
HM Revenue & Customs

Andrew is a recognised leader in learning, known for his innovative thinking about learning, training and technology. He has significant experience in a range of roles across learning, training and people development, experience acquired in a range of industries in both the public and private sectors.

Andrew has a specific understanding of developing online and digital solutions for learning, social profile and engagement.

He is a Fellow of the Learning Performance Institute (LPI) and the Learning Development Transformation Lead for HMRC.

Neusha Milanian

Neusha Milanian

Learning and Leadership Consultant, Aviva

Neusha’s mission in life is to unite people through shared learning experiences by championing a culture of innovation, creativity and commitment. Classically trained actor, keen improviser and storyteller, Neusha’s love of people development began after graduating from drama school. Applying her performance skills to business she has worked in strategic outsourcing, technology, investment and management, and not-for-profit organisations as a learning professional.

Neusha joined Aviva in 2018 and is part of the learning and leadership team. She ensures all global leadership programmes are crafted with and for the learner, and behavioural change is embedded and sustained through inspiring and empowering interventions.

Our Guest Debate Chairs

David James

David James

Chief Learning Officer, Looop.co
Podcast Host at The Learning & Development Podcast
Helen Palmer

Helen Palmer

Head eLearning Advisors - Digital Learning,
Credit Suisse
Barbara Thompson

Barbara Thomspon

Learning Architect/Strategist,
GP Strategies Ltd

Our programme

As the go-to community for learning and development professionals, we host a unique event offering a world of new ideas, fresh thinking and engaging debate to innovate, inspire and empower you.

We are proud to say eLN Connect is the only UK learning technology conference to feature personal networking sessions prominently as part of its programme year on year.

The eLN reserved the right to make changes/update the programme at any time.


08:30 - 09:15

Registration and refreshments in exhibition area
Foyers and Gallery

09:15 - 09:20

Welcome, intro to the day and housekeeping
Joan Keevill, Chair of eLN

Room: Minories suite

09:20 - 10:00

Opening keynote: Nicole Bradfield, Partner at Within People
"Sorry nothing to learn here: unlearning leadership to grow 21st century organisations"

The way we work together is now the way we create value together. And leaders that create conditions for people to love who they are and what they do are growing the successful businesses people want to be a part of.

But our old stories of leadership are holding us back. We need to let go of what’s getting in our way, remove barriers that make leadership inaccessible and invite more people to bring their human greatness to leading our 21st century organisations. We need to unlearn the leadership that no longer serves us.

Room: Minories suite
Chair: Joan Keevill, eLN

10:00 - 10:10

Shuffle time

10:10 - 10:50

Invited speaker: Neusha Milanian, Learning and Leadership Consultant at Aviva
"Engagement through learning experience design (without the melodrama)"

Had enough of the histrionics when it comes to getting learners to engage? Hubris standing in the way of getting to the root of the problem?

Neusha presented an interactive session that provided practical tips on gaining commitment from learners and creating engagement through experience design.

Rooms: Bartholomew & Harpley
Chair: Gemma Wells, eLN

10:10 - 10:50

Invited speakers: Deirdre Bond, Senior Learning Partner and Andrew Jacobs, L&D Transformation Lead at HMRC
"Developing your learning strategy by developing your learning culture"

As organisations shift, the expectation placed on people to learn the new contexts is increasing exponentially. L&D teams have responded to this by creating more complex and robust learning strategies.

In this interactive session Deidre and Andrew walked through why they approach developing learning by addressing the learning culture:

  • Why culture should be your first touchpoint
  • How learning tactics fit into your learning strategy
  • What this approach looks like in practice
  • What it means for the learning practitioner.

Rooms: Beaumont & Sidney
Chair: Martin Baker, eLN

10:50 - 11:20

Morning coffee in exhibition area
Foyers and Gallery

11:20 - 12:10

Networking: Let’s do it!

Rooms: Bartholomew & Harpley
Facilitated by Tony Frascina, eLN

Rooms: Beaumont & Sidney
Facilitated by Joan Keevill, eLN

12:10 - 12:20

Shuffle time

12:20 - 13:00

Sponsored parallel sessions:

Comtec: Susan Lankfer, Head of Client Relations
“How can localisation increase learner engagement with Digital Learning Programmes?”

How many examples have you seen where learners are asked to complete a standard, one-size-fits-all module that is not tailored to their needs or even in their own language? This approach is never going to generate curiosity in your learners, let alone encourage them to take control of their own learning or become more self-reliant. It’s much more likely to switch them off learning and ignore the key messages you included!

Taking a more culturally sensitive and learner-centred approach can make a huge difference to the impact your eLearning has. That’s where translation plays a key part.

The 2018 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report cited that 'consistent valuable global training' was the #2 priority for L&D programs. It’s no surprise that translation is becoming of increasing importance for the eLearning sector.

Susan tackled the topic of translating eLearning content and why letting your end clients do the translations themselves may not always be the best answer.

In this session, attendees learned:

  • The big wins of translating eLearning content
  • The impact of delivering eLearning content in native languages
  • What can go wrong when not partnering with an experienced translation company
  • Best practice when designing content destined for translation
  • Pitfalls and top tips during the translation, localisation and re-build process
  • Questions to ask a potential translation partner

Room: Bartholomew
Chair: Gemma Wells, eLN

Virtual College: Naomi Hepworth, Learning Technology Manager - Health, Social and Community
"The power of a learning culture"

The world around us is changing at an ever increasing pace -the rise in automation and AI has the potential to have a huge impact on how we work and the job roles of the future. So, how do we prepare our people for a world that doesn’t yet exist?

Organisations need to become ‘change agile’ - the most important skill for the future is the skill of ‘getting better at getting better’ and being able to learn quickly and effectively.

To do this it is vital employees have a 'Growth Mindset'; organisations as a whole need to possess a learning culture. Naomi explored:

  • What Virtual College's definition of a learning culture is
  • What an organisation with a learning culture looks like
  • The barriers to implementing a learning culture
  • The importance of trust
  • The impact short term thinking has on organisations and people behave

Room: Harpley
Chair: Andy Moorman, eLN

Elucidat: Simon Greany, Chief Learning Officer
"What can we learn from global leaders delivering transformational learning at scale?"

In the current business climate, the way we deliver learning needs to be even faster than the speed of business itself. Technology is disrupting the way we work - and the way we learn.

Leading businesses are continually growing and adapting, and their staff need to be continually equipped with the latest knowledge and skills to stay ahead of the curve. How can this demand be met in a way that is impactful and relevant to all?

Simon shared insights gained from conversations with leaders of some of the world’s largest L&D operations on Elucidat’s Learning at Large podcast, as well as their own research into the learning that has been delivered to over 13 million people worldwide using the Elucidat authoring tool.

Attendees learned how their organisation can use learning to make a transformational impact and respond to change more quickly.

Room: Beaumont
Session Chair: Martin Baker, eLN

12:20 - 13:00

Big Debate: Digital Transformation
David James, Chief Learning Officer at Looop and Host of The Learning & Development Podcast

"How L&D underestimates digital and what we need to do to capitalise on its opportunity"

Due to illness, David James was unable to attend on the day. Jason Baker, Director of Product Design and Innovation at SAI Global hosted the discussion on digital transformation, ably assisted by:

  • Toby Harris, Head of Solutions at Filtered
  • Sophie Howe, Director at Comtec
  • Jon Kennard, Editor at Training Journal
  • Nick Ramsay, Chief Sales Officer at Junction-18

Room: Sidney
Facilitated by Joan Keevill, eLN

13:00 - 14:15

Lunch and networking in exhibition area
Foyers and Gallery

14:15 - 14:55

Sponsored parallel sessions:

Brightwave: Ashleigh Howells, Senior Learning Designer
"Futureproofing learning strategy: the future belongs to the curious."

Click-next training isn’t enough anymore. How can we push the capabilities of the learning blend to create a strategy that works for the workforce of tomorrow?

In this session, Ashleigh explored the power of curiosity as a catalyst for lasting behaviour change.

Room: Bartholomew
Chair: Gemma Wells, eLN

Tough Cookie: Michael Matania, Founder
"New work needs inner work"

The modern workplace is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, and the pace and scale of change is outpacing our evolved capacity to handle it.

This session introduced attendees to Mixed Mental Arts - a diverse set of practical cognitive and emotional skills that help us to be mentally resilient and navigate the challenges of modernity skilfully and sustainably.

Room: Harpley
Chair: Andy Moorman, eLN

LearnUpon: Phily Hayes, Head of Business Development
"eLearning Engagement: A Formula for Success"

Learner engagement is one of the most challenging parts of delivering online learning. In this session, Phily guided attendees through a practical strategy for improving learner engagement. Informed by LearnUpon’s Customer Success team’s insights, he provided an actionable plan to help positively impact learner engagement.

Room: Beaumont
Session Chair: Martin Baker, eLN

14:15 - 14:55

Big Debate: Leadership
Helen Palmer, Head of Learning Advisors at Credit Suisse

"What is the role of leaders in developing a learning culture?"

Helen was so engaged by last year's conference that she returned this year to lead this debate on leadership in L&D, ably supported by:

  • Nicole Bradfield, Partner at Within People
  • Sophie Costin, Head of Learning Design at Make Real
  • Naomi Hepworth, Learning Technology Manager - Health, Social and Community at Virtual College
  • Chris Horseman, Managing Director - Engage in Learning.

Room: Sidney
Facilitated by Joan Keevill, eLN

14:55 - 15:25

Afternoon tea in exhibition area
Foyers and Gallery

15:25 - 16:05

Sponsored parallel sessions:

Filtered: Toby Harris, Head of Solutions
"Beyond the point of need: learning, technology and culture in 2020"

As smart performance-support technology takes hold in everyday life and the work involved in transport, customer service and food delivery, Toby argued that getting the learning content to point of need is actually insufficient to build the skills that most workplaces really need in 2020. Instead, our job is to build a culture of self-directed learning.

This session covered:

  • How “learning in the flow of work” and “performance support” are right to stress the role of motivation, but overstate the role of technology vs collective learning culture
  • A magpie’s view of the face of digital learning content in 2020: the winning formats, the motivations, the habits and the true meaning of a "learning experience platform"
  • What lies beyond the point of need: a maturity model for self-directed learning culture.

Room: Bartholomew
Chair: Gemma Wells, eLN

Make Real: Sophie Costin, Head of Learning Design and Robin Scott, Managing Director
"Supercharge your learning: how virtual reality can help you to achieve better learning outcomes"

In this session, Sophie and Robin delved into the world of VR and answered:

  • What happens in our brains when we try to learn something new with virtual reality?
  • How can immersive learning be more effective than traditional teaching methods?
  • How are businesses already using virtual reality for learning?
  • What can you do to start employing immersive design principles to your training, today?

Room: Beaumont
Session Chair: Martin Baker, eLN

15:25 - 16:05

Big Debate: Capabilities and Skills
Barbara Thompson, Learning Experience Architect at GP Strategies Ltd

"L&D report card 2019: reviewing our skills and capabilities"

According to the 2019 Towards Maturity benchmark report, one of the top three barriers to helping L&D professionals ‘unblock the road to successful transformation’ is L&D capability. To develop a high performing learning organisation, L&D has to shift from ‘producer’ to ‘enabler’, let go of traditional skills and embrace the new. So how do we think we’re doing as we near the end of 2019?

Barbara has extensive experience of working in capability development, transformation & behaviour change. In this debate she was joined by:

  • Ashleigh Howells, Senior Learning Designer at Brightwave
  • Andrew Jacobs, L&D Transformation Lead, HMRC
  • Joan Keevill, Chair of the eLN

Room: Sidney
Facilitated by Andy Moorman, eLN

16:05 - 16:10

Shuffle time

16:10 - 16:50

Closing keynote: Robin Hoyle, Head of Learning Innovation at Huthwaite International
"In summary: contributions, conclusions and recommendations for action"

Learning is about enabling people to do things differently and do different things.

In this summary session Robin collated the conference themes and day's recommendations to focus on how we use online tools and digital materials to i) enable people to adopt new behaviours, ii) adapt existing behaviours and iii) improve their performance.

Robin not only explored how we can do great work, but how we can measure the impact we have on the learning process and demonstrate how we sustainably enhance team and individual capability.

Room: Minories suite
Chair: Andy Moorman, eLN

16:50 - 17:00

Closing remarks and preview of 2020's conference
Andy Moorman, Vice-Chair of eLN
Room: Minories suite

17:00 - 19:00

Post-event drinks reception in exhibition area - sponsored by GoodPractice
Delegates, sponsors and speakers continued the day's discussions and debates with a drink (or two) and some nibbles!

The GoodPractice team kept everyone on their toes as they roved and and recorded a live episode of their popular podcast.

Foyers and Gallery


Engage in Learning
Future Visual
Training Journal

Sponsorship opportunities

If you’re interested in being part of eLN Connect 2020, contact Gemma Wells, eLN Board Director to find out more.

Sponsor eLN Connect 2020

General information

Venue, travel and accommodation

eLN Connect 2019 took place at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London Tower Bridge on Wednesday, 20th November. The hotel is located close to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge in London’s historic centre; Fenchurch Street Railway Station and Tower Hill tube Station are nearby. The conference and exhibition were situated on one floor; the post-conference drinks reception was hosted in the exhibition area to facilitate further networking. There was a private cloakroom adjacent to the registration and enquiry desk.

Refreshments and catering

Refreshments and catering were served throughout the conference and exhibition spaces. Special dietary requirements were catered for according to the details submitted via Eventbrite.

Reserve your place

Costs to attend:

    Standard ticket for eLN members – £110.00 (+VAT)
    Standard ticket for eLN non-members – £140.00 (+ VAT)

Booking deadlines:

    Standard bookings closed on Friday, 15th November
    Earlybird bookings closed on Friday, 9th August

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