eLN Learning Technologies Award Showcase Webinar Series: Talking Talent

Under immense pressure to prioritize engagement and growth, technology platforms have created a race for human attention that’s unleashed invisible harms to society.
The Center for Humane Technology

As the Director of Talking Talent Online, Vicki Krajewski faced a quandary. Talking Talent is a coaching company committed to increasing inclusion and wellbeing — yet the digital world is an unregulated frontier that has fostered a harmful business model where *your attention* is the commodity and the way to win is through encouraging addiction.

This means the designs we are all immersed in every day — the “like” buttons and notifications, the endless scrolls — are not designed to serve us. They are designed to prompt and measure compulsive behaviour and those designs have become so ubiquitous that we don’t even ‘see’ them. Every learning management system, every office program now builds these principles in as a requirement. Anybody building digital learning is invariably asked first about engagement and usage — never mind the outcomes or the effects on learners.

If Talking Talent’s mission was to increase wellbeing, Vicki knew they couldn’t ‘lift a template’ from popular platform designs — because these very designs cause harm to attention and cognition, physical and mental health, self-esteem, and, yes, wellbeing.

So Talking Talent had to start with a blank screen, and ultimately reimagine what the ‘digital’ part of coaching could be like.

The business model of social media is attention-harvesting… and we’ve more-than-not seen the toxic impacts.
United States Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)
Talking Talent Online was built — a proprietary, purpose-built digital platform created to allow companies to scale their coaching support quickly and affordably while maintaining respect for and connection with the coachees.

Talking Talent heard two things from their coachees over and over: “I’m overwhelmed” and “I have no time” – and at every step, Talking Talent’s digital team designed to help with these issues—rather than to win the Most Clicks Contest.

In this webinar, Vicki will talk about that journey, the challenges inherent, how she and her team threw everything off the table to set a new place that is built around People and not Pixels.

In this session, we will explore:
  • How prevailing digital product designs are based on business models that aim for addiction
  • How these ‘baked in’ designs are invisible to us–and perpetuate harms
  • How to build something better using the principles of ethical design
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Award: Gold winner
‘Most innovative new learning technologies product’

"The judges loved the deeply ethical approach taken to the design of this coaching tool which made it stand out from the pack. The functionality that was left out of the tool was as important as what was put in. Wonderful to see the Center for Humane Technology soundly referenced in the design process. The judges hope that this is the first of many such digital products where users' wider wellbeing is prioritised above so-called 'engagement' with the app / tool / game / social network. It's a difficult balance to strike in the user-attention arms race, which is the digital space today, but one the judges felt Talking Talent strikes beautifully."

Judges Comments
About your presenter:
Vicki Krajewski is a designer and former teacher and writer who’s gone on ‘the digital journey’ and wants to help change our current route towards division and addiction. She worked in educational publishing through the switch from stuffing CD-ROMs into the backs of giant textbooks to the clumsy concoction of the first ‘eBooks’ and online learning applications, and has since then helped build digital learning practices for a range of companies. She’s been with Talking Talent as Executive Director of Digital since 2017.

Follow Talking Talent on Twitter and LinkedIn.
The Learning Technologies Awards showcase some of the most recognisable, memorable, and life-changing elearning worldwide. They are internationally recognised and open to organisations of all sizes.

Independently judged by the eLearning Network to the highest and most rigorous of standards, there is no greater recognition of hard work and commitment to elearning than winning an Award. Reaching the shortlist is really something to shout about. Winning is proof to your clients, colleagues and rivals that you’re at the top of your game – a shining example to the learning and technology world.
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Date

21 Sep 2021

Time

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Location

Online

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