Reflecting on 2023

A glass orb reflecting the sky and a house. The ground which the orb sits on is frosty.

It’s the end of the year and we’re getting reflective here at The Learning Network.

Here’s what Tom McDowall (Chair) and Kim Ellis (Vice Chair) thought of 2023.

Tom McDowall

As the Chair of the Learning Network, it’s with a sense of accomplishment and gratitude that I reflect on the journey we’ve traversed in 2023. This year has been a remarkable one, marked by significant achievements and enriching experiences.

Our network has always thrived on the exchange of ideas and knowledge, and this year was no exception. We hosted an array of engaging webinars, each one a testament to our commitment to continuous learning and development. These sessions not only offered valuable insights but also fostered a sense of community among our members.

The social aspect of our network has always been its heartbeat, and 2023 saw us enjoying several social gatherings. A highlight was our summer mixer in Brighton – a perfect amalgamation of fun, networking, and learning. The camaraderie and laughter shared among us will remain a cherished memory.

A significant milestone was the successful revival of ‘Connect’, our annual conference. The event was a resounding success, with an array of distinguished speakers and supportive sponsors. However, it was the attendees who truly brought the magic to the event. Their enthusiasm and engagement made ‘Connect’ more than just a conference; it was a celebration of our shared passion for learning and development.

Reflecting on the broader landscape in 2023, there have been notable strides in accessibility. It’s heartening to see our industry moving towards inclusivity, ensuring learning opportunities are available to all. However, there remains a path to tread in the realm of adaptive learning. We must continue to strive for solutions that cater to the diverse needs of individuals.

A note of frustration emerged around the concept of nano learning. The last thing we need is another piece of poorly define jargon, we have plenty of that already! I suspect this is one to watch out for in the coming months.

2023 has been a year of joy, growth, and learning for our network. I am profoundly thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful community. Here’s to continuing our journey of learning and growth in the years to come, always keeping the spirit of curiosity, collaboration, and maybe even a bit of disruption at the forefront.

Thank you to each and every one of you for making the Learning Network an inspiring and delightful place to be a part of. Here’s to more success and learning in the future!

Kim Ellis

My third year on the board has been quite eventful, this year I handed over the reins of Community Engagement to Paula Hughes and Erin Donovan. I’m sure you’ll agree they’ve done a sterling job with the newsletter and podcast. This year I was looking after the Industry Partners, but also dipping my toe into the Mentoring and Marketing workstreams too.

As this year’s Vice Chair I saw it as my responsibility to help where I could with the different areas and it has been amazing. I love connecting people, and chatting to people, so being involved with the IPs, mentors and mentees has been extremely rewarding.

And we can’t forget LN Connect! I’ve been doing the conference scene for a few years now, so I know what it’s like being on a stand, but my gosh Connect was a little different. It was the best event I’ve ever been to, and that wasn’t even as a delegate so I’m hopping with excitement for next year.

On to 2024 then, I will be stepping down as Vice Chair as I’m entering my final year as a Director, so I’m going to be focussing on a special project. You’ll find out more about that early next year.

Thank you all for your dedication, support, innovation and most importantly, the connections. We really are the friendliest network.