The Learning Hack podcast-logo

The Learning Hack podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

What are the significant innovations shaping the future of learning? How is digital technology and scientific discovery changing the way we learn, train, teach and educate? Join John Helmer in conversation with the people who are visioning and actively creating that future. Published fortnightly (don't forget to subscribe!).

What are the significant innovations shaping the future of learning? How is digital technology and scientific discovery changing the way we learn, train, teach and educate? Join John Helmer in conversation with the people who are visioning and actively creating that future. Published fortnightly (don't forget to subscribe!).


United Kingdom


What are the significant innovations shaping the future of learning? How is digital technology and scientific discovery changing the way we learn, train, teach and educate? Join John Helmer in conversation with the people who are visioning and actively creating that future. Published fortnightly (don't forget to subscribe!).






+44 7757008415


LH #32 Beyond Learning with Harold Jarche

John talks to Harold Jarche, blogger, speaker and consultant in the closely adjacent but oddly separate worlds of learning and knowledge management. People at work need more than skills training and compliance learning. They have to navigate the complex knowledge environment that technology has given us, using concepts and tools that are part of an emerging field described by figures such as George Siemens, Dave Snowden, and Harold himself. Harold talks about Personal Knowledge Mastery...


LH #31 What Are We Talking About?

Looking back over a year and a half of podcast episodes, John Helmer summarizes the main themes that have emerged from these these fascinating discussions and attempts to draw insights by taking a helicopter view. Where do people agree, and where do they clash? Includes contributions from George Siemens, Nick Shackleton-Jones, Donald Clark, Connie Malamed, Gianni Giacomelli, Laura Lee-Gibbs, Andrea Miles, Sharon Claffey Kaliouby, Jane Hart, Matthew Confer, Paul Matthews, David...


LH #30 Fantastic Mrs Fox with Laura Lee-Gibbs

John talks to Laura Lee-Gibbs, Digital Learning Consultant & Director of Learn Fox. In her 14 years in the industry she has worked both vendor-side and client-side, across a broad range of sectors including legal, healthcare, retail, automotive, hospitality, financial, charities, professional associations, public sector and government agencies. Her practice focuses on digital transformation, and one of the things she does a lot for clients is to guide them through the difficult decisions...


LH #29 Being B.A.D. with Andrea Miles

John talks to Andrea Miles, CEO of BestAtDigital, about her plans for the new company she is helming, spun out of Cornerstone, and her journey to get to this point. Andrea’s career spans over 20 years in learning, mostly in leadership roles. Since 2004 she has formed and managed to keep together a core team that has seen nine M&A transactions. What it it like to lead through such a time of upheaval, weathering the market consolidations of the last few years? And yet, during this time,...


LH #28 Collective Intelligence with Gianni Giacomelli

John talks to Gianni Giacomelli, Chief Innovation Officer at Genpact, and Head of Design Strategy at MIT’s Centre for Collective Intelligence. Pointing to a growing body of research that pictures intelligence as an emerging property of a network, Gianni argues that we should focus on collective, rather than individual intelligence, in structuring and developing organizations. Diversity is a big part of this, with evidence piling up to show that more diverse teams get better...


LH #27 Learning's New Recession with Sharon Claffey Kaliouby

John talks to Sharon Claffey Kaliouby, VP, North America for Learning Pool, an award-winning professional and co-founder of the #women in learning group with Kate Graham. Sharon has held several high profile executive roles in Learning & Development with the likes of Thomson Reuters and Enterprise Ireland. Prior to Learning Pool, she was a Learning Fellow & Advisor for Elliott Masie Productions and previously Head of Global Learning & Development for State Street Global Advisors in Boston,...


LH #26 Decisions, Decisions with Matthew Confer

John Helmer talks to Matthew Confer, VP, Strategy & Business Development at Abilitie, an expert in leadership and decision-making. How do leaders make tough decisions in tight situations? How do they deal with the law of unintended consequences, which can bedevil so many in positions of authority? Matthew, who has run many simulation training events with leaders in large companies around the world, gives a three-step framework for tough decisions in tight spots, and discusses how leaders...


LH #25 Tool Time with Jane Hart

John Helmer talks to Jane Hart, Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4LPT), whose Top Tools for Learning list, now in its 12th year, rates the popularity of various technology tools under categories of personal learning, workplace learning and education. The list has consistently highlighted the importance of generic tools such as PowerPoint, Slack and YouTube for learning online, and how big a part informal learning plays in complementing course-based...


LH #24 Change and Complexity with George Siemens

As pressure mounts on L&D to get out of its bind on learning analytics and start taking data seriously, John Helmer talks to Dr George Siemens, founder president of the Society for Learning Analytics Research, and the father of connectivist learning theory. In George’s view, conditions have never been more favourable for a more data-driven approach in Corporate learning, with the Covid crisis massively accelerating digital transformation across all areas of organisational...


LH #023 Learning Transfer with Paul Matthews

John Helmer talks to Paul Matthews, Founder and CEO of People Alchemy, about learning transfer, the business of ensuring that what is learned results in real and measurable change in behaviours and performance. Coming from an engineering background, Paul was motivated to focus on this area by the high failure rate he observed in organisational training initiatives. 01:58 How is Covid affecting Paul and his business? 03:12 Why is learning transfer important? 07:48 What is learning...


LH #022 Rewilding L&D with Myles Runham

John Helmer talks to Myles Runham, a well respected learning consultant who has held senior leadership roles at the BBC and, about the evolving role of L&D. Myles shares some evolving ideas about how the role should be reframed to reflect the changing realities of the digital age, moving from a focus on courses and projects to thinking like the manager of a natural ecosystem, where not everything can be tamed and controlled. This involves being hands-off in some areas and...


LH #021 Out of Lockdown with David Wilson of Fosway

John Helmer talks to David Wilson, Founder and CEO of Fosway, Europe’s #1 HR Industry Analyst. Fosway has recently released first findings of research into how COVID-19 is changing learning, and David sees this as a breakthrough moment for learning tech. But do the changes that the research reveal signal broader shifts in the content and platform market, and in particular, has it changed David's generally quite sceptical view of the learning experience platform (LXP) as a meaningful...


LH #020 What Are We Playing At? with Juliette Denny

John Helmer talks to Juliette Denny, Managing Director and Ideologist-in-chief of award-winning learning tech company Growth Engineering. Juliet’s life mission is to eradicate dull online learning, ‘It breaks my heart, she says, ‘that something that should be so fun has all the qualities of a beige sock.’ They discuss the controversies over gamification and its basis in brain science and learning theory. 01:50 Her start in learning 04:13 Does gamification work? 09:02 How does...


LH #019 AI is the New UI with Donald Clark

John Helmer talks to Donald Clark, EdTech Entrepreneur, CEO, Professor, Researcher, Blogger and Speaker, about his work in AI for learning. Donald was CEO and one of the original founders of Epic Group plc, which established itself as the leading company in the UK online learning market, floated on the Stock Market in 1996 and sold in 2005. He is now a director of numerous learning technologies companies, and a noted, sometimes controversial speaker and writer. 01:31 State of the art...


LH# 018 Learning in a Pandemic with Reda Sadki

John Helmer talks to Reda Sadki, President of the Geneva Learning Foundation about how he is using digital learning to help health professionals respond to the crisis on an international scale. What lessons can be learned from previous epidemics and pandemics? How will the developing world be affected when Coronavirus gets going in earnest there – and can his Scholar programme and Teach to Reach initiative, which connect international health professionals to spread good practice, have an...


LH# 017 Passion & Purpose with Steve Dineen

John Helmer talks to Steve Dineen, Chief Storyteller and CEO of Fuse Universal about the passion and sense of purpose that has driven him in making a success of this innovative company. Steve is a second-time-around entrepreneur, having built up and then sold his previous company Fuel in 2007. Fuse had its genesis in an altruistic drive to bring digital learning to the developing world, and Fuse School still continues to offer free online schooling, with a renewed sense of relevance and...


LH #016 Learning Ecosystems with Dani Johnson of Redthread Research

John Helmer talks to Dani Johnson, Co-founder and Principal Analyst at Redthread Research, about her work on learning ecosystems. Citing the growth of point solutions as evidence of a change in the learning technologies market away from the 'big suite' solution, she says learning professionals need to intentionalize their ecosystems. 03:19 Intentional and unintentional ecosystems 04:44 Is ecosystem more than a buzzword? 06:24 Types of ecosystems 09:54 How does this affect L&D? 11:22...


LH #015 Some Like It Bot, with Henrietta Palmer

John Helmer talks to Henrietta Palmer, Learning Solutions Manager at a global travel company and joint winner of Gold in the 'most innovative new learning technologies product - UK' category at the Learning Technologies Awards Awards 2019 for the Otto learnbot. They talk about her early career, other pioneering AI work she has done, and the importance of good partner relationships with learning tech vendors. 01:23 How did she get her start in learning? 03:14 Did the move from vendor...


LH #014 The Pool Guy, with Paul McElvaney

John Helmer talks to Paul McElvaney, CEO of Learning Pool, one of the fastest growing and most innovative companies in the learning technologies market. From its origins as an elearning business for local government organisations, formed around Paul’s kitchen table, Learning Pool has grown to employ more than 200 people on seven sites and is now moving into the US. The company has won a dazzling array of awards and completed a slew of acquisitions, including last year’s purchase of...


LH #012a Skateboarding, Zombie Ideas and Instructional Design

John Helmer talks to Leonard Houx, Director at the eLearning Network and Senior Instructional Designer at Cass Business School. In an age when people who do his job are more often called learning designers or learning experience designers, how relevant is the history of instructional design to challenges we face today? As someone who knows both higher education and organisational learning, Leonard is uniquely placed to give insights on both. He also talks about his early love of...