London (UK), August 2022 - The Learning Network (LN) has announced the theme for its 2022 annual conference and invites learning and development professionals to bring real challenges for discussion and debate - and to drive change.
The LN's 2022 annual conference - LN Connect - takes place 15 November at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London Tower Bridge, after a two-year postponement. The conference theme examines the L&D profession and explores the changes the learning community needs to make for its own benefit and that of its members.
LN's latest research found that 36% of participants made a significant investment towards the end of 2021 to ensure their learners could work virtually - identified as one of the top business disruptions. Some 72% of contributors highlighted that this disruption was managed with no increase to personnel within their teams.
Gemma Wells, Chair of LN, said, "The LN recognises the huge contribution L&D professionals have made in response to the pandemic, reacting and implementing change quickly - without time to think and plan the best options, or support for their own development or wellbeing. It's only now we have the space to think about whether the actions we took were right and consider what we might have done differently. It's also now that LN members are reflecting on their own self-development, career progression, and welfare."
This year's research study from the LN revealed that only 25% of participants thought it was easy to find the qualifications and experiences they need to drive impact, with only 34% believing it is easy to progress in the learning industry. Ninety-one percent think professionalising the learning industry would add value.
Gemma added, "The figure 91% is staggering! It indicates the need to break the mould and create change. As the ones setting the standards, we need to utilise the best experiences and opportunities to excel in our own field, drive impact, and thrive. LN Connect brings us together to explore what we need to do to make this happen."
The conference programme opens with a keynote address from Michelle Parry-Slater, Director at Kairos Learning, who leads a live networking session asking the question "What about us?" Invited speakers include David Perring, Director of Research at Fosway Group, who presents further thought to create conversation, exploring learning innovation and technology. Panel debate sessions delve into the headline topics Digital Transformation, L&D Capabilities and Skills, and Standards and Professionalisation.
Sponsored sessions running in parallel feature real-life case studies and insight from the event's major anchor sponsors, including Comtec, Filtered, iAM, Make Real, and Mint Interactive. Jane Daly, Chief Insight Officer at PeopleStar, closes the conference with her keynote session "Dare to be different", drawing together the day's discussions.
The event will host dedicated networking activities, an exhibition area adjacent to the conference, and an early-evening drinks reception. Learning News is the event's sole media partner, covering the conference sessions and interviewing participants to capture reflections and thought.
Rob Clarke, Managing Editor of Learning News, said, "The 2019 event was fantastic, and it's great to be a part of LN Connect again after the two-year postponement. This year's theme is timely and well placed. I hear L&D professionals trying to overcome the same challenges year after year, and professionalisation and skills are the answer. It'll be a fantastic day, with plenty of food for thought."