After coffee and various pastries for those who wished to indulge, the keynote of the LPI conference was due. It was delivered by Spencer Kelly, presenter of technology show BBC Click. Sadly there is no video to see of the keynote, due to restrictions in Spencer Kelly’s BBC contract. 

Ollie shares a link so you can see more about Click if you haven’t watched it before:

Spencer talked through a variety of technology that he’s been able to use or witness, including this robotic looking thing which is actually something to wear in order to be able to keep independent, such as the suit helping you to lift things where you don’t have the strength. Seems very Iron Man like to me!

There was also the augmented reality aps to let you see things very differently indeed:

The BBC Click presenter discussed screens that can bend but are still strong:

There was focus on 3D printing and even 3D drawing…

Spencer did ensure that his delivery was tailored to us as an audience, as Don’s tweet highlights:

More of being brilliant

After the story-based delivery from the after dinner speaker about the Art of Being Brilliant, I decided to go to the session with Andy’s co-author, Andy Whittaker. This link is the video and this link is the book the Andy’s have written:

Andy talked through different types of people, the emotional reaction that surrounds them and how we also shouldn’t judge:

There was advice on how to deal with things and make choices:

We have taken ability to think out of people by creating processes and using technology to do the job for us @ArtOfBrillAndyW #learninglive — Sukhvinder Pabial (@sukhpabial) September 12, 2013

This image on screen created laughter in the session and conversation when it appeared on the tweet screens around the rest of the conference:

Apparently it’s a drawing of scissors, by Andy’s daughter! I liked, but haven’t remembered to act upon, the idea of just being brilliant for four minutes and seeing where that leads to:

Sukh Pabial linked to some other thoughts and resources:

There were some nice quotable lines that we should all think about every now and then:

Was this the right session to attend? It was certainly a popular one, as the room was full.


In the after dinner speech Andy Cope had said that Whittaker’s session would be based more on the science. I didn’t feel that it was. The session was more story-telling, common truths and delivered in an honest, northern stand-up style. I really, really enjoyed it, but it wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be. In retrospect I wish I had attended one of the other more serious subjects, such as Owen Ferguson’s  on data – but there’s always the videos!

I don’t really know!

The next session I attended was with Neil Denny, all about how much change there is in the world and that old solutions just don’t work any more.

I agreed with what Neil was saying about being more honest with ourselves and what we might be able to do. Captured nicely in these tweets from Henry:

This is a book that Neil had suggested looking at, that focuses on how to lead in this time of constant change.

Neil says that the consultant who advocates the least amount of change in their bid wins the business. He added that this was due to uncertainty about change. I’ve certainly heard a few stories that would back that up!

This tweet summarises the text for the image in the tweet below.

Neil ended his time with links to the League of Not Knowing:

Speaking of uncertainties… I sat next to LPI Business Development Manager Mark Gascoigne who had taken on some techy duties, ensuring that slides were synchronised with the live speech for the video recording!

Neil’s session was summed up, for me, by this tweet from Kate:

Decisions, decisions…

The last session of the day was a really interesting challenge to select between. Craig’s session about compliance I already knew a bit about and also had heard him speak on compliance at Learning Technologies.

Andrew Jacobs I’d already been chatting to during the conference but really wanted to see his session too as the praise was very high. In the end I attended Phil Ray’s session focusing on connecting learning objectives to the business and measuring effectiveness. This is the video of Phil’s session.

Phil started his session with an interesting analogy, asking the audience to get naked! Then ‘training’ the audience in how to get naked, how to unzip, how to undo buttons and so on.  I really liked this take on the idea of “I’ve trained them, but they still aren’t doing what we need/asked/wanted”:

He soon got on to more comfortable ground, with a fully clothed audience, talking about strategy:

Phil talked through the theory of planned behaviour:

Phil’s session focused on what he had learnt in connecting development needs to the business objectives, of gently challenging through questions, and he had some activities for the audience to think about to. This is a link to another of my own blog posts that I tweeted late in the day, after a long discussion with Phil:

Some thoughts:

It was my first Learning Live conference and it certainly won’t be my last! It was different from other’s I’ve attended and I agree, it feels smaller and more intimate. For people new to attending conferences and starting to meet some of the bloggers they follow or people on their Twitter personal learning network, the comments I heard were that it wasn’t intimidating and they felt people were approachable for conversations. Exactly as it should be!

As with most conferences, there was just so much choice of what to attend. Perhaps too much choice with four tracks/themes to select from. The great thing to come out of this though are the videos. So anything I missed on the day I can watch the video of and look at the tweets.

I think next year’s event would hugely benefit from separate Twitter hashtags for the individual sessions. This would make it much easier to follow on/after the day (both for attendees and also people following via the back channel) and to do things like use Storify to bring all the tweets together easier. Something like #LL14 and then #S1 for session one would separate these out as well as have a shorter hashtag than #LearningLive to save a few precious characters!

Lastly, this one isn’t specific to the LPI or Learning Live, it’s across all conferences I’ve attended, including webinars. There is a touchy, challenging issue about speaker quality and slide quality. Whilst I got something out of every session I attended across the two days, I do agree with comments I heard during the conference about the delivery from some and the overly text-based, clip-art ridden slides that lacked visual impact. Is it the responsibility of the conference holder to ‘audition’ and coach people on this? Maybe, because it affects what I get out of a conference. Ultimately though, it’s part of a speakers personal development.

Happy end of conference tweets!

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