What’s your biggest idea?

July 23, 2019

All weekend, I’ve been engrossed by the coverage of the 50th anniversary of the landing of Apollo 11.  It’s just amazing to think about the vision and the courage not only to imagine the project but to execute on it.

I’ve also been a little discouraged as I’ve read a lot of the editorials lamenting the fact that a project like Apollo 11 couldn’t get off the ground today (excuse the pun).  However, I’m the eternal optimist and started to think about the greatest moonshots that could rock my industry – corporate learning.

The ability to probe the frontiers of neuroscience really enthrall me and being able to customize what people learn based on how they best learn is always a goal to me.  However, I wanted to be very specific about the tools and the development that would be needed to thrust corporate learning the furthest in the fastest way.

My best bet…enhanced virtual reality.  I would love to figure out how to push the limits of VR and mobility to be able to give people the chance to perform radically new tasks in real time.  For example, someone could learn to build and construct complex products without months of training by simply putting on a form of goggles that would give guidance as they needed it.  I could have used that in putting together my kiddos’ toys on Christmas Eve.  In the same way, a passenger could land a plane like a trained pilot by switching on a transmitter in their own eyeglasses.

To me, the biggest way we can reimagine the changing workforce and upskill people in the most rapid and radical way is to invest in a new series of tools that make the most of artificial intelligence and virtual reality to make new skills almost effortless.

Let’s use this time of celebrating big, bold plans to design the next wave of learning. What’s your biggest idea?

  • John Tolsma