#LSCon Reflections: JD Dillon on A Story from #LSCon 2016

Dillon_JDWelcome to the #LSCon Reflections blog series, where we invite members of the eLearning Guild Community to share there thoughts on the Learning Solutions Conference & Expo, including what they learned and what they took away from the event.

Today we welcome JD Dillon, Principal Learning Strategist with Axonify, as he shares his reflections from the event.

Words. I could use many to describe my experience during last week’s Learning Solutions Conference & Expo.

  • I could borrow a “dude” from the ever-entertaining and brilliant Bill Nye.
  • I could throw out a “WHAT?!?!?” as inspired by the puzzlement of David Kwong.
  • I could add a “YES!” per the research of Annie Murphy Paul.

If you’ve read any of my past conference reflection posts, I tend to harp on the value of community. As the eLearning Guild slogan reads, together we are better. Never before has this felt more true for me as a learning/performance geek. I am thankful for each and every conversation during an extremely tiring, rewarding and just pure fun week.

While I often have to sit and reflect on my conference experience to find a few key moments worth sharing, this one was easy. In fact, I can summarize my #LSCon with  the story of just one conversation from last week …

Why I Do What I Do …

I was walking to lunch on Thursday afternoon when I was stopped by a young woman. I did not recognize her, but she obviously knew me given that she called me by name from a distance. As she introduced herself, I realized that we had actually met virtually during #GuildChat, an hour-long Twitter chat that takes place every Friday at 2pm ET. I am a member of the committee that helps organize the chat in partnership with the eLearning Guild.

She went on to say that her participation in #GuildChat had helped her find out about LSCon, and that, given that she is from South Africa, this was her first time attending a U.S. industry event. While this was certainly an awesome opportunity to meet an international peer in-person, the next part of her story literally floored me.

She started to thank me personally. I came to find out that her virtual connection to me along with a few of my #GuildChat peers had exposed her to ideas and resources that had re-defined her understanding of the possibilities of workplace learning. Through our everyday online sharing and discussion, we had unknowingly opened up a world of insight to a relatively new L&D peer thousands of miles away. She is in the process of using her evolved understanding to outline a new learning ecosystem for her international non-governmental organization that works across 47 countries to help more than 15 million impoverished and disadvantaged people.

I always knew my passion for working out loud – and obsessively tweeting – had the potential to help my global industry peers. I never realized who was really listening how much influence our interactions could have on the lives of people so far removed from my view. Her story will continue to inspire me to share new, practical ideas for pushing our field forward and providing the best possible experiences for the people we support.

Together we are better. My time at #LSCon reminded me why I do what I do and how we, as a community driven to improve outcomes for our organizations, make the world a better place every single day.

Interested in sharing your reflections on this year’s Learning Solutions Conference? Contact David Kelly for details!

NOTE: This post was originally posted here and is shared here with the permission of the author.

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