Filed under: Development 2.0

Diagram of the learning marketplace

Brainstorming about a learners’ marketplace

Last year, I was inspired by the concept of an online platform used to map community needs and assets in emergencies in Russia.

Gregory Asmolov presented the concept of Virtualnaja Runda to us in a webinar. It is fascinating project (very human). The platform is there for those who need help and those who can help.

Of course there is more of these concepts in different places, and it is easily adaptable to several areas.

I thought this would be a great and simple concept for individual learning, although I wasn’t exactly sure how it could be implemented.

We organize so many events like webinars, short learning sessions, brown-bag lunches, and others with internal and external experts, this concept was supposed to be more practical and focused compared to the knowledge sharing events.

In discussions with one of our colleagues Zuzka Vagnerova (also member of our learning committee in the UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre), we came up with a very simple approach that we would like to try out in the coming month.

We decided to call it a skills marketplace. The learning environment should be simple, hands-on, small (three to four people maximum in a group), targeted and focused on a specific skill colleagues would like to learn in a very short time.

It is important that the learners practice the skill or use a product, so that they can learn it more efficiently. We would like to see a natural way of peer to peer follow up and feedback – we may need to work on that though 🙂

For the time being, the skills marketplace will be a real time learning space, and we will see if we move to an online platform.

On the other hand, we’re considering producing short videos for learners based on the sessions. Short videos for learners who would like learn a new skill or just learn what they are interested in for work – but also non-work related themes may be added.

In an ideal world, we would have “skills teachers,” volunteering for the marketplace with enough demand from learners. We will see how it develops.

For the first round (30 to 60 minutes), we identified several topics (Twitter, presentation design, excel or outlook, finance and project management).

We are planning to talk to colleagues and shape the focus of each so the topic is not just a broad area – “everything about Twitter,” but rather “How do I set up a Twitter account?” or “How do I engage more with my followers on Twitter.”

We’re planning to have the first skills marketplace in April. We will let you know how it goes, and if we decide to continue with the idea 🙂

  • Great initiative. Last year, we launched something similar in UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar, we call it “Skillshare”. I have written a post on it here :
    Looking forward to hearing how it goes.

  • Dear Anne, thank you for sharing your insights. Congratulations on your
    initiative. I very much agree with what you say about mobilizing colleagues for
    such initiatives and someone having to facilitate the process. We also did a
    short survey monkey survey last year and figured out that our colleagues are
    willing to share their skills with others, that’s why we decided to do this
    experiment with very targeted sessions next to our regular events, webinars and
    trainings. I would like to put more emphasis on follow up and feedback after
    the events, so if you have any useful tips or experience with this, I would
    very much appreciate your input. I will provide updates as they come.