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Learning Technologies 2023: Learning academies

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Corporate academies are back, and they’re different. Serena Gonsalves-Fersch discusses the challenges of running a corporate academy at Learning Technologies 2023.

Learning Technologies 2023 - Building organisational capability with corporate academies
Learning Technologies 2023 - Building organisational capability with corporate academies 

At Learning Technologies 2023, 3-4 May in London, Serena Gonsalves-Fersch examines the challenges of starting up and running a corporate academy.

Corporate academies are back, and they’re different. Always business-focused, they are now more agile and focused not just on technical skills, but also on leadership and playing a strategic role in workforce planning and talent acquisition. For organisations serious about a long-term skill strategy, they demand consideration. This is the story of two academies making a difference to their organisations.

Learning Technologies Conference Chair, Donald H Taylor, said: “The corporate academy is one pillar in a strategy of continuous workforce learning. Although it has a long history, it has long evolved away from the corporate monolith of mid-twentieth century. Today’s academies are slimmer, more responsive, and capable of meeting corporate learning needs in both the short- and long-term.”

In this session we hear from two case studies implementing different approaches to the corporate academy – in software and in manufacturing. Both provide ongoing training and development opportunities to employees but their context, content and challenges are very different.

And modern corporate academies go beyond training. They can, and often are, tied directly into workforce planning, future skills development and resource management, playing a strategic role with talent acquisition.

We will examine the challenges of starting up and running a corporate academy, including identifying the right mix of skills and training programmes, choosing the best delivery mechanisms and going beyond training. 

Serena Gonsalves-Fersch's session, Building organisational capability with corporate academies, takes place on day one of the conference, 3 May, and covers:

  • Building support for academy launch and ongoing provision
  • The positive motivational impact of academies
  • Online or face-to-face? Selecting the right delivery mechanisms
  • Ensuring your academy remains flexible and responsive to business needs
  • Widening the scope of your academy beyond training.

The full programme is available on the event website: Learning Technologies 2023 Conference. Conference passes are on sale, with a £100 saving for bookings before 17 March: Learning Technologies 2023 Conference Conference Passes.

Save £100 when you book before 17 March

Your Conference Pass includes all conference tracks and theatres, networking lunch and drinks and full access to both days of the exhibition. There are two ticket types, including our premium option for those looking to get the most out of your experience at Learning Technologies.

You can save £100 with our early bird discount when you book before 17 March 2023. Prices increase as the event gets closer.


Learning Technologies 2023
3-4 May 2023, London ExCeL


Serena Gonsalves-Fersch
Global Head of Talent, SoftwareOne

Serena is the head of Talent and Academy at SoftwareONE, a Fellow of the Learning and Performance Institute, on the advisory board for the Learning and Development Accelerator, & is currently also a doctoral candidate at Middlesex university, researching into the future of learning & the L&D function in technology accelerating organisations.  In her function, Serena leads the firm's corporate university, as well as Performance Management, Succession Planning, Workforce Planning and Talent & HIPO Identification. Serena has a wealth of experience in leading learning functions regionally, globally and functionally for organisations, for external clients as a management consultant & as a service line lead with client/ revenue responsibility. Serena often speaks on the future of learning in start-up and hyper-growth firms, and has authored a chapter on Learning Analytics for the ATD book, L&D's Playbook for the Digital Age.