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Post-Conference Musings

ICL 2017: Language and critical thinking skills among top wanted skills. Emotional approach needed.

The message of all keynote speakers at ICL 2017, the 20th conference on interactive collaborative learning that took place in Budapest last week, clearly was the following: business enterprises and public organisations as well as universities and schools need fresh collaborative training formats that help their employees, workers and students develop generic competencies, including language skills, critical thinking skills, cross-cultural understanding, innovation skills and emotional intelligence.

Collaborative approach

In the 21st century, the approach towards training and problem-solving definitely needs to be a collaborative one. For example, Siemens CEO Dale A. Martin stated in his keynote address that “We need to make sure that our people think beyond organisational silos, are able to interact with others and create new business opportunities.” According to Martin, a holistic training approach that stirs people’s emotions is what innovative organisations will have to strive for. Keynote speaker Michael Milligan, CEO of ABET, a nonprofit organization that accredits nearly 3,700 college and university programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology in 30 countries, also mentioned language skills, critical thinking skills, decision-making skills and emotional intelligence among the top wanted knowledge skills.

Fresh training format

Bingo! Poetry in Business™ is offering exactly that. The training method is based on a collaborative learning approach in communities of practice (CoP) and uses poems, in addition to other explorative learning activities, to evoke emotions and empathy. Learners are encouraged to change perspective, explore new ways of thinking, reflect their current business processes and come up with better solutions to improve their practice. Poetry in Business™ can be applied in different contexts, including language learning and overall communication skills training, creativity training, and organizational development programs.

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