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Shwopping Learning

Walking to the L&D Connect Unconference at @LBiLondon this week I passed the above installation being erected against the walls of the Truman Brewery. The walls of the building are being covered in used clothing to mark the start of Oxfam’s Shwopping Campaign in partnership with M&S.The brisk wind was lifting the garments, giving a sense of natural order and belonging to the chaos of clothes. Beyond the message of recycling & valuing old clothes the experience of walking under the clothes was quite beautiful.

The concrete building behind the clothes probably once looked “new and shiny” but this didn’t last. Now it is full of life, colour & texture. The 90 degree corner of the building, absent in our natural landscape, is now only hinted at. The natural elements and our ignored resources only now bringing the building to life.

It’s funny how often joy & learning is to be found when we journey past our common expectations of order, uniformity and the immovable and experience the unexpected.

L&D Connect Unconference

As is often the way, the experience of the Shwopping Campaign installation was a foretelling of what was to come at the L&D Connect Unconference (#ldcu).

We are diverse. Largely through social media, an amazing & diverse group of professionals from across the UK to connect and discuss aspects of Learning & Development. The discussion was rich and great connections were made.

We don’t need to follow convention. The Unconference format broke from the traditions of the corporate world and allowed the community to form and direct itself. The simplicity of the format allowed participants to look at things differently but collectively.

We are resourcefulWe didn’t need “new & shiny” additional resources – just our energy & willingness to share & create. It allowed us to look at things differently whilst still valuing much of the order and structure that already exists.

With a little imagination, effort & the right stimulus, communities can lead change and have a great impact.  When it happens it’s quite beautiful!

Blog Links

You might also like to explore these links relating to the L&D Connect Unconference :

Sukh Pabial, aka @naturalgrump, wrote this about the First LnDConnect Unconference.

@MartinCouzins also captured on video delegates reactions and takeaways and and has previously written about the Conference vs Unconference format.

Ian Pettigrew, @KingfisherCoach, provided us with this great Storify of the day.

@StellaCollins shared this from Jeff Hurt on Old Conference Education Memes.

@niallgavinuk wrote this Sharing my Learning from my First Unconference.



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