The Geneva Learning Foundation: Scale, reach, and sustainability

Reda Sadki The Geneva Learning Foundation

In its first years of operation, the Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF) built digital infrastructure to foster and support several global networks and platforms connecting practitioners.

Communities supported included:
•  immunization and primary health care professionals,
•  humanitarian workers advocating gender equality during disasters and other emergency operations,
•  doctors, other health workers, and communities addressing neglected needs in women’s health, and
•  health workers tackling neglected tropical diseases.

This digital infrastructure enabled TGLF to rapidly respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the first two years of the pandemic, a team of three people developed and implemented… 

To learn more about the Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF), download our brochure, listen to our podcast, view our latest livestreams, subscribe to our insights, and follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Or introduce yourself to our Partnerships team.

The Geneva Learning Foundation: Spanning the full spectrum of learning

Reda Sadki The Geneva Learning Foundation

We empower practitioners to tailor learning experiences that fit their own needs to drive change: Participants do not  stop work to learn, every step of the process is embedded in and focused on their daily work.

Typical learning events include:  

“Hackathons”: 2 to 4 days fast-paced context and challenge analysis and idea generation

“Peer learning exercises” : 2 to 4 weeks, on and offline facilitated learning among and between practitioners and international experts, including knowledge sharing, situational analysis and action planning.  

 “Full Learning Cycles”, a nurturing space for learners and leaders over several months to explore and take action together, identifying common challenges, generating and sharing ideas, testing innovative solutions, and implementing action plans.

To learn more about the Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF), download our brochure, listen to our podcast, view our latest livestreams, subscribe to our insights, and follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Or introduce yourself to our Partnerships team.

Motivation and connection for transformation at the heart of the Geneva Learning Foundation’s approach

Reda Sadki The Geneva Learning Foundation

Our approach based on intrinsic motivation, continuous learning and problem–solving leads to impact. Practical implementation with peer support accelerates progress to get results and document impact. 

To learn more about the Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF), download our brochure, listen to our podcast, view our latest livestreams, subscribe to our insights, and follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Or introduce yourself to our Partnerships team.

How local practitioners use the Geneva Learning Foundation’s approach to accelerate progress to impact

Reda Sadki The Geneva Learning Foundation

In the final stage of a comprehensive TGLF learning programme, alumni implement action plans they have developed together.

We compared the implementation progress after six months between those who joined this final stage and a control group that also developed action plans, but did not join.

To learn more about the Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF), download our brochure, listen to our podcast, view our latest livestreams, subscribe to our insights, and follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Or introduce yourself to our Partnerships team.

How the Geneva Learning Foundation uses learning science to drive change

Reda Sadki The Geneva Learning Foundation

As developed by our founders, the TGLF learning-to-impact pathway draws on the best available evidence and our own practice in the learning sciences and multiple other disciplines. 

TGLF’s diagnostic instruments rapidly identify the most effective strategies to develop people, teams, and networks to drive change and performance. 

Working with our network of founders and advisors, our approaches are continually honed and improved to ensure their effectiveness. 

For example, TGLF co-founder Karen E. Watkins, working with Victoria Marsick, developed the framework proving the strong correlation between learning culture and organizational performance. This evidence-based framework is central to the Foundation’s learning-to-impact pathway. 

Marsick, V.J., Watkins, K.E., 2003. Demonstrating the Value of an Organization’s Learning Culture: The Dimensions of the Learning Organization Questionnaire. Advances in Developing Human Resources 5, 132–151. https://doi.org/10.1177/1523422303005002002

To learn more about the Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF), download our brochure, listen to our podcast, view our latest livestreams, subscribe to our insights, and follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Or introduce yourself to our Partnerships team.

What is the Geneva Learning Foundation and what do we do?

Reda Sadki The Geneva Learning Foundation

What we do and how we do it have both changed rapidly in the last three years, since we launched the Impact Accelerator, the key component Geneva Learning Foundation’s learning-to-action pathway.

We catalyze large scale peer networks of frontline actors facing critical threats to our societies. 

  • The Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF) unique approach, rooted in decades of research and experience in learning science, uses the spark of intrinsic motivation to inspire individuals to link up and lead change. 
  • TGLF develops and implements learning experiences that reach people in 137 countries. Our programmes scale quickly to connect thousands of learners and leaders working on the frontlines of conflicts, poverty, and other inequalities. We catalyze local expertise into innovation, action, and results. 
  • The insights generated by and with learners are gathered, analyzed, and shared, for the benefit of communities and partners to scale and develop truly ground-tested and evidence-based policies and programmes. 

To learn more about the Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF), download our brochure, listen to our podcast, view our latest livestreams, subscribe to our insights, and follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Or introduce yourself to our Partnerships team.

How do we shift our capacity to embrace a volatile, complex world?

Reda Sadki Thinking aloud

This week, the Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF) is Devex’s “Presenting Partner”. We are proud to be sharing with Devex’s 170,000 NewsWire subscribers the remarkable progress and the results, outcomes, and impact we have achieved since the pandemic hit. Discover how we connect people, organizations, and communities to achieve collective impact better and fasterGet in touch

  • We stand ready to support any organization or network that needs to mobilize people at scale in support of meaningful change.
  • We are seeking partners that share our yearning for transformation, and that can bring their challenges, resources, and capabilities to make this yearning a reality.
  • We are actively fundraising to develop our global platform so we can support more partners tackling ‘wicked’ problems.

The need for change is evident.

Is your organization rethinking how it contributes to achieving global goals?

  • Humanitarian INGOs headquartered in Geneva, London, or Washington are striving to “localize aid”.
  • A growing concert of voices is calling for the decolonization of global health.
  • Some donors are trying to listen to feedback from communities, not just metrics.

How do we shift our capacity to embrace a volatile, complex world?

The Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF) has developed a unique approach, grounded in learning science and a decade of research and practice, to nurture digital networks. Read Reda Sadki’s blog post: How we used this approach to support over 40,000 immunization staff facing the COVID-19 pandemic

We build collective capacity for transformation. Download a snapshot of our immunization programme

We do this in ways that motivate participants to connect and implement thousands of their own locally-designed projects, leading to measurable, lasting impact.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for a digital-first Renaissance.

The next 20 years of working for change are likely to be about harnessing digital transformation through hybrid networks fusing digital and physical.

Learning how to develop people is a vital investment for the promise of digital to be realized. Read more about the digital-first Renaissance

I hope that you will take the time to learn more about our work to determine if what we do might fit what you need.

To learn more about the Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF), download our brochure, listen to our podcast, view our latest livestreams, subscribe to our insights, and follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Or introduce yourself to our Partnerships team.

Listen to the Ninth Dialogue for Learning, Leadership, and Impact

Reda Sadki Writing

The Geneva Learning foundation’s Dialogue connects a diverse group of learning leaders from all over the world who are tackling complex learning, leadership, and impact challenges. We explore the significance of leadership for the future of our societies, explore lessons learned and successes, and problem-solve real-world challenges and dilemmas submitted by Contributors of the Dialogue.

In the Geneva Learning Foundation’s Ninth Dialogue for Learning & Leadership, we start with Dr. Mai Abdalla. After studying global health security in at Yosei University South Korea and both public health and pharmaceutical science in her own country, Egypt. By the time she turned 30, Dr Abdalla had already worked with the Ministry of Health, UN agencies, and the African Union Commission. The accomplishments of her professional life are just the starting point, as we want to explore where and how did she learn to do what she does now? What has shaped her practice of leadership?

We are privileged to have Key Contributors Laura Bierema and Bill Gardner, together with Karen Watkins, three Scholars who have dedicated their life’s work to the study of leadership and learning. As we learn about Mai Abdalla’s leadership journey, they share their insights and reflections.

Here are a few of the questions we have explored in previous episodes of the Dialogue:

  • How do you define your leadership in relationship to learning?
  • Do you see yourself as a leader? Why or why not? If you do, who are your ‘followers’? Are you a ‘learning leader’ and, if so, what does that mean?
  • How do you define leadership in this Digital Age? How is it different from leadership in the past?
  • When and how did you realize the significance of the leadership question in your work and life? Who or what helped you come to consciousness? What difference did it make to have this new consciousness about the importance of leadership?
  • What is your own leadership practice now? Can you tell us about a time when you exercised ‘leadership’. What were the lessons learned? What would you do the same or differently if confronted with the same situation in the future?

In the second half of the Dialogue, we explored the leadership challenges of other other invited Contributors, including:

  • Sanusi Getso on leadership to establish antenatal care services for a neglected community.
  • Alève Mine shares her quandary about how to understand something for which no scaffold exists in one’s current view of the world.

The Geneva Learning Foundation Dialogue for Learning & Leadership

Listen to the Eighth Dialogue for Learning and Leadership

Reda Sadki Leadership, Writing

Discover the leadership journeys of two remarkable learning leaders

Every episode is different, drawing on the life experiences of Key Contributors and of listeners.

As a listener, you can become a Contributor by sharing your own learning and leadership challenge – and what you are doing about it. Share your challenge

In the Eighth Dialogue, Karen E. Watkins and I were joined for the first time by Key Contributors Iris Isip-Tan and digital higher education strategist Keith Hampson. In Part 1 of the Dialogue – before deep-diving into the Metaverse – we explored:

  • How Iris Isip-Tan, Director of the Interactive Learning Center at the University of the Philippines in Manila, helped her colleagues pivot to emergency digital learning during lockdown – and to what extent this has led to more lasting change. How has this shaped her leadership journey?
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Peter Tippett built a platform to help yoga teachers replicate and augment the direct observation and feedback that are key to their experience of teaching and learning. You will be surprised to discover where and how Peter learned the practice of leadership. 

On the Metaverse and its significance for learning leaders

In Part 2, we shifted our attention to the Metaverse, following Mark Zuckerberg‘s announcement that he is betting his company’s future on it. Here is how Marne Levine, Facebook’s chief business officer, described her vision for learning:

“In the Metaverse, learning won’t feel like anything we’ve learned before. With a headset or glasses, you’ll be able to pull up schematics you’re studying, or maybe even the service manual for a vehicle you are learning to repair. Let’s say you’re a med student or a doctor. With apps like Oh So VR, you can learn new techniques in surgery first hand, practicing until you get it right. Or, if you’re studying earth science, you could swim through the Great Barrier Reef, get up close to Earth’s mightiest insects, with your instructor David Attenborough whose VR documentary is playing now in Oculus TV [David Attenorouogh voiceover]. This is just one of the ways that we are going to learn in the future.”

Listen to the Dialogue for Learning & Leadership on Spotify

Listen to the Dialogue for Learning & Leadership on YouTube

Digital learning at Learning Strategies International

How we work

Reda Sadki Learning design, Skills

We achieve operational excellence to provide a high-quality, personalized and transformative learning experience for each learner – no matter how many are in the cohort.

We achieve this by:

  • Building on the best available evidence from research and our own practice in adult learning to address, engage, and retain busy, working professionals;
  • Responding as quickly as we possibly can to learner queries and problems – and ensuring that individual problem-solving are used to improve the experience of the entire group;
  • Finding the sweet spot between structure (unambiguous instructions, schedule, and process) and process agility (adapting activities to improve support to learners); and
  • Designing for facilitation to empower learners, scaffolding their journey but recognizing that they are the ones who best know their context and needs.

Together, these capabilities combine to:

  • Offer a personalized learning experience in which each learner receives the support they need, and feels a growing sense of belonging.
  • Recreate an experience of collaboration that surpasses that of the physical world – still imperfect, but augmenting capabilities and recognizing that this is increasingly how we get things done in the real world, where physical and digital are fused.
  • Accelerate knowledge acquisition by connecting knowledge shards to activities and tasks directly related to the context of work.
  • Guide knowledge development and problem-solving using rubrics that define the quality standard.

These may seem like abstract principles. Yet they are the ones that have enabled our team to:

  • achieve completion rates above ninety percent with cohorts of hundreds of learners;
  • kindle high motivation; and
  • foster the emergence of new forms of leadership for learning.

Building on the idea that education is a philosophy for change, our focus has shifted from learning outcomes – necessary but not sufficient – to a focus on supporting learners all the way to the finish line of impact.