A nother UnConference was held on the 23rd Feb 2017 at the Australian Technology Park. With successful years of discussion and debate on L&D at the UnConference, LearningCafe has come up with an interesting survey highlighting L&D’s outlook for 2017. LearningCafe raised a few intriguing questions to over 100 L&D professionals from over 40+ organisations in Australia. Have a look at some of our key findings and what it means to the L&D professional.

1L&D Outlook for 2017

Ranking on a scale of 1 – 10, where 1 – Very Pessimistic & 10 – Very Optimistic, 85% indicated a high level of optimism for the year 2017. Every year the UnConference witnesses an optimistic bunch of L&D professionals who continue to express positive views on L&D’s role in delivering value. However we think that a bit of this optimism is misplaced as we find a distinct difference in how L&D currently perceives its role and how the business perceives the purpose of L&D.

2Does L&D in Australia have the required skill/capabilities?

93% said there was a skill gap in L&D (61% – small, 32% – big gap). No one said “we are ahead”. With the accelerating speed of business and the growing challenge to do more with less,we contend the gap to be higher specially with reference to our Next Gen L&D Capability Framework. This framework implies a broader set of skills & knowledge that L&D must acquire and distill into its core capabilities.

The major gaps that LearningCafe will focus on are

  • Business/Commercial Acumen
  • Digital Acumen
  • Agile & Design Thinking

Next-Gen-Framework Here is what Australian 100 L&D Professionals told us. Blogs


3What do participants want to get most out of the UnConference?

Out of 100 attendees 36% said they want to learn about advances in L&D and 32% indicated their desire to challenge the current L&D mindset and practices. While others expressed interests to Network with like minded professionals(14%), Pick up new skillls(9%),  Find out what other organisations are doing(7%)and to spend a day away from the office to learn and think(2%). The current LearningCafe UnConference design and structure supports the L&D professionals interest to challenge the current and explore the new.  It also plans to incorporate R&D based content that will help L&D professionals stay informed about the new and future advances in enterprise learning.

Theme Check

The below table summarizes participants interest on various topics critical to the role of L&D.

Session Topics Very Interested Somewhat Interested Not Sure Not Interested
Merging Learning & Knowledge Management









Capability Management as the Foundation of Learning










Learning Architect – who & what is it?











Applying Agile to L&D










Making of measurement of Learning effectiveness/impact better?  


















Bettering the Learner Experience








Advances in Digital Learning









What is new in Learning design?










UnConference Feedback Summary

At the end of the survey, we asked our participants to rate the UnConference on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 = Not Good …… 5 = Very Good.

We have used Standard deviation to tell how measurements for a group are spread out from the average (mean), or expected value. A low standard deviation means that most of the numbers are very close to the average. A high standard deviation means that the numbers are spread out.

UnConference Participants Ratings – No surprises here

  • The overall feedback was 4.06/5 which is above our targeted minimum of 4/5.
  • The overall concept continues to rate highly, along with quality of facilitators and professional development value.
  • Participants were most interested in:
    • Applying Agile to L&D
    • Advances in Digital Learning
    • Capability Management
    • Bettering the Learner experience.
    • AR/ Gamification
Feedback Average Std Dev (SD) Comment
Concept/Idea of UnConference 4.70 0.470 Highest score and agreement (low SD). Good to know you like the concept.
Stream Sessions Topics & Content 4.04 0.470 Choosing content for the Unconference is always a balancing act. We will continue to include complex concepts for discussion even though they may be difficult to access.
Quality of Facilitators 4.22 0.599 No surprise here. Rated well as facilitators are experienced practitioners and SMEs.
Quality of Discussion 4.04 0.562 Good quality discussion generated continues to be the bedrock of the UnConference.’
Professional Development Value 4.09 0.733 One of the most important metrics for us. You have rated in well. SD is high which is to be expected as “value” is a personal judgement.
Value for Money 4.26 0.751 Rates well and is an important metric for us as we aspire to keep the cost of professional development, reasonable.
Value for Time Spent 4.00 0.738 Rates well but has highest SD which means. In part, it is a consequence of the open structure and amount of discussion involved.
Knowledge Capture Approach inc Mobile App 3.18 0.85 We continue to struggle is using app for the UnConference in a packed day.
Venue & Catering 4.04 0.852 Venue rated well but unfortunately it may be our last event at the Australian Tech Park.
Overall 4.06 0.767 Happy with overall score from an audience who are tough scorers.



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