Avatar of Jillaine Smith

Topic Description

[One hour either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning] This session is the third of three components that starts with the showcase presentation “What will it take to…?” (Thursday afternoon), followed by a two-hour session (Friday morning) on Emergent Learning Tables, and closing with this one-hour session (either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning) during which participants will learn and experience an additional and essential building block in Emergent Learning — Before and After Action Reviews (BARs and AARs). BARs and AARs are the heartbeat of a collective, ongoing learning process. Through these iterative, micro-practices, emergent learning is brought into everyday application, as participants explore what it will take to achieve the future they seek by articulating intended results, preparing for challenges and applying lessons learned from previous experience. BARs and AARs allow us to get better at creating the future we want, whether it be a complex systems change initiative we’re working on or next summer’s holiday. Those who participated in the preceding Emergent Learning Table session may choose to conduct BARs on opportunities they identified in that session, linking what they learned there to what they seek to achieve moving forward. Those who are new to the session will have an opportunity to use BAR and AAR tools around something they’ve done recently, or around the conference itself.

What is the format of this topic?


Where have you brought this to life before?

Many times, over 20-30 years, with many different groups of people - in all sectors and around the world - who are interested in sharing what they have learned and in making tacit knowledge explicit, accessible and actionable for the good of their organizations.

Do you have the presentation on slideshare, haikudeck or prezi?


Any chance you have this on youtube or vimeo?


What do you feel is the heartbeat of your topic?

The Emergent Learning community tends to attract kindred spirits. Who that might be is difficult to identify in advance. We are continually surprised by who shows up. The heartbeat is just that -- a recognition that a learning “organization” cannot be designed from above or outside. It grows because there is a heartbeat coming from within. Learning and knowledge emerges from that heartbeat of practice.

How could the community collaborate with you to build your vision?

Emergent Learning is by definition emergent. We love to participate in communities that come together in humility and curiosity around a shared “What will it take to…?” question.

Are you looking for sponsors, funding, grants?

Not at the moment, though we would welcome the opportunity to do more research around the ideas we will be talking about at STIA.