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Potential and Purpose - Do What matters the Career and Leadership on Purpose Podcast featuring Chris Pirie

011 Potential and Purpose

Introduction

This Episode was recorded in March 2021, originally for Where Ideas Launch – The podcast for the sustainable Innovator.

I’m joined today by Chris Pirie, CEO of the Learning Futures Group. He’s an experienced talent leader obsessed with making the future workplace better. Formerly a global VP of Online Learning at Oracle and chief learning officer at Microsoft Chris’s entire career has been spent working at the intersection between workplace, learning, and technology. He now provides advisory services to enterprise organisations and ad tech vendors, including the judge person Academy and the future workplace Academy. In 2019, Chris launched The Learning Futures group to help organisations rethink their learning and development strategy. In the face of historic workplace disruption and change. He launched Learning is The New Working, my favourite podcast about the future of workplace learning. And the people helping us get there as part of his research activities. The podcast has had over 30,000 downloads. He’s also founding director of Humentum.

Links

Show Notes

Katherine Ann Byam 0:01
This podcast episode may just be the favourite I’ve ever recorded across both my podcasts. It was first recorded in March 2021. With someone I really respect and admire; Chris Pirie, listen to what he has to say.

Chris Pirie 0:14
Purpose, it turns out is attention, it’s about human attention and the people that we meet, and the people that I’ve met on my entire sort of journey through podcasting and research, the people who are successful and the people who are doing interesting things are the people who are purpose driven.

Katherine Ann Byam 0:38
My name is Katherine Ann Byam and I’m your host. What’s your purpose? And how does it integrate with sustaining life itself? For some of us this question is a deep ache that we spend a lifetime trying to find, perhaps shifting direction as we learn and grow from one path to another. For many of us our children give us a clear definition, providing for them becomes our reason for being. For others, it’s about enjoying the present moment ever so fleeting and ever so beautiful. For still others it can be financial status, contribution or impact. In this podcast, my guest and I will share with you tips, ideas and methods on how to build a career that integrates with who you are and the life you want to lead. We will explore the social foundation on which to build your transition and an ecological ceiling above which, we need not climb, so that we learn not just for ourselves, but for our collective ability to thrive. Welcome to The Purpose Driven Career Podcast; Do What Matters. I’m joined today by Chris Pirie, CEO of the Learning Futures Group. He’s an experienced talent leader obsessed with making the future workplace better. Formerly a global VP of Online Learning at Oracle and chief learning officer at Microsoft, Chris’s entire career has been spent working at the intersection between Workplace Learning and Technology. He now provides advisory services to enterprise organisations and ad tech vendors, including the Josh Burson Academy and the future workplace Academy. In 2019, Chris launched a Learning Futures Group to help organisations rethink their learning and development strategy in the face of historic workplace disruption and change. He launched Learning Is The New Working, my favourite podcast, about the future of workplace learning, and the people helping us get there as part of his research activities. The podcast has had over 30,000 downloads. He’s also founding director of humentum. Chris, welcome to Where Ideas Launch.

Chris Pirie 2:37
Kathryn, thanks so much. I’m honoured to be here.

Katherine Ann Byam 2:40
Thank you for joining me. I’m really excited to have you on the show because, you don’t know this, but your podcast has been a big part of my 2020 story. I attended a Learning Futures conference in London in the first week of February, I think it was, so just over a year ago, and I got hooked on many of the speakers and all of them spoke about your podcast, which was quite remarkable. And once I started listening, I got hooked in, and it started to help me reshape the entire way I crafted my business. So once the pandemic happened, and I started to pivot to doing courses and programmes, I started to focus in on the future of work and some of the career work that I was doing. So you’ve had a big part of of my story.

Chris Pirie 3:24
Oh, wow. Well, I’m flattered. I’m excited. Was the conference at the XL centre by any chance?

Katherine Ann Byam 3:30
It was yes, it was. It was an NHS hub.

Chris Pirie 3:34
Yeah, it was about a year ago. And I was thinking about this the other day, it was actually in February, I think, of 2020. And it was one of the last trips that I made, and that building turned out, you know, like one month later, it was a like 3000 bed field hospital. It was amazing. And yet the energy of that conference, we didn’t know what was waiting around the corner for us. Now I just remember this, the last time I was with 3000 people in one room, now feels like a very scary thing.

Katherine Ann Byam 4:06
It’s quite striking to think back, but it was only a year ago. So I wanted to talk a little bit about that podcast, because I find it really transformative. And I know that you have 30,000 downloads. It’s called Learning Is A New Working and can you tell my listeners why you thought this statement could be true?

Chris Pirie 4:24
Yeah, I think, I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled across that title. I wanted something that was fun, but what I like about it is there’s sort of, I think it’s a useful frame for two reasons. One is my work is really about how we can prepare the world for a future of work that’s going to be very different, especially in the light of how we’ve prepared people for the world of work in the past has not been excellent. So let me put it that way. So how do we prepare people for the world of work and I think Learning Is The New Working does two things, one is it sort of tells the story of how modern work, and how it looks like work is going in the future, is going to be highly dependent on the ability to learn quickly. And effectively. That’s, that’s always your best bet in a world of change, right? It’s like the secret sauce of humanity is that we can be plastic we can learn, we can respond, we can adapt, and we can be agile. And that’s particularly useful in times of change. And a lot of what I’m reading tells me that we are at this time of incredible change. So that’s, one thing learning is, one of the ways that you will be effective in work increasingly in the future. The second thing is that, as I sort of studied this, it turns out that learning is really hard, especially when you’re an adult, especially once you get past your sort of middle 20s, you absolutely retain, the ability to learn and brain plasticity is, is available to you through your entire life. I’m a big fan of lifelong learning. But it gets hard, right? It happens with no effort until you’re in your mid 20s. And then it requires an extraordinary amount of effort to really learn new things, new models, new processes, new behaviours, and new facts and information. And so, so I like Learning Is The New Working from those two angles, because it talks to the future of how we’re going to get by at work. And it also talks to something that I feel very strongly about, and that is a new scientific approach that we need to helping people get better at being learners.

Katherine Ann Byam 6:43
Absolutely, I think that’s such an important part of the story. I would say that for myself, I have pivoted careers at least every four years, four to five years and radical pivots as well. So I probably don’t necessarily agree that it gets harder, but I do agree that it gets harder to sell it. When you when you’re pivoting and changing. I wanted to ask you a little bit about sustainable development and the goals around that. There are two goals in particular that I feel I need to talk about in this podcast as it is sustainable leaning. One is goal eight, decent work and economic growth, and the other one is goal four, about quality education. And my question for you is which one do you think we are likely to struggle to get to more? Will it be a challenge around decent work and economic growth? Or quality education?

Chris Pirie 7:35
Well, the first thing is, I love the idea of, I love this frame for your podcast. I mean, to be honest with you, I wasn’t super familiar with, with these sustainable goals, the United Nations set of goals, I’d definitely come across them, but hadn’t really studied them. And I love it. I mean, I think it’s obviously a codification of the challenges we face as humanity. And that’s very much in frame right now. And so I like this, and I like that approach to your podcast. So congratulations on doing that. A couple of things I would say. One is that studying the international aid sector, this is not my area of expertise. But it’s something that I’ve really enjoyed studying and learning from, and I’m gonna frame it up, I’ll come back to your question specifically, but I want to frame it up first, I think the work of international aid is fascinating. I mean, it’s loaded with, you know, sort of post colonial baggage. But it’s a $200 billion worth of activity around the world. And when you meet people who are engaged in that, you know, they’re usually super people that operate with purpose and integrity. And I love being around those people. And one of the things that I learned was, the whole business of international aid is essentially two things. One is it’s funnelling money to where it’s needed. And secondly, it’s finding the capability and capacity to get the work done, whatever it is; water projects, education projects, health projects, so on and so forth. So it’s cash. And it’s training, right? It’s kind of simplest form. And because it operates under such a lot of constraints, I really learned a lot about training about learning workplace learning, by studying the sector, and I really did learn a lot and some key principles in my work come from, from that, for example. One principle is ‘use what you have’, in the private sector where I come from, you know, we spent staggering amounts of money. In fact, more money is spent in corporate workplace learning, the best estimates $360 billion that is spent in international aid. And so that’s workplace learning investment to a very tiny fraction of the human population? And it’s actually not really very good. That’s the dirty little secret. So anyway, so I, so point one is I study the international aid space, not as an expert, but as somebody who wants to learn from, from great work that happens there around agility and, and impact and so on and so forth. The twin goals of education and work, right. Really, really interesting at work, you know, as I read them carefully, a lot of the education, which I think is number four, is that correct? Yes. It’s a lot about childhood education. That’s not my area of expertise at all. I really defer on that one. But it’s clear, you know, if you read works like Hans Rosling, his work; Fact Fulness, which is one of my favourite books. You know, he’ll tell you the correlation between educating children and moving humanity and society forward is so blindingly obvious, that we just need to get better at doing it. We need to spend more money doing it. And we need to be equitable in how we give people childhood education opportunities. It’s crystal clear, you know, kind of, I’m done. It’s I’m out of my expertise, my league now, but just whatever we can do to improve that seems to me like absolutely a slam dunk.

Katherine Ann Byam 11:22
And it links to your earlier point as well about how easy it is at that age as well to assimilate.

Chris Pirie 11:27
Yeah, true. I mean, that’s absolutely true. And I think, you know, when you get when you get uneducated youth in the world, bad things happen. They’re easily exploited. They’re, they’re, you know, put to put to bad ends. It’s clearly not good. So yeah, educating kids, educating women, educating everybody should be a massive priority. End of story. As far as I’m concerned, what can we do to make that happen? There’s a really interesting story that I like, one of my favourite episodes of the podcast. And it wasn’t me doing the interviewing. It was a friend of mine called Lutz Ziob, who does a lot of work in Africa. And he found this amazing guy called Rob Burnett, and Rob is a Scotsman. And he ended up in East Africa. And he’s built this incredible organisation. I mean, it is a model for so many things.

Katherine Ann Byam 12:18
I remember the episode.

Chris Pirie 12:19
Yeah. And he basically, you know, I think a lot about the future of work. And one of the things that I, I did when I first started this project was I went to learn how to think about the future, because there are people who do that. And it’s not crystal ball gazing. It’s a discipline and a science. And there’s tools and techniques you can use. And I wanted to understand them a little bit. And one great phrase that those people throw around a lot is, is actually a science fiction writers, whose name is escaping me right now, a science fiction writer, and he says, the future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed. And so you look for future’s around. And so that’s kind of a little bit about what I do in the podcast, I’m looking for possible futures, people who are doing things really, really well. People who are on the cutting edge. And Rob Burnett is one of those people, but his future is quite dystopian, because he tells a story of how I think he’s in 2019. In East Africa, 1.2 million people will graduate from the education system, to your point, you know, goal number four, job well done, you know, 1.2 million people educated, so that somewhere between the age of 18, and 16, and 18, these people are educated, and they’re skilled, and they can read and so on and so forth. And they come out of the education system. And less than 5% of them get a job that you or I would recognise as a job, i.e. you know, somewhere you go religiously every week and get a paycheck at the end of the week. So these people go on to the streets, and they find ways to operate. And I’m not going to tell his whole story. But he helps those people. He reaches out to those people. And he gives them skills that they need to do what they do more effectively. And he calls it the hustler MBA, and he speaks in the language and cultural tropes that they understand. He’s built this network of 5 million people. And he started by producing a comic, like using what he had, like the simplest technologies he could get his hands on. And he’s gone on to build, you know, social media really accelerated his, his practice. And it’s a really amazing story. So I think that’s a little bit of an illustration of, you know, if we get people through school, the job isn’t done when they leave school. They’re going to continue to need to learn. They’re going to continue to get experiences they’re going to continue to need skills, many of which are have an increasingly short shelf life. And yeah, so that’s that’s the kind of area of work where where we hang out.

Katherine Ann Byam 15:10
And it’s interesting because I think we have had a number of overlapping challenges come upon us in 2020 in a way that we hadn’t expected. So even, even yourself as a workplace futures person, you would have been surprised at what we were able to do in 2020. And how things have changed, right? So we have this sort of perfect storm. It’s an, it’s either actually going to be a storm or an acceleration, right? I’m not gonna say which, but history tells us that depressions and recessions are followed by opportunity, and by growth, but history never had AI. And I think there are a lot of a lot of things that that this can challenge. So I probably have three parts to this question, so I’ll ask you one at a time. And the first one is, how can we ensure that the strain on services, the climate change, impact, this whole biodiversity bit, as well as the rapid advancements in AI, do not become a permanent loss in jobs for humanity?

Chris Pirie 16:18
Yeah, well, it’s a huge question. And I do think that one possible future is that that, that what we think of as jobs today, don’t exist in the future. There are many people who think that, there’s Rob Burnett’s world in East Africa, where that’s already true. And you know, the idea of having one contract with one employer, who takes care of you, benefits and salary, that is really under threat. And it’s under threat from a number of different directions. And it’s likely to evolve. And we know this, because of you, as you say, you look at history as a guide, right? So when I think I always like to start, and I spent six months at the beginning of this journey, thinking about what are the forces at work, like, what are the macro forces at work? This was, of course before 2020. And, you know, the forces at work are really kind of maybe sort of four unarguable things that would likely change the way everything happens. One, of course, was climate change, and what’s going on with our environment. And that’s really hard, I think, for people to get their head around, because it’s happening in such an abstract way. For many, many people. If you don’t live in these extreme climate areas, you probably haven’t noticed the change. But I can tell you, the oil industries notice the change, and you know, the people who live on these edges, and in these futures, they noticed that change, and you’re seeing the behaviours happen. So that’s one thing that I don’t have a lot of expertise in. But clearly, it’s going to drive a lot of shifts in population, you can map out what’s likely to happen as a result of climate change to humanity. The second thing is technology. And you know, you I think you talked maybe in your introduction about the fourth industrial revolution, you know, we’ve got, we know what happens when a radically new technology comes along, it changes how we organise our work, it also changes how we organise our society. And maybe even how we think about our gods. I mean, it has fundamental changes. And we know that over the last 300 years, there was this kind of steady drumbeat of, of changes based on really on energy, actually, at the heart of it, what energy we use to, to power the tools that we can, that we have, that we’ve invented in that kind of era. And so this is all well documented. In 1860, people move from the farm and into the, into the, you know, into the workshop, and then into the factory. And then we started to automate things through computing in the 1960s. And we had this sort of 100 year drumbeat. But there’s nothing that says, the 100 years is the magic number. And in fact, here we are just like 30 or 40 years after, you know, the information age. And we’ve got this incredible new set of technologies that most commentators think is, you know, described as the fourth industrial revolution, that is a set of technologies that are going to change our world so fundamentally, that will have to reorganise around pretty much everything, especially work. And you mentioned AI you know, AI is clearly going to have a massive impact on, on the world of work, machines are going to be better. We know this, machines are better at doing things than we are. That’s why we build them in the first place. And thinking machines, as some people call these AI machines, are going to be able to scour much more data than we can ever consume as humans, they’re going to be able to compute at a much faster rate, and already can, then we can as humans, and they’re going to be able to organise themselves. And so this is a profound shift. And one of the things that really made me sit up and take notice around AI, was somebody said, you can think about the impact that AI will have on the world, in the same way as the impact that electricity had in the world. So it’s not something that’s just going to apply to a few niche areas and jobs and, and vertical industries, it’s going to change everything, absolutely everything. And so that’s kind of a lot to get your head around.

One of the reactions that we’re seeing is this shift, to thinking about our humanity, like if we can’t calculate as fast as this machine, we can’t consume data as fast as this machine. And we can’t make connections and learn as a cohesive unit like the machines can. What can we do? Where does our strength and where does our advantage lie? And this is what gives me a lot of hope, at the moment is, you know, the answers to these questions, you know, all lie in our very humanity. And I think the interesting work that’s going on today is kind of focused around that. And I can see it writ large, even in the world, in the corporate world, where I hang out. And then let’s just talk a little bit about 2020. Because, you know, when I started this project, my mission was, was to disrupt the industry that I just spent 30 working years working in, because I, I felt that we weren’t moving fast enough to help all the people that needed to be helped. And I felt that, you know, our practice was out of date, 100 years old, moving people into training courses, and telling them what to do, and then sending them out and expecting them to do it. You know, this was the work of the early 1900s. And, and we hadn’t really moved beyond. And so I had this notion that we needed a new learning science that helped people be really effective learners, based on progress that we’ve made in a number of different scientists, scientific disciplines. And I wrote this, I’m gonna show this, I wrote this little book, which was the kind of me getting my thoughts together around the whole project. And it was called a Learning Disruptors Handbook. And it was going to be, you know, like, you know, like an album by The Clash, and it was going to be a call to action and to tell people how they were wasting their time. And then along came, you know, more disruption than I could have possibly imagined, in the form of the global pandemic. And this has been, you know, the disruptive so far, you know, the most disruptive action of my life, and probably my generation, and probably this era. And, you know, all kinds of amazing things have happened. And we’re all sat here with our head spinning, figuring out, you know, what of this is going to be permanent? And what’s going to happen afterwards, how do we, you know, how do we build back better to use one phrase, or how do we get back to the new normal to use another phrase, so disruption, whereas my call to action was disrupt yourself. My thinking has evolved. And my call to action is, rebuild yourself and rebuild yourself thoughtfully and carefully, with with technology, but with humanity at the core. So I’ll give you one really simple kind of frame around this that I’ve used for many years. For 20 years, I was an evangelist for the kind of technology that you and I are using today. This was my world. I’m like, of course you can use technology to teach people to be more effective in their workplace. That was my job. And we did, we experimented with all kinds of things and we evangelised elearning, and we evangelised digital learning and we evangelised global cohort programmes. And, you know, we did some really interesting experiments. The next thing, you know, the evangelism job is done, because people have no choice. And the only way to operate now is through this kind of technology through through digital interactions. And so the job becomes different. The job now becomes not how do we force everyone to use this, you know, kind of slightly annoying technology. But how do we make it more human? How do we make it better? How do we take away the tyranny of zoom fatigue? And how do we find technologies that bring back serendipity and bring back more effective collaboration and bring back happenstance and bring back, you know, the hug, so to speak? And we will, as we know, as as you know, this is what humans do we build better tools, and we will. But that’s the new job. And we have, of course, the opportunity through this disruption to reset the agenda, whether we will take it or not remains to be the big question. But I think all of us have the opportunity now, especially now, right now, to think as this comes back, as the world opens up, and the great work of science and vaccines, saves us from the brink, what do we want it to be like? Let’s make this a deliberate, thoughtful choice. And let’s write some of the wrongs that maybe happened in the past. Let’s be deliberate. And so that makes this a really, really, really exciting time and one to double down and do better work.

Katherine Ann Byam 25:58
To touch on the point about technology. I mean, the technology is already there and developing even further for us to have a more intimate experience of of this, right. So yeah, even even with the screens, or even the haptic suits are these types of things that are that are coming out. So I’m sure that this will improve with technology. But I guess one of my questions remains, which is, are we accelerating at a pace that we can no longer continue in our current state? Right, so so we can no longer continue with technology external to ourselves? And do we need to internalise technology in some form or fashion to continue to keep this pace? Or is there another shift?

Chris Pirie 26:49
So I think I mean, are you talking about sort of augmented humans and so on and so forth? Yeah, the book Sapiens, of course and Homodeus, like is really a scary future model, there, the ideas are really powerful. So computers are an extension of ourselves that they enable us to do extraordinary things, they enable you and I to chat across continents, and, and then share that with with other people. I mean, it’s extraordinary. And that is an extension of ourselves. There is also a branch of this where, you know, we change our physicality, through drugs, and through technologies of one sort, you know, the book, Homodeus really does a nice job of sort of playing out what that might look like, I did some research, it turns out that like, one in four kids in North America is regularly using some sort of behaviour modification drug. And I mean, I mean, these are not recreational drugs, I mean, these ADD medicines, and so on, and so forth. You know, it’s actually, we are starting to use pharmacology, to be more effective, not just in sports, but in learning as well. And that’s clearly going to be a force and an interesting one, one that I think it’s going to be hard for us to, it’s going to take some time for us to get our head around. I would say before we, we do that before we sort of like change our physicality, there is a lot of work that we need to do. And there’s a lot of great work going on around what I call sort of collectively learning science, right. And there’s always been, you know, there’s a good, well documented 100 year history of people trying to understand how learning works, and pedagogical models have come out of that work. But we seem to be at a point in history where a lot of progress is getting made on on a couple of fronts. And I talk about four things I’ve talked about computer science, so computers will help us learn, and they will help us learn not by just delivering content to us, but by actually taking off some of the burdens of learning, right? So, for example, you know, you used to have to memorise a lot of things to be to be good at anything, well, you don’t really need to do that anymore. Because computers can do that much, much better. You know, you can focus up your learning time on more conceptual things, one exam, so computer science is going to help us be better learners. And we should be all over that. The second area is neuroscience, or brain science in general. And there’s a lot of subcategories of that where people are really starting to understand in a lot more detail. You know, how the brain works, how cognition works, how plasticity, brain plasticity, which is this sort of magic, kind of essential attribute that humans have that is extraordinary and allows us to be so adaptable. People are really understanding that at the chemistry level, and in sort of behavioural terms as well. So that so then then you’ve got sort of behavioural science and social sciences that are really understanding one very important piece of learning, perhaps the most important piece of learning which is motivation. How do you get people’s attention? Because it turns out that once you’re an adult, if you want to learn something new when you want to unlock your brain plasticity, it’s really hard work. And you need to be highly motivated to do it. Right. And I think we all know this from our own experience. And so a lot of adult educators are in the business of motivation. I had a great conversation with a guy from a language learning company in Germany, as one of my favourite episodes. And he just talks about the 5 million people who are learning together on their platform. And what that allows them to do is to watch the behaviour, like what time of day do successful learners study? And what do their study patterns look like? Do they do a little bit and often , do they go deep. So we now have got these kinds of laboratories, whether it’s in a MOOC context, or in a language learning context, where you have millions and millions of people, doing learning behaviours that we can observe in different kinds of ways. I think this is going to unlock all kinds of techniques and tips and hints on how to be an effective learner. And then we’ve got this extraordinary work that’s going on in terms of human motivation. I mean, this is, you know, you, you mentioned in the sort of pre read that you send me a little bit about the inequities of wealth distribution, and what’s going on with technology, companies that are becoming so powerful in our world. And we’ll use Facebook as, as everybody does, as as one example of that, but there are many others. Really, what these, what these companies are figuring out is how to get human attention. They really, you know, we say monetising eyeballs, and monetising clicks. And this is really all about the attention economy, right? Getting your attention on whatever they can monetise, is kind of huge, and it’s not, and it’s happening in a very disciplined, thoughtful way. And it’s using what we’re learning about the brain and human motivation to, to make it work. And, you know, we need to co-op that, we need to co-op that approach to help people be more effective learners, and to get people thinking about the right kind of problems. So the amazing sort of macro forces at work in our world today. And then the last thing I’ll say about this is, you know, the most recent piece of work that I’ve done, I’ve done in collaboration with some people at red thread research. And we’ve just done finished a season, podcast season, on the topic of purpose. And purpose, it turns out, is attention. It’s about human attention. And the people that we meet, and the people that I’ve met on my entire sort of journey through podcasting and research, the people who are successful, and the people who are doing interesting things are the people who are purpose driven. And I really tried to understand that, and I think it lies somewhere in the area of people with purpose, are highly motivated. And people who are highly motivated, are really effective learners, they know that to get the job done, they’re going to have to steal ideas, they’re going to have to learn what they can. They’re going to use what they have, they’re going to be clear on what the problem is. And they just get to be very, very effective people in their domain and in their sphere. So I’m very hopeful that this work on purpose and the trend towards purpose driven organisations, whether in the international aid sector or the private sector, is going to be helpful.

Katherine Ann Byam 33:57
It sounds as if purpose is also akin to innovation in the in the work that you’re doing.

Chris Pirie 34:02
Yeah, I mean, I think that’s interesting. I think, what I think about innovation, I think a lot about experimentation. And I love experimentation. It turns out that that one, you know, one observation from the companies that I’ve worked with in 2020 is the ones that were very open to experimenting, before the pandemic and the crisis. Were the ones that were able to adapt very, very quickly. Because I think experimentation is part of this mindset shift this growth mindset idea that says be being open to new ideas, being curious, being focused on solving the problem, rather than leveraging whatever is you have, seems to lead to sort of greater success and more agility. So yeah, so I think experimentation and innovation go hand in hand.

Katherine Ann Byam 34:56
Yeah. My final question is if you can tell our listeners a little bit about humentum. And that organisation that you have founded.

Chris Pirie 35:04
Yeah, so well, just to be clear, I was on the founding board, I was the board member of one of the component pieces, we brought three organisations together to form humentum. And it’s, there are wonderful people working at humentum, and the predecessor organisations that do all the work. But I got inspired to be part of of that, humentum is, it’s a member organisation of 300 organisations that work in the international aid space. So you can think about all the big charities and organisations that are doing international development. And so it’s hard, it’s a sort of consortium model, there are some things to do that are hard that we can’t afford to invest in. And so let’s, let’s collaborate, let’s come together and solve these problems sort of collectively. And it’s focused on really common fundamental problems that all these organisations have, how do we get our people well trained? How do we build capacity? In the places where we do our work? How do we operate with transparency, integrity in a very highly regulated financial environment? How do we advocate for sets of standards that will make our work more effective, and so on, and so forth. So I love that it’s collaborative. I got involved because of the learning aspect of the work, they do training and educating people building skills, standards, building capacity, where it’s needed. In the Global South, it struck me that some of my experience with technology and learning might help. But I love the work that these guys do, I love that they came together, three separate organisations put their egos aside, and, you know, we formed this Better Together organisation, and they do great work. And if you have something to contribute, projects, dollars, expertise, then go check out humentum.org and see their work, and they’re doing good stuff, and they’re really poised to have even more impact.

Katherine Ann Byam 37:26
Wonderful. So in closing, what would you like my listeners to follow about you? So is it the podcasts which I would absolutely recommend. Is there something else that you’d like them to download? Or?

Chris Pirie 37:39
Yeah, so, so I would say go to www dot learning is the new working.org. And you can listen to some of the amazing conversations that we’ve been able to have. And more importantly, you can suggest people that we should talk to people who are doing interesting things around the future of work, or learning at work or in the international aid space. We really are always interested in talking to people who who’ve had some sort of breakthrough or doing interesting work. So please go check it out. And I hope you enjoy it.

Katherine Ann Byam 38:14
Thanks for joining me, Chris. It’s been a pleasure.

Chris Pirie 38:17
Yeah, great. Thanks so much. Nice to talk to you.

Katherine Ann Byam 38:21
This episode was brought to you today by the Courageous Career Club, have you picked up your own copy of Do What Matters: The Purpose Driven Career Transition Guidebook? To find out how you can get your copy, as well as resources that go alongside it, visit my website, www Katherine Ann byam.com or engage with me on the socials. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.