Webinar Leadership Series | Episode 4

Session Date: November 28, 2018 | View Recording

Traditional job frameworks are becoming obsolete. Our current work environment is demanding new and adaptive skill sets of workers as the result of disruption, automation and technology. These dynamics are impacting how we learn and work. Chris Shipley and Heather McGowan, sought-after thought leaders in the education and technology innovation sectors and founders of Work to Learn, investigate the future of learning in the workplace in their research and book.

We must move from learning in order to work to working in order to learn continuously and prepare ourselves for the unknowns of continuous change. The fourth industrial revolution liberates us from the work of processing and executing routine tasks best done by machines. This shift in work places pressure on us to rethink our systems of work and learning, and even how we describe work itself. We should now think of work as learning or capacity building. In this view, the creation of products and services provides evidence that learning and capacity-building are taking place. In the webinar, we’ll discuss how to re-imagine the career arc, and re-think and re-tool our organizations for a very different future of work and learning.

Learn more about the Duke CE Leadership Series.


Heather McGowan

Recognized as the 2017 #1 global voice for Education on LinkedIn media network, Heather McGowan is an internationally known speaker, writer, and thought leader. McGowan prepares leaders to most-effectively react to rapid and disruptive changes in education, work, and society. As a Future of Work Strategist, Heather has worked with diverse teams to address these challenges.

Recognizing that business innovation begins with education, specifically learning faster than your competition, she has worked with university presidents and corporate human resources managers to prepare both graduates and workers for jobs that do not yet exist. She was the strategic architect of the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering, and Commerce at Philadelphia University (now Jefferson), the first undergraduate college explicitly focused on innovation. At Becker College, she crafted the Agile Mindset learning framework used to prepare students to work in an uncertain future. She assists corporate executives in rethinking their business models, teams, and organizational structures to become resilient in changing markets while helping academic, nonprofit, and foundation leadership rethink education and philanthropy.

Her clients range from start-ups to publicly traded, Fortune 500 companies, including Autodesk, Citi, The World Bank, and BD Medical. Often quoted in the media, notably by NYT columnist Thomas L Friedman for her thought leadership in the Future of Work, McGowan also serves on the advisory board for Sparks & Honey, a New York-based culture-focused agency focused on the future for brands.

Chris Shipley

A leading technology analyst for more than 25 years, Chris Shipley is passionate about entrepreneurship as the driver of innovation, economic growth and restorative sustainability. She has built a career identifying innovative startups that create markets and drive positive and disruptive change. As the executive producer of the DEMO conference from 1996 to 2009, Chris helped more than 1,500 companies make their market debut. If those companies were a portfolio, they would have a combined market value of more than $60 Billion.

Chris began her career at Ziff-Davis, where she worked as a writer and editor for 12 years before joining International Data Group (IDG) to lead DEMO. Chris co-founded two companies, including the startup media and consulting firm Guidewire Group. She now consults with growth-stage startups around the world and is the head of business strategy for Pittsburgh-based startup Sparkt.com.

Her work has won numerous citations, including the prestigious SVForum Visionary Award in 2010. She is a board member and advisor to a number of high-impact early-stage companies. Chris holds BA degrees in Literature and Communication Arts from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

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