Leadership learning is going online

By Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz

According to a University World News report, seven of the top 10 countries with the highest online learning growth rates in the world are in Asia – Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nepal and Pakistan with each country clocking in a more than 30% increase. It’s undeniable that people in Asia are hungry for learning, not just through in-person classes, workshops, and books but also and especially through online platforms. With a swipe and a click, education happens in nuggets during a daily commute or some down time at the end of the day — and all you need is your smartphone.

The Center for Asia Leadership’s online learning portal is due to be launched by June 2019.

The virtual Asian classroom is indeed the unexplored next frontier for learning and delving deeper into the frameworks and concepts of Adaptive Leadership, innovation, and human-centered design. This is why the Center for Asia Leadership (CAL) will be launching its own online learning portal offering a variety of courses to help supplement and deepen the learning that happens in the Center’s in-person leadership programs. In an interview, Matthew Turner, CAL’s Director of Asia Leadership Teaching Fellows & Online Learning, explained that the Center’s online learning initiative is two-pronged. “We want to give viewers a sense of what our in-person trainings are like and [second], afford them the opportunity to continue their learning through exploring new subjects and refreshing past learning.” Production has been non-stop since October 2018, featuring the first batch of CAL Teaching Fellows like Umar Shavurov of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Craig Brimhall of the Harvard University Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning; Helen van Baal of the HPI School of Design Thinking in Germany; Ami Valdemoro of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Rajan Patel of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Stanford Graduate School of Business; and Israel Keys of Harvard Business School.

CAL’s online courses will stimulate deep and practical learning on topics like design thinking and adaptive leadership.

While there is a plethora of online courses and workshops covering everything from gardening to film-making, CAL’s unique focus will be thought leadership in Asia in tune with the complexity and unpredictability of 21st century realities. Turner stressed that such confidence in CAL’s distinctive online offering is largely because of the expertise and experience of its Teaching Fellows whose backgrounds range from international business development to public sector reform. “We’ll have our unique set of teaching fellows whose experience and education you can rely on to deliver practical steps to improve your leadership skills,” he added. Online learning definitely remains an unchartered region for the team. But CAL is moved by the same sentiments that inspired John F. Kennedy to say: “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”