Digital Badge Symposium 2019

The Future of Workforce Learning: Application of Digital Badges and Micro-Credentials

Thursday 14 November, 9am – 2pm
Devere Hall, UCC

Admission: Free of charge

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About the Digital Badge Symposium

The Digital Badge Symposium 2019, hosted by Taste 4 Success Skillnet and University College Cork (UCC), will consider the value of digital badges, the growing application of micro-credential awards and their relevance and link to industry, with a specific focus on developments for the agriculture, food and the marine sectors.

The symposium will present findings from recent innovative research to identify and explore the opportunity to develop digital badge credentials for non-accredited programmes, undertaken by Taste 4 Success Skillnet member companies and employees in the food and agri-food sector, and will examine the potential for future adoption of these.

The symposium will also showcase via expert speakers how digital badges are being recognised as a leading-edge learning technology for all industry sectors. An important next step in supporting the uptake of digital badges is increasing awareness about how they can be used at an organisational level and to present a pathway for their use, both by employees and industry.

The symposium is relevant to all those involved in recruitment, training and upskilling of staff, those interested in CPD and micro-credentials, and any person wishing to increase their awareness about how digital badges can be used to enhance workforce learning.




09:00 – 09:25

09.30 – 09.45
Professor John O’Halloran – Deputy President & Registrar, University College Cork
Welcome Address

09:45 – 10:05
Paul Healy – Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive
“The 21st Century Workplace”

10:05 – 10:35
Tom O’Mara – Head of Digital Learning, University College Cork
“What are digital badges and where are they going?”

10:35 – 11:05
Per-Fredrik Hagermark – Head of DACH LinkedIn Learning Solutions, LinkedIn
“Skills at Scale: Insights & learnings from LinkedIn”

11:05 – 11:30
Coffee Break

11:30 – 12:00
John Counihan – Head of Organisation and Talent Development, Musgrave Retail Group
“Learning and Development in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) World”

12:00 – 12:30
Dr Karen McCarthy – Research Co-ordinator UCC Food Institute and Manager, University College Cork Teagasc Strategic Alliance
“Gaps and solutions for Micro-credentials in the research and technical industry”

12:30 – 13:00
Colin Hickey – Management Consultant in Digital Transformation, Grant Thornton
“The value of digital badges from a hiring manager’s perspective”

13:00 – 13:30
Anne Rigney – Head of Behavioural Change & Retailer Development, Musgrave Retail Group
“The changing role of leadership, learning and development”

13:30 – 14:00
Rob Horgan – Entrepreneur & Owner of Velo Coffee
“Continued Professional Development for Entrepreneurs: The potential for Digital Badges”

14:00 – 14:10
Closing Remarks

14:10 – 15:00





Speaker Bios

John is an academic leader with an ambitious vision for the future of UCC. He holds the highest academic office of the University, with responsibility for academic affairs and strategy. He is the Director of UCC's Quercus Talented Students' Programme. He is the Chair of the Green Campus Forum. He was awarded the President’s prize for Teaching and an honorary membership of the Students Union of Ireland for his contributions to education and policies.

Topics for presentation:

- The evolution of teaching and learning in UCC
- The development of online learning and adult / continuing education
- The Digital Badge movement within in UCC

Paul has operated at an executive level in commercial environments for over 20 years. His broad areas of expertise include: Education and Labour Market Policy, Human Resource Development, Public Affairs and Corporate Governance. Paul is a member of the National Training Fund Advisory Group, EU Commission Skills for Industry Policy Group and the European Digital SME Alliance. He qualified as an Economist and holds an MBA from Dublin City University. Paul is an adjunct lecturer at post-graduate level in field of Human Resources and is a respected commentator in the arena of workforce development and skills.

Topics for presentation:

- The changing world of work
- Workplace innovation
- Promoting human resource development and career mobility

Tom O’Mara is the Head of the Centre for Digital Education and joined UCC in March 2015. For the previous 9 years, Tom ran the National Adult Literacy Agency’s Distance Learning Service. Tom has been a key driver behind the digital badge initiative in UCC and is a member of the Digital Badge Sub-Committee (DBSC).

Topics for presentation:

- What are digital badge?
- Why were digital badge developed in UCC?
- How can UCC digital badge benefit industry?

Per-Fredrik helps deliver real impact at scale by enabling individuals and organisations to acquire the skills they need to be successful. This is accomplished through his position as sales leader at LinkedIn Learning Solutions (formerly known as Fredrik believes that his curiosity has been a key attribute in his career progression in addition to the experience he has from building businesses, products and teams primarily in online, mobile and service industries across Europe and the US.

Topics for presentation:

- The Economic Graph fuels the understanding of current and future skills needs
- How learning and engaged employees are connected and what you can do about it
- The changing role of L&D

John’s role at Musgrave Retail Group revolves around ensuring that the organisation is fit for purpose through the lenses of their people (internal colleagues, retailers and consumers), their processes, their structures and culture.

Topics for presentation:

- The current reality in Musgrave
- Focusing on the future destination
- How digital badging can help

A microbiology graduate, Karen completed her PhD in the APC Microbiome Institute. Karen provides support for research activity, ranging from our external engagement with industry and stakeholders to support researchers and their grant applications. Karen is also responsible for management of the UCC-Teagasc Strategic Alliance in Food Research.

Topics for presentation:

- The traditional skills journey within the research and technical industry
- Current gaps in the research & training industry and how digital badges can support
- Learning case studies through industry specific examples

Colin leads a team of management consultants and subject matter experts focused on the delivery of digital initiatives and products in the automation (RPA), data visualisation (Power BI & Tableau) and data analytics space.

Topics for presentation:

- The need to continuously develop your organisation’s skill portfolio
- How your organisation’s Talent Strategy can benefit from the use of Digital Badges
- A personal experience in building teams based on skillsets

Anne heads up the Learning & Development team for both SuperValu and Centra partnering with independent retailers in SuperValu and Centra stores to develop teams. IITD Learning & Development Professional of the Year for 2017, Anne led SuperValu & Centra to become the Learning & Development Organisation of the Year in 2019.

Topics for presentation:

- Skillsets of leaders for the future of work
- The changing nature of learning and development
- The impact of both on industry

Rob is the owner of the multi-award-winning Cafe Velo, and more recently has established a spin-off business - Velo Coffee Roasters which was listed in the Sunday Business Post's 'EI Top 100 to Follow'. Velo Coffee Roasters supplies award winning, locally roasted coffee to international retail and food services.

Topics for presentation:

- Managing the need to continuously improve with the need to run your business
- Identifying opportunities that have tangible rewards
- Positioning yourself as an expert in your field