Season 6 Episode 3 Humanitarian Leadership Academy Update: Digital Humanitarianism Is Our Best Hope For The Future Now

On last week’s ‘Learning 4 Good‘ episode, we broadcast a late 2019 interview we’d conducted with one of the Directors of the Humanitarian Leadership Academy (HLA), Nicolas Kroeger. If you haven’t had a chance to listen quite yet, the HLA is an exemplar, really, of many of the things we set up the Season to explore: to find out what corporate L&D can learn from the way NGOs, private social enterprises, and community organizations are using Learning/ed tech to build trust and capacity.

The mission of teams like HLA – now becoming part of global charity Save the Children – is, of course, becoming even more important, but also challenged, by the on-going Global Lockdown, or ‘The Big Reset’ in Josh Bersin’s useful summation. So, in a rapid follow-up, we jumped on a late Friday afternoon with Nicolas to get an update on all that, which includes the astonishing fact that its global Learner intake has increased by 20,000 since the Lockdown started, as well as the fascinating fact that HLA’s talking to the UK Government about helping train up the 750,000 regular citizens who’ve signed up to help the country’s NHS fight Covid-19.

We were also lucky enough to get his colleague Atish Gonsalves, the HLA’s Global Innovation Director, on the call, too – enabling us to understand his approach as a non-profit CLO and creator of collaborative innovation opportunities around global Learning. So, tune in to hear more on:

  • just how do you help locales with already weak health systems deal with a novel virus;
  • HLA’s concerns (but also preparations) for helping countries that may face not just Covid, but a natural disasters (which haven’t stopped);
  • the kinds of training people are looking for, which range from technical but also Project Management and even help to bolster their personal resilience;
  • how both Kroeger and Gonsalves are concerned that online training gets properly supported by the human element, and that we need to quickly evolve something between self-guided learning and what we get as people from a face-to-face mentoring session;
  • how the truth of the statement ‘People we serve know what they need’ is even truer than ever now
  • Atish’s personal career journey/what being a Chief Innovation Officer means at a global NGO, and a hint of the next stage in his growth – him setting up a mixed reality gaming system company, Gamoteca;
  • and much more.


Check out the Humanitarin Leadership Academy’s main website here to keep up to date with its achievements; read more about its Kaya digital learning platform and its HPass standards work here; watch its great ‘Flood’ movie, which explains its work and impact so perfectly, here; Atish’s new company is here; and finally, if you haven’t read it yet, do yourself a favour and learn about The Big Reset here.

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