Learning & Development Virtual Summit 2021

February 25, 2021

38 days left

Welcome to Opal Group’s Learning & Development Virtual Summit

Strategic L&D: Connecting Workforce Development to Business Outcomes

The Learning & Development Virtual Summit is a gathering of L&D, Leadership, Talent and Organizational Development practitioners that will connect, benchmark, network and focus on key learning initiatives. During these uncertain times, it’s important to create and maintain relationships with like-minded L&D professionals, and the L&D Virtual Summit fosters these relationships with a highly-interactive virtual platform.

Our Summit provides a specialized, strategically-built experience that features unparalleled keynote speaking sessions with thought-leading case studies, conversational and strategic panel discussions, highly-interactive Lunch & Learn breakout sessions, and a virtual experience that includes customized networking opportunities that allow for audience participation and real-time attendee insights.

We believe in creating a memorable, collaborative and effective experience focused on continuous improvement for Chief Learning Officers, Chief Talent Officers and other top executives in Learning & Development, Leadership Development, Talent Management, and Corporate Training.

Join us! Interested in attending, speaking or sponsoring? Contact Bobby Swartout at (212) 532-9898 ext 248 or send your inquiries via email to: info@opalgroup.net.

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Opal Group is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®.

Current as of January 15, 2021

Previous Speakers

Molly Nagler, Chief Learning Officer, PepsiCo

Tivonnia (T.J.) Harvey, Chief Learning Officer, Merck & Co,. Inc.

Shawna Erdmann, Senior Vice President, Learning, Comcast

Tracy Dodd, Head of Global Talent, Tiffany & Co.

Lisa Lang, Head of Learning & Education Americas, Siemens

Jennifer Buchanan, Senior Director II, Leadership, Learning and Talent Development, Sam’s Club

Molly Hill, Vice President of Global Talent, Starbucks

Shawn Lewis, Head of Instructional Design Services, Wells Fargo

Nichelle Singleton Williams, Global Director of PACS Capabilities, The Coca-Cola Company

Julie Horner Donahue, Head of Corporate Learning & Training, Nestle USA

All Times in EST


Virtual Welcome and Opening Remarks


Opening Keynote Presentation


Beyond Functional Management: The L&D Executive as a True Strategic Business Partner


The role of today’s Chief Learning Officer is much more complex than that of simply being a functional L&D leader. L&D leaders are now required to step beyond functional management to truly lead the business in the critical areas of talent strategy, learning & leadership development, enterprise change and company culture – to become a trusted advisor to the Board. To do this effectively, it’s critical for L&D leaders to develop and maintain a deep understanding of organizational dynamics and possess the ability to identify the impact of external and internal trends to the business.


Join us in this informative session as we explore the ways in which a strategic L&D leader can provide critical leadership and business value, such as:


  • Developing a wide range of strengths beyond the expected learning and development, talent management and coaching skills
  • Evolving the role by strategically positioning L&D leaders to help organizations navigate the challenges of social media, activism, employee expectations, and work environment
  • Establishing a firm grasp of business dynamics within the industry as well as the company, in order to truly understand the organization’s mission, values and all aspects of the business
  • Ensuring L&D and leadership priorities are aligned with business priorities, by focusing increasing attention to the aspects of the L&D role that directly drives business success

Keynote Presentation


Developing Workforce Skills and Engaging L&D Capabilities in the Wake of Disruption


In today’s unprecedented landscape, it’s critical for Learning and Development executives to focus on helping people prepare for the future. When facing continued disruption, successful L&D initiatives are all about agility, quality and resilience, and the challenge will be helping to cultivate workforce skills and capabilities across the entire organization – from marketing to management, all L&D initiatives should have the ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. L&D leaders will be faced with a perplexing array of learning decisions and unprecedented pressure from organizational stakeholders going forward.


Join us in the engaging discussion as we review the critical factors to keep in mind when developing adaptable L&D initiatives, such as:


  • Understanding that digital learning platforms are only as good as the materials they deliver and the principals they are built on
  • Focusing on learning experiences that speak directly to the anxieties and goals of employees to help provide a sense of progress, hope and productivity
  • Connecting people around engaging content and interesting ideas to enable vital debates and practical discussions
  • Implementing learning experiences that include significant interactions with several groups of people to develop the ability to achieve in team settings
  • Matching learning approaches to specific learning goals in order to reflect the realities that they are actually facing

Keynote Presentation


Fueling Agility, Resilience and a Growth Mindset to Develop the Workforce of the Future


To drive business and grow as an organization, the focal point of learning & development initiatives must be geared towards ensuring that your workforce has the skills required for future business needs. To do this effectively, it’s important for L&D leaders to evolve how learning is delivered, and they must accurately predict what soft and hard skills will be required of their future workforce. As such, it’s critical to find new ways to blend old models and innovative tools to train and develop employees to become agile, resilient and develop a growth mindset. In essence – L&D leaders must ready their global workforce for change.


Join us as we discuss ways that L&D leaders can ready their global workforce for change, by:


  • Developing best practices for creating an agile and resilient workforce
  • Looking at real-world examples of development programs focused on growth mindset
  • Leveraging technology to enhance the learning experience
  • Driving a continuous learning culture with future business needs driving positive change

Lunch & Learn


Select a topic and join us for an informal and interactive group session where we’ll discuss challenges and strategy implementations that are top of mind for today’s learning and development practitioners

Disruption and the “New Normal” have become common themes that have intensified the corporate world’s need for developing new ways of learning. Companies are now forced to determine the best methods to rapidly adapt existing L&D resources.


Join us in this highly interactive session as we discuss what L&D leaders should focus on when adapting new L&D assets:


  • Ensuring that L&D resources are easily accessible and efficient
  • Developing personalized learning to individually tailor the pace and focus of learning
  • Making point-of-need solutions available to blend L&D in to the flow of work
  • Utilizing gamification and social learning to increase interaction
  • Concentrating on upskilling and reskilling to close skills gaps

It’s no secret that strong leaders build high-performing teams, create healthy cultures, and boost employee satisfaction and retention. In addition, it’s critically important to re-examineexecutive development in order to optimally prepare and develop emerging leaders.


In this session we’ll discuss strategies on how to successfully collaborate with senior executives to define the ambitions and objectives for their leadership development initiatives, such as:


  • Implementing a just-in-time approach to ensure that all critical & future leadership capabilities are developed and embedded in daily work
  • Creating an opportunity to change the leadership development from program/event based to a systematic and holistic process with personalized learning
  • Maintaining global consistency of key leadership capabilities across states/countries, functions and levels

Keynote Presentation


The Expanded Role of L&D: Developing the Workforce with a Values-Based Culture


An increasingly competitive business landscape, rising complexity due to sudden change, and the digital revolution are reshaping the development of employees. In addition, the shift to a digital, knowledge-based economy means that a vibrant workforce is more important than ever, and these trends have elevated the importance of the L&D function. To get the most out of investments in training programs and curriculum development, L&D leaders must embrace a broader role within the organization and formulate an ambitious vision for the function.


In this informative session we’ll review some of the key areas L&D must focus on to effectively develop the future workforce, such as:


  • Increasing the opportunities for learning and development to attract and retain talent
  • Developing people capabilities by making a bigger investment in developing the next generation of leaders
  • Creating a values-based culture to attract the newer generation of workers that places more importance on beliefs, character, diversity and sustainability
  • Developing an effective employer value proposition to elevate brand strength and enhance the company’s reputation
  • Providing employees with opportunities to learn and develop new competencies to motivate and engage the workforce

Panel Discussion


Utilizing Team Building as a Key Component of Leadership Development


Many organizations continue to place too much emphasis on simply training their managers and sending them back to their respective departments to impart what they’ve learned – rather than developing effective teamwork and collaboration. There is widespread agreement that effective team leaders focus on purpose, goals, relationships and an unwavering commitment to results that benefit the organization and each individual. For leadership development initiatives to be truly successful, it’s critical to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of organizational teams – and to provide the encouragement and proficiency necessary to achieve common goals.


In this engaging panel we’ll discuss the importance and key considerations of utilizing team building to improve performance and leadership, such as:


  • Developing team-building activities to unite the workforce, improve communication, develop strengths, and address weaknesses
  • Creating healthy competition and incentives to improve motivation, and energize the workforce to strive for optimal team performance
  • Harnessing the distinct strengths of the higher performing groups to teach the employees how to operate as a sustainably high-performing team
  • Ensuring that the team members possess the complementary skills that are needed to sustain a commitment to performance, excellence and mutual respect
  • Opening the lines of communication – at all times – to provide motivation, maintain interest and promote cooperation

Keynote Presentation


Increasing the Focus on Upskilling to Close the Proficiency Gaps


With the significant skills gaps and rapid strides in technology that are shaping our world and forcing us to continuously evolve, organizations realize the need to invest in their workforce to stay current – as the dependence on technology and digital solutions has gone up significantly. This has further intensified the need for a digitally skilled workforce, and across most organizations, skilling programs for employees are a key focus area for L&D teams. Employees not only need to be capable of meeting the digital skill demands thrown up by the new reality, they also need to constantly upskill themselves to keep pace with a digitally evolving ecosystem.


In this session we’ll discuss some of the key considerations when increasing the focus on upskilling, such as:


  • Convening candid dialogues with key stakeholders such as senior executives, HR leaders and employee representatives to better understand company prospects and mobility of the workforce
  • Identifying the right skills to prioritize in order to effectively understand the supply and demand for certain areas and departments within the organization
  • Basing priorities on the types of jobs that will be affected most by new technologies and the employees who are most at risk, and working to understand which individuals will be affected by job changes and diminished roles
  • Developing personal coaching initiatives and individual skills development plans in order to effectively define the steps and training necessary to address the new job requirements
  • Setting up opportunities for workers to communicate with one another via support groups, informal meetings, and online platforms to improve motivation and monitor results

Keynote Presentation


Transforming the L&D Organization from Traditional Training to Digital and Intelligent Learning


Digital technology is transforming workplaces and L&D departments worldwide at an increasingly accelerated pace. In addition, most employees prefer digital methods for learning and working, and most senior executives believe that emerging digital technologies will change the nature of work and human-centric skills moving forward. As such, it’s critical to make the necessary adjustments to stay relevant, support the global digitalization strategy and stay abreast of business needs.


In this engaging session we will examine some of the steps needed for successful digital transformation, such as:


  • Focusing on the digital skills and training that the workforce will need to remain competitive and productive on a rolling basis
  • Taking into account the technology-related training and skills your personnel will need to implement, manage, and use the technology to complete their work
  • Paying attention to your organization’s data to effectively determine which digital skills their employees need to learn, and which digital tools the organization needs to utilize
  • Reviewing goals, objectives, customer data, revenue data, and learner data in order to determine how the organization should embrace the digitization of their L&D programs

Keynote Presentation


Adapting Learning Initiatives to Improve Engagement of the Remote Workforce


Organizations are currently facing significant challenges when it comes to developing and maintaining a purposeful dialogue with the remote workforce – particularly as it relates to L&D initiatives. This is due to a variety of factors, including difficulties in communicating information effectively across technologies and time zones, tracking employee performance, and creating a cohesive L&D culture. Even with some of the workforce steadily returning to the office, it’s important to establish and cultivate remote L&D initiatives that are robust and challenging enough to improve engagement and retention.


In this informative session we’ll discuss how to adapt remote L&D initiatives to develop and maintain effective engagement, such as:


  • Creating modules to train leaders on how to keep everyone up to date, set expectations and performance goals, and establish communication rules and channels
  • Implementing a cloud-based learning management system to enhance the learning experience through gamification, personalization, adaptive learning & feedback capabilities, and progress tracking
  • Ensuring the continuity of learning initiatives in order to maintain professional and personal growth
  • Incorporating real-world applications into learning experiences, to provide opportunities for learners to apply their learnings to actual work submissions
  • Utilizing social learning and collaboration activities so employees can learn from each other through formal and informal feedback

Panel Discussion


L&D’s New Role: Creating a Learning Culture that Improves Mental Health and Well-Being


Employee wellbeing became a top priority for most organizations as a result of the pandemic and lockdown, and will continue to be one for the foreseeable future. However, the wellbeing programs for many companies are simply not enough to support the growing need for assistance, and L&D leaders have to take the lead with the resources, tools, and proper training to provide the needed assistance and support.


Join us in the highly interactive panel as we discuss L&D’s role and best practices for creating a culture that improves mental health and well-being, such as:


  • Providing employees with the tools they need improve their mindfulness, which leads to decreased levels of stress, higher levels of concentration, and improved multitasking
  • Leading with data and insights that an L&D team needs to make effective decisions about how best to support colleagues
  • Monitoring and responding quickly to challenges related to the delicate work-life balance
  • Planning out communications effectively and efficiently to showcase available resources and support initiatives
  • Expanding diversity, equity and inclusion training to reinforce core values
  • Creating a culture that facilitates proactive measures and makes conversations easier between employees and management

End of Summit

10100 Dream Tree Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32836

Please contact your business development associate to reserve your hotel room.

1 user/pass
Learning & Development, Talent Management, Human Resources Practitioners Complimentary*

*Subject to Opal Group’s verification and approval. Practitioners within the following areas qualify for a complimentary pass: Learning & Development, Talent Management, Human Resources, and Leadership and Organizational Development.

*Executives representing solution provider organizations can attend through sponsorship. For sponsorship opportunities, contact info@opalgroup.net

Sponsorship Opportunities

More networking, greater interactions, bigger ROI:

One of the biggest challenges that companies face is standing out from the crowd and getting exposure with executives from leading organizations. Your company has the perfect solution to some of the biggest challenges that L&D and talent executives are facing, but how do you grab their attention and present your success stories?

The L&D Virtual Summitis the perfect platform to gain valuable exposure for your brand with exclusive access to key decision makers and like-minded executives. The attendees at the Summit areall facing the same challenges, and this is an outstanding forum to benchmark and share ideas with practitioners from several different industry verticals. The virtual event provides a specialized, strategically-built experience for cutting-edge thought-leaders and solution providers to engage, interact, and build long lasting relationships.

Solution providers at the Summit have the opportunity to showcase their brand as a thought-leader in the Learning & Development industry while developing new business relationships through unparalleled speaking sessions and virtual face-to-facenetworking.For sponsorship opportunities, contact info@opalgroup.net

  • Beyond Functional Management: The L&D Executive as a True Strategic Business Partner
  • Developing Workforce Skills and Engaging L&D Capabilities in the Wake of Disruption
  • L&D’s New Role: Creating a Learning Culture that Improves Mental Health and Well-Being
  • Utilizing Team Building as a Key Component of Leadership Development
  • Increasing the Focus on Upskilling to Close the Proficiency Gaps
  • Transforming the L&D Organization from Traditional Training to Digital and Intelligent Learning
  • Adapting Learning Initiatives to Improve Engagement of the Remote Workforce Learning Experience
  • L&D of the Future: Where Do We Go from Here
  • Prescheduled One-to-One Meetings:
    Each participating solution provider and attendees will have pre-summit access to our matching software that allows you to completely customize your meeting agenda. The password-protected website provides the information needed to make your selections on who you want to meet with.

  • Exceptional Networking Opportunities:
    We strive to maximize your face-to-face time by providing a multitude of avenues to engage the senior executives in attendance. The agenda incorporates an off-site networking activity, networking luncheons and cocktail reception. Leverage the meeting’s intimate atmosphere to build strong personal relationships with current and future clients.

The Learning & Development Virtual Summit is an exclusive event for L&D, Talent and Leadership Development practitioners from Fortune 1000 and leading organizations across the world.


Chief Learning Officer
SVP/VP/Head of Learning & Development
Directors and Managers of Learning & Development
Chief Talent Officer
SVP/VP/Head of Talent Management
Directors and Managers of Talent Management
SVP/VP/Head of Leadership/Organizational Development
Directors and Managers of Leadership/Organizational Development
SVP/VP/Head of Training/Corporate Training
Directors and Managers of Training/Corporate Training


To request your invitation today, please contact Bobby Swartout at 212-532-9898 ext 248 or email info@opalgroup.net.

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