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Elliott Masie's 30 Under 30: Interview with Christina Castelli

Third in our series of 30 Under 30 interviews is Christina Castelli, Social Learning Catalyst at Accenture.

Unfamiliar with learning's 30 Under 30? That's ok! It's an annual program put on by Elliott Masie at Learning 2015 conference. "The goal of the 30 Under 30 @ Learning 2015 Program is to provide support, visibility, voice and development for the next generation of Learning Leaders." Read on to learn more about industry insights from an up and coming learning leader!

Maestro: Tell me a little bit about your company and your role within it.

Christina: Accenture is a global company of over 300,000 employees. The company provides strategy and management consulting services, technology development, and operations/outsourcing support. In the last few years we have invested in "social learning" tools - in other words, building internal equivalents of social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Wordpress, etc. with the goal of internal collaboration and learning to connect all of our widely dispersed employees. My role as a Social Learning Catalyst is to be an advocate for these tools and behaviors, helping groups within Accenture to use them as a part of their overall strategy to achieve key business objectives.

Maestro: Tell me about some of the things you are doing to stay current in the world of learning.

Christina: Consistent with my Social Learning role, I try to follow blogs and tweets of key learning thought leaders, externally as well as within my company and industry.

Maestro: What challenges do you see for the next generation of learning leaders – people like you?

Christina: Our challenge is to become technology experts AS WELL AS being content experts. In today's rapidly advancing environment, we can no longer afford to leave the tool development to others, to not understand how long something should take to be designed, to not be able to read HTML and make minor changes ourselves when necessary.

Maestro: What excites you about the future of learning?

Christina: The potential for ever-more personalization. The huge flaw of traditional classroom learning (as well as most traditional e-learning) is that it must "teach to the middle", trying to find the average learner so as to lose as few learners as possible. With current and developing technologies, we have the potential to have programs adapt carefully to each user, so that educators and trainers are able to focus on individuals and their questions and needs, as opposed to being burdened with the need to transmit knowledge in various learning styles.

Maestro: What advice do you have for companies struggling to keep up with the changing landscape of learning?

Christina: My advice? Treat it as a fascinating puzzle to solve, and always keep the objective of truly supporting the learner in mind (i.e. design thinking). A learning group should be "practicing what they preach", in other words should be excited about constantly learning new things and keeping up with the tide. If they aren't, hire people who are!

You can add Christina on LinkedIn!

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Sydney Hill

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