Skillsoft Blog

ASU+GSV where EdTech History is Made

ASU+GSV where EdTech history is made

This year we sponsored and participated in the ASU GSV summit which is THE industry catalyst for raising learning and career opportunities through scaled innovation.  According to Forbes, ASU GSV is the best conference “to get a lay of the land and spot promising new ideas” within the EdTech space. The event attracts over 4,500 leaders from across the learning space, including learning and workforce technology CEOs, investors, CLOs / CTOs, policy makers, leaders in PreK-12 and higher ed and much more. In short, if you live, breathe, and work in EdTech this is the conference to attend.

Skillsoft at the 2019 ASU GSV summit

This year we headed to San Diego for a packed three days from April 8th – 10th.  We were there to hear about exciting new ideas and to share how we are evolving our strategy to better align with the needs of corporate learners today and in the future.

However, first and foremost, we were there to learn.  We want to see how we can further strengthen our value to learners by partnering with organizations to bring more in-depth expertise and engaging experience.  Part of this work has already begun with a series of new partnerships, including ITProTV,  Wintellect, and MIT xPro, and that’s just the beginning.

Expanding the Skillsoft learning ecosystem

In addition to content partnerships, we also have an ecosystem of over 40 channel partners, who each add substantial value to the learners we serve. We continually assess opportunities to augment our ecosystem of channel partners.  So, we saw ASU GSV as an ideal space for connecting with potential new channel partners and sharing our learning vision with them.  After all, there is no better place to create future innovative partnerships than at the “convening of the world’s most important global education and workforce companies and key technology players.”?

What Skillsoft learned at ASU GSV

Under an overarching theme of Bending the Arc of Human Potential, the summit was packed with topics that ranged from early childhood to the power of diversity to artificial intelligence (AI). Speakers included Andre Agassi, Priscilla Chan, Matt Sigelman (Burning Glass), Jessie Woolley-Wilson (DreamBox Learning), and Reed Hastings among many other movers and shakers from the learning industry, education and business professions.

It was most refreshing to hear Michael Moe’s inspirational opening speech. It was a very humbling assessment of where we are at from an educational perspective, and a powerful call to action to make change happen.

In addition to individual perspectives, we heard a number of key themes around the evolution of digital learning and EdTech that resonated across numerous sessions:

  1. The traditional boundaries between “education” and “workforce training” have continued to blur with the focus shifting to lifelong learning supported by engaging journeys
  2. The need for portable, verifiable credentials has never been greater.  With instructional content and delivery tools in abundance, the next logical wave will be around high-stakes credentials that can be rapidly conceptualized and endorsed.
  3. Effective learning solutions are moving well beyond one-dimensional, instruction videos into social, interactive, collaborative, and diagnostic experiences that spark self-reflection and inspiration.
  4. As digital learning and EdTech, more broadly, have transcended from an early-adopter curiosity to main-stream, solutions have become more targeted, specialized, and impactful

A little background on ASU GSV

Now in its tenth year, the event began with a collaboration between Arizona State University (ASU) and Global Silicon Valley (GSV) and is now the industry catalyst for how organizations and educational institutions can utilize technology to raise the bar for everyone. Kudos to GSV’s Michael Moe and Deborah Quazzo for what they have achieved! Since its inception, the summit has experienced phenomenal growth from an attendance of 350 in 2010 to 4,500 in 2019. The event attracts entrepreneurs, global tech giants such as Google, Apple, IBM, Microsoft plus a host of the leading learning and workforce technology corporations and policymakers. Basically, a who’s who of the industry.


Manuel Dufresne is the VP, Strategy & Corporate Development at Skillsoft.


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