From all over the world, customers, partners and many others who are interested in the future of work and learning have come together to talk, network and learn. The energy in the Anaheim Marriott is electric, and the mood is awesome.
One longtime D2L client who spoke to me after the mainstage conference opener put it this way:
“I like to come early to Fusion. I love taking a few moments with the D2Lers I’ve gotten to know over the years to talk about new ideas and soak up the energy. It’s exciting to be here, and I love how open everyone is.”
I can’t think of a better compliment. This is exactly the environment that we aim to create at Fusion.
This year’s conference theme, “Your Learning Moment” is about growth and progress. Fusion offers us an opportunity to slow down, listen to one another, and learn about the challenges and opportunities we all face – whether that’s in K-12, higher ed or corporate learning. It’s about sharing creative moments of teaching and learning, as well as looking ahead to what’s next.
In my opening keynote, I noted that the future can seem scary for a lot of us. Anxiety about the future is often rooted in the trials of today – ours being things like the economy, the environment, or new technologies like AI – that we project into the future. It’s a natural thing to do.
But as I also noted in my speech, the kids in classrooms today are uniquely suited to this moment. They’re smart, motivated, tech-savvy and principled. They’re uniquely adapted to thriving in this moment and to overcoming the challenges we all face. The future is in good hands, but it’s up to all of us to equip them for that future with the very best tools at our disposal. And while that of course includes technology, it also includes our own creativity, new pedagogies and new learning science.
The responsibility we share as learning leaders is to help every generation seize the moment -to help people both young and old face the future with hope.
In my speech, I quoted the poet Henry David Thoreau – who knew a thing or two about seizing the moment – when he wrote: “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.”
As Fusion 2023 continues, I hope we all enjoy this present learning moment, find new waves upon which to launch ourselves (pun absolutely intended) and can look forward to what comes next with renewed optimism and enthusiasm for what it holds.
John founded D2L in 1999, at the age of twenty-two, while attending the University of Waterloo. D2L is a global software company that believes learning is the foundation upon which all progress and achievement rests.
A strong believer in community involvement, John devotes both his personal and business efforts to supporting young entrepreneurs who are developing and applying technology to improve society worldwide.
He was appointed to the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Member (Entrepreneurs’ Circle) of the Business Council of Canada, Business Higher Education Roundtable, Past Chair of the Board of Communitech, and is a board member of Canada’s National Ballet School.
John was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year (Ontario for Software and Technology), Young Alumni Achievement Medal from University of Waterloo, and Intrepid Entrepreneur of the Year in Waterloo Region Hall of Fame.
John graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours B.A.Sc. in Systems Design Engineering, with First Class Honours and an option in Management Sciences.
LinkedIn: John Baker
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