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Why we created D2L for Business 

John Baker
John Baker

CEO and Board Chair


I founded D2L to answer an important question: can we transform the way the world learns? I set out to build a learning platform that could help break down the barriers to high-quality learning experiences and help engage and inspire people to achieve more than they ever dreamed possible. And I’m proud that, by seeing that people could have the best educational experiences possible, D2L has helped launch successful careers.  

Over time, I’ve realized that we can have as big an impact (if not a bigger one) helping people to build on those careers, by supporting professionals in their upskilling. We want to help businesses provide the right learning to help accelerate career development and employees take the right next steps. This is why D2L is investing so much today in D2L for Business. 

I’ve talked to hundreds of business leaders over the past few years, and it’s become clear to me that upskilling and employee learning is one of the top priorities for all of them. At the same time, current solutions are not meeting the mark. Employees are often frustrated with their learning experiences, and they struggle to get the right upskilling to help with their career development. So, we spent years building a solution for businesses.  

We set out to help businesses shift from simple learning management to building inspiring learning experiences that can help develop necessary skills, both through internally and externally created programs from some of the top academic institutions. We also wanted to ensure that what we offered was a complete solution. So, we included skills mapping capabilities and next-generation models for compliance, including mastery-based learning – and made it all mobile-friendly.  

In short, with D2L for Business, we’re helping to provide organizations with a better way to leverage one of the best productivity enhancers they have – their people. This work to help reinvent learning for companies has never mattered more. As businesses face myriad challenges – from AI to digital disruption, to green technologies and hybrid work environments – they will need employees to learn new skills, not just to help accelerate personal career development, but also to help them stay current in the face of change.  

More than anything, D2L for Business helps to build a more human connection. It connects people better with the career they’re pursuing, with their colleagues (whether at the desk next door or across the world), and with the values and mission of the organization. At D2L, we want to help foster this human learning experience, and empower an organization’s employees or members to maximize their potential to turn learning into a competitive advantage.  

Here are some highlights of what D2L for Business can deliver: 

  • Skills mapping and pathways – We use AI-driven algorithms and offer the services of industry experts to help develop a comprehensive skills audit, map skills to careers, and identify custom learning pathways for desired careers and skill sets.  
  • A network of world-class education partners – D2L’s industry-leading curated network of North American universities, colleges and training organizations helps employers align programs and courses directly to talent at every level and connect employees easily and quickly to high-quality learning.  
  • Customization – No two organizations are exactly alike. That’s why D2L for Business also helps deliver customized digital learning experiences through D2L’s pre-existing Learning Experience Platform (LXP). This helps businesses deploy and scale learning that aligns directly with their strategic goals. 
  • Learning analytics – Built-in insights mean that employers can quickly gather information about course completion rates and employee skill development and outcomes – critical information to help enable organizations to make data-informed decisions about current and future skills development offerings that can connect more precisely with employee and business needs. 

I’m excited for the possibilities and potential that D2L for Business creates to truly help transform what a learning platform can be for the corporate world – for companies, associations, or other kinds of professional organizations.

Written by:

John Baker
John Baker

CEO and Board Chair

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.

Twitter: @JohnBakerD2L
LinkedIn: John Baker
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