The 20 L&D influencers you should know in 2021

Navigating the L&D space can be overwhelming, so take some inspiration and broaden your horizons with these thought leaders.

Ryan O'Connell Head of Implementation and Customer Success

Top 20 Influencers

Christopher Lind

Current role - VP, Chief Learning Officer at ChenMed
LinkedIn

No list on L&D thought leaders would be complete without Christopher Lind. Priding himself on being a digital-first leader who originates from outside the HR industry, Christopher’s Learning Tech Talks are held every Friday on LinkedIn and delve into all things learning tech with a revolving cast of amazing guests. Definitely one to set a recurring reminder for!

Laura Overton

Current role - Co-creator at Emerging Stronger
LinkedIn

Focusing on helping leaders prove the efficacy of their learning strategies with concrete evidence, Laura’s future-focused outlook on learning and passion for proving the value of learning initiatives is contagious! Catch her on the L&D Mastermind session on 15 September 2021 on “How a marketing mindset can unlock strategic L&D business value”.

Myles Runham

Current role - Independent Consultant at Myles Runham Digital & Learning
LinkedIn

With his regular newsletter, active social media presence and insightful blog posts, Myles is an L&D leader on a mission! With 20 years of experience in a dizzying variety of roles including stints at the BBC and Ask.com, Myles keeps his finger on the pulse of the L&D landscape and is passionate about making sure you can discover everything you need to know!

Mark Berthelemy

Current role - Digital Problem Solver at mark.berthemly.net
LinkedIn

Heavy on the technology side and with a wealth of experience to draw from, Mark Berthelemy is an incredibly opinionated and bold thought leader in the L&D space. If you are looking for explicit and honest advice on how to level up your L&D strategy then look no further than Mark!

Matt Ash

Current role - Director of Learning at Media Zoo
LinkedIn

With a tonne of modern and engaging content, Matt Ash puts the fun back in learning. A personal highlight is the “Scientists, Stella Artois & Synthesizers: lessons from beyond L&D” wrap up that Matt published in June, wrapping up all his content from the 2020 Learning & Development conference and how you can use lessons from history’s greatest scientists and inventors for your own organisation!

Donald H Taylor

Current role - Chair at Learning Technologies Conference 
LinkedIn

Having roles in pretty much every aspect of learning and development, Donald Taylor has been chair of the Learning Technologies Conference for over 20 years, alongside his work as Chairperson of the Learning and Skills Group as well as Network chair at Emerge Education which looks to fund founders looking to solve the $8.5 trillion skills gap. Donald is not stingy with his advice, be it in the form of a book recommendation, blog post or podcast suggestions so make sure to check him out on LinkedIn.

Jane Hart 

Current role - Founder at Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies
LinkedIn

As an esteemed author and founder who has been helping organisation’s modernise learning experiences for over 30 years, Jane knows a thing or two about the challenges L&D professionals face! One of Jane’s creations to set your calendar for is the annual “Top Tools for Learning List”, which gives great insight into the best the market has to offer.

Josh Bersin

Current role - Founder of both Josh Bersin Academy and joshbersin.com
LinkedIn

You knew he was going to be here. A titan of the L&D industry, Josh’s goal is to make work life better around the world, and the Josh Bersin Academy offers a really extensive range of courses to help L&D professionals gain some much needed skills in our industry.

Charles Jennings

Current role - Partner, Strategy and Performance at Tusler / 70:20:10 Institute, Managing Director at Duntroon Consultants, Partner at Internet Time Alliance
LinkedIn

An expert in the performance-centric 70-20-10 model of learning, Charles has applied his experience in a wealth of organisations around the world for over 20 years. Espousing the need for personalisation and experiential learning is core to the 70:20:10 methodology and this is echoed in Charles’ output, so make sure you register for some of his blockbuster free events, which you can find on LinkedIn.

Nigel Paine

Current role - Co-Presenter at Learning Now TV, Owner at nigelpaine.com
LinkedIn

As a prolific L&D author and award-winning multi-media creator, there’s a host of ways for you to discover Nigel’s unique spin on all things continuous development. You can also check out Learning Now’s free monthly TV show to discover more excellent insights and tips for your organisation. 

Barbara Thompson

Current role - Global L&D Innovation Manager at Boston Consulting Group, Member of Board of Trustees at Sporting Equals
LinkedIn

Promoting diversity in L&D and beyond, Barbara is a modern L&D hero. Explore her LinkedIn profile for more reports from the “intersection of digital, capability development, experiences, culture and behaviour change”.

Alice Collier-Niblett

Current role - Learning Lead at Monzo Bank
LinkedIn

Experienced in delivering cutting edge learning and development strategies at some of the most innovative challenger brands in the world such as Monzo and ASOS, Alice prides herself on using data to identify learning blockers and bottlenecks to develop the perfect strategy and deliver personalised learning solutions.

Edmund Monk

Current role - CEO at Learning and Performance Institute
LinkedIn

Delivering keynotes internationally on the importance and impact of learning has for individuals and businesses, Edmund is the founder of one of the behemoths of the L&D game, The Learning and Performance Institute. Check out Ed’s appearance on the “Learn To Grow” podcast for amazing insights into the future of learning and even predictions for the 2021 Premier League!

Sam Rogers

Current role - Global Learning Technologies & Learning Analytics Manager at ConvaTec
LinkedIn

Data-led and effortlessly reachable with podcasts, presentations, blog posts and livestreams, Sam is committed to making learning analytics more useful. My personal favourite of Sam’s many multimedia teachings is his article titled “Data Doesn’t Tell You Where To Go”. Definitely check that out before embarking your next data dive! 

Michelle Ockers

Current role - Co-Creator at Emerging Stronger, Learning Strategy Expert & Learning Team Capability Builder at Learning Uncut
LinkedIn

Focusing her efforts on increasing feelings of belonging and connection within organisations, Michelle’s approach to L&D is refreshingly personalised. Alongside her work with giant global brands, Michelle also founded Learning Uncut, a tastemaker within the L&D industry, sharing the particularly useful Annual L&D Benchmark Report, perfect for analysing how you can create value within your organisation, even including a podcast on how you can elevate your impact using the report.

David Green

Current role - Executive Director at Insight222, Founder and CEO at Zandel, Board Advisor at TrustSphere, Conference Co-Chair & Advisor at People Analytics & Future Of Work, Writer at UNLEASH
LinkedIn

Another one to follow if you love data and learning analytics, David is the prolific co-author of Excellence in People Analytics. Speaking at/chairing conferences in over 25 cities, David is not afraid to share his views, so make sure you join his over 93,000 followers on LinkedIn today.

Sam Davies

Current role - Co-Founder at Venndorly
LinkedIn

We love Venndorly! Their people-focused approach and commitment to letting the customers do the talking, rather than engage in petty industry politics fits perfectly with the THRIVE ethos, and Sam embodies these values perfectly. Always working to amplify great brands and make sure that talent shines through, follow Sam to hear more about his industry wide insights and follow the successes of Venndorly as they go from strength to strength!

Kristina Tsiriotakis

Current role - Global Director of Learning & Development at DECIEM
LinkedIn

Working for a challenger brand like DECIEM, Kristina is in charge of making sure their employees are motivated, healthy and continuously developing their skills and mindsets. And boy, is she doing a great job! Follow her on LinkedIn and be blown away by her passion and intuitiveness when it comes to L&D and make sure you check out her podcast with Michelle Ockers on “Making Learning Human”.

Steve Boese

Current role - President & Co-Founder at H3 HR Advisors, Technology Editor & Writer at Human Resource Executive Magazine
LinkedIn

Somehow managing to balance responsibilities as Co-Founder of H3 HR Advisors and writing compelling content at Human Resource Executive Magazine with co-hosting the HR Happy Hour podcast, Steve is a prolific content creator in the L&D space. His aforementioned podcast is the longest running HR podcast, and make sure you read his contributions to the “8 Man Rotation Ebook” which takes a fascinating look at what HR leaders can learn from the selection process for the main 8 players in a basketball team.

Helen Marshall

Current Role - Head of Learning at THRIVE LXP
LinkedIn

Of course I’m going to sneak a THRIVE tribe member in here! Helen recently joined as our Head of Learning and is an absolute whirlwind of a learning leader, pioneering for #womeninlearning and starting our very own book club! Her honesty and collaborative nature really shines through on LinkedIn so make sure you give her a follow for plenty of THRIVE updates, book recommendations and engaging content. 

And if you are in the mood to follow even more of the THRIVE Tribe, make sure you follow Sean Reddington, Cassie Gasson, Josh Devanny and Danny Braithwaite to get the full scoop on what’s going on at THRIVE!

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