Some Thoughts On The 2017 Corporate eLearning Movers And Shakers List

Some Thoughts On The 2017 Corporate eLearning Movers And Shakers List
Summary: The list of the 2017 corporate eLearning movers and shakers –or of the best exponents of a particular sport or something similar– does what it’s designed to do: It provokes discussion, debate, and controversy.

Discussing The 2017 Corporate eLearning Movers And Shakers List

Critics will argue –legitimately– that people on the 2017 Corporate eLearning Movers And Shakers List are in the wrong positions relative to others on the list, and that others (especially their friends) should be on it. Moreover, they will say that the list is incomplete: It’s a "world" list, but it doesn’t contain names from, for example, Russia or China – and yet these countries have large eLearning technologies industries.


While that’s true, the list doesn’t purport to be definitive. If there’s no one on the list from Russia, China, or any other "unrepresented" country, it isn’t because they –and their country’s market– are insignificant. It is because the judges –who have experience of the eLearning industry in an international context and who’re entirely genuine in their desire to come up with the people who most "influence" the industry at the moment– don’t know about them. No one –not even a group of specialists– can know everything about an industry and everyone in it.


The ranking is delightfully subjective. This is especially true at the "margins" – at the edges of the sub-lists. There is a general view among the judges that someone in "The Elite" section has more influence over the industry than someone in, say, the "Gold" or "Silver" section – but the differential in an individual’s influence is more debatable between those in, say, "The Elite" and "Platinum" sections.

Moreover, please bear in mind that even specialists doing their best can be wrong from time to time.


Furthermore, this list represents a "snapshot" of the eLearning industry in February 2017. As anyone who has spent any time in this industry will realize, the eLearning industry is particularly volatile and vulnerable to new influences. This has been especially true over the last 12 to 18 months; with the growth in gamification, augmented reality, and virtual reality for example, allied to advances in delivery technologies and fashions in learning preferences. However, the last 12 to 18 months aren’t unusual in this respect. Indeed, the eLearning industry has been undergoing radical change for the last 20 or more years.

Consequently, the published list could well contain names of those whom you think are "over the hill" and "beyond their sell-by date". It might also fail to include those whom you think should be there because "their time is coming". You could be right – and that’s what makes a list like this so fascinating. It also encourages you to look out for the 2018 movers and shakers’ list when it’s published!


Importantly, the 2017 Corporate eLearning Movers And Shakers List has been extended from 39 people (in 2016) to over 100. Even so, this is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Not being named on the list does not necessarily mean that you have no influence in the corporate eLearning industry. It could easily mean that the judges merely don’t know enough about the influence you have in order to be able to assess your true influence and place you appropriately on the list. As Thomas Gray wrote (in 1750), in his Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard, "…Full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air…".

Moreover, it’s the support that those whose names are on the list get from the rest of the people in this industry that places them on the list in the first place. So you’re playing your part in putting these names on the list – and keeping them there (or not!).


Furthermore, the key criteria of the 2017 Corporate eLearning Movers And Shakers List are:

  • People on the list will be deemed to be influential within the corporate eLearning sector within their country, continent, region, and the world. Those who’re influential on a wider geographic scale will tend to rank higher than those who are influential "only" on a regional or continental level. These people will, however, rank higher than those who are influential purely on a national level.
  • Although academics can be on the Corporate eLearning Movers And Shakers List, they’re considered only in so far as their work influences those in the corporate world.
  • The list is compiled on the basis of a person’s perceived current influence on the eLearning industry – as a practitioner, commentator, facilitator, and/or thought leader. In today’s social media influenced age, this could be thought to give social media users, especially bloggers, a greater "world profile" and "thought leader influence" than, say, practitioners. While there is some truth in this view, the judges have tried to also take account of the work and influence of "pure" industry practitioners, as well as those who are active behind the scenes – as venture capitalists, for example. These people have a significant, if often unseen, influence over the industry.

So, if you were to change any of these criteria, you would get a different list – probably with many more academics being on it. However, the judges feel that academics are able to be officially recognized for their contributions in different ways, while those who operate purely in the corporate world find such recognition elusive. Consequently, the 8th annual Corporate eLearning Movers And Shakers List aims to begin to redress the balance – albeit slightly.


So what constitutes "influence"? The judges understand this concept to be "affecting the direction that the practitioners within the industry take". While this gives a great deal of influence to writers, speakers, and bloggers, the judges felt that you have to also recognize the –key– business leaders whose decisions decide which products and services the eLearning industry has at its disposal.

This year, the 2017 Corporate eLearning Movers And Shakers List attempts to take account of those who work "behind the scenes" as well as those who "strut and fret their hour upon the stage", to borrow a quotation from Act V of Shakespeare’s Scottish play. So, there are some venture capitalists and deal makers on the list this year.

It is all the people mentioned in this list –and more, of course– who make the corporate eLearning industry what it is and help to guide it into its interesting future.

2017 Corporate eLearning Movers And Shakers List Love

Every list –maybe including shopping lists– incubates controversy. Yet, human beings are irresistibly drawn to lists because they help us make some –imperfect– sense of our world. That’s why we like reading blog posts titled "ten top tips…" and so on.

If you disagree with the 2017 Corporate eLearning Movers And Shakers List – please do, because that’s your prerogative. But if you feel that the judges who’ve contributed to compiling this list are misguided and ignorant, please be try to be understanding and charitable in your criticism.

As the great socialist writer, CLR James famously, and sagely, said in his book Beyond A Boundary (which was published in 1963  a book ostensibly about Caribbean cricket but really a social commentary on the development of West Indian society), "What do they know of cricket, who only cricket know?".