Our Story

Our Story 2018-09-14T10:21:51+00:00
A letter from founder Tom Palmer:
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I believe the field of Learning & Development has the potential to play a key role in transforming the world for the better. My mission is to help it grow into this role.
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Though I’ll be honest: not all that long ago, I wasn’t even aware that there was a thing called L&D. I had been working in education for a number of years as a teacher, then stumbled into developing courses and curriculum, and eventually discovered instructional design.
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At the same time, I was exploring a growing interest in sustainable systems design (or regenerative design). I enrolled in a 2-year online diploma program at Gaia University, unaware at the time how my professional path would shift as a result.
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‘Gaia U’ was an eye-opening experience for me in many ways, but perhaps most striking of all was its very forward-thinking approach to learning. The program included a few online courses, yet the majority of its focus was on ‘project-based action learning.’ Students designed, implemented, and documented a series of projects in an e-portfolio and were supported along the way by a network of advisors, mentors and peers. There was a strong emphasis on developing as a self-directed learner and supporting one another on our ‘learning journeys.’
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I was inspired to dig in and explore the connection between designing learning systems that facilitate self-directed learning, and adapting to the increasingly complex challenges we are currently facing as human beings. This led to a deep fascination with the role of organizations, and L&D in particular, in making the transitions that we need to make to survive and thrive.
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I had the honor of being hired on to work with the Gaia U team, and at the same time I completed a master’s degree in Organizational Development and Transition Design.This gave me the opportunity to deepen my inquiry and build valuable experience with a series of projects that included developing a new eLearning platform and some new programs at the university, implementing a team learning strategy that involved tools like Slack and Trello, facilitating online learning events using Appreciate Inquiry and Sociocracy, and developing a multi-organizational Open Badge ecosystem.
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It’s a very interesting time in education and L&D — a lot is changing, a lot is being challenged to change. The old ways of doing things are coming up against their limits and new ways are emerging.
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My ultimate goal with Wired Roots is to serve the L&D community, and through the practitioners in the field the organizations and communities they serve, to make the transitions they need to make to not only survive through these changing times, but to thrive like never before.
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We aim to do so in the following ways:
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I sincerely thank you for your interest and time spent here, and I hope you find some value in our work. We welcome your correspondence and feedback — what are the biggest challenges you’re facing in your role right now? What are you working on? Drop us a line in the short form below, we’d love to connect and hear your story (no pressure, just learning)!
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Gratefully,
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Tom Palmer
Founder, Learning Experience Designer and Action Learning Coach
Wired Roots Learning & Development LLC

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