Thursday, November 03, 2016

Future Environment Designs Attends the LITE 2016 Conference & Is Inspired!

On September 23-24, Future Environment Designs (FEDTC) attended the Learning, Innovation, Technology, Evolution (LITE) 2016 Conference held in Edinburgh, Scotland.  This was the first year we attended this conference and it probably won't be the last.  The conference is run by Administrate, which is the company now handling our training and customer administration.  We were also invited to be on a customer panel during the conference, which we will discuss further below.  What attracted us to the LITE conference was the ability to learn more about the Administrate program and meet others who are using the program.  Not only did the conference and workshops deliver on that goal, it far exceeded our expectations.  Several of the conference speakers were absolutely inspiring and made us realize the good work being done out there to assist those less fortunate.

The Scotsman Newspaper Article LITE 2016 
Day one of the conference started with Mike McGrail (@Mike_McGrail), Marketing Director for Administrate, doing the opening and introduction.  We met Mr. McGrail previously, when we first were considering to sign-up with Administrate, we met with him and our current rep Natasha Serafimovska and then met again at a cocktail/dinner party held for those presenting and on the customer panels at Brasserie Les Amis (the food was awesome!).  Mr. McGrail is quite entertaining and very proud of his Scottish heritage (yes, he wore a kilt!).  The first speaker was Gavin Oattes, MD of Tree of Knowledge, his presentation "How do you Fit a Giraffe in a Fridge?" really was mind opening and created a pathway for a different frame of reference.  Nicki Turing & Edmund Pinto, of the Alan Turing Trust, discussed how providing used computers are helping educate students in Ghana.  Joe Harb, of Interactive Life, discussed "Personalised Education Using Technology:  From Corporate to Refugees" and how to personalize education for corporations to help expand borders and for refugees who feel left behind.  John Bendel, of Lingo 24, discussing "The Need for a Multi-language Approach" and the importance of training materials to be in multiple languages (only 9% of the world speaks English, something to really consider as a training business).  The first customer panel included Deborah Fyfe of IA Seminars, Kevin Streater of ForgeRock, & Mathew Channell of Training South Wales, and was moderated by Richard Cassidy, Director Sales for Administrate.  The panel discussed the challenges in their training business and how technology was bringing success to their businesses.  Mike McQuaid of GitHub, spoke on "Remote Working: What, Why and How?"  His speech described the various benefits of working remotely; productivity increase, happy employees, & saving the planet to name a few.  John Peebles the CEO of Administrate spoke on "Creating the Ultimate Human Organisation" and discussed how they have gone to a 4-day work week.  The final speaker on the first day was John Romero, Creator of Legendary Video Games, who spoke on "The Value of Games in Education."  The day ended with a Pub Crawl (our crawl included The Blind Poet, the Potting Shed, and the BeeHive Inn) that ended at Administrate HQ (drinks & pizza!).  The lunch was catered by Regis Banqueting and it was fantastic, we had the Lamb Tangine!  We went to several workshops and support sessions also being held during the conference.

John Romero Speaking at LITE 2016
Day two started with Olivia Giles of 500 Miles, telling us her story of how she had to face change in her speech "The Challenges and Opportunities of Change."  Olivia Giles survived the blood poisoning form of meningitis by having both her lower legs and both her lower arms amputated.  She has since founded the charity 500 Miles which helps disabled people in Malawi & Zambia who have lost limbs or the use of limbs to enjoy maximum mobility and body function by helping them gain access to artificial limbs and limbs supports.  If we weren't already inspired from the first day of speeches, this speech sent us over the top!  Kevin Streater of ForgeRock had the unenviable task of following Olivia Giles and did an excellent job of maintaining the enthusiasm with "How Administrate Changed Our Training Business."  Definitely caught our attention with the ability to triple his business without increasing staff.  Suzanna Doyle-Morris of inclusIQ, discussing how they use blended learning to train people on inclusion & diversity, was the next speaker.  Mike McGrail of Administrate next discussed "The Importance of Personas in Understanding Your Customer" and how that effects marketing.  Up next was Dr. Kathryn Waite of Heriot-Watt University speaking on "Digital Empowerment."  Next we had the honor and pleasure to sit on a customer panel with Anna Hastie of University of York, and Steve Booker of Kentec Training (his company's story on Administrate convinced us to sign up).  Visit the LITE 2016 Speakers site to see the customer panel we were on and our discussion about our challenges and technology.  After the panel, Kasper Spiro of Easygenerator spoke on "User Generated Content: The Next Trend" and the conference ended with an inspirational talk "Reaching for the Stars" by Graham Obree - Record Breaking Cycling Legend.

Graham Obree Speaking at LITE 2016
Their were several emotions we experienced during this conference; overwhelmed, amazement, excited, hopeful, inspiration, and empowered.  The main thing this conference did for us was made us realize how powerful a tool the Administrate program is.  We are hopeful & overwhelmed with the capabilities of this program.  We are excited and amazed on the value we could add to our customers training experience.  Most importantly we feel this program will empower and inspire us with the ability to increase our business, increase our reach to more customers outside our current territory, and Keeping More of Your Employees Safe!
        
LITE 2016 was held at The Assembly Roxy