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eLearning's Top Movers and Shakers

By Bob Little / January 2011

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eLearning's Top Movers and Shakers

January 25, 2011

There can be no better way to start my first opinion column of a New Year than with something that is pure opinion—and highly subjective opinion at that.

In the UK the first week in January traditionally sees the publication of corporate eLearning's "top 10 movers and shakers." Following the inauguration of this list last January, there is even more interest in this year's list. It not only "names names," but also gives some indication of rising (and falling) reputations.

Please bear in mind that these lists are compiled on the basis of a person's perceived influence on the eLearning industry—as a practitioner, commentator, facilitator and/or thought leader.

World List

1. Elliott Masie. Among many other things, Elliott heads The MASIE Center, a Saratoga Springs, New York, think tank focused on how organizations can support learning and knowledge within the workforce. He also leads the Learning CONSORTIUM, a coalition of 240 global organizations cooperating on the evolution of learning strategies. (Position last year: 1)

2. Jo Aggarwal. On secondment from her role as Managing Director of Pearson Learning Solutions, Jo is currently working with Silatech, based in Qatar. Silatech's mission is to connect young people, 18 to 30 years old, with employment and enterprise opportunities. (New entry for 2011)

3. Fabrizio Cardinali. CEO of eXact learning solutions North America, chair of ELIG and a member of the board of directors for the IMS Global Learning Consortium. (Position last year: 2)

4. Abdullah Al Mogheerah. Manager for Planning and PMO at Saudi Arabia's National Center for eLearning (NCEL), which, in 2010, instituted the largest learning content digital marketplace implementation in the Arabic world. (New entry for 2011)

5. Roger Schank. One of the influential early contributors to artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology in the 1970s and 1980s, is president and CEO of Socratic Arts. In conjunction with Barcelona's La Salle University, Schank created the Institute for the Learning Sciences, which has online offerings for virtual MBAs in business, ebusiness, and learning sciences. (New entry for 2011)

6. Anne Forster (Forster and Gibson). One of Australia's foremost independent eLearning consultants. Based in Sydney, her recent projects have not only included ones in Australia but also in Lausanne, Switzerland, and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (New entry for 2011)

7. Massood Zarrabian. CEO of Boston, MA, based LCMS providers OutStart. (Position last year: 7)

8. Sanjaya Sharma. Head of Tata Interactive Systems, an eLearning content producer that is part of the Tata Group. (Position last year: 5)

9. Jill Duffy. New York based editor, former senior editor at eLearn Magazine. (New entry for 2011)

10. Muyiwa Bamgbose. The CEO of the Educational Advancement Center (EAC) in Nigeria, which is working with The University of Ibadan—one of Nigeria's leading universities—to deliver learning materials to students via their mobile phones bypassing traditional e-learning. (New entry for 2011)

Bubbling Under

Others who just missed out on making this year's list included:

  • Paul Sparta. Chairman and CEO of talent management specialists, Plateau Systems.
  • Catherine Upton. CEO of the US-based Elearning! Magazine.
  • Charles Jennings. The former CLO of Thomson Reuters, who is still much in demand as a conference speaker and thought leader. (Position last year: 4 in World, Europe and UK)
  • Pascal Debordes. eLearning director at Cegos, Europe's leading player in professional training. (Position last year: 8)


If you're interested in the Europe and UK "Top 10 Influencers" lists, you can find them at Bob's Blog among other places. Of the 31 names on the three lists (19 men and 10 women), only two names appear on more than one list: Fabrizio Cardinali (World and Europe) and Piers Lea (Europe and UK). In terms of nationality, the USA has the largest representation on the World list, closely followed by India; while Germany (with three representatives) is just ahead of France (two) in the Europe list. Only one British name— Piers Lea—appears on the Europe list, suggesting that, although it provides the largest single market for corporate e-learning in Europe (some �472m a year), Britain's e-learning gurus don't— as yet—"travel well."

About the Author

For more than 20 years, Bob Little has specialized in writing about, and commentating on, corporate learning—especially e-learning—and technology-related subjects. His work has been published in the U.K., Europe, the U.S., and Australia. Contact Bob at [email protected].


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