Latest News

Connect, Curate, Collaborate: A Bold New Step Into Digital Community Learning

  • Date: Mon, Jul 27, 2020

Share this article


Despite all the changes brought about by COVID-19, we at Smurfit Executive Development do not believe that this pandemic has altered the fundamental ways that our clients learn. Furthermore we recognise that learning must still be relevant and enjoyable. To further enhance your learning experience in a virtual world, SED has partnered with Volute, a new type of social learning ecosystem which creates virtual communities to continue your professional development journey off-campus.

From your experience with us, you will know that executive development is facilitated and enhanced by sharing your questions, insights and experiences with others. With recent advances in technology and pedagogical best practices for professionals, we’re creating new opportunities in lifelong learning that have barely been imagined before. Smurfit Executive Development and Volute have partnered to bring together technology and blue sky thinking to vitally connect your professional development needs to a digital workspace – a space that preserves the resources, connections and insights used in your learning journey over time.

Smurfit Executive Development has been making significant efforts in creating robust online learning approaches long before the current pandemic and so this crisis is not driving our decisions – it’s merely accelerating our learners’ expectations. We’ve spent a lot of time reimagining technology to enhance what you already love about us (the high-quality executive development with the attention to personal interests) and to explore how to satisfy the often unmet needs of lifelong learning (maintaining learning “momentum” after the end of formal programmes, being part of a community of learners, and incorporating learning into your work day).

One of the keystones connecting our past strengths to the current needs of our learners is Volute’s “Virtual Learning Lounge.” Like the welcoming rooms in our Centre, the Learning Lounge is a place where like-focused individuals can share experiences and explore new collaboration possibilities. With Volute, you’ll have the power to shape your own learning journey and invite others to enhance or alter your agenda as your community of co-learners evolves.

By incorporating these kinds of digitally-enhanced professional relationships into the fabric of our executive programmes from the beginning, you’ll discover a new enthusiasm for learning that continues after the end of a programme. Moreover, our learning communities will evolve beyond the circle of people that interact in a course. Now, you will also have the ability to connect with our alumni to find mentors and learning partners to help them grow professionally.

Without access to the personalised communities and learning spaces made available through Volute, many programmes fall back on the default option of using mainstream tools like Facebook and LinkedIn, leaving learners searching for meaningful connections in networks peppered by ads and solicitations. Going forward, we propose to turn that funnel upside-down by giving you the power to find your own way to success by creating connections through real, shared experiences, thus shaping your circle of learning peers and materials based on your needs. By partnering with Volute, Smurfit Executive Development’s pedagogy and faculty can be made available to alumni at the right place, at the right time. It is a unique capability that will become a vital differentiator in the careers and advancement of all professionals in the years ahead.

According to Helen Brophy, Director at UCD Smurfit Executive Development, "At Smurfit Executive Development, we are excited by the possibilities that our new partnership with Volute creates for our participants and clients.  We believe this will fundamentally change the way in which we deliver executive programmes, bringing learning and community engagement to a whole new level.  This partnership is the culmination of two years' of effort and commitment on both sides and we look forward to showcasing and transitioning our executive and clients to this new world of learning over the coming months." 

Click here for a short video introduction of Volute.

Discover our Rankings and Accreditations