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As the workplace changes, so must education and training. Exciting experiments are under way—but are they enough?

As technology transforms the workplace, the need for innovation in learning and development is urgent. In a series of recent discussions, members of the Consortium for Advancing Adult Learning & Development (CAALD)—a group of learning authorities whose members include researchers, corporate and nonprofit leaders, and McKinsey experts—recently met in Boston for the second year in a row.

In a series of discussions, CAALD explored what is, and isn’t, being done to innovate in these fields. Many CAALD experts were skeptical about the ability of universities to respond rapidly enough. Some also suggested that as the workplace changes, the role of the college degree will shift as well—and that its value could even decline. Fortunately, innovation is taking place 

both at universities and businesses, including AT&T, edX, Microsoft, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Participants described the potential of these and other developments. And they agreed that while some companies are ready to explore new ways of developing talent, sorting through the options is complex and time consuming. The rapid growth of the gig economy creates additional challenges—and opportunities—for innovation efforts.