Visionaries Podcast

Future of the Education and Knowledge Economy with Darren Winterford

Darren Winterford

What is the future of the education and knowledge economy?

Today, Darren and Dallin explore the vision for micro and machine-based learning to make information available to more people and countries around the world.

Darren Winterford, CEO and founder of EdApp, has extensive experience building mobile apps and pushing the boundaries of innovation. As a pioneer in the microlearning space, EdApp's teams, led by Darren, are established in Sydney, London, Manila, and New York.

Today, the EdApp platform has a wide reach, where around 50,000 lessons are completed every day in over 90 countries around the world.

With the current focus on the democratization of learning, EdApp, together with the United Nations, have launched Educate All: An initiative to increase access to free, high-quality and impactful education around the world.

Darren is a well-rounded speaker and thought leader. He has been asked to speak at many events, including the L&D and Innovation Tech Fest conference which resulted in EdApp winning the Most Innovative award.

Today's Guest

Darren Winterford

Darren Winterford, CEO and founder of EdApp, has extensive experience building mobile apps and pushing the boundaries of innovation. As a pioneer in the microlearning space, EdApp's teams, led by Darren, are established in Sydney, London, Manila, and New York.

Today, the EdApp platform has a wide reach, where around 50,000 lessons are completed every day in over 90 countries around the world.

With the current focus on the democratization of learning, EdApp, together with the United Nations, have launched Educate All: An initiative to increase access to free, high-quality and impactful education around the world.

Darren is a well-rounded speaker and thought leader. He has been asked to speak at many events, including the L&D and Innovation Tech Fest conference which resulted in EdApp winning the Most Innovative award.

Transcript

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Welcome to visionaries where we
explore stories, strategies and

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insights from the world's most
inspiring entrepreneurs, brands

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and creators. Were on a mission
to help visionaries like you

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stand out and monetize their
knowledge, influence and message

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online. Exploring topics like
business marketing, creativity,

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and personal development. Let's
build your vision for a happier,

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more meaningful life, business
and community together.

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Today, we are talking with
Darren winter Ford, he is the

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CEO and founder of Ed app. And
he has extensive experience

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building mobile apps and pushing
the boundaries of innovation. As

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a pioneer in the micro learning
space at apps teams led by

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Darren are established, and
Cindy London, Manila, in New

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York. Today, the app platform
has a wide reach where around

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50,000 lessons are completed
every single day in over 90

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countries around the world. And
Darren is all about

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democratizing education and
learning, and making it

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accessible to countries, people
and workplaces all around the

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world. So today, join Deron and
I as we explore how you can use

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ad app in your own visionary
business. Darren, it's so good

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to have you on the show. Yeah,
thanks

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very much. Thanks

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for having me. Well, for those
who are getting introduced to

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you, tell us a little bit more
about what you do, what your

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businesses app, and all things
going on for you.

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So it up is a mobile based LMS.
You know, in really simple

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terms, it's a tool that is
deployed by teams looking to,

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you know, level up, and be able
to, you know, be trained, and

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usually within a workforce
situation predominantly. And,

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and yeah, as I suggested, it's
really a way for teams around

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the world, you know, to receive
their workplace learning in bite

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sized chunks of micro learning.
So think about us as the the

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tweeter of the of the learning
world. In the workforce, it's

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small, digestible chunks of
learning, you know, three or

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four minutes long delivered at a
higher frequency than your

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traditional e learning model.
You know,

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I think this is so powerful. And
that's why I wanted to talk to

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you more about this is a lot of
those watching or listening. A

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lot of you sell online courses
or consulting products, where

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your businesses are maybe not as
enterprise level or you know,

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those those who you need that
big LMS. And it's interesting,

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because I came from a massive
Corporation where we had

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versions of that, I'll call it
archaic, it wasn't super robust,

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or especially like nowadays,
we'd much prefer to consume,

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right, like you're doing in
micro bite sized pieces of

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content, which I think is a lot
more powerful, and versus

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watching a mandatory 60 minute
training in the middle of your

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work day. And, and so something
that I find, like, you know, for

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for the audience we're speaking
to and those who are all about

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selling their knowledge and
delivering a learning type

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material and content to their
audience, how can app possibly

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benefit them? Whether they're in
a small to midsize business?

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Yeah, we call it that, that
phenomenon of the old, archaic,

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you know, it's what we realized
was, you know, in people's

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workplaces or professional
lives, you know, it's like

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Flintstones, when it comes to
engaging with learning material,

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and then they walk out the door,
and it's the Jetsons, and

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they're on Instagram, Facebook,
tick tock with these beautiful,

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you know, user experiences. And
so really, our mission was to,

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first of all, not only
democratize learning and make it

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more accessible, which I'll talk
about, but the second thing is

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to just make it a modern and
engaging experience for the, for

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the audience, for the learner.
And we had a look around, like

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you, we've all been exposed,
everyone in my team has been

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exposed to those 90 or 60
minute, you know, learning

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intervals that we're all forced
to do. And again, it goes

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straight over your head, it's in
one ear and out the other, as

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they say. And we really started
to think about well, okay, you

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know, that the smartphone really
changed the workplace in, you

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know, the lights, you know,
probably 2016 and, and beyond

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as, bring your own device became
something standard in the

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workplace. And we began to see
the ability for, you know, the,

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I guess, Business Solutions
really being something

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legitimate on a smartphone. And
so, the way I would talk about

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edip, if, as a content creator,
is essentially you know, we have

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a no code offering tool that
again, going back to

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democratizing learning, it's
very easy to use. It's free

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accessible. And we realize that
we, if we could combine that

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with delivery, that goes out to
a smartphone, again, where it's

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very different to what the rest
of the industry really does,

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which is this traditional kind
of SCORM file that, you know,

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you slave over, you upload that
to the LMS of a client, for

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example. And then you know, that
sort of feedback loop is

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completely broken, the LMS
receives all the analytics, the

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content off is left in the dark,
and they don't know how well

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it's done, you know, there were
areas that people struggled

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with. And that's what we found
was was really broken. And so

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with, with our product that we
put together, there's no code

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offering tool, this ability
deleted straight out to a

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smartphone, and guide the author
into how to make it these small,

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bite size digestible pieces. And
use gamification which is

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embedded into the platform,
enable them if they want to be

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able to sell courseware quite
easily using a payment gateway,

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and they can you know, stripe or
whatever it is that can help

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them whatever their payment
gateway provider of choice is,

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and then be able to provide
actually a learning intervention

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for you know, clients or team
members, that is a highly

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engaging one and might talk to
them using push notifications,

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and, and those kinds of things,
to be able to engage with an

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audience, let's say for, you
know, four times a fortnight

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versus, you know, 116 minute
intervention. And what we've

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found is that is that in doing
that, not only is it much more

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accessible, it's a hopefully a
pleasure to use that app. But

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also, it's actually better for
the, for the learner. And I say

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that it's not just more
engaging, and people, you know,

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are much more likely to want to
complete the content. But also,

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it's like, those intervals, you
talked about the 90 minutes, if

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we compare it to a gym, going to
the gym once a week for 90

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minutes, and you know, busting
your gut versus going three

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times for 20 minutes, you know,
and doing, you know, arguably

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less time, but going at a
shorter interval, you'll have a

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much greater impact, and your
brain works exactly the same

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way. And so it's not only a
fantastic user experience on the

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smartphone, but it's actually,
you know, it's much more

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memorable, and it's better for
the learner as well. So key

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concepts that are being
explored, we can actually get

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that to resonate much better
with a learner delivered out on

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an app and, you know, primarily
smartphone delivery, than the

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traditional methods that are out
there at the moment.

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I think that's so powerful too,
because, you know, as as much

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with my own personal journey,
but also adapting to the

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innovations of today and the
attention span. A lot of times,

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you don't really get any, any
wins or actual items. Or it's

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just, it's overwhelming. And so
to me, the bite sized pieces of

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content are huge, to adapt. And
you're the first platform by the

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way that I've heard, that
focuses on educating people

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about this new way of doing
things.

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Yeah, and we really spend a lot
of time with, you know, there

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are 1000s of people, obviously,
using the platform as content

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creators. And we spend a lot of
time talking about the trust

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between the author and the and
the learner. And if, you know,

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it's sort of a mask, that when
you open up the app, you see how

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many minutes, you know, this
lesson is actually going to

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take. And we talked about
building the trust with the

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learner that if I get a
notification that, okay, there's

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something new available, that
the minute used that sort of

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breaking that trust, and I open
it up, and it says this takes 35

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minutes to complete, you're
going to end up like the rest of

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the learning community being
pushed to the, you know, you

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know, the stiring of the inbox,
or that, yeah, I'll get to this

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later, or flag that that gets
moved to one side. And once that

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behavior starts, you know, we
all know it's one of those, one

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of those interventions, it's
going to happen on the 31st day

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of the of the month, right? It's
that job, and I need to make

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sure I do that. And so we do
talk about the trust between the

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author and the learner that
look, these are really small

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interventions. So exactly as you
said, you can do it while you're

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waiting for the subway while
you're waiting for the bus. You

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can do it in that downtime
you've got, you know, waiting

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for your Tinder date to show up,
you know that that's the type of

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the time we're looking at here
to try and be able to put these

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little micro learning moments
throughout a learner's week.

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That will result in a much
better engagement rate and much

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better results, then, yeah,
look, you're going to have to

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try and find 35 minutes for this
at some stage in your week.

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Well, yeah, we all know, that's
the easiest thing to push aside.

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Yeah, definitely. What one thing
I'm thinking of use cases to

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where obviously from a For side,
you have the standard trainings

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around maybe harassment or
workplace culture, you know,

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things like that, that are
standard to especially larger

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corporations. But, you know,
from a learning management

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perspective, would you say that
in there are like internal

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training specific to certain
roles and departments and

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functions that accompany Yeah,

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yeah, we see the use case, you
know, I can tell, you know, we

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can sit here for half an hour
and talk about the amazing

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things that we some teams doing
with it. But yeah, just to get

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an idea on what because it's,
it's, you know, it's so easy to

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author content, it enables
anyone that as an author, to be

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able to really segment and
target lessons very, very

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easily, because it's, it's so
quick to put them together. And

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so what you'll find is, if I, if
I start at the largest

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enterprise, we see, you know,
Global Automakers, we have

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clients that would have saved
more than 30,000 staff using the

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platform, and they'll be using
it, you know, every month. But

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if we drop down to even even
team sizes of of a dozen, where

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you've got passionate advocates
for learning, and it might be

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product knowledge, it might be
how to sell it might be How to

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Get home safely, it might be you
know, installing solar panels on

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a roof, or it might be
leadership principles, we can,

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because we've now got this
unprecedented ability to author

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very easily, that content flows
much more rapidly, and

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therefore, authors also, because
they need less time, are

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actually able to put in better
content and more specialized

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content for smaller teams. And
so rather than taking the

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generic approach, that's
probably, you know, really

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affected the industry where
people say, Okay, well, I've

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only got a dozen people in my
leadership team or, you know, I

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won't punch up cause for 20
people that I'm going to sell

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this to, rather than taking
something generic, like a

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LinkedIn learning or something
that's, let's say, in a more of

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an easy buy, that I can buy for
a few dollars a month, I can

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structure it out and push it Am
I sort of job's done. Our tool

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really enables you to give them
something much more specific,

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therefore something much more
relevant and find much more

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engaging. And we don't need to
go that no generic route, you

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know, any more for even smaller
teams. And so that means we've

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opened up and as I said, you
know, we're really democratized

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access to learning and it's not
just now in an enterprise that

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have 30,000 staff, we now see
teams of all sizes. And, and,

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you know, the most amazing uses
for the platform. One example

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would be the United Nations use
app. And they use it in war torn

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parts of the world, Afghanistan,
raw parts of northern Africa,

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and they are able to use it even
if they've got cohorts of 30 or

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40 people that they are trying
to be you know, changemakers

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within their societies. app is
that tool that enables them to

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deliver to those smaller cohorts
because again, the author and

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can be specialized and highly
specific to those groups of

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people. But they will also use
it to train up 1000s of people

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that they move through programs
every year around you know,

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Women's Entrepreneurship or you
know, emerging from war torn

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society, you know, fundamental
human rights, there's a great

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number of topics that they
educate on. And, and that's I

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think one of the most successful
things about the platform is its

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accessibility, which enables
highly targeted content, which

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then enables more engagement and
you know, people to hopefully

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fall in love with it with
learning again.

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Yeah, yeah. And, and I love
that, that mission and what you

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just said at the end, too, as
far as falling in love with

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learning again, because, you
know, our access to knowledge is

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is not lacking now and you know,
especially now with how much the

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Internet has really expanded
access information. But I think

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it's it's like you've mentioned
the targeted information. United

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Nations covers a broad range,
I'm sure of topics and resources

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that are needed for education,
but then you can get more micro

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and more focused. And one thing
that's that I love too, is that

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you talked about the
customization or as far as like

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payment portals, and setups that
you know, even those who are

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whether using it for internal
training, for external training,

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for even product selling in its
own way, right, that digital or

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knowledge based product, there
are opportunities across the

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board that adapt can apply. And
I think there's a lot of power

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in that. Yeah,

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yeah. Especially, you know,
obviously the growth during

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COVID of, you know, small
consultants looking at to where

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they want to deliver, they've
traditionally delivered face to

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face, or they've traditionally
delivered in some sort of hybrid

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model. And now going to, okay, I
need to continue to be able to

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train external parties, I need
to be able to sell my, my IP

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and, you know, to, to these
audiences around the world and

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deliver it in an engaging way.
So as a small consultant, you

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know, yeah. And up to a really
affordable edit plan, be able to

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put that content together, and
then deliver that out behind a

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payment gateway at scale, and
enrich those audiences. There's

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also a way for even for, we have
what's called a public content

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library, which anyone can
access, I think there's about

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800 courses in there, and
they're all absolutely free. And

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we've seen small consultants
also, who, you know, don't want

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to, let's say, you know,
giveaway that the majority of

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what's great about their
programs, but they're looking to

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try and put out into the
marketplace a taste of what they

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offer, and our public library
can can enable them to do that.

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Yeah, that's so good. You know,
one thing I'm thinking about

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Darren to is how the knowledge
base industry, whether again,

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whatever the size of business,
you're in, how that's continuing

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to grow, and really stretch in
all parts of the world. What do

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you see, as far as like, what's
coming next, and what's gonna be

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working in the future in the
knowledge economy?

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I think, quite honestly, we're
looking to, and I think what

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we're all going to see is more
and more assistance with content

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creation coming from, you know,
machine learning and AI, there

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is so much fantastic subject
matter experts that we meet

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daily, either either in small
organizations, or perhaps

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consultants that are, again,
approaching teams and businesses

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out there with, you know, how
they can help as consultants.

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And I do think that content
creation we're talking about is

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still even a no code offering
tool, it's very simple. And we

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can see what he's already that
we can even save content,

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writers and authors even more
time to be able to get that

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material into a format that's
easily digestible by learners.

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And I think we've started with,
we use a form of AI for language

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translation, to be able to have
people author in English and

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then translate out into 150
languages. But I think that's

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really good. I think that's
really the tip of the iceberg

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where we're going to see and,
you know, what we need to be at

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a place very quickly, is to be
able to extract, you know, that

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subject matter from someone,
whether that's an expert or a

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consultant, and be able to have
that, you know, very, very

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quickly put out into, you know,
a format that an individual

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learner finds that that's, you
know, the way I want to consume

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that, and that is the best
format and delivered at the

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right time of day and delivered
in the right format to me, and I

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think that's where we're going
to get is very, you know, first

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of all the content being super
efficiently put together. And

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then the actual learning being,
you know, if you like,

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customized on the fly to, in
delivery to make sure that, you

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know, it's got the best possible
chance of, of engagement and

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retention.

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Yeah, I love that kind of
vision, too. Because, I mean,

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that's something I've been
turned on to just through

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different partners and
connections I have is this idea

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of, of AI. And that, yeah, you
know, that there's, there's

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parts that for their civil
future, I think human

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involvement is definitely
necessary in certain aspects.

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But a lot of the ability to
spread a message and get that

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out there in different formats
can be highly automated. And

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that machine learning, as you
mentioned, can definitely pull a

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lot of these messages out from
different resources. Because,

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you know, it may be you know,
the app provides one direct

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solution and direct access for
the sharing of content. But then

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that content could be, you know,
repurposed elsewhere for access

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to new audio, new or similar
audiences. And so, divisions

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cool. Yeah.

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00:19:28,710 --> 00:19:32,610
Yeah. And also just, we use a
theory called spaced repetition,

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which we really are looking for,
you know, for audiences to

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retain what they've, what
they've covered. We have an

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algorithm based on SM two that
will space out the key concepts.

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And so again, a few minutes a
day, very simple to think about

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00:19:50,400 --> 00:19:53,400
it very similar to like learning
a language where you're able to

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00:19:53,400 --> 00:19:56,520
just top up make sure that you
can recall those key concepts or

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keep them top of mind and I
think there as well, some of

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work there is pretty advanced,
but I'm sure it's an area that

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we're pushing our teams to keep
thinking about the AI models and

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and what models do we have now
that we could be thinking about

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that would help ensure that in
high performance teams, we can

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keep those key concepts Top of
Mind and easily recalled whether

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00:20:18,630 --> 00:20:22,740
they work in, you know, sales on
the shop floor? You know, out

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00:20:22,740 --> 00:20:27,150
there, out there in the
manufacturing facilities? Or if

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you're in the United Nations,
you're a field worker out in

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northern Somalia, how can we,
how can we make those kinds of

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00:20:33,780 --> 00:20:37,650
changes be super impactful to,
to those learners lives?

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00:20:38,160 --> 00:20:42,450
Yeah, well, and the power of
just language translation that

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00:20:42,450 --> 00:20:45,930
you referenced in that, that a
lot of that can be automated, is

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huge. I mean, I know that, you
know, whether is that or, you

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00:20:49,560 --> 00:20:53,280
know, a, I guess a cousin to
that is ADA, or, you know,

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audio, visual, and disability,
disability and compliance,

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00:20:57,390 --> 00:21:01,200
things like that, for those who
are hard of hearing, or hard of

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sight. And just the access to a
variety of flavors, so to speak.

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And access to this kind of
content, is just going to allow

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it fit into different formats,
let alone like I find a lot of a

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00:21:17,190 --> 00:21:21,030
lot of software's or solutions
out there. Don't make it very

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easy to get an app or mobile
access. A lot of it is very

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00:21:25,020 --> 00:21:29,130
desktop friendly. But yeah, the
translation of that to something

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00:21:29,130 --> 00:21:32,220
as simple as clicking on one of
your apps on your phone, which

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00:21:32,250 --> 00:21:35,880
is one of the easiest way to get
access to people overall.

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00:21:35,910 --> 00:21:38,370
Because they're all like, that's
the one computer they always

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00:21:38,370 --> 00:21:42,390
have on them is their phone. And
so yeah, that's that's a

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00:21:42,390 --> 00:21:43,380
powerful piece. And,

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00:21:44,430 --> 00:21:46,860
yeah, we've got a lot of work to
make sure that works in low

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00:21:46,860 --> 00:21:49,830
signal areas, you can you can
even take your learning in

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00:21:49,830 --> 00:21:54,630
offline mode, once you've been
connected to a network. We do

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00:21:54,630 --> 00:21:58,680
lots and lots of work on on
making sure that everything's

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00:21:58,680 --> 00:22:01,770
accessible, you know, in parts
of the developing world,

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00:22:01,770 --> 00:22:06,810
frankly, that, yeah, so it's a
great experience and accessible

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00:22:06,810 --> 00:22:08,850
for as many people on the planet
as possible.

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00:22:09,569 --> 00:22:11,729
Yeah, definitely. Well, well,
Darren, one thing I'm curious

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00:22:11,729 --> 00:22:15,239
about is for those who are
wanting to have like a great

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00:22:15,239 --> 00:22:19,739
introduction and beyond this
show, to add app and to what

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00:22:19,739 --> 00:22:24,149
you're up to in your your team,
what's the best the next place

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00:22:24,269 --> 00:22:26,099
for them to go to To learn more,

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00:22:26,490 --> 00:22:32,580
you can jump onto an app.com and
have a look, it's all it's a

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00:22:32,580 --> 00:22:36,090
freemium product. So you know,
there's no credit cards or

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00:22:36,090 --> 00:22:39,390
anything like that required, you
can run it up completely for

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00:22:39,390 --> 00:22:44,220
free in teams of almost any
size. And yeah, that's a really

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00:22:44,220 --> 00:22:48,270
great place to get started. And,
and yeah, have a have a look

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00:22:48,270 --> 00:22:52,410
around. We've got a multitude
of, you know, YouTube and, and

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00:22:52,710 --> 00:22:55,350
content actually on an app
itself that shows you how to be

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00:22:55,350 --> 00:22:59,400
a fantastic author. There's lots
of case studies on those who are

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00:22:59,400 --> 00:23:01,470
currently using it and what
they're using it for. And

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00:23:01,470 --> 00:23:03,390
they'll be a whole host of
ideas. I'm sure there for your

360
00:23:03,390 --> 00:23:06,930
audience to be able to get a
sense whether or not it's

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00:23:06,930 --> 00:23:08,220
something that might be suitable
for them.

362
00:23:08,819 --> 00:23:13,319
Yeah, definitely. Well, this has
been so valuable. Darren, I'm

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00:23:13,319 --> 00:23:17,669
excited for a platform like this
because to me, there's not many

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00:23:17,699 --> 00:23:20,429
like unique solutions like this
out there that really

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00:23:20,429 --> 00:23:25,109
democratize the access to
education, and a more modern

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00:23:25,109 --> 00:23:29,669
sense versus archaic data that
much, I guess, so I appreciate

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00:23:29,669 --> 00:23:31,499
your time and look pretty
connected more.

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00:23:31,950 --> 00:23:33,450
Awesome. Good on you. Thanks
very much.

YOUR HOST

Dallin Nead

Dallin believes in putting family and God first.

He's the Chief Vision Officer of Content Supply, Advisor to multiple startups, serial entrepreneur and an award-winning producer.

He helps brands create authentic, results-driven media so they can share their message and vision with the world.

He helps brands clarify, create, and communicate their vision for a happier, more meaningful life, business, and community.

He consults with small and large companies including Princess Cruises, U.S. Marine Corp, Teachable and many others.

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