Social Learning and the Wisdom Café at UCB

Posted by Inette Dishler, senior talent and organizational consultant, UCB.  UC staff members need to continuously learn, grow, and develop to stay relevant and contribute in a rapidly changing environment. The way people learn has shifted dramatically from a passive “push” approach to a social learning “pull” approach.

With the push approach, the training department decides what people need to learn, develops the curriculum, and “pushes” it out in the form of training classes. Now with social learning, people constantly “pull” information and proactively learn from new technology, networks of colleagues, and widely available resources.

The Wisdom Café is a cutting-edge, social learning platform for curated content from internal and external experts on a variety of topics related to professional, career, management, and leadership development. Content comes in the form of blog posts, videos, case studies, and tool tips. In addition, there are regular features, including “Leader as Storyteller” videotaped interviews with campus leaders, staff “Career Stories,” “Spotlight” articles focusing on a variety of content on a specific topic, instant polls, and more. We have also expanded to social media with our Twitter hashtag #wisdomcafeucb, Instagram page @wisdomcafeucb, and YouTube channel.

The site takes advantage of the abundant expertise of our current staff by featuring community-generated content to support peer-to-peer learning. By tapping into our collective wisdom and shared knowledge, we begin to break down silos and encourage collaboration that helps everyone develop the skills and knowledge that Berkeley needs now and in the future, increasing our effectiveness in supporting the University’s academic mission.

We encourage staff to contribute content and visit regularly. We have a subscriber list (once you log onto the site with a Berkeley account you are automatically subscribed), and we will send periodic newsletters to the subscribers informing them about new content on the site. We also host Wisdom Café Live events, and plan to offer events like Pop-Ups featuring various topics and people to make the café both a virtual and a live space.

We hope all Berkeley staff use it as the “go-to” place for learning and development. Come and hang out at the Wisdom Café!

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