How beautiful it is to learn. And learn well.

To contribute to the world through applying new consciousness.

And on 10/10/2020 @TEDCountdown, a free live-streamed global event is challenging us to do that.

A worldwide initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. To turn ideas into action.

“More than 50 speakers feature in five curated sessions that combine TED’s signature blend of actionable and research-backed ideas, cutting-edge science, and moments of wonder and inspiration”.

It will be a virtual feast! So how to MAxIMISE it (without getting indigestion)?

Adult learning

As adults it is useful to remind ourselves how we learn. Kolb (1984) recognised we mainly learn by experience.  And for it to be embedded, we need to reflect on that experience. Make sense of it and then apply the new learnings. And continue the cycle.

And Honey and Mumford (1982) offered that we may have different learning styles depending on our preferences:

  • Activist: doing and experiencing
  • Reflector: observing and reflecting
  • Theorist: understanding underlying reasons, concepts, relationships
  • Pragmatist: problem solving, testing

We become more agile and effective from engaging in all 4 domains of the learning cycle and becoming skilled in all 4 styles.

Mindful virtual learning agility

Yeganeh and Kolb (2012) recognised we can so easily over-routinise our learning styles. Which means we can get stuck in particular ways of acting and reflecting. Of conceptualising and experimenting. This is often exacerbated in the virtual learning setting with its potential distractions.  And of course, it is even more challenging when it is one-way, presentation types however engaging TED is and will be.

As always, what we learn very much depends on one’s ability to stay present. This big event is therefore the perfect environment for us to practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness which is about being aware and attentive can help us be more intentional in our learning. This in turns makes us more effective and creative.

To break free from our routines and liberate our minds, we can as virtual learners, therefore do the following:

  • Activists: Remind ourselves to come back to our breath. We focus on a new touch, sound, sight or smell. So that our mind re-sets and switches off autopilot.
  • Reflectors: We practice sitting with our thoughts and feelings. Rather than acting on them. We practice acceptance rather than judgement.
  • Theorists: We challenge our assumptions. And consider other peoples’ perspectives. We embrace shades of grey rather than black and white thinking.
  • Pragmatists: We practice novel questioning. And shift the conversation by asking questions of ourselves and others, and generate We experiment with ideas and people in ways that we don’t normally do.

Relish this wonderful opportunity. And see how your learning agility can contribute to collective positive change.


  • Kolb, David(1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.  
  • Honey, P & Mumford, A, (1982). The Manual of Learning Styles. Maidenhead, UK, Peter Honey Publications  
  • Honey, P & Mumford, A, (1983). Using Your Learning Styles. Maidenhead, UK, Peter Honey Publications 
  • Yeganeh, B. & Kolb, D. (2009), “Mindfulness and Experiential Learning, OD Practitioner, Vol. 41, No. 3, pp.13-18 
  • A version of this was also gifted to
  • Photo by Rocco Stoppoloni on Unsplash


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