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Digital City

Dec 8th, 2023Ryan Evans

The Future of Professional Learning is Here and it’s Called Bedrock

Enterprises increasingly share the same challenges, rooted in their global interests. From the armed services to the Fortune 500, everyone is grappling with cyber-security, emerging technologies, supply chain risk, and major disruptive events like wars and terrorist attacks.

Take, for example, all the enterprises affected by Russia’s grain blockade of Ukraine earlier in the war: everyone from McDonalds to the U.S. Navy, from John Deere to Maersk, from Microsoft to the United Nations. The professionals who staff these enterprises ought to be learning about such events and how they affect their bottom lines and missions collaboratively.

Where can professionals turn to keep pace? For all the world-eating that software has been doing over the last generation, options for sustained, life-long professional learning remain shockingly underwhelming and ineffective. Surveying the landscape, all available solutions are siloed, poorly designed, and hopelessly dated. And they are all missing one of the core aspects of education in the real world: a social setting.

This yawning chasm in lifelong learning came into view for me during my experience running War on the Rocks, the world’s premiere outlet on strategy, defense, and foreign affairs. So, I decided to try to do my part to fill it with my co-founder and friend, Rick Batka.

Why doesn’t a solution already exist? It’s not out of a lack of resources and vision. After all, some of the most important companies in the world staked their claims to this space.

Google, for example, promised “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” But what’s the use of information if it’s unreliable? If there’s too much of it to make sense of it? If we don’t understand where it came from? If it is untrustworthy? If search is enslaved to advertising?

Meta promises to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” But what if its algorithms are optimized for revenue in such a way that destroys community and closeness? That creates cognitive fragmentation? That spreads distrust throughout the world?

As another example, LinkedIn promised to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. But how do we know when connections truly translate into productivity or success? Is that what replicating the features of influencer-driven social media products is meant to accomplish? And isn’t it just as important to link and then measure the success of the connected professional and the enterprise?

These companies and others have no solid answers to these questions, and their business models don’t encourage them to find the answers. So, we looked to other examples of companies that created something that has stayed true to the original vision and problem. On his insight to create his famous terminal, Mike Bloomberg wrote:

It was obvious the economy was changing and services were taking a bigger share of the gross domestic product … . I would start a company that would help financial organizations. There were better traders and salespeople. There were better managers and computer experts. But nobody had more knowledge of the securities and investment industries and how technology could help them.

Rick and I started Bedrock with the same sort of insight in order to pick up where the tech giants left off — where they left a void or lost their way. Our mission is to provide high-quality, high-quantity trusted knowledge to enable enterprises and professionals to learn, think, decide, and act — and to do so together. No one has more knowledge of the substance of the challenges faced by enterprises with global interests and how technology can help them than we do at Bedrock.

The Engine of Career-Long Learning

Bedrock accomplishes its mission through its eponymous enterprise SaaS social network — the first such network that is focused on learning, especially social learning, and that serves the interests and solves the problems of both the professional and the enterprise. Whether you are a military service, a major corporation, a state or local government entity, or a hedge fund, or really any organization with global concerns and interests, Bedrock can build knowledge and learning throughout your workforce to lead to more success and better anticipate dangers and risk. Our learners will come from all walks of life and all career levels, from novices to late career leaders.

Bedrock is a powerful marriage of cutting-edge technology, learning engineering, and expertise-driven content. We offer an ever-growing library of courses, “serious” games and scenarios, and open/gray-source intelligence streams, all of which are designed to be collaboratively engaged. Professionals, whose work touches on the same issues but who otherwise might never meet, are afforded the opportunity through Bedrock to learn with and from each other, creating powerful network effects and high-value data that can be productized responsibly while safeguarding user privacy and customer equities. Further, Bedrock is not a political project and does not exist to promote or protect any political idea. All of Bedrock’s learning experiences are designed — first and foremost — to teach people how to think, not what to think.

All our courses, games, and intelligence streams are optimized for the 5- to 20-minute gaps we all have in our schedules — whether during a morning commute, at the gym, walking the dog, between tasks, while tidying up, or on a road-trip. Wherever there is an Internet connection, the user can be a high-performance learner thanks to Bedrock.

This is best-in-class learning in the stream of life.

Enterprises gain detailed analytics about their workforce that are designed to inform human capital strategies, talent retention, promotion decisions, and more. In order to protect the interests of the customer, enterprises own all learner data generated by their users and can choose from a sliding scale of privacy options and user-restrictions to safeguard proprietary information, know-how, and personally identifiable information.

Further, the enterprise can assign learning campaigns either on an organization-wide level or tailored to specific groups and teams. Along with the user’s own interests, these inputs form learning paths, driven by an AI-powered recommendation engine akin to what drives user choices on products like Netflix.

Bedrock’s learning content is generated by an unparalleled network of experts, drawn in large part from War on the Rocks. Indeed, Bedrock is a spin-off of War on the Rocks. Bedrock’s content generation and management is not only driven by expertise, it is also co-created and enhanced by AI. We are proceeding quickly along our roadmap, building AI features for virtual tutors, intelligence products, game generation, and gameplay.

Shared Solutions for Shared Problems at Scale

As I mentioned earlier, most major organizations share the same problems. They can learn about how to prepare for them and solve them in Bedrock. Moreover, with Bedrock, this high-quality and high-quantity learning is available at scale, sold at a reasonable price per seat, throughout an enterprise — not just for high performers or executives. From deep understanding of world-changing trends to meaningful and “sticky” compliance training, Bedrock does it all.

Our team has approached building this vision, product, and company with patience, persistence, and perspiration. We know Bedrock is not a solution in search of a problem. It is the future.

The status quo is not working. Solutions that enterprises currently employ are expensive, generally inefficient, and often unreliable. Learning experiences are disconnected; progress is unrecorded; the competencies of one’s workforce remain opaque; learning content is highly variable in terms of quality and reliability; siloes reign; and data does not translate into learning, knowledge, or wisdom.

Bedrock will transform all of this, powering career-long learning.

This is a solution for all organizations, across the public-private sector divide. It is where all of them, all the organizations that matter and their teams, will learn, think, decide, and act together, creating a more prosperous and secure world.

We will offer more thoughts on all these matters in future blog posts, so please stick with us. You can sign up for our newsletter below.

Key Takeaways

  • Enterprises across the public-private sector divide increasingly share the same challenges.
  • Life-long professional learning remains shockingly underwhelming and ineffective.
  • Software products haven’t kept pace with customer needs, even though some of the most important companies in the world staked their claims to this space.
  • Our mission at Bedrock is to provide high-quality, high-quantity trusted knowledge to enable enterprises and professionals to learn, think, decide, and act — and to do so together.
  • Bedrock offers a SaaS social network — the first that is focused on learning, especially social learning, and that serves the interests and solves the problems of both the professional and the enterprise.
  • Learners get access to courses, games, and intelligence streams, all of which are meant to be consumed collaboratively.
  • Enterprises get novel analytics to inform a variety of pressing human capital challenges and opportunities.