Shaping the Future: How Learning Helps Us Embrace Unprecedented Change

March 2024

AHRI is proud to partner with Melbourne Business School to present this joint perspective on the future of learning.

This report, supported by AHRI’s Future of Work Advisory Panel, offers actionable insights for HR and learning professionals navigating a rapidly changing external environment, ever-changing workplaces and fast-moving technological advancements. With a focus on five key themes, this report aims to empower HR and learning professionals to align learning with their strategic objectives, ensuring that it contributes meaningfully to both individual development and business outcomes.

Executive Summary

The future has arrived. Just about every organisation that demonstrated resilience, a capacity to upskill or reskill rapidly and a readiness to change during several years of pandemic hoped to move into a quieter, more stable period as the emergency ended and life returned to “normal”.

And yet, the pandemic’s passing has been supplanted by unprecedented advances in technology, including AI, plunging us into a rollercoaster ride of possibility, excitement, hype and fear.

From an organisational skill and learning perspective, keeping up with technological advances and translating new trends into capabilities and learning methods has become a complex challenge.

Learning professionals are juggling the demands of almost impossibly rapid shifts in skill and capability needed for new and unchartered areas, while maintaining the requisite training rhythms to remain compliance-safe organisations – all at a time when budgets are under pressure as many organisations adjust to economic uncertainty and reduced discretionary spending by consumers.

Such complex and competing demands can be confusing and paralysing.

The purpose of this report is to cut through this complexity and confusion to show what is changing in the world of learning and the role of the learning professional.

The report provides a window into how experts in the future of work and learning are making sense of rapid change. It offers practical insights for embracing change and adapting learning practices in your organisation.

Instead of waiting for external forces to dictate the future, the contributors suggest how to sculpt it.

Our report highlights that learning, both as a solution and as a profession, is undergoing rapid evolution, influenced by the changing landscape and technological advancements. Learners, learning professionals and businesses have an active role to play in adapting and evolving to these shifts.

Key Insights


Learning has become disconnected from its context, purpose and value


It is time to define the diverse ‘learning customer’


Learning is an organisation’s sensing mechanism


Learning methods are becoming dynamic and community driven


AI augments learning and learning practices

For media enquiries, please contact:

Julie McNamara
Media Specialist, Mahlab
[email protected]
0419 595 688