David Blake

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World’s Foremost Expert on the Future of Credentials, Skills, and the Workforce; Leading Authority on Future-Proofing Companies and Their Employees; Co-Founder & Executive Director, Degreed; Co-Founder, Vice.Run; Co-Author, “The Expertise Economy” (2018)

Biography

Technological change is driving demand for new skills, but are companies doing enough to cultivate the workforce they need? David Blake, education entrepreneur and expert on the future of work, says businesses help perpetuate an outdated model of education by evaluating job applicants on college degrees and other credentials rather than showing a demonstrable ability to learn, adapt and innovate. Co-founder and executive chairman of the digital learning platform Degreed, and co-author with Kelly Palmer of “The Expertise Economy: How the Smartest Companies Use Learning to Engage, Compete, and Succeed” (Nicholas Brealey, September 2018), Blake has developed a framework for companies and employees to track and measure valuable skills that employers seek. Blake is on a mission to future-proof our workforce and companies, help the world speak the language of skills instead of college degrees, and use learning to enable everyone to fulfill their personal goals.

Blake is a sought-after expert on the topics of the future of work and learning, speaking at companies such as Google, Deloitte and Salesforce, and at conferences globally. Millions of individuals and hundreds of organizations use Degreed’s platform to identify and then fill the gaps in their learning and skill sets. Clients include many of the Fortune 1000 and global equivalents, spanning Boeing, General Mills, Unilever, Bank of America, MasterCard, eBay, Airbnb, Cisco and Intel, among many others. Degreed enables its clients to map the skills required for every job in their organization and the learning resources to develop them, as well as to measure and certify the skills of every employee. Degreed does this in a universal way, giving employees ownership of their skill profiles and enabling a model of lifelong learning. Every company in the network has a common language for skills and learning, and the employees’ record of skills travels with them to their next job.

Blake and Palmer also created the Skills Quotient, a practical, non-proprietary framework that every company can use to compare the job skills required to the skills possessed by individuals and teams across the entire company. It elevates the practice of talent and skills measurement, from the middle of the organization to the C-Suite, providing every CEO with a way to confirm the skills within their organization and track progress with accountability.

Recently, Blake co-founded Vice.Run, a platform that offers new thinking and solutions for electing American vice presidents. Prior to Degreed, Blake helped launch a competency-based, accredited university and was a founding team member of university-admissions startup Zinch (acquired by NASDQ: CHGG). Blake was selected as a Top EdTech Entrepreneur by the Stanford d.School EdTech Lab, an award sponsored by Teach For America and NewSchools Venture Fund.

David Blake is available for paid speaking engagements including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks, and advisory/consulting services through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Media

Washington Post logo

Presidential Candidates Shouldn't Pick the Vice President. Voters Should.

May 29, 2019

New Effort Launches to Democratically Elect the Vice President in 2020

May 5, 2019

Wall Street Journal logo

Tech Executive Charts Old and New Path Toward Vice Presidency ($)

May 4, 2019

CNBC logo

Tech Exec Pits $1 Million Into Campaign to Elect Vice Presidents Differently

May 3, 2019

Why Skills Are the Currency of the Future of Work

April 16, 2019

Speaking the Language of Skills (Audio)

February 5, 2019

Learn How to Learn

December, 2018

Inquirer logo

Out With the Old, In With the New

November 19, 2018

These 4 Myths About the Skills Gap Will Hold Your Company Back

November 9, 2018

Harvard Business Review logo

How to Help Your Employees Learn From Each Other

November 8, 2018

Leverage a Culture of Learning as Your Competitive Advantage

October 30, 2018

How Business Can Partner With Higher Ed to Prepare the Future Workforce

October 26, 2018

Workplace Learning Is Central To Closing Skills Gap

October 12, 2018

Book Review: The Expertise Economy

October 4, 2018

Are You a Power Manager or a Control Manager? Here's How to Tell

September 21, 2018

Inc

Smart Leaders Are Continuously Learning. Here's How to Get in the Habit

September 20, 2018

Are You Ready For Prime Time? Reinvent How You Learn

September 18, 2018

Is Your Education Valued? Interview with David Blake of Degreed

September 11, 2018

Championing Lifelong Learning (Audio)

September 8, 2018

Financial Times logo

FT Business Books of the Month

September, 2018

Interview: Degreed's Cofounder and Executive Chairman on Jailbreaking the Degree

August 28, 2018

Intro Video

Video ThumbnailThe Data (Science) of Learning, The Real Economics of Expertise | David Blake at Degreed Lens 2017 - youtube Video

A-Z Name

Blake, David

Biography

Technological change is driving demand for new skills, but are companies doing enough to cultivate the workforce they need? David Blake, education entrepreneur and expert on the future of work, says businesses help perpetuate an outdated model of education by evaluating job applicants on college degrees and other credentials rather than showing a demonstrable ability to learn, adapt and innovate. Co-founder and executive chairman of the digital learning platform Degreed, and co-author with Kelly Palmer of “The Expertise Economy: How the Smartest Companies Use Learning to Engage, Compete, and Succeed” (Nicholas Brealey, September 2018), Blake has developed a framework for companies and employees to track and measure valuable skills that employers seek. Blake is on a mission to future-proof our workforce and companies, help the world speak the language of skills instead of college degrees, and use learning to enable everyone to fulfill their personal goals.

Blake is a sought-after expert on the topics of the future of work and learning, speaking at companies such as Google, Deloitte and Salesforce, and at conferences globally. Millions of individuals and hundreds of organizations use Degreed’s platform to identify and then fill the gaps in their learning and skill sets. Clients include many of the Fortune 1000 and global equivalents, spanning Boeing, General Mills, Unilever, Bank of America, MasterCard, eBay, Airbnb, Cisco and Intel, among many others. Degreed enables its clients to map the skills required for every job in their organization and the learning resources to develop them, as well as to measure and certify the skills of every employee. Degreed does this in a universal way, giving employees ownership of their skill profiles and enabling a model of lifelong learning. Every company in the network has a common language for skills and learning, and the employees’ record of skills travels with them to their next job.

Blake and Palmer also created the Skills Quotient, a practical, non-proprietary framework that every company can use to compare the job skills required to the skills possessed by individuals and teams across the entire company. It elevates the practice of talent and skills measurement, from the middle of the organization to the C-Suite, providing every CEO with a way to confirm the skills within their organization and track progress with accountability.

Recently, Blake co-founded Vice.Run, a platform that offers new thinking and solutions for electing American vice presidents. Prior to Degreed, Blake helped launch a competency-based, accredited university and was a founding team member of university-admissions startup Zinch (acquired by NASDQ: CHGG). Blake was selected as a Top EdTech Entrepreneur by the Stanford d.School EdTech Lab, an award sponsored by Teach For America and NewSchools Venture Fund.

David Blake is available for paid speaking engagements including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, conference talks, and advisory/consulting services through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

How to Compete in the Expertise Economy

The modern economy is in constant flux due to technological change, and so are the skills demanded of employees. The predominant system of education and training, however, still considers learning to be something that takes place between childhood and early adulthood – before rather than during one’s career. By placing value on college degrees and credentials more than on a demonstrated ability to think and act innovatively, businesses are both hiring the wrong kinds of people and failing to adequately upskill their employees over the course of their careers. Consequently, they are losing valuable talent and sacrificing their competitive edge. David Blake has developed a framework and digital platform that allows businesses to identify and map the skills they need from employees to reach their goals in different business areas. This radical breakthrough enables employees to market their skills to potential employers rather than just their credentials, and also allows companies to track the evolving competencies of their own staff. In this presentation, Blake explains how, in order to survive the future of work, companies need to develop new strategies that address their own skills gaps, gauge the aggregate sum of skills within their organizations and build the workforces of the future.

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Books & Research

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Recommendations

“David is an excellent speaker! He gave us a solid grasp of how the employment and learning markets intersect—and of the many anachronisms and dysfunctionalities in that relationship. At IFC, we invest in jobs-oriented private education across emerging markets and his insight was extremely valuable for us to find concrete ways to support lifelong learning. But David did far more than just ‘talk the talk’.  He also shared his hands-on experience as a pioneering leader in this space who works with global employers to put learning at the center of their growth agenda and enable them to identify the skills they need to remain competitive and flourish.”

– Juliana Guaqueta Ospina, Global Education, International Finance Corporation

“David Blake’s personality and passion comes through when he shares his vision for the future of learning. In just 20 minutes, David inspired a group of Zebra’s most senior leaders, by simply, but powerfully explaining through real world examples and moving data why a commitment to lifelong learning is the key to corporate success. David motivated attendees to take a fresh, thoughtful perspective on a misunderstood topic, which was has been the catalyst for Zebra’s competitive shift to culture that prioritizes learning.”

–Bethann Monzel, Director of Employee Learning, Zebra Technologies

David’s presentation was equal parts inspirational and provocative and changed the way I thought about skills and lifelong learning. He has deep expertise in formal and informal systems of learning, and this allowed him to transcend contexts and share relevant expertise on our specific questions. He has an optimistic vision for what learning could be, not just as it currently is. His presentation helped us to imagine new ways to serve learners, and to build bridges between academia and the workplace.  His own experiences as a successful founder allowed him to share tangible examples of how learning is being reinvented to be more relevant, accessible, and valuable for the future. ”

—Caryn Voskuil, Design for Learning, IDEO

Praise for The Expertise Economy

“Disruption in any industry is a process, not a one-time event. With so much change on the horizon, Kelly and David highlight the imperative firms have to harness learning to stay in the game.”

―Clayton Christensen, New York Times best-selling author, “The Innovators Dilemma”

“Everyone agrees that learning provides a competitive edge in an outsourced, automated economy. But what’s the essential next step? In The Expertise Economy, Kelly Palmer and David Blake make a persuasive case that companies play a huge role in shaping the future of learning. This excellent book offers practical and evidence-based insights that can help CEOs and other business leaders challenge the status quo.”

―Daniel H. Pink, author, “When” and “Drive”

“The opportunity to scale new learning curves at work is an intrinsic career value for an ever-increasing slice of the workforce, and an imperative for organizations who want to stay in the game, much less ahead of it. The Expertise Economy offers a framework for leaders to future-proof the skills of their people and organizations.”

―Whitney Johnson, Thinkers50 Leading Management Thinker, best-selling author, “Build an A-Team” and “Disrupt Yourself”

“Brilliant, timely and significant, this book blows the lid off the learning theories of the past!”

―Sean Covey, President, FranklinCovey Education

“The Expertise Economy makes clear the importance of skills in the corporate world. For most companies, understanding what skills your employees have, what skills they need, and their agility in learning new skills, will bring a competitive edge in the future.”

―Nancy Duarte, CEO Duarte Inc., best-selling author, “Resonate”

“Timely, clever, and useful insights on how learning enables individuals and organizations to flourish in a rapidly changing world. Anyone or any company seeking to learn how to learn will savor these insights and master these principles.”

―Dave Ulrich, Rensis Likert Professor, Ross School of Business, best-selling author

“The Expertise Economy is must-read for anyone who cares about the future of their workforce and organization.”

―Nick van Dam, PhD, McKinsey & Company Partner, Chief Learning Officer, Professor, University of Pennsylvania

“Learning has always been one of the secret weapons of the world’s highest performing companies. Kelly and David’s book unlocks this secret and is filled with advice on how to make learning a competitive advantage for any company.”

―Josh Bersin, Industry Analyst and Founder, Bersin by Deloitte

“The Expertise Economy shows how companies can use learning and skills as key differentiators to stay ahead of the competition and ultimately help close the widening skills gap.”

―Jaime Casap, Education Evangelist, Google

“The Expertise Economy is a unicorn among business books. It presents a human and business reason to address the skills gap in a holistic way with suggestions for how universities, companies and individuals can work together to prepare for the future workplace.”

―Jeanne Meister, Partner, Future Workplace, Co-author, “The 2020 Workplace and The Future Workplace Experience”

 

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