Infrastructure Inversion: Building Bridges to a New Learning Economy

Concurrent Session 6 & 7 (combined)
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

What if educators, students, employers, and technologies could fluidly translate value and information without sacrificing privacy or proprietary value? Learning Economy (a protocol, not a company) is building the bridges needed to realize this future reality. Come see why education is the new gold standard.

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Sponsored By


Taylor Kendal is an educator, writer, designer, improviser, community developer, techno-philosopher and the Chief Program Officer at Learning Economy. His work with the U.S. Dept. of Education, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Library of Congress, MSU Denver, and CU Denver has led him to a lifelong love for education, innovation, design, and the cultivation of decentralized, future-focused networks. He holds an MA in Information Learning Technologies from CU Denver and has 20 years of experience in project/event management, digital/social strategy, instructional/LX design, culture-crafting, improvising, and systems-level hacking of post-secondary education. Taylor is currently focused on Web 3.0, digital ethics, bridging cultures of entrepreneurship and education, infusing agility and intellectual honesty into bureaucracy, learning from/traveling to distant lands (virtually and physically), exploring the future of education on blockchains, and occasionally writing to help make sense of it all. | @taykendesign |

Extended Abstract


Education is a mountain. Everyone takes a different path to the top. Learning Economy (LE) is an exciting new open infrastructure-layer protocol that leverages blockchain (i.e. Learning Ledgers) and machine learning (ML) to quantify soft and hard skills, helping to measure which courses, content, and experiences ultimately lead to soft/hard skills, workplace advancement, and local/global impact and value. Join us for an interactive exploration of this new protocol and learn how you and/or your organization can participate in this global distributed effort. Does this just sound like buzzword soup? Check out the Learning Economy Novella for a deeper dive into the writing and research behind this exciting new initiative gaining global traction.


  • Sept 2018: Protocol Announced at United Nations
  • Nov 2018: Protocol Featured as G20 Cover Story
  • Jan 2019: Announced Pilots & Steering at Davos
  • April 2019: Regulation Research at Harvard Kennedy School
  • May 2019: Equity Research at Claremont McKenna
  • June 2019: G20 Coverage on Regulation Study
  • Sept 2019: Publish Whitepaper at UNGA
  • Nov 2019: Publicly Launch Protocol at WISE
  • Jan 2020: Initial Innovation Lab Cohorts Begin
  • Jan 2020: Announce Partner Nodes at Davos

Working Allies

  • Government
    • U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, etc.
  • Forums
    • Salzburg Global Seminar, Group of Nations (G7/G20), GTS, etc.
  • Enterprise
    • IBM, Salesforce, Microsoft, Edx, T3, Credential Engine, etc.
  • Non-Profit
    • WISE, Qatar Foundation, United Africa, Educate Lanka, Lumina, etc.

Research Questions

Can we quantify the value of education? What are the unintended consequences and opportunities?
  2. NEW TECHNOLOGIES—What roles do distributed ledgers and machine learning play in mapping individual units of learning to measure hard skills, soft skills, workplace advancement, and stakeholder impact?
  3. DATA PRIVACYCan a decentralized graph of stakeholders, in education and work, share and transfer data in a public blockchain marketplace without sacrificing the value of private data or student privacy? 
  4. STUDENT EQUITY GAPS—Can a market be built on top of the education and workplace ecosystem, and if so, could this solve student equity gaps as well as incentivize students to learn, stakeholders to create value, and educators and schools to make impact?
  5. SUSTAINABILITY—Can a national learning economy become a scalable, replicable, and self-sustaining model for capturing the creation and flow of value in education and work for the lifetime of a student? 
  6. MEASURE HUMAN CAPITAL INVESTMENT—Can a pipeline of data along the entire supply chain of education (from academia to assessment to the workplace and government) be used to solve skills gaps and benchmark human capital investments for impact?

Participant Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this workshop, attendees will be able to:

  1. Describe the Learning Economy protocol
  2. Discuss the value of nascent Web 3.0 technologies and open protocols in the context of online education
  3. Identify local/regional use-cases and opportunities
  4. Develop a strategy/plan for involvement/participation given local/regional/institutional constraints and considerations

Intended Audience

Given the breadth of stakeholders involved in the LE protocol, this workshop would be appropriate for all audiences. That said, infrastructure-level administrators and change-agents are likely to benefit most given their capacity to affect systems-level change within a government/state agency or organization (university, library, school district, etc.).


After a brief presentation to help establish a shared technical/conceptual baseline and group-wide alignment, participants will join one of four working groups:

  • School Node — Ideate on the tracking of student learning
  • Assessment Node — Ideate on the tracking of hard & soft skills
  • Work Node — Ideate on the tracking of workforce advancement
  • Identity Node — Ideate on governance, Identity (SSI), and equity

Through the perspective of a specific stakeholder group, participants will collaboratively ideate and create action plans within the context of their own organizational reality. Time for discussion will be provided in order to create an ecosystem-wide framework for discussing and implementing the LE protocol.

Proposed Agenda

10 min -- Welcome / Intros

30 min -- Learning Economy Overview and Protocol

30 min -- Interactive Work Groups (School, Assessment, Work, Identity)

10 min -- Discussion and Action Steps

10 min -- Q&A

Unique Takeaways

  • Narrated deck for asynchronous use
  • LE Innovation Lab overview & implementation roadmap
  • LE network access (60+ advisors from 20+ industries)

Materials Needed


  • Internet connectivity
  • Projection/Screen


  • An open mind and willingness to affect change
  • Laptop preferred but not required