How to Write a Brilliant Creative Brief workshop lives up to its name
Learning new skills is a great investment, but how do you know which classes are worth your time? The Connect2Classes team are helping you figure it out by trying out workshops from their top course providers themselves and seeing who earns their stamp of approval.
First up was Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts (SVC), an industry-leader in delivering classes taught by working professionals in marketing, branding, design and content creation.
Michael Duarte-Pedrosa, VP of Sales at Connect2Classes, recently participated in the How to Write a Brilliant Creative Brief workshop at SVC. If you work with any creative team, learning how to develop a quality creative brief is an indispensable skill. It helps define the problem and create the framework to solve it.
“SVC provided an intimate class of nine students made up of designers and marketers from the Seattle area. The experience was as brilliant as the course title would suggest,” said Michael.
“This particular course was led by Hillary Miller, a VP from a Seattle-based advertising firm. Her delivery was playful and the course content was practical,” Michael shared. “We all left with real world examples, along with simple tips and tricks to developing a great creative brief.”
“Hillary made her lessons relatable. She suggested that we approach each brief from the ‘right altitude’. It’s like reading with aging eyes — one needs to hold the passage at the correct distance allowing your eyes to focus on the letters and words,” Michael learned.
“If you or your organization have not used creative briefs previously or have lost sight of why you should, this workshop will equip you with the tools and motivation to do so.”
SVC has created an exceptional learning environment with a beautiful facility, a responsive administrative team, and professional guest instructors — all evidenced by the exceptional student reviews and enrollment in multiple courses.
Watch for our full series of Connect2Classes tested courses in the coming months.
About Connect2Classes — We are a marketplace for professional and life enriching classes, workshops, and learning immersives — connecting voracious learners with the best local expertise. In Seattle, Online, and San Francisco!
Dedicating five hours a week to learning creates space for innovation
What is the secret to success used by successful entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Oprah Winfrey? It’s a system of constant learning called the ‘5-Hour Rule’. Its proponents commit to five hours per week to learning new things. The reason? Lifelong learning boosts creativity and prevents status quo thinking from becoming a routine that stifles innovation and enjoyment.
Benjamin Franklin is said to have followed a similar pattern – he woke up early to read and write, set personal growth goals and tracked the results, and also created a community of like-minded artisans and tradespeople who hoped to improve themselves while they also improved their communities.
Champion martial artist Josh Waitzkin also applies the 5-hour rule to his practice. He says ‘”I have built a life around having empty space for the development of my ideas for the creative process. And for the cultivation of a physiological state which is receptive enough to tune in very, very deeply to people I work with … In the creative process, it’s so easy to drive for efficiency and take for granted the really subtle internal work that it takes to play on that razor’s edge.”
CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, has said that lifelong learning is something that defines him as a leader. “I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things.”
How can you benefit from making the same commitment to lifelong learning? Connect2Classes makes it easy with an extensive catalog of learning experiences and life skills training that can benefit your life including cooking and baking, DIY and home improvement, visual and performing arts, and more.
Parenting the Love and Logic Way is a course that gives students proven techniques, exercises, and tips that help kids become more responsible while the whole family has more fun.
Starting a New Business will help jump-start any new business.Generate cash faster and avoid common pitfalls. Start with the right legal, insurance, and accounting knowledge. Learn how to finance your product or service, identify key customers and develop a strong marketing platform.
If you are serious about pursuing an education in wine, Mastering the Art of Wine Tasting is the most important wine class you can take. It is a thorough grounding in the skills necessary to taste wines like a professional.
Master Classes in Leadership and Management, Process Improvement, Design and Creative, Strategic and Online Marketing, and Technology — Team Building Events From Local Master Talent, Too!
Connect2Classes is a local learning marketplace with master classes from our world-class providers, including The American Management Association, The Effectiveness Institute, The School of Visual Concepts, General Assembly, The UW Foster School of Business, The Sundust Oracle Institute, and The Project Management Academy.
We also offer custom, onsite training and learning events for groups, as well as team building activities from local master talent. We can organize all of the details, including venue and catering, or we can bring it all to you onsite. Our learning consultants can discuss your business objectives with you and offer the perfect mix of learning and motivation to prepare you for the future by transforming your organization’s knowledge, cohesion, and practices.
Team building and corporate events don’t have to be awkward and uncomfortable. If you want to be happy, learn something new; if you want your work team to gel, learn something new together. We guarantee it won’t feel like a day in the office!
Here are some ideas: Sushi, French cuisine, chocolate everything, paddleboarding, perfecting your batting average, over 21 activities like wine tasting, mixing cocktails, and brewing.
Contact us for more information or to brainstorm your learning and team-building needs!
About Connect2Classes — We are a marketplace for professional and life enriching classes, workshops, and learning immersives — connecting voracious learners with the best local expertise. In Seattle, Online, and San Francisco!
Everyone Can Benefit From Being Current and Savvy About New Technologies, Business Practices, and Other Learning Trends
Technological change demands stronger and more continuous connections between education and employment. –Andrew Palmer, The Economist
As technology advances, it’s no longer enough to rely solely on formal education and college degrees when seeking employment. We need to be learning all the time as we adapt to changing conditions in our jobs, careers, and business markets.
The Economist recently published an article on the importance of lifelong learning in the modern age. The industrial revolution has been replaced by the information revolution and the knowledge economy, and jobs are changing: the jobs of the future will be less repetitive, more centered around technological innovation, more creative, more challenging — and more rewarding.
So how can we prepare for these changes in how we work? The answer is lifelong learning, which continues over the course of a person’s entire career.
“A college degree at the start of a working career does not answer the need for the continuous acquisition of new skills, especially as career spans are lengthening,” says The Economist. “Vocational training is good at giving people job-specific skills, but those, too, will need to be updated over and over again during a career lasting decades.”
Understanding the importance of continuous learning is essential to success. And the younger you are, the more obvious it is. Those who rely heavily on the Internet are learning all the time — they’ve developed the key skill of learning to learn. Even in the age of Internet, though, there’s still a place for classes, workshops and bootcamps that boost learning to new heights. Companies now spend less money on training and professional development, so it’s important for employees to have their own continuous learning strategies.
“According to the Pew survey, 54% of all working Americans think it will be essential to develop new skills throughout their working lives; among adults under 30 the number goes up to 61%,” The Economist tells us. “Another survey, conducted by Manpower in 2016, found that 93% of millennials were willing to spend their own money on further training.”
Connect2Classes wants you to find success in learning and in your career. We offer thousands of classes to help you boost your skills, keep your knowledge up-to-date and stay afloat in a competitive workforce. Regardless of your field, skills like software knowledge, social media know-how and graphic design are incredibly useful. And life skills like project management, team leadership and conflict resolution are critical to any successful career.
It’s time to get ready for the future with Connect2Classes and our wide array of online and in-person classes in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area. Start your lifelong learning now, and invest in your career.
About Connect2Classes — We are a marketplace for professional and life enriching classes, workshops, and learning immersives — connecting voracious learners with the best local expertise. In Seattle, Online, and soon in San Francisco!
Seattle Businesses Are Reinventing Team Training and Building
In a thriving economy like Seattle, businesses know they need cultivate strong teams in order to maintain their competitive edge. As baseball player Babe Ruth famously said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”
In an age when standard professional development options can seem a bit too cookie-cutter and focused on individual learning, businesses now have the option of working with local educational providers to design the perfect learning and bonding experience. Connect2Classes is leading the way with a flexible approach to group professional development and amazing team building activities.
Connect2Classes CEO Dallas Jasper commented on why building custom class offerings has become one of their most requested services: “At Connect2Classes we’ve been champions of experiential earning for a long time. We have literally hundreds of world-class instructors available to us on any topic you can imagine. Does staff require technical or marketing training or other professional skills development? Or are they committed to regular team building events or fostering creativity? Any business can request a tailor-made learning experience that is relevant to their specific industry and needs.”
One local real estate company contacted Connect2Classes to organize an onsite software training for their employees that would be relevant to their industry. A local school organized a Moms and Sons chocolate making event and picnic dinner for Mother’s Day. Another company decided to encourage team bonding over soap making. Yet another local business hired a chef instructor to run team-building culinary games during a very special cocktail party.
The Washington Department of Labor and Industry also took advantage of custom training for their staff. Crystal Hensen, Services Development Core Team Manager, says “We were in need of some Java training and found Connect2Classes offered a class in Seattle for a decent price. It became evident quickly that the number of staff we needed to take this training was increasing, so I called Connect2Classes who helped us get the training we needed delivered locally instead! We were provided with different instructor options to choose from that allowed us to select the best instructor for what we needed, and all of the instructors met the qualifications we needed, and they also offered different scheduling options for meeting our needs.”
Do you have a team that could learn to gel better? Professional level courses in communication, people skills, conflict navigation, and other essential practices help everyone develop their team-working savvy. If developing creativity and innovation thinking are your goals, Connect2Classes also works with instructors from the creative industries who are expert at guiding teams through the creative process.
Team building and morale events also get a boost from this creative approach. Groups can request cooking classes such as sushi making, cupcakes, French cuisine, and chocolate creations. Outdoor activities like paddle boarding, hiking, and perfecting your batting average. Also on offer are over-21 events like wine tasting, mixing cocktails, brewing, and adult beverages plus art or photography. Creative businesses can opt for glass blowing, metal working, or woodworking.
What do your teams need to learn and love to do? Just let Connect2Classes know and they can suggest the perfect training or event, onsite or off.
With the rapid pace of technological and societal change, it is no longer sufficient to rely purely on formal education and college degrees when seeking employment. We all need to be learning all the time as we adapt to changing conditions in the job, career, and business markets. The Economist just published an article on this topic.
Technological change demands stronger and more continuous connections between education and employment. – The Economist
Many people are concerned about the advancement of robotics and automation that appears to be replacing jobs, especially in the manufacturing space. But the industrial revolution has now been replaced by the information revolution and the knowledge economy. As such, jobs of the future will change and many new opportunities will arise. Jobs will be less repetitive, centered around technology innovation, more creative, and more challenging and rewarding.
So how do you prepare for this sea-change? The answer is lifelong learning, which continues over the course of a person’s entire career. Keeping up with professional and technology trends will help light the way towards the learning that is most important in the new economy.
A college degree at the start of a working career does not answer the need for the continuous acquisition of new skills, especially as career spans are lengthening. Vocational training is good at giving people job-specific skills, but those, too, will need to be updated over and over again during a career lasting decades. – The Economist
Many successful people understand how important it is to be continuously learning. The younger you are, the more obvious it is. Those who rely heavily on the Internet are learning all the time. A key skill they develop is learning to learn, but there is still a place for classes, workshops, and bootcamps that will boost your learning to new heights. Unfortunately, companies now spend less money on training and professional development, so it is important for employees to have their own continuous learning strategies.
According to the Pew survey, 54% of all working Americans think it will be essential to develop new skills throughout their working lives; among adults under 30 the number goes up to 61%. Another survey, conducted by Manpower in 2016, found that 93% of millennials were willing to spend their own money on further training. – The Economist
We are so passionate about helping our learners succeed and offer thousands of classes. both in-person and online. It doesn’t take much time or money to boost your skills to make you more competitive. You just need to have a strategy for ensuring that your knowledge and skills are always up-to-date. Even if you aren’t in a technical job, technical skills like software and social media help everyone. Creative skills like graphic design and photography are also useful in a variety of jobs. Skills like project management, team leadership, and conflict resolution are critical to anyone’s success.
Vocational training is one way to get yourself into the job market quickly. 4-year degrees and even certificate programs take a lot more time than is needed to learn the skills necessary for particular jobs, like culinary professionals, creatives, and software development or data science. Even then, a commitment to continue learning is how you will rise to the top. What is really important is what you know how to do and how you can express those abilities through a portfolio of work.
Vocational training has a role, but training someone early to do one thing all their lives is not the answer to lifelong learning. – The Economist
It’s time to re-think our approaches to career training and professional development. College is very, very expensive, but it is possible to learn critical skills and build a portfolio of work in a short time taking individual classes targeted at your career goals. Maybe you want to start your own business, in fact, which is another trend that is really taking off.
So, are you ready for the future? At Connect2Classes, we offer a wide array of online and in-person classes to prepare you for all of the most exciting jobs of the future.
When we give others the gift of experience, especially transformational experiences, we give them so much more than any physical gift. We give them opportunities to fuel their passions, get inspired and motivated, and we can even set them on a path towards ever greater learning and success in life.
Why do experiences matter?
Our brains are hard-wired for memories that are tied to experiences that stir up our emotions. The Harvard Business Review’s Elements of Value Pyramid illustrates how people perceive the benefits of products and services that are available to them. There are several elements that demonstrate the allure of novel and life-changing experiences. The emotional and life-changing layers are indicative of personal change associated with experiences that truly resonate. Such resonance is the magnetism that keeps people coming back with the hope of re-creating pleasurable experiences that have stuck in their memories.
We have identified 30 “elements of value”—fundamental attributes in their most essential and discrete forms. These elements fall into four categories: functional, emotional, life changing, and social impact. – Harvard Business Review
Creating Emotional Connections and Lifelong Memories
This sort of emotional engagement works in a variety of ways, and is so powerful when it comes to learning new things!
What is delight really about? Surprise. Novelty. Wonder. The unexpected. Deviating from business as usual and injecting awe, a visceral emotion reaction, into the learning journey. Novelty and surprise fuel the pleasure-seeking reward centers of our brain, which is exactly the opposite of evoking a stress response due to poor product or service experience. The brain chemicals matter when it comes to making memories. These are also the sorts of experiences that people are prone to share, and to ask people to join in on.
How do memories develop and stick with us? And how does that impact learning? It’s about responding to latent human needs for novelty and surprise, the cornerstones of delight.
The experiences we remember are defined by change. Our stories are made up of experiences that are new, novel and those that have greater significance. We actually don’t choose between experiences, we choose between memories of experiences. And even when we think about the future, we don’t think of our future normally as experiences. We think of our future as anticipated memories. –Daniel Kahneman
There are certain things that we are so passionate about, especially things that we know are aspects of the recipe for creating happier people and a safer, more joyous world. One of those things is a learning mindset as part of culture, which leads to an educated and productive populace. In our modern, wired world, however, we need to re-think learning. Instead of being a formal activity we commit to or are committed to (like kids) in life, a lifelong education mind-set should include our own ongoing processes of learning and personal evolution.
Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. ― Socrates
The most important skill in our self-service, information-rich, world is learning to learn, also dubbed meta-cognition. Once someone perfects this skill there are nearly unlimited options for personal development, as well as a persistent urge to continue to expand one’s repertoire. It’s why traditional education models are forced to evolve while understanding that the role of the teacher or instructor is as important as ever. In fact, The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) says that we are going to need 69 million new teachers in order to meet their global education and learning goals.
But this isn’t business-as-usual education or training. Why fill a head with so much stuff when so many of us have access to all the world’s knowledge in the palms of our hands? This is a huge opportunity in the making, but it doesn’t completely obviate the need for more formal and hands-on instruction. The goal of education should be creating lifelong learners and helping learners understand how to take advantage of all the learning possibilities at their disposal. This means making available a wide array of options that allow learners to pursue a lifelong path of learning.
Every person, at every stage of their life should have lifelong learning opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to fulfill their aspirations and contribute to their societies. – UNESCO
Learning new things not only makes us more successful, it also makes us happier. It’s also known to forestall conditions like dementia and even Alzheimer’s. Keeping the mind active while learning new things and exploring one’s passions is the key to a healthy brain. It also keeps life fun and connects us with like-minded people who share our passions!
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. ― Henry Ford
It can be helpful to think about things you would like to improve upon, given specific personal or professional goals, even the things that seem out of reach. Digging into casual interests can also spark lifelong passions and give us the skills we need to comfortably explore new realms in life and work. Make a commitment to try something new each month!
We used to think that human brains are vessels to be filled with things they need to know. But we all know that lecture-based teaching often puts learners to sleep! Thankfully, there has been a renaissance in learning in recent years. For example, project-based learning is now of major interest for both kid and adult learning. Learning, it turns out, is an individual effort that relies on a person’s passion to learn new things. Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience.
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. – Benjamin Franklin
We must be involved and engaged to truly learn, and if you want to learn new things, or want to help a loved one learn, knowing how we learn best will help. It can also help people discover how much they love to learn and create, which as we know, makes us all happier!
What fuels our passion?
Learning happens naturally when the subject matter is something we’re intrigued by. Know someone who loves home improvement shows? Gift them a woodworking or remodelling class!
How do we learn best?
Some of us thrive while reading or writing, but many of us are visual or kinesthetic (learning by doing) learners. Young learners, in particular, can struggle in school where they need to sit still, so show them how much they love to learn with a class or workshop tailored to their interests.
How do we learn tangible skills like cooking, arts, crafts, or DIY?
There has long been a tradition of teaming masters like chefs and artists with apprentices to learn their craft. Many of us need to watch skilled practitioners and learn skills and tips step-by-step.
How do we remember what we learn?
While we might immediately forget a chapter we read in a how-to book or even the content of a video, hands-on learning experiences allow us to learn while getting feedback from experts.
What can we learn that will make a difference to our lives?
Improving career and business skills, as well as life skills like relationships, benefits us enormously. It’s so important to stay current, even if it involves learning about something we’ve never heard of!
We’d love for you to give the gift of experience this holiday season! Gift certificates are available! Great gifts for far-flung loved ones, or even for a class you can take together! One of our grandmothers decided on sushi-making classes for her 12-year old grandson – what can you choose to wow those you love?
With technology advancing so rapidly, we know that the next 10-20 years will be full of changes to how people work. This means changes, as well, in how people educate themselves and how they find work. For one thing, the rapid advancement in technology will reach exponential proportions and along with it, the changes needed in the workforce.
Increasing automation is also looming on the horizon, but what it means is that some types of jobs will wane. Over the long term, technological innovation creates more new jobs than are lost through obsolescence. And some industries will continue to thrive, including healthcare and retail.
Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum reported that humanity would be out 7 million jobs by 2020 due to automation—with admin and office jobs taking the brunt of the blow. – Monster.com
We are also coming upon a new era of human potential, with robotics, human augmentation, space travel, virtual reality, holography, self-driving cars, and sustainability/permaculture innovations creating entirely new industries. It’s the stuff of our futuristic dreams, and you can be involved.
The best way to predict the future is to invent it. – Alan Kay
A lot of new career choices are also emerging, some of which would have seemed inconceivable just a couple of decades ago. So, how best to prepare for this shifting career terrain? For one thing, becoming a lifelong learner keeps you current, and that keeps you competitive.
Free agent culture thrives in the film, media, and music industries and is beginning to spill over into the other creative and tech industries. With many freelance marketplaces available, professionals can gravitate towards project-based work. It’s not for everyone, but if flexibility and novelty drive you, becoming a free agent can be a great lifestyle choice. It also means that if you have several unique skillsets, you can work on projects in a variety of roles.
Free agents are:
Graphic designers and illustrators
Digital and traditional artists
Film and video crews
Bloggers and podcasters
Web and application developers
Writers and journalists
Teachers and instructional designers
Speakers and coaches
Special needs and occupational therapists
Entrepreneurs and Small Business
Becoming an entrepreneur has never been easier, given the technology, fund-raising, and marketing tools now widely available. Even if you are just in the idea or prototype phase, crowd-funding your endeavor is a real possibility. How do you know if your idea will appeal to modern consumers? Novelty, life enrichment, efficiency, and convenience are major drivers.
Food-based businesses – artisanal food products, food delivery services, special diets, and health & wellness.
3D printing – buildings, household items, organs, and even food!
Robotics and artificial intelligence – robots for manufacturing, caretaking, and dangerous jobs. AI and machine learning for better prediction and personalization.
Renewable energy and sustainability – solar, wind, and green building practices.
Urban, hydroponic, and vertical farming.
Cannabis businesses – growing, distribution, equipment, and edibles.
Online sellers – handmade items or small manufacturers selling through sites like Amazon and Etsy.
Lifelong learning providers – for in person and online learning.
Bio-medical devices – health and wellness monitoring and tracking, body augmentation.
Space exploration, mining, and tourism.
Citizen journalism, social activism, and education.
Jobs of the Future
How do you prepare for jobs that don’t exist yet? With more exciting developments on the horizon, the jobs of the future will spring out of today’s innovations in bio-tech, climate adaptation, personal care, and a wide array of technological innovations. Future jobs will require more complex and specialized skills; things that robots and automation aren’t great for.
It’s going to take a long time for robots to be good at soft skills, like social and emotional intelligence and cross-cultural competency. – Fast Company