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Open Skills Network: Building a more Equitable, Skills-driven Labor Market

During this discussion, leaders from the Open Skills Network explored ways to build a more equitable, skills-driven labor market and the future of skills-based education and hiring while sharing examples from the field.

Badgr Team

October 21, 2020


This event was co-hosted by Matt Gee, CEO of Brighthive and Marni Baker-Stein, Provost and CAO at Western Governors University during the ASU+GSV summit and was recorded on September 30th, 2020.

The Open Skills Network: Building a more Equitable, Skills-driven Labor Market

During this discussion, leaders from the Open Skills Network explored ways to build a more equitable, skills-driven labor market and the future of skills-based education and hiring while sharing examples from the field.



Highlights from the panelists:

On: Developing skills-based tools for job seekers and employers

“We want to make sure that what our learners are talking about matches up with what employers are looking for.” - Kelly Ryan Bailey, Director of Open Skills at Emsi (link to clip)


On: Motivating and inspiring learners and employers to embrace a skills-based approach

“Our customers use our platform in different ways to solve different problems, so we have to have the talent to go along with that. So we’re taking this approach where we want to inspire people with their skills-based profile - that’s their compass and here are the maps to their success.” - Phil Kormarny, VP of Innovations at Salesforce (link to clip)


On: Shifting the focus from traditional proxies of to skills-based profiles

“We need better opportunities to award credit where credit is due.” - Kacey Thorne, Director of Skills Architecture at Western Governors University (link to clip)


On: The role of skills-based profiles that lead to reskilling and upskilling opportunities for workers and employers

“We spend an enormous amount of time validating and retraining people who may already have the skills we need. We just don’t know it because there’s no way to track these skills or understand them. Being skills-based will allow us to identify who has what skills, not waste time retaining, and connect our team members with opportunities.” - Andy Trainor, VP of Walmart U.S. Learning (link to clip)


On: The role of equity our ability to create connections between learning experiences and opportunities

“Part of where inequality lies is where we have disconnection, from a higher education and learner perspective, disconnection can often happen at the disconnection between how we talk about learning, how we talk about our courses, and how the world of work talks about jobs and the skills that are needed.” - Constance Yowell, Executive VP at Southern New Hampshire University (link to clip)


On: Addressing the problem of inclusion and semantics through the use of rich skills descriptors and open standards

“We take this general idea of plugging something in, and we turn it into something well-defined enough that we can build interoperable tools around it.” - Wayne Skipper, CEO and Founder of Concentric Sky (creators of Badgr) (link to clip)


On: The creation and application of learning and employment records

“It’s not science fiction; it’s something that’s eminently achievable with the emerging data structure.” - Jason Tyszko, VP at the Center for Education and Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (link to clip)


Watch the Recording