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ATD NYC VIRTUAL Learning Lab & Networking Event: Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zones

  • 04/01/2020
  • 5:45 PM - 8:00 PM
  • VIRTUAL via Zoom!
  • 69


  • ATD NYC Member in good standing.
  • Non-member of ATD NYC. You can have this event fee credited to your ATD NYC membership if you join within the next two weeks. Email contact@atdnyc.org to take advantage of this offer.
  • Sponsor discount for Pfizer employees.

Registration is closed

ATD NYC VIRTUAL Learning Lab and Networking Event: Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zones

The ATD NYC Learning Lab is a safe space where talent professionals can experiment, practice and take risks. A place to try out new and innovative tools and techniques for helping people learn and grow. It is a no-judgement zone for learning and innovation.

This event is part of the programming for the ATD NYC Special Interest Groups. 

For this Learning Lab we are mixing things up a bit and going virtual! You can submit in advance to facilitate a virtual activity of up to a half hour or you can add your name to a sign up sheet during the session to do a 5-10 minute virtual experiment (first come; first served). Challenge yourself to try leading something virtually that you've always done in person. This is a safe space to try these things out! 

Part of this session will be spent on an activity to help you identify which learning "experiments" you are most interested in doing or seeing someone else do at next Learning Lab on Thursday, May 28, 2020. We will be putting together a few teams to build learning experiements from scratch to do at the May learning lab session. 


When it comes to talent development practices, many of us stick to the tried and true because, let’s face it, when you're in front of key decision makers, it is not the time to experiment with untested approaches. We may be making our clients happy but are we pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone? Is there something amazing that we’re not trying because we can’t risk failure?

Before Chris Rock hosted the Oscars he dropped into several local comedy clubs to test out his material and work on his timing. What if talent professionals could do the same thing? Imagine a place with a live audience of learners that would give you real time feedback on new things you’re trying out, so you get a chance to practice and refine your work before presenting it to your clients in “prime time.”

Well, look no further. The ATD NYC Learning Lab is that place.

The ATD NYC Learning Lab: a safe space where talent professionals can practice and take risks. A place to try out new and innovative tools and techniques for helping people learn and grow. Some of these experiments may be a hit. Some may completely bomb. But that’s okay. We can learn just as much from the failures as from the successes. This is a no-judgement zone for learning and innovation.


Most Learning Labs feature 2-3 individuals from among those who register who will lead/facilitate short 15-30-minute stand-alone hands-on “experiments” followed by feedback from the group. This session will be virtual and allows you the option of volunteering to facilitate something in the moment instead of having to submit in advance.  

The first half hour of this Learning Lab will be a virtual networking activity. 


5:45-6:00 pm     Tech setup/networking/Learning Lab “open mic” sign-up 
6:00-6:30 pm     5-10 minute virtual learning experiments & icebreakers
6:30-7:15 pm     Hands-on virtual Assertiveness and Radical Candor activity 
7:15-8:00 pm     Lab Partners activity: Experiments for the Next Learning Lab

There will be a few 5-10-minute breaks built in as well!


  • A safe space to try out new techniques, models, and strategies for learning and developing others
  • A testing ground that can simulate a client environment
  • Real time feedback from a community of peers

what's in it for those who attend without leading/facilitating

  • Exposure to what new learning techniques you’ve heard about look like in practice.
  • An opportunity to learn from other talent professionals through hands-on experience.
  • Network with other talent professionals in the context of a learning experience


Learning Lab experiments should be interactive and hands-on for participants. Don’t simply show the group something and ask for feedback. Your experiment must require one or more participants present to do something. For example:

Malcolm is intrigued by a new coaching model but is concerned it has potential dangers as well as benefits. He decides to try it out with a few people at the Learning Lab (with others acting as observers) to get feedback and some more insight on what he thinks of the model.

Ash wants to use virtual breakout rooms in a webinar session they’re designing but has never used this tool before and is afraid it won’t work as anticipated. Ash brings the virtual breakout activity to try out at the Learning Lab.

Preeta is trying to move away from using PowerPoint as a crutch in the training she designs and delivers and wants to challenge herself to deliver a training “sans slides,” using only interactive activities. She decides to use the Learning Lab as a safe space to practice and build more confidence in working this way.

Quinn has been asked to design a full-length training on a process that she feels probably only needs a good performance support resource. She designs a job aid for the process and brings it to the Learning Lab to test if her resource is sufficient for getting participants through the process.


First register for the event. If you want to facilitate something longer than 5-10 minutes, use this Google Form submission. If you want to lead a short activity for up to 10 minutes, you can sign up during the session.

The deadline for submitting to lead/facilitate a longer activity is Friday, March 27, 2020.

Proposal Criteria

Make sure the experiment you are proposing:

  • Is virtual
  • Is “hands-on” and interactive – participants must do something
  • Can be done in 30 minutes or less
  • Is something you've never done before that takes you out of your comfort zone!


    Those who submit the proposal form and meet the above criteria will be accepted for the available slots on a first-come, first-served basis with ATD NYC members taking priority over non-members.


    Just register here to attend and be prepared to participate in and provide feedback on a variety of hands-on learning experiments.


    ATD NYC Members:  $0

    Non-Members:          $15

    Sponsor Employees: $0


    24 hours before session start time

    Cancellation Policy: Cancellations submitted more than 48 hours prior can be refunded. Email contact@atdnyc.org to cancel and request a refund


    Virtual via Zoom!

    event contacts:

    ATD NYC Special Interest Groups

    Gabrielle BaymeVice President, SIGs, gabrielle.bayme@atdnyc.org
    Kate Gerasimova, Assistant Vice President, SIGs, kate.gerasimova@atdnyc.org

    Telephone: 212.479.7397
    Email: contact@atdnyc.org

    Chapter Incentive Program (ChIP) code for td.org store purchases: CH1026

    ATD NYC Chapter
    105 W 86th Street #347
    New York, NY  10024-3444

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