Raytheon Symposium 2015
Shaping the Future of Learning

September 24, 2015
London, UK
08:30 - 14:00

Bert De Coutere
Solutions Architect, Center for Creative Leadership (CCL)
Bert De Coutere’s professional life is all about competent people. He thinks, publishes, consults, designs and sets up learning and development projects for corporations. His areas of expertise include technology enhanced learning and leadership development.

Bert has been active in the field of corporate learning and e-learning for the last 12 years, first as instructor and course designer, later as project manager, consultant and business development manager. He worked at IBM Learning Development Europe where he was responsible for commercial e-learning development projects across Europe, and the management of the learning innovation initiatives. Recently he joined the Center for Creative Leadership as a solution architect, designing custom leadership development experiences. He worked with clients such as Maersk, FOD Financiën, Nationwide, La Poste, ING, Rhodia, PMI, European Union, Shell, etc.

Bert is currently Solutions Architect in the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) EMEA office. In his role he designs customized leadership interventions and programs for clients and bring these designs to fruition based on CCL’s solution architecture portfolio.

Bert holds a degree as Commercial Engineer in Information Management (KULeuven) and an Executive MBA title from the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School. Bert wrote the book 'Homo Competens – Let’s talk about competent people in the network age', frequently speaks at conferences and blogs at homocompetens.blogspot.com.


Jesper Lillelund
Partner & Co-Founder, CorporateLeaders
Jesper Lillelund has been engaged in building valuable business networks on the international scene for over 15 years. Jesper combines his in-depth industry knowledge, access to a wide network of business leaders, and market development skills focusing on making business transformation and corporate excellence part of the business agenda.

Prior to co-founding CorporateLeaders, Jesper was instrumental in building a leading independent business transformation association from an informal business community to a global player. He also served as the Marketing Director at The Wall Street Journal Europe where he was responsible for managing brand, direct and on-line marketing. In his career at the Journal Europe, Jesper was also responsible for developing new revenue generating businesses. This included launching The Wall Street Journal Europe’s conference operations starting with the highly sought after European CEO Summits to the regional Central European Economic Review conferences. Prior to the Journal Europe, Jesper held market analyst roles at MAN B&W Diesel and Danisco in Denmark.

Jesper holds an MBA in International Management from the University of Dallas and a BBA in Management and International Business from Baylor University in Texas.


Laura Overton
Managing Director, Towards Maturity
Laura Overton is the founder and Managing Director the Towards Maturity – a not for profit benchmark practice that provides independent research to help organisations deliver improved performance through learning innovation. Her work is based on 25+ years of practical experience in implementing technology enabled learning strategies for business advantage and is backed by her independent research.

Laura established the Towards Maturity Benchmark to provide organisations with independent evidence to influence positive change. Since 2003, 3,600 organisations have used the benchmark to help them establish an effective e-enabled learning culture in the workplace. Passionate about influencing change, the core research base is provided free of charge for all L&D professionals looking for independent evidence on which to base their decisions. She was also one of the first to research directly with learners in the workplace and runs the Towards Maturity Learning Landscape to help L&D understand how staff learn what they need for their jobs. To date over 15,000 learners have been involved in this research.

Laura is the author of ‘Linking Learning to Business’ – one of the first industry benchmark studies with both organisations and learners investigating good practices (Jan 04). This seminal work placed business results and alignment at the core of the L&D agenda and this has been at the heart of the research programme ever since. Since then she has authored over 35 independent reports and hundreds of articles sharing benchmarks and effective practices to drive L&D performance which are referenced around the globe. Laura is a respected industry expert and speaker, conducting workshops and stimulating debate around the globe.

Laura is an Academic Fellow of the CIPD and a fellow of the Learning and Performance Institute. She is on the steering board of Online Educa Berlin, the LPI and the L&D advisory board of the CIPD. In February 2010, she was the first woman to be awarded the LPI’s prestigious Colin Corder Award for services to training and was the recipient of the inaugural elearning age Special Achievement award at the 2012 elearning awards. In 2014 she was voted number 1 in the Top Ten’ most influential people in the corporate e-learning in the UK and in 2015 she retained the top position in the UK and was also voted 5 in the Global List and 6th in the European list.


Talat Riaz

Senior Training & Development Specialist, Raytheon Professional Services

Talat Riaz is a training and development specialist and lead programmer for RPS EMEA, With over 18 years of industry experience in training, facilitation, process analysis and courseware design and development for all training mediums, Talat is focused on developing best in class and innovative training solutions for RPS' international customers.

He is a qualified Raytheon Six Sigma Specialist, certified analyst and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner and is based in Milton Keynes.


Aushima Thakur
Senior Manager Communities of Practice, Philips Lighting

Dr. Aushima Thakur is a Senior Manager, Communities of Practice, at Philips Lighting where she helped launch and deploy successful learning communities across many teams. She has a wide experience in learning and has worked for Google with the Learning and Development team in the past. Presently her focus and keen interest is in Social Learning, Communities of Practice and KM in organizations. Aushima has an MBA from Erasmus University in General Management and also holds a Doctorate degree in Linguistics. She is a holder of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship in the US. She also loves writing and was a regular blogger for the Financial Times blog.

Steve Thompson
Director Business Development EMEA, Raytheon Professional Services
Steve Thompson is Director of Business Development for Raytheon Professional Services LLC (RPS), a unit of Raytheon Company. Delivering more than nine million hours of custom training in 28 languages to learners in more than 100 countries, RPS is a global leader in training services and outsourcing. RPS improves clients’ business performance by redesigning how they train their employees, customers and partners; implementing their new training design; and managing their training in long-term outsourcing engagements.

Steve has held several positions within the RPS management team in the UK and EMEA headquarters over the last 14 years. In his current role as Director of Business Development, he is responsible for expanding RPS’ business in Europe, Middle East and Africa in the commercial segment beyond its automotive core to other industries. Under his business development leadership, RPS EMEA will continue to strive to be the best training provider worldwide.

Steve has 25 years of experience with a primary focus on operations, business development, project management, and transition; he is a subject matter expert in project management including implementation and adaptation of processes.

Since joining RPS in 1998 his roles have included UK Operations Manager (Vauxhall, Renault, Nissan, Opel Ireland, Saab, and Chevrolet) and GM Europe Account Management in the RPS EMEA headquarters in Germany. Most recently he led the implementation of a major outsourcing program in Asia. This role included the set up of the team of experts as well as the consultancy on transforming existing processes, roles and tools in a multi-cultural environment requiring the usage of all his change management expertise.

He is a qualified Raytheon Six Sigma™ Bronze Specialist.

He is a serving Non Executive Director of the Institute of the Motor Industry Awards Ltd (IMIAL) representing training interests on behalf of dealers and manufacturer in the UK automotive sector.



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