Ever since my graduation from the Return on Investment program by the ROI Institute, I’ve been a part of the Dutch Community of ROI professionals. We meet about five times a year to discuss our work in proving and augmenting the value of learning and development.

Recently we met at the Dutch Railways’ head office. Our hosts had told us of their desire to make our meetings more action oriented than they had been before. So, right off the bat, we began sharing what we’re working on. There was a tangible energy in the room pretty much as soon as we started.

December 13 marked a special day in the Association for Talent Development’s history and for its Dutch twin, NVO2. Because that was the date of the first ever European ATD summit, held in Amsterdam.

So, how should we define the logic of today? Change as a constant fixture, perhaps? Maybe, nonlinear growth of technology in every shape and form? Possibly, that jobs are being augmented, replaced and changed by robotics and algorithms? In short, we can say: welcome to the fourth industrial revolution, or the second machine age.

My Forzes partner Jacco Westerbeek and I have recently started a wonderful assignment for the SBB. The SBB is a Dutch foundation that ensures both the availability and quality of the 511,000 internships for pupils in vocational schools which are required annually. They register the companies and institutions who will offer internships, then train and certify them and work with them to improve the quality of the workplace learning offered. They do much more, but for the purposes of this blog, this is a good enough synopsis.