Sukh Pabial (@naturalgrump), an L&D manager at marketing and tech agency LBi in London, has launched an unconference for L&D professionals. The event – the L&D Connect Unconference – is taking place on 24 April.

Here, Sukh explains some of his thinking for the getting the event off the ground. He has also written a post on his blog.

You are the brainchild of L&D Connect. Why does L&D need a new group/event when so many already exist?

I think what’s missing from the L&D sphere is a place for practitioners to come together and discuss L&D issues which we face everyday. ConnectingHR has been a great catalyst to help me think about what is needed for L&D.

Essentially I came to the opinion that beyond conferences and formal events, L&D practitioners don’t have an opportunity to really get into the details of things concerning them.

Some of us are lucky enough to be part of teams where you can discuss things openly. Others who are running one man teams, don’t have the opportunity to do this. Across both though, there is ample need to be able to help fellow practitioners be excellent in what they do.

What makes this one different to other L&D events?

It’s an event organised by practitioners for practitioners. No one is pushing a product, or selling their idea, or claiming their take on the world is the best. L&D is not about world domination, or about IP. 80% of what we do is in the public domain. The other 20% is just simple tailoring of our message to the audience we’re working with. Anyone who says different is far too protectionist and will not survive in a social world.

What prompted you to set it up?

I’ve had a burning ambition for a while to help L&D. I saw a lot of groups try and do things like this, and many are about profit making, where I don’t see why that needs to be the case. We’re fully capable as adults and professionals to organise ourselves and come up with a great plan of action. It’s exciting working with others to realise this.

And what do you hope to achieve with the group?

To create a community that will provide ongoing support and help to and for one another. I know some things, and others know more. I can learn so much by listening to what others have been through, and online communities only allow so much discussion to happen. Face to face will always come trumps, so why not create a space for that to happen easily and for the benefit of all?

Follow discussion on the #ldconnect Twitter hashtag, join the L&D Connect Linkedin Group or find out more about the unconference.

My declaration: I have been helping Sukh and the rest of the group that set up L&D Connect.