Katja Schipperheijn – Internationally awarded author, Learning Influencer, Futurist and keynote speaker

Katja Schipperheijn

Curiosity, Innovation, and Humanity: Katja Schipperheijn’s Vision for an Infinite Learning Ecosystem

Being too curious, dreaming, and stubborn was usually not meant as a compliment in Katja Schipperheijn’s youth. Yet, she embraces these competencies that have brought her to where she is today. First and foremost, Katja is a mother of two daughters who, like her, love learning. She is also an entrepreneur and philanthropist who aims to inspire others to be more human and embrace innovations like A.I. to build an infinite learning ecosystem where everyone can thrive.

Katja’s path is a succession of coincidences and opportunities seized as they arose. However, it primarily results from being open to new things and listening to those who inspire her, often children. In 2012, Katja was already thinking about innovations that supported the future of working and learning with AI through her organization, Habit of Improvement.

During this period, she developed the learning maturity model for organizations for a multinational company that wanted to invest in social and collaborative learning. She created the blueprint for her first learning ecosystem, a Learnscape. However, she found that her ideas were too radical for companies, governments, and schools, and she wanted to inspire them to adopt social and digitally-supported learning. Stubborn as Katja is, she is convinced that being human can be enhanced through innovation. She started writing down her ideas to convince others of her vision and soon became in demand as a speaker.

Today, Katja is an unplanned award-winning writer, keynote speaker, and entrepreneur who still gets to co-develop innovations that support organizations’ growth and focus on humanity.

AI has been part of our lives for years, often without us realizing it. Sometimes, it manifests in simple algorithms, but more and more applications use large language models or generative AI. Katja’s mission is to make people aware of AI, its benefits, and its risks. Hence, through her books, keynotes, and school visits, she has reached more than 15,000 children and young people through her workshops.

These days, Katja focuses mainly on AI to support the learning mindset. “Companies and schools can build an efficient learning ecosystem, but if people do not want to learn, are afraid of change, and do

not dare to collaborate, these organizations will not get a return on their investment,” she says. Her current project, a Profiler and A.I. coach to help develop this mindset, is one of the most beautiful projects she can work on.

She hears the same comments everywhere she goes: it’s moving too fast, and people need help figuring out where to start. Entrepreneurs wonder if they are endlessly behind if they don’t invest now or if AI and generative AI are hyping that will pass.

Katja assures them, “It is not hype, and I urge entrepreneurs to look at what is relevant to them. Learn from others and get inspired because doing nothing is the biggest mistake. AI, and, more specifically, generative AI, will impact every organization and its employees.”

AI offers significant benefits for working smarter and advancing progress. Today, Katja focuses on inspiring and implementing an infinite learning ecosystem where the symbiosis between humans and machines catalyzes growth and humanity.

However, she knows that companies and governments must consider the ethical aspects and ensure inclusion. There is also considerable fear surrounding AI. With the Learning Mindset Profiler at the organizational level, she plans to guide individuals and teams with an AI coach who helps them thrive as human beings.

She believes in challenging the status quo and surrounding oneself with a diverse team that embraces curiosity, imagination, and openness. Above all, she encourages shaping one’s future by experimenting and learning quickly from mistakes to work towards continuous improvement.

Katja continues to inspire others with books, which is a lifelong endeavor, especially now that Learning Ecosystems will soon be available in Arabic. Above all, she wants to use AI and innovation to help others. Therefore, she offers the AI Profiler in a basic free version so that everyone can reflect on their learning mindset and the need to keep learning in times of ever-faster innovation. She can then use the anonymized data to research and train the AI coach.

As a mother, Katja wants to leave a better world behind. She was inspired by her then 9-year-old daughter Farah, who told her in 2014 that she was old and did not understand Farah’s dynamic world. Katja’s daughter expressed frustration when she banned her from creating a social media account, saying she could not play, learn, and share with her friends because of her mother. Farah stressed that other children worked together for school tasks because they could always be connected. Because of this ban, she feared falling behind her friends regarding school results.

Katja trusted her daughter’s judgment and realized the world had long since caught up with her generation. Farah was right, and today, she and her sister Helena are her inspiration and motivation to inspire parents, teachers, leaders, and governments to invest in innovation and AI to support well-being and learning while addressing potential risks, ethics, and sustainability.

AI and learning ecosystems can act as catalysts for growth with a focus on humanity and sustainability. Katja urges everyone to be surprised by what innovation offers, dare to experiment with what is unknown, take responsibility for their own future, and help build an infinite learning ecosystem with real human connections. And it is crucial to collaborate and pay attention to inclusion, neurodiversity, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.