ELO Webinar: So-Young Kang on "Lessons on Innovation in the Digital Economy"


On Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 ELO hosted So-Young Kang in a webinar and Q&A discussing “Lessons on Innovation in the Digital Economy”. This was the 6th ELO Webinar in a series over the past few months. The webinar attracted registrants from around the globe, posing questions for the global tech-entrepreneur. ELO Webinars over the past months have featured global thought leaders such as NT Wright, John Lennox and international entrepreneurs such as Rob Wildeboer and Jeff Williams.

This ELO Webinar with So-Young Kang, is a rare opportunity to learn from a leader in the field. The digital economy continues to create opportunities for innovation and act as a catalyst for change. So-Young, CEO of Gnowbe, has applied her entrepreneurial skills to the digital economy. She launched Awaken Group, a human-centered transformation design firm, in 2010. Her team was looking for a way to digitize and scale experiential workshops, coaching, and soft skills training. They knew that the future would be in the rise of the mobile workforce, a need for lifelong learning, a greater focus on skills as the new currency and bite-sized content anytime, anywhere. She and her team were looking for a solution that was participatory and empowered people to take ownership of their learning experiences. They wanted to replicate the powerful face-to-face transformative learning experience in digital form. Gnowbe was created to empower content creators, thought leaders and trainers from organizations to scale experiential, participatory learning on mobile to develop real skills and change mindsets and behaviours. So-Young discusses the general principles she has learned about being an innovator in the digital economy and how they might apply broadly to other industries.

Included below are a few extracts from the Q&A, paraphrased and summarized for brevity. To access a recording of the webinar, and an extensive set of questions, CLICK HERE.

NOTE: For the exact context of So-Young's remarks and a word-for-word record of her comments, please refer to the webinar recording or podcast. The below summary is not to be quoted as the exact words of NT Wright. Thank you.

RG: What would you view as your calling and how do your business activities fall into that?

So-Young: I think my calling started 10 years ago and it's really to maximize human creative potential. And I think over the years it has been refined little by little as I learn more about who I am as a human and who I’ve been created to be. But it has always been focussed around the maximization and development of people and creativity. It goes back to the first job I had which was teaching people. I never thought it was going to be a career. It was meant to be my weekend job but then you fast forward and look at the thread of things I’ve done. Even when I was doing strategy or marketing, there was always an element of teaching, developing, helping people. So now that I know that is my life purpose, my companies and the things that I do are just reflections of that.

RG: How did you come up with Gnowbe? And what is it?

So-Young: Sure, so Gnowbe is an extension of Awaken Group. So, my two companies are sister companies. Awaken does transformation design work, leadership workshops and consulting advisory is a big part of that work. Now, the challenge with that is of course, as we know, the human experience is very high touch, very difficult to scale, coaching, leadership development. Pre-COVID many of us thought that we couldn't do any of this online. Now, I think COVID has taught us that we can create amazing conversations online as well. So I had this desire and question of how do we take that human experience and scale that too? If you have 10,000 employees, 100,000 employees or a million. So, we crafted Gnowbe to be a platform that would allow us to scale the human experience. What does that mean? We allow people to put multimedia content because we are multifaceted. We don't like to only talk and listen and do Q&A. We like to, you know, interact. We like to take selfies and videos. We like to chat. We like to engage with each other in a community. So we took all those elements of the human experience. We digitize it to allow anyone to create that type of experience. And also, to engage and learn from other people in that way, which is a much more human way of engaging. And so, our platform allows for authoring as well as access to content. It's a mobile micro-learning platform for communications, engagement and training.