Our Team

Next Learning
Capability Network

Our Team

Next Learning Capability Network

Next Learning offers a wide range of consulting services to the education sector, working to transform learning experiences and stakeholder engagement.

We apply the knowledge and skills gained from years of experience and numerous engagements around the globe to develop blueprints for impactful change specific to your operational needs.

Shane McGurk


Co-founder of Next Learning



Co-founder of Next Learning

Massimo Galardi

Digital Services Director

Leonie McIlvenny

Manager library and innovation

Samantha Koch

Brand & Projects Director

Dr Annabel Smith

Writer and Mentor

Dr Ken Spillman

Writer and editor

Paul Houghton

Mentor and digital strategist



Tenille Westerhout

Creative Marketing Consultant

Dr Peter Carey

Social learning manager


Body language specialist, coach, trainer and speaker

Our client engagement process

Understanding client goals

Understanding is the first phase of the design thinking process with clients. During this phase, our consultant immerse themselves in learning the problem/challenges/needs. They talk with the key stakeholders and conduct research as required. The goal is to develop background knowledge through these experiences. They use their developing understandings as a springboard as they begin to design a response to the challenges.


Consultants become keen people watchers in the observation phase of our design thinking process. We watch how people behave and interact and observe how technologies are used in physical places and online spaces.


We talk to people about what they are doing, ask questions and reflect on what they see. The understanding and observation phases of our design thinking help our consultants develop a sense of empathy for the end users needs.

Point of view

In this phase of design thinking, consultant’s focus is on becoming aware of peoples’ needs and developing insights. The phrase “How might we….” is often used to define a point of view, which is a statement of the:

user + need + insight

This statement ends with a suggestion about how to make changes that will have an impact on peoples’ experiences.


Ideating is a critical component of problem solving and design thinking. Consultants are encouraged to brainstorm a myriad of ideas and to suspend judgment. No idea is to far-fetched and no ideas are rejected until the client has considered it.

Creative risk-taking

Ideating is all about creativity and fun – a rare element of modern workplace problem solving. In the ideation phase, quantity is encouraged. Consultants may generate a hundred ideas in response.

Distilling the best ideas

Prototyping is a rough and rapid portion of our design process as we distil the best response to client needs. A prototype can be a presentation, sketch, model, or a cardboard box! It is a way to convey an idea quickly. Before even delivering the proposal our consultants have learned that it is better to fail early and often as they create prototypes.

Presenting proposal and testing reaction

As you can see presenting the proposal is part of an iterative process that provides the consultant with feedback. The purpose of testing client reaction to the proposal is to learn what works and what doesn’t, and then iterate. This means going back to our prototype and modifying it based on feedback. Testing the proposal this way ensures that consultant learns what works and what doesn’t work for their clients.

Some of our digital toolkit

We’d love to hear from you about your plans