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Elliott Masie

spotlight on photography BY THE MASIE CENTER

American futurist, guru and Broadway producer Elliott Masie talks to TJ about his life and work in the �ield of learning and technology


lliott Masie grew up in an en- vironment where storytelling was central to family life. He

was part of a family who were deeply committed to learning and where the newspaper needed to be read before dinner in order to have a conversation about the events of the day. T at early family support

has created a man with a broad love of learning and life itself. Behind Masie’s joie de vivre lies a

deeply analytical mind that explores all things new and innovative, but with a particular emphasis on learning and technology for which he is renowned. An entrepreneur and obsessive at keeping to a task, at the start of his career Masie trained people who are

10 | November 2016 |

now chief learning offi cers all over the world. At 66, he feels midway through his career and interested in what the years ahead hold for him. An obvious polymath, Masie has

produced the Tony award-winning Broadway musical Kinky Boots and the soon-to-be-staged T e SpongeBob Musical. He wanted to open up diff erent chapters in his life and compares producing good theatre to great learning design – that is the magic that happens as a result of good design. He feels that a great user ex- perience calls on the skills of all those involved, from musicians and actors to lighting and marketing – together they make something memorable. T is focus has led Masie to

introduce the term ‘learning producers’ rather than instructional designers, refl ecting our new focus on a person- alised learning journey for individuals.

Why training and how did you start?

Some people have a profession they train for, one that is natively theirs. My university degree ended up focusing on sociology and looking at how people learnt and performed in groups. From the age of 15, I was a

certifi ed geek and nerd. I worked with IBM and some of the early tech companies on computers before there were micro-computers. After I graduated, I pulled

together these two passions: I was intrigued about how people learn

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