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People learn in different ways. Some of us are visual learners. Others better retain information by hearing things explained. Another group learns best from performing its own research. Some prefer having a hands-on experience and others just want quick 1-2-3 take-a-ways. In 2018, FMI’s education team experimented with maximizing our reach by providing the food retail industry with multiple ways of learning.

<p dir="ltr">By Carol Abel, Vice President, Education, Food Marketing Institute<img src="https://www.fmi.org/images/default-source/blog-images/education.tmb-large-350-.png?sfvrsn=e11d4d6e_1" data-displaymode="Thumbnail" alt="Education" title="Education" style="float: right; margin: 10px;" /></p> <p dir="ltr">People learn in different ways. Some of us are visual learners. Others better retain information by hearing things explained. Another group learns best from performing its own research. Some prefer having a hands-on experience and others just want quick 1-2-3 take-a-ways. In 2018, FMI&rsquo;s education team experimented with maximizing our reach by providing the food retail industry with multiple ways of learning.</p> <h5 dir="ltr">Fresh Thought Leadership</h5> <p dir="ltr">We developed a totally unique thought leadership experience for fresh foods executives in 2018 called<a href="https://www.fmi.org/fresh-forward"> FreshForward</a>. This invitation-only event enjoyed a format focused on collaboration and was set in a colorful, creativity-stimulating venue. All was designed to spark new ideas for succeeding in fresh.</p> <h5 dir="ltr">Technology Bits and Bytes</h5> <p dir="ltr">Appropriate to challenges facing the food retail industry, adoption, understanding and mastery of technology were key themes throughout our education content in 2018. More than twenty technology-focused education sessions, keynotes and breakouts were embedded in our conferences. Starting in January 2018, we hosted Ocado representatives at the Midwinter Executive Conference as they introduced us to their warehouse-revolutionizing robot technology. Education events throughout the year included multiple sessions on applications of technology including:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr">Ways to improve the supply chain;</li> <li dir="ltr">Artificial intelligence;</li> <li dir="ltr">New in-store technologies that will change future store designs; and</li> <li dir="ltr">Legal considerations associated with technology and omnichannel shopping for food companies.</li> </ul> <h5 dir="ltr">Training Food Retail Leaders of the Future</h5> <p dir="ltr">Recognizing that the food retail industry workforce is evolving, we completely revised our Future Leaders eXperience. Working with a new partner, Root, Inc., we built an interactive, hands-on program that walks emerging leaders through exercises to understand their roles, build their teams, communicate the big picture and set clear expectations. A cornerstone of the program includes a custom-designed module that depicts the changing dynamics of the retail food industry in a learning map demonstrating the evolution and complexity of the industry and the centrality of the consumer to our success.</p> <p dir="ltr">Overall, if the FMI 2018 education programs were to be summarized in three words, they would be: innovation, technology, and leadership. These words highlight themes that ran throughout the 16 live events, 59 webinars, and two certificate programs FMI offered to the industry in 2018. &nbsp;And they set the stage for much more to come in 2019.</p> <div>&nbsp;</div>

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