Open Thinkering


My elevator pitch for #openbadges (v0.1 alpha) [VIDEO]

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Today I did a fairly average job of explaining Open Badges to a roomful of people. I need to work on my elevator pitch.

This one from last year by people more eloquent than me is pretty good.

I recorded the above video in one take when I got back home. My reason for recording it was because I want to get better at explaining Open Badges to the uninitiated.


  1. What’s confusing?
  2. Which questions would you ask me after I presented this?
  3. How do I come across?

I find Open Badges such a huge and nuanced thing that I may leave out really obvious stuff. Have a look at for a deeper dive if I’ve whetted your appetite!

15 thoughts on “My elevator pitch for #openbadges (v0.1 alpha) [VIDEO]

  1. I gave you 1.5 minutes, and then I quit. My elevator does not take 4 minutes – but maybe that is just me. And I had no idea what it was you were talking about after 1.5 minutes. It was something about A levels in school and linked-in reviews and informal ways of getting input.

    One recommendation: don’t waste precious seconds at the beginning of a speech titled “elevator speech” to explain how this is an elevator speech.

  2. Well now I know what an Open Badge is! I think you might have explained more succinctly – there was a lot of repetition. 4+ minutes is too long – half that would be better! As you say, it’s the first version so I’d expect it to become more punchy with practice.
    Anyway – popped off to investigate further now.
    Lisa xx

  3. Admire you for putting this out there! I now have much more idea of what Open Badges are, although I agree shorter would be better. Other suggestions – get straight into what the benefits are for me & keep the language simple – through out silos/infrastructures/API & paint a simple, easy to understand picture – I liked the dusty desk drawer. Although you said you don’t want to pre-suppose what we might do with them, I would be asking you for examples after this vid! Anyway, great stuff & look forward to see the final one!

  4. Agree with the comments above – keep it simple, highlight the key benefits, perhaps move location (?) – perhaps somewhere out of the box – in a field with a cow – cross legged on top of a mini – at the breakfast table – in the job centre… look forward to revision two… 😉  #goodluck #seriousfun

    1. Thanks Paul!

      The artefact (the video itself) is less important than me getting the pitch right for when I’m meeting people face-to-face. Although, obviously, I’m interested in producing a high-quality resource that can be used by others. 🙂

  5. I watched it on 2X after the first 10 seconds – essentially because I watch 100+ vids a week. Flag up the main points in LARGE TEXT on the film so users can scrub to them in time line (really simple but effective and less linear + it’s searchable)  

    1. Thanks Leon, I’ll take that onboard.

      I probably didn’t make explicit enough that I’m embarking on this exercise to improve my being able to explain Open Badges face-to-face. The creation of a video artefact is an added bonus! 🙂

  6. Agree with most of the comments above, about making it clear and to the point. Thanks for all the posts about badges over the last year and I have now earned some of my own. Love the idea and think there is definitively room for this in today’s learning. Good Luck Doug  

  7. Hi Doug- someone sent me this link on the call this week (I think it was Billy). Elevator pitches are 1-2 lines. You prefaced/padded what you really wanted to say with the background info. 
    This is so important because we ALL need to be able to discuss this in a way people will understand and we need to be able to easily create advocates, so they can pass it along. I’ve had to do a lot of that, now that I’m going back to school- and I found it so interesting that my classmates and instructors would jump to correct my pitch! But, I came away with a lot of good tips. So, when I usually introduce badges, it goes something like this:

    Me: Have you ever heard of open badges? 
    Them: *confused expression and a head shake*

    Me: Oh you are going to love this! (Enthusiasm!)…

    ****(Pitch) Open badges are an alternative form of credit used to reward informal and formal learning experiences usually credited with degrees, transcripts, and certificates. They are unique because they are digital and easily ‘sharable’, containing all the information the employer or institution needs to know about what that individual had to do to earn that badge. 

    Them: Are they like girl scout and boy scout badges? 
    (or) Those would really be applicable in my field of X….
    (or) I could have really used one of those when…
    (or) My ‘so-and-so’ would really benefit from those because…


    We should firm up a pitch and pass it along to the rest of the group… 

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