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Synthesis Root+River

EPISODE 1: Treion Muller and Digital Transformation


Synthesis is a Root + River hosted webcast featuring nonconformist leaders whose ideas make them — and us — see the world differently. Synthesis creates rich new conversations, sparks novel thinking and validates the myriad feelings generated from living in today’s paradoxical world.

Our first episode featured Treion Muller. Our discussion focused on the dichotomies, challenges and innovation in the age of digital learning. We also discussed several aspects of Treion’s most recent ebook, The Power of Consumer Behavior on Learning & Development: 7 consumer realities that can no longer be ignored, which can be obtained here.

Our conversation dipped into a number of pools, including:

  • Treion’s childhood in South Africa in the era of apartheid
  • how to be a lifelong learner in private and work life
  • ways to innovate in an industry that is slow to change
  • how we are being conditioned as consumers

We even dipped into parenting and raising children in a selfie-obsessed culture.

Some of our favorite quotes from Treion in this episode:

“The biggest biases we have are our own past experiences.” — Treion Muller

“In our consumer lives we can get information instantaneously. … [Yet] we go to work and when we have a specific question or pain point we have to wait or we have to go to a webinar with mind-numbing Powerpoints and one person talking all the time.” — Treion Muller

“Immersive training is necessary and edifying . . . [but] we fire hose people with information and they love the experience. Most training then provides them with an accountability guide…but what do we all do when we get back to work? We take that manual and put it back up on the shelf. That is the reality. But technology and blended learning has helped changed the face of that.” — Treion Muller

“Your learner is also a consumer.” — Treion Muller

“For hundreds of years we have held on to and practiced a Socratic method . . . we have been conditioned to believe there is a sage on the stage, we have institutions that push that, it’s institutionalized. It’s hard to let go of these practices.” — Treion Muller

“Why it is so hard to make this jump is because that’s where our business models are.” — Treion Muller

“We need to consider what we can do within our institutions, our corporations, our companies to maybe move in that direction strategically. . . . This is not early adopters, we’re passed early adopter phase. We’ve crossed the chasm, especially in other industries. We’ve crossed the chasm where we can go in digital to facilitate just in time learning.” — Treion Muller 


 Treion Muller


Our Synthesis guests are awake, smart, articulate, dichotomous, and have done something very different with their work and lives.

Our first guest for our first episode of Synthesis was Treion Muller. Treion is the VP of Digital Learning Solutions for TwentyEighty. Originally from South Africa, Treion’s diverse background and depth of knowledge make him a leading expert on digital transformation, monetizing digital strategies and technology trends. Treion is fascinated by the disparity between how we use digital in our everyday lives and how we view it when it comes to learning and personal growth in our professional lives — what has traditionally been known as learning and development. He is leading a charge to heal this disparity and bring an industry struggling out of the mundane morass of the past to the uber-timely, slick, and dedicatedly consumer-driven present and future. Find him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Emily Soccorsy + Justin Foster are cofounders of the intrinsic branding practice known as Root + River. Together with their defiantly different clients, they uncover then articulate the foundational elements of the brand. Then, they provide brand strategy and brand coaching as the brand is rolled out internally and externally. Obsessive about language and differentiation, Emily + Justin are also authors and speakers. Follow @rootandriver @fosterthinking and @emilyatlarge.

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