Watch: Coursera Chief Enterprise Officer Leah Belsky on better upskilling at scale

The latest episode of our Make Business Better livestream

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In the spring of 2020, the pandemic crippled millions of businesses, disrupting supply chains and sending unemployment levels surging. But as our lives and our needs changed almost overnight, some tech platforms saw their function—and fortunes—skyrocket almost as quickly.

In this episode, Coursera’s Chief Enterprise Officer Leah Belsky tells Quartz CEO Zach Seward the story of how the online education platform took a huge leap of faith at the start of the crisis—making its software temporarily free for schools, governments, and businesses, with no idea how it would impact future sales—and how the move paid off, changing the trajectory of the company in the process.

Quartz CEO Zach Seward in conversation with Coursera’s Leah Belsky

Even more important, Belsky says, is how it helped change the trajectory of education. Coursera is a certified B-Corp aiming to “transform lives through learning,” and opening the floodgates for more universities to offer students digital access to not only their own classes, but also classes from other schools around the world, was a huge stride towards the kind of inter-institutional collaboration the company believes will raise the quality of education for everyone in the future.

Things are changing in the corporate space, too, when it comes to continuing ed. Belsky talks to Seward about how post-pandemic, companies are increasingly using LMS (learning management systems) like Coursera both to upskill their employees as well as to boost their mental health—making them feel more supported and connected in an increasingly remote world.


“The goal of Coursera is to be a scaled platform with as much reach as possible, so this seemed like a big opportunity to spread our product around the world in a time of need,” Belsky says. “Whatever needs to change in the sector to make education higher-quality, more accessible, and more skills-relevant, that’s what we want to do.”


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