The 8th International Lessons Learned Conference (ILLC), which was held in Sydney, Australia, December 2012, brought together nearly 250 participants from 24 countries to share operational lessons and to discuss how they can drive change.
The event had a diverse and broad program comprising papers and presentations delivered by military, police, civilian and non-government organisation operational planners, lessons learned practitioners and academics.
Under the theme of ‘Transitions’, presentations covered a wide range of topics and parallel streams offered opportunities for attendees to tailor their participation to their specific interests.
With papers sourced from the international lessons community, participants appreciated the thematic format of the conference. A highlight for many was the panel that discussed the emergence of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, which is impacting on operational planning across the civil-military spectrum. Others singled out the presentations that identified organisational leadership as an essential requirement in ensuring lessons identified do not become ‘lessons lost’. In the busy operating and fiscally constrained environment faced by most organisations in 2012, it was an important reminder that resources need to be allocated to knowledge management and that lessons need to be tasked out and monitored by senior leadership if they really are to be learned.
The majority of feedback indicated that participants valued the conference and recommended that the international lessons learned community continue to find ways to come together to develop and share knowledge that will enhance operational planning across the civil-military spectrum. Several countries and organisations expressed interest in hosting future ILLCs. An announcement about who will host the 9th ILLC will be made on this website in due course.
For now, the Organising Committee and co-hosts the Australian Civil-Military and Headquarters, Joint Operations Command wish to thank all speakers, chairs and participants for making the conference interesting, interactive and innovative. We hope future ILLCs continue to innovate and bring the best of lessons learned practice and thinking to the international community.