Karen Roter Davis 360Learning
Inside 360

From Google to 360Learning: A Warm Welcome to Our First Independent Director, Karen Roter Davis

It’s been an exciting year for us here at 360Learning–and today, we have even more cause for excitement: we’re welcoming our first ever independent director to the 360Learning board, Karen Roter Davis! 

Karen is Director of Early Stage Projects at X (formerly Google X), where she provides strategic direction and oversight for an innovative portfolio of early-stage technology ventures. She began working for the tech giant in 2003, overseeing internal operations for the company’s 2004 IPO and scaling their early-stage businesses. 

Needless to say, we’re thrilled to be welcoming Karen to the 360Learning Board. Karen brings unrivaled experience in the tech industry, and a deep familiarity with Google’s approach to encouraging in-house experts to share knowledge directly inside the company.

To get to know Karen a little better, we asked her five questions about what it’s like to join the 360Learning family, and what she sees as the future of Collaborative Learning.

5 questions with Karen Roter Davis

1. Welcome to 360Learning! What made you decide to join our family as a board director?

Thank you. I’m glad to be here!

I was very impressed by what you, Guillaume, and the team have built, and your vision to grow and transform companies through technology-enabled Collaborative Learning. And with a first-rate slate of fellow board members and investors, the company is well-positioned for success in a growing and much-needed field.

2. How did you move from working in operations to being a board advisor? What tips do you have for individuals who would like to do the same?

My first job after university was in operations consulting. As I built my career, and as my skill sets and roles expanded, my operational background distinguished me as a more effective strategist, because I had empathy for how teams ultimately were able to implement proposed strategies, or how they had to transform depending on these strategic shifts. For example, you won't get the value from an investment or acquisition if you can't integrate or scale it well. Your strategy is only as good as your ability to execute on it.

For people thinking about potential board roles, it’s important to continue to sharpen, broaden, and share your expertise, learn from others, and build great relationships along the way. This way prospective boards are aware of what you can bring to their companies to accelerate their growth and success.

3. Any advice you can share for Learning and Development teams based on your experience building and advising high-growth companies?

Your people and the culture you create together are your not-so-secret weapons. Treat them that way!

Learning and Development teams have the opportunity to steward that culture–by ensuring individuals feel heard, valued, and part of something greater, by reinforcing positive examples of your culture manifested, and by creating ways in which learning and culture can scale consistently beyond the L&D team.

Invest in humans. Human judgment, ingenuity, and relationships make or break us.

4. Given the transition to hybrid and decentralized workplaces over the last 18 months, what do you expect the future of learning to look like?

Learning is more important than ever as hybrid and decentralized work environments increase. Leadership and Learning and Development teams will have the responsibility–and the opportunity–to make each employee feel a part of the larger organization regardless of location.

It will be essential to provide learning that is more personalized, customized, and distributed, and that still highlights the best of your company’s culture and organization.

5. Why do you think Collaborative Learning has the potential to transform the way we learn today?

Collaborative Learning is dynamic. It creates connections. It provides context. It's solution-oriented. It can facilitate growth across an organization–between instructors and learners, and individuals and teams–in a way that other approaches cannot. In the coming years, Collaborative Learning won’t be a nice-to-have–people will demand it.

In the coming years, Collaborative Learning won’t be a nice-to-have–people will demand it.

Welcome, Karen! We’re so thrilled to have you with us

Karen’s arrival is the next fantastic chapter in our growth story, and we can’t wait to start working with her. Following Karen’s appointment, the 360Learning Board will comprise nine directors.

With Karen’s experience and guidance, we believe 360Learning will be well-placed to scale into becoming the number one corporate learning platform in the world.  

Welcome, Karen!

Official biography:

Karen Roter Davis is Director of Early Stage Projects at X (formerly Google X)(Nasdaq: GOOG) and focuses on providing strategic direction and oversight for a portfolio of early-stage technology ventures. Karen returned to executive leadership at Google through Alphabet’s acquisition of Urban Engines, a SaaS geospatial analytics platform, where she was the company's first business hire, establishing foundational business development, strategy, and operations functions. Previously at Google, she oversaw internal operations for Google’s groundbreaking 2004 IPO and scaled early-stage businesses.

Karen has held multiple board advisory engagements, partnering with Boards and executive teams on critical technology investment decisions, go-to-market product and partnership strategies, and M&A. She currently serves as a Board Director of Shift4 Payments (NYSE: FOUR), and served as a Board Director of Innovyze, a global leader in water software analytics, acquired in March 2021 by Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK).

Karen earned her M.B.A. from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, and her B.A. from Princeton University’s School of Public & International Affairs. She is a former Adjunct Professor of Business of Innovation at Northwestern University, a frequent author and speaker on a variety of innovation topics, a patent inventor, and a singer and songwriter.