The team’s personal development is at the forefront of life at AXON, and we are committed to fostering a learning culture. As part of that, several members of the team were selected to attend some formal AVENIR GLOBAL firm-wide training, The Institute 101.

The Institute 101: Thinking in Colour

The Institute 101 is a three-day introductory session to the AVENIR GLOBAL values and client approach. Taught by peers across the network, the content focuses on business management and core communications skills, incorporating state-of-the-art research on the management of firms providing professional services and covering subjects of interest to all public relations practitioners, such as client expectation management, project management and business development. Each cohort draws together participants from across our brand, AXON being one of them, providing the opportunity to showcase the strength of our network of professionals and services.

Throughout the program, participants worked in teams to deliver assignments, building connections with other senior leaders across the network. This year, four of the AXON team attended The Institute 101: Thinking in Colour training, which was held in Montreal.

So, what did they think?

Most looking forward to

We asked the team what they were most looking forward to and what excited them about attending the course:

“Getting a better idea of what our colleagues in other agencies do on a day-to-day basis and getting to know the people behind the roles at the same time. Also ... eating lots of poutine,” Jake Battersby, AXON Account Manager, UK.

“Having the opportunity to connect with others from the AVENIR GLOBAL network, including colleagues from other brands we would not typically be exposed to, and engage in inspiring conversations with senior leaders in our field,“ Alexandra DeBoer, AXON Account Associate, Canada.

Leanings and key takeaways

There were so many learnings and key takeaways, but here are a few from the team that attended:

“I thoroughly enjoyed hearing from Jeff Wilson, Padilla, on how as an organization they have brought Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) to the very forefront of their work. The importance of DE&I is a common theme in the industry of healthcare communication as of late, and integrating this expertise as part of our service will be of great value to both our clients and the patients they seek to help,” Luke Hounslow, AXON Medical Writer, UK.

“I think a lot of other attendees may have the same key takeaway, but definitely ‘being (and staying) curious’ about every aspect of our work. No matter which agency, country, industry etc. the faculty came from, they all, almost without fail, agreed this was one of the most important aspects to keep in mind to ensure we are servicing our clients and growing as consultants as best we can,“ Jake Battersby, AXON Account Manager, UK.

Enjoyment and highlights

Training needs to be fun, too! The team mentioned lots about the delicious food in Montreal, including poutine, but here are some of the additional highlights captured:

“Collaboration. With nearly all the attendees being individuals beginning their careers, many of us have experienced working remotely as a major component of our integration into our roles. In addition to some great presentations, it was surreal to connect and learn from others in such an impactful in-person experience. Plus, a trip to Montreal always results in some great food!” Alexandra DeBoer, AXON Account Associate, Canada.

“Listening to the different brand presentations by colleagues! It was great to hear about the various types of work being done across the firm. It highlighted the possible collaboration opportunities that are available. There is such diverse expertise that can be leveraged for challenges that may come up!” Saku Seneviratne, AXON Account Associate, Canada.


Attending a great course or training session is just half of the work. It is critical, before we return to our busy work lives, to reflect on what we have learned and consider how we can apply some of what we have learned to our day-to-day role, and in the words of the above, continue to “be and stay curious”. The Institute 201 and 301 are to yet to come, and we are excited to explore who will attend and what is on the cards for their learning and development journey. Stay tuned for further updates from the team!