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Cornerstone is proud to introduce HR Labs, a brand new podcast that tells the stories of leaders who have seen the importance of employee development firsthand. Hosted by our very own Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Heidi Spirgi, HR Labs will be a four-part series featuring executives who have mastered the art and science of development, despite challenging odds. Find it on Apple Podcasts and everywhere else you listen to podcasts.

On this week’s episode of HR Labs, we’re telling Stacy Guidera’s and Jocelyne Takatsuno’ story.

Nearly nine years after the internal conflict in Syria began, roughly 12 million women, men and children are in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of the crisis, according to During this conflict, local Syrian humanitarians have stepped up to deliver the majority of assistance in support of local communities and families, often at great personal risk.

To better equip these local responders with the knowledge and skills they need for an effective humanitarian response, three organizations—, a Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation initiative, Mercy Corps, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC)—teamed up to provide much needed support in the area. While Mercy Corps and IRC provide financial and technical assistance to a select group of Syrian organizations, has led the development of the ISHA Online Learning Program for the wider humanitarian community in Syria.

What does it take to develop a learning program to meet the unique needs of a humanitarian effort in a technologically-remote and volatile part of the world?

Guidera, project and learning design manager at the Cornerstone Foundation, and Takatsuno, deputy director for programs at Mercy Corps, explain in this week’s episode of HR Labs. Enjoy.

Header image: Creative Commons