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Watch > Episode > Bernhard Niesner - Revolutionising Language Learning Through Technology Innovation and Passion

Bernhard Niesner - Revolutionising Language Learning Through Technology Innovation and Passion


Across education technology transformation, Bernhard Niesner emerges as a visionary leader who has transformed the landscape of language learning. As the co-founder and CEO of Busuu, an innovative language learning platform, Niesner has dedicated his career to making language education accessible, personalised, and engaging. In this exclusive London Real interview, Brian Rose discusses the inspiring journey, entrepreneurial spirit, and impactful contributions with Bernhard Niesner.

Born and raised in Austria, Bernhard Niesner’s journey into the world of entrepreneurship began with a passion for languages and a keen interest in the intersection of technology and education. His early experiences as a student and traveller ignited a desire to bridge language gaps and create a platform that would redefine how people learn languages.

In 2008, Bernhard Niesner, alongside co-founder Adrian Hilti, launched Busuu, named after a language spoken by a small community in Cameroon. The platform aimed to harness the power of technology to connect language learners around the world. Busuu’s innovative approach blended social networking with language learning, creating a dynamic and interactive environment for users to practice and enhance their language skills.

At the heart of Busuu’s success is its commitment to adaptive learning and personalised education. Bernhard Niesner envisioned a platform that could cater to individual learning styles, adapting to users’ proficiency levels and providing tailored lessons. Through innovative algorithms and real-life scenarios, Busuu ensures that learners receive a customised language learning experience that is both effective and enjoyable.

One of the distinguishing features of Busuu is its emphasis on community engagement. Niesner envisioned a platform where users could connect with native speakers and fellow learners, fostering a collaborative and immersive language learning experience. The community-driven approach enables users to develop their skills in real-life conversations, breaking down cultural and linguistic barriers.

Bernhard Niesner recognised the transformative potential of mobile technology early on. Under his leadership, Busuu became a pioneer in mobile language learning, offering users the flexibility to learn anytime, anywhere. The advent of the Busuu mobile app further democratised language education, allowing individuals around the globe to carry a language school in their pockets.

Niesner’s strategic vision led Busuu to forge partnerships with renowned institutions and organisations, including McGraw-Hill Education and Cambridge English. These collaborations expanded Busuu’s reach and reinforced its commitment to providing high-quality language education. The platform’s impact has not gone unnoticed, earning recognition through accolades such as the EdTech Europe Award and the Google Apps Developer Challenge.

Under Bernhard Niesner’s leadership, Busuu expanded its horizons beyond individual learners to address the language learning needs of businesses. The launch of Busuu for Business marked a strategic move into the corporate learning space, providing organisations with a powerful tool to enhance the language skills of their employees. This innovative approach not only benefits businesses but also contributes to the social impact of language education.

As technology continues to evolve, so does Bernhard Niesner’s vision for Busuu. He remains committed to pushing the boundaries of language learning, leveraging emerging technologies, and exploring new frontiers in education. Niesner’s forward-thinking approach positions Busuu at the forefront of edtech innovation, ensuring that learners worldwide have access to cutting-edge language education resources.

Bernhard Niesner’s journey from a passion for languages to the helm of Busuu reflects a profound dedication to reshaping how people learn and connect through technology. His entrepreneurial spirit, commitment to personalised education, and global vision have not only made Busuu a leader in language learning but also a driving force in the broader landscape of education technology.

As Niesner continues to lead Busuu into the future, his legacy stands as an inspiration for those who believe in the transformative power of education and technology to create positive change on a global scale.


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