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Purpose- The purpose of this paper is to identify the new role that human resource developers play in the globally connected workplace. Towards that end, this paper explores the changing landscape of self‐directed learning (SDL) within the digital ecosystem based on the concept of World 2.0. Design/methodology/approach- This paper reviews and builds on the literatures of self‐directed learning and Web 2.0 technologies to explore how self‐directed learning is being transformed in the creative digital era. Findings- The paper outlines five transformations that change the landscape of workplace learning in the creative digital era: virtual collaboration, technological convergence, global connectivity, online communities, and digital creativity. Practical implications- This paper gives extensive guidance on how HRD specialists and practitioners can transform their strategies to adapt to the training needs of employees in the creative digital era. The paper provides new ideas and vision for industrial trainers and human resource development practitioners on self‐directed learning. Research limitations/implications-This article provides some future research areas and limitations. Originality/value- This paper opens up new possibilities for self‐directed learning and discusses how self‐directed learning might be transformed in the light of technological and workplace changes. In particular, self‐directed learning might decrease the HRD/training costs significantly while providing employees with just‐in time training.