The Learning Networks programme specifically addresses the needs of professional learners. Its point of departure are the individual professional's employability concerns, translated into competence development needs and catered for in ways that best serve their interests. The assumption of the programme is that a Learning Network is a suitable tool to develop the competences professional learners need. Here, a Learning Network is a particular kind of online social network, designed to support non-formal and lifelong learning in a particular domain. The research in the Learning Networks programme aims to answer the question of how a network structure can be designed and developed that produces the expected results in terms of learner outcomes and economic viability. The programme seeks to answer this question by contributing to concept, theory and model building and by designing and developing a range of support services that sustain learning professionals in a Learning Network.