There continues to be a movement in corporate formal learning programs to uber-empower the learner and focus the role of content designers to a more infrastructure role. Google and Instant Messenger are the perfect model for many. And I mostly agree with this "Bay Area" position.
But I also believe that "Passionate learners come from Passionate designers." Call it the "Los Angeles" take. The best movies, television shows, books, and computer games come from people passionate about the content, (although they rely on and assume the infrastructure). This passion was often true during the mom and pop instruction era, and it has to be more true in the era of scalable instructional content as well.
Being involved in, and watching, this passion around content is one reason why the educational simulation/ serious games movement is very interesting to me.