NWU community gave ideas about skills of the future

Each week, New World University picks the most popular topic among the Facebook group contributions and features it as the board of the week. Last week, the Idea Board was: ‘What are the key skills for the future?’. NWU community gave insights about what 21st century learning… Here are some key ideas:

Cross-disciplinary Skills

The world is changing fast, forcing people to change fast, to adapt quickly and to bring new skills on the table. To be a specialist in something today is no longer enough. We need more generalists. Most of us now have to show a certain ability to master different subjects and skills… Because the world is more and more complex and uncertain, people need to be able to apprehend things with different angles in order to be able to see the big picture. This also means working and collaborating with people from various backgrounds. For instance, if 2 or 3 computer geeks work together day and night in a room, they might invent the umpteenth Facebook or Twitter. Neither interesting nor relevant… But, if a programer works intensively with a designer, they might invent the connected clothes… If a programer works with a scientist, they might invent together great innovations based on nano-and-bio technology. Trans-disciplinarity is the key and leads to Innovation. Mixing ideas, paradigms, subjects and skills ; having a scientific background, some coding skills, a liking for design (at least a certain form of art or aestheticism), training one’s capacity to be creative… All these competencies are tremendously significant to grasp this new world and to be a part of it.

Soft Skills

Obviously, in order to develop trans-disciplinary skills, people need to embrace soft skills. What are soft skills? Basically they refer to anything which is not a hard (or technical) skill and they often are related to change: adaptability, agility, flexibility and ability to learn new things fast and well. But they also refer to collaboration, to the crowd therefore to people… Definitely. Sociability, trust, empathy are key skills for the future of humanity.

There will be a vast range of challenges facing the human race. The usual skills will still be critical: communication and analytic skills, as well as social and emotional skills and the ability to organise and motivate others. Creative problem solving will be essential as technologies will change just as drastically, if not more quickly than they have to produce the current glut of new media and technical skills that will likely be superseded.

Service Skills

Developing trans-disciplinary skills (meaning just as much scientific as creation skills), plus developing soft skills in order to be completely agile (able to manage stress, to balance your life between professional and personal spheres…) is not easy. Some people feel at ease in this “new skills required” environment. But for a lot of people this really is a big and scary challenge. They feel lost, they don’t know what to learn and how to learn and usually they don’t feel comfortable and confident at all. They need tutoring, they need coaching…
This is why, we are observing emerging jobs and skills designed to help people develop skills. In the future, we will see more and more talents and skilled people specialized in coaching people, helping them get skilled in whatever subject: a productivity counselor, a personal digital curator, a corporate disorganizer, a curiosity tutor, a happiness maker… For some, they already exist, for the others it is just a matter of time…
If you want examples of what jobs or skills could be existing in the near future, look at this Slideshare presentation:
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New World Education est un groupe éducatif alternatif au service d’un 21ème siècle créatif et entrepreneurial.