Skills for the 21st century


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Hard Skills

Soft Skills

Disruptive Skills

Toggle the skills… and find out what you need to learn to embrace the future!

This list is non exhaustive and being updated on a regular basis.


Using one’s social influence in order to enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a task. Organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal while involving situational interaction, power, vision, values, charisma, and intelligence among others.

Problem Solving

Using generic or ad hoc methods, in an orderly manner, for finding unexpected or disruptive solutions to problems. Being able to understand what the goal of the problem is and what rules could be applied represent the key to solving the problem. Sometimes the problem requires some abstract thinking and coming up with a creative solution.


Being in the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties while considering them as opportunities for growth. Being able to manage one’s emotions facing failure, obstacles, stress, etc.

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Growth Hacking

Growth hacking is a trending approach developed by tech start ups which uses creativity, social metrics and analytical thinking to gain exposure. The key is to focus on low-cost and innovative alternatives to traditional marketing. AirBnB, Dropbox, Twitter are all companies that use growth hacking techniques.

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People now use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. This is why collaboration is more and more valued.

Smart Failure

Failure is a part of the creative process, and is linked with progress. It helps you step from knowing to understanding. Given the challenges of tomorrow, we need the next generation to be: experimental, imaginative, and curious with intrinsic interest. The ability to fail and adapt is a prime condition for success.


Having a good imagination or original ideas, typically in a professional context, involving the production of something new, original, useful and worthwhile.


Being in the capacity to understand what another person is experiencing from within the other person’s frame of reference while being able to place oneself in another’s shoes.

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Dealing with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing. Building automated machines that can take the place of humans in dangerous environments or manufacturing processes, or resemble humans in appearance, behavior, and/or cognition.

Design Thinking

Design thinking combines empathy for the context of a problem, creativity in the generation of ideas, and rationality in fitting various solutions to the problem context. This is a way of thinking, approaching and solving multi-dimensional problems ; following a 5-steps method designers are used to rely on.

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Research & Information Fluency

Information is flooding all our newsfeeds on all our devices. Nowadays, people have to apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, use useful information and avoid useless information.

Tolerance for ambiguity

The world is changing at an extremely fast pace. Being able to evolve, professionally, in this unpredictable world ; being able to accept to move forward, even if the future is full of uncertainties, namely in entrepreneurship ; being able to be agile and flexible… these are the very essential components of a new soft skill that is highly anticipated in the world of tomorrow.


Leading from an original formulation of a computing problem to executable computer programs. Programming involves activities such as analysis, developing understanding, generating algorithms, verification of requirements of algorithms including their correctness and resources consumption, and implementation of algorithms in a target programming language.


Achieving a mental state by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Vision for the future

Being able to think about the future with imagination and wisdom. Giving the time, resources, energy and opportunity to identify and pursue one’s dreams. Developing steps and strategies needed to achieve one’s dreams.

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Public Speaking

This is the process and act of speaking or giving a lecture to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence, or entertain a listening audience. Most of the time, public speaking is to persuade the audience.

Digital Citizenship

Understanding human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology while practicing legal and ethical behavior.

Feel free to share your insights and leave a comment below.


  • Excellent list. Here are a few more I can think of::
    Original thinking
    Synthetic thinking
    Transdisciplinary thinking
    Active learning
    Lifelong learning (more of an aspiration than a skill but still continuous learning is a much-needed skill)