I believe education can be a fundamental solution to many of the grand challenges humanity faces today. Poverty, disease, malnourishment and climate change – these are all problems that can best be solved by educating people about the problem and training them to find and execute solutions. But education needs to change completely from what it is today.
Luckily, many bright minds are working on new ways of bringing education to people. Online lectures, gamification and peer-to-peer tutoring are great examples of new forms of learning; they are becoming more commonly applied in classrooms around the world. But not only is it important to transform how we learn, what we learn should be changed dramatically also.
I find it fascinating to think about the skills that will make a difference in the future. Much inspired by books like Daniel Pink’s A whole new mind, below is the list of the skills I want to develop further — because I think they are critical to flourish in project world.
Build and lead teams. Practice the act of convincing people to support you. Only when one learns to adopt the perspective of others can you be truly influential.
Solve complex problems. In the real world, unlike in most courses, there is no set of guidelines available. You need to invent the roadmap yourself.
Develop big ideas. To make a profound change in the world, we need to work on big dreams and audacious projects. It is too easy to adopt the opinion of others, instead try to go deep and really question beliefs and knowledge. This requires to go deeper than most into the matter, and zoom out further to place things into context.
Improvise and play. Learn how to make things up on the spot and to give project a human edge.
Tell stories. In the flat world, storytellers triumph. This is true for the ventures we start but also for our personal lives. Human beings crave stories – and we love to help and spend time with people who are good at telling them.
Tinker and prototype. It is critical to be able to transform ideas into action. This may concern building a robot or writing a book – it is about the mindset of building things which are not yet perfect.
Identify and surf trends. By seeing ahead and identifying technological and social shifts, we can increase the chances to be “at the right place at the right time”.
Try things and take action. Start things that never were. The only way to be successful is to try a lot of things that might fail. Small failures are soon forgotten, large victories are not.
The list above is non exhaustive and non perfect. Please share the skills you find significant by email [firstname.lastname@example.org] or at the bottom of this post. Thank you!