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The skills your children will need to be successful for the future of work and society

Future Skills Model: Welcome
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The world is changing and the skills our children will need for the jobs of the future and our future society are different from what has been needed in the past. The rapid pace of technology-change, including automation and artificial intelligence, is quickly changing the nature of jobs, and, therefore, the skills that will make them successful. In addition, the rise of new, tech-enabled business models (e.g. freelancing) will mean that our children can expect to have multiple career changes, and will need to quickly learn new technical skills throughout their lifetime. Gone are the days of one job for 30 years, then retire. Beyond work, technology has also changed how we interact individually and as a society. As a result, the skills we need to build relationships and create cohesive social structures are different than in the past. Research from leading organizations like the World Bank and the World Economic Forum tells us that the core skills needed for success in this future revolve around three categories: 1. critical thinking, 2. sociobehavioral, and 3. self-regulation & motivation skills.

For our children, the time to learn these skills is now, when they are young. The early years of life, especially from conception to three, is a critical period when the architecture of our children’s’ brains are formed as a result of the relationships and experiences we provide them. During this period, their foundation for health, learning and behavior is built. Even for higher cognitive functions, including the skills needed for the future, this period is vital. Research has also shown that gains made during this period persist throughout their lifetime and have a significant effect on adult social relationships, well-being and future earnings. Beyond these early years, as our children enter into formal education, they continue to build on these critical skills. While technical skills (e.g. reading, writing, math, geography) are helpful, overemphasizing them can reduce the time for building the skills that will make them successful in the future. Parents and educators can future-proof their kids by ensuring that they are aligning their play, peer interactions and education toward these skills, especially during childhood.

Drawing from our expertise and leading research, we designed a framework that outlines the skills that our children will need to be successful members of society and leaders in the future of work, as seen in the diagram above. Building skills in decision making, creativity and dealing with ambiguity will help develop critical thinking, which is difficult for computers to replicate. Skills like empathy, collaboration and grit set children up to work with others and strengthen their inner-selves, attributes critical for the future of work. Gratitude and finding a purpose, meanwhile, help build social cohesion and equity that benefit everyone. Alongside these skills, our framework identifies three cross-cutting topics that will be increasingly important for the future: sustainability, diversity & inclusion, and technology. Learning to both appreciate and leverage these focal areas further ensures that our children will be ready to tackle the issues they will face in their lifetime.

Future Skills Model: About


Our framework and approach are based on the research of thought leaders in Early Childhood Development and the Future of Work

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Future Skills Model: Services
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