How can we develop the necessary skills for the future?
We are living in a moment that it is key for our future. The 4th Industrial Revolution and the exponential growth of digitalization brought by COVID-19 have created the unique opportunity for solving the most critical issues of society. But to achieve results that benefit everyone, we need to develop new skills.
“COVID-19 has presented one of the most formidable challenges in recent history to governments, businesses, and society. Many consider it to be the ultimate tipping point for the 21st-century. The pandemic is a wake-up call for companies to have a plan to deal with disruptions to ensure business continuity. It is also a watershed moment that will signal the fast-track acceleration process for digitization throughout society.” Suphachai Chearavanont. “How digitization and innovation can make the post-COVID world a better place.” World Economic Forum (2020)
What is the 4th Industrial Revolution?
Let's start by defining what the 4th Industrial Revolution is. This term refers to the latest technological revolution we are living in, which was first introduced in 2015 in a Foreign Affairs article by professor Klaus Schwab, Founder & Executive Chairman of World Economic Forum.
The technological advances that sparked previous industrial revolutions were:
🚂 1st Industrial Revolution: steam
💡 2nd Industrial Revolution: electricity
☎️ 3rd Industrial Revolution: informatics and communication technologies
🦾 4th Industrial Revolution joins different technologies that blur the boundaries between the physical, digital and biological worlds. This revolution kicked off with gigantic steps and at an unprecedented speed.
Here are the main characteristics of the 4th Industrial Revolution:
Millions of people connected to a mobile device.
Emergent technological advances such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, Internet of Things (IOT), autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnologies and biotechnologies.
Unlimited access and storage of information.
The Great Reset
The actual situation we are living in is a unique opportunity for 'The Great Reset'. This is an initiative of the World Economic Forum that urges different organizations and individuals to take advantage of the current moment to rethink and improve our future.
“The pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world to create a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous future.”– Klaus Scwad. “Now is the time for a “great reset”.” World Economic Forum (2020)
How do we prepare for 'The Great Reset'? What kind of skills do we need to acquire?
In order to develop new skills, it is important to maintain a mindset focused on continuous learning. Since technology is covering more physical and repetitive tasks (thanks to automatization of processes), our more 'human' skills such as communication, empathy, adaptability, negotiation, leadership and continuous learning (also known as 'soft skills') will become more relevant than ever.
🚨 But note: 'Soft skills' alone will not be enough to address all current challenges. To actively contribute to the redefinition of the economy in a sustainable and digital way, we also require:
Critical thinking skills
How can we start the skill reset?
☝️ Identify the skills that you need to improve, and create your plan of action. At Pixel Research Lab , we opted for a 4-action plan that helped us develop the following three key skills:
🤔 Critical thinking
✅ Question your ideas and beliefs.
✅ Research, compare and look for patterns.
✅ Learn from others.
✅ Speak less, listen and observe more.
✅ Be 'Lean': test fast, learn, and keep on iterating.
✅ Do not fall in love with your ideas, test them.
✅ Accept feedback, be humble.
✅ Prioritize actions, learn how to fail.
👩🏻💻 Digital skills
✅ Experiment with new tools.
✅ Explore ways to automatize your work processes.
✅ Do not get used to just using one single tool.
✅ Keep on learning with courses and tutorials.
Ready to start?
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