The five skills you need to thrive in 2030



“It’s the cliched hope of the paranoid parent that teaching Chinese will best prepare kids for a future of different power structures in geopolitics,” futurist Tom Goodwin writes in GQ. “But is that essential in a world of Google Translate?” We don’t need to teach kids how to code, he argues, we need to teach our children how to dream.

Goodwin calls this approach “outward-in” schooling. Yes, we need basic knowledge, says Goodwin. “Kids will struggle to communicate if they can’t spell at all, but when spell-checkers auto translate and software handles voice-to-text, maybe it’s not something to take up much time.”

For today’s five-year old who will be entering the working world in 2030, Goodwin advocates an “inward-out” approach to learning. The five most important skills: Learn how to build relationships, to listen and converse. Foster curiosity, because when all information is available, our imagination is the only limit. Build agility, since we really don’t know what jobs will exist in 2030. Teach creativity, as ideas generate value and will so in the future. Encourage empathy, because in a divided world it’s essential to know what it’s like to be different. If we succeed, Goodwin promises, our kids will be “adaptable to change in a world we cannot foresee.”

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