Cognitive Abilities And Spirituality Are Most Important Skills For The Youth

The Education system should produce literates that will remain in demand in spite of technology. This is the only way that humans will continue to contribute to an equitable and sustainable society.

How does young India pave its way to success? Swami Vivekananda rightly stated, ‘Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, the dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, and every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.’ 

Even after 72 years of Independence, literacy and skilling challenges persist. The skills required of the industry is evolving and changing rapidly. I believe, literacy or education should be such that it helps humans remain relevant in these changing times. The Education system should produce literates that will remain in demand in spite of technology. This is the only way that humans will continue to contribute to an equitable and sustainable society. 

Companies today are navigating their businesses through an increasingly complex world of decisions, risks and opportunities, amidst technological advances that are unprecedented in their speed and impact. The future will soon depend on and will be shaped by the intersection between new technologies – big data, robotics, AI and VR – and a deep understanding of humanity; its relationship with technology and how to make the most of it.

The literacy requirement and means to access information is evolving every day in qualitative and quantitative terms. About a decade back, youngsters would only depend on books to broaden their horizon. The scenario is now different. The young generation of this day and age has access to the internet where they consume as much knowledge as they can. However, for Gen-Y, technical knowledge will be ineffective without the accompanying social and human understanding.

The combination of technical and social skills in the future ­– a type of ‘social ergonomics’ will be important to the creation of value and prosperity. This combination will represent a new social science that I call, ‘New Humanities’. Advances in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are ushering in a new age of automation, as machines match or outperform humans in a range of work-related activities, including ones that require cognitive capabilities. The way of the future now is to work collaboratively with machines while simultaneously harnessing our ability to empathize, and our innate value system. 

According to David Deming, Associate Professor of Education and Economics at Harvard University, soft skills like sharing and negotiating will be crucial for the development of youth. He emphasizes that the modern workplace, where people move between different roles and projects, will closely resemble pre-school classrooms, where we learn social skills such as empathy and cooperation. 

Here are a couple of the qualities I imagine the future literate youth will have to possess - 

Cognitive abilities: Some qualities like empathy, creativity, and sensitivity will become the key skill sets which will differentiate winners from losers. Machines cannot learn talents that are exclusive to humans. For example; in terms of empathy, those leaders and companies that embed empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of others – into their business models perform far better than those that don’t

Concentrating on spirituality: I strongly believe that the relevance of faith in determining the human behavior, values and choices will always remain central to humanity, no matter how much our lives are dependent on machines. Along with participating actively in the technology world, many youngsters prefer visiting ashrams, take to reiki therapy or opt for vipassana to stay in touch with their inner self

The basic literacy and skilling requirement is undergoing major disruptions. This is evident from the new and emerging courses being offered by the education institutions these days. Everything traditional is being fast replaced by what is futuristic and innovative. it is important for today’s literates to arm themselves with the new age courses and prepare themselves for the skills that would be demanded by corporates in the future. This is the only way that they can keep pace with the changing times. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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