A complete guide to the skills you need to stay relevant in an unknown future

November 23, 2019

The 21-st century skills you need in your armour and how you can acquire them

Robot dexterity. New-wave nuclear power. Artificial Intelligence. Blockchain. Augmented. Reality and Virtual Reality. Cloud Computing. Lab-developed meat. Angular and React. DevOps. Internet of Things (IoT). Big Data...The list of new technology and developments that we have encountered in the last few years is super long! 

How do we –mere humans, not robots, mind you– stay relevant in this rapidly changing world? It’s a tough one! But, thankfully, thought leaders and top learning and research organizations have also been mulling over the same question. And they have a few answers for us. 

Turns out, more than your hard skills –tech, data, science or any other trade-related skills– your soft-skills matter. So, whether you are an expert at Ruby on Rails or not, what matters more is that you can communicate your knowledge, work with a team and grow as a leader. We combed through all of their recommendations and have put together a comprehensive long-list of skills that you could add to your armour and how you can acquire them.


This skill is truly the most important in the future as every innovation is driven by creativity. To navigate uncertainties and find the best possible solutions, creativity is crucial. 


Why the fuss? 

Creativity is our big differentiator from robots.

I’m sold. What next?

The State University of New York is offering a great course on Coursera to ‘Ignite your everyday creativity.’

Unearth your creative side through our NewCampus class on How to discover your next side hustle idea

Learning a new language rewires your brains and gets your creativity sparking. So, learn to speak a new tongue through Duolingo

Diversity and cultural intelligence

Our world has suffered wars and misery because people couldn’t get along with each other. To avoid such intangible horrors in the future, it is imperative to know and understand people from different cultures unlike our own. 

Why the fuss?

Instead of focusing on the differences, cultural intelligence fine-tunes our attention to finding the similarities and understanding how to communicate and respect people from diverse backgrounds.

I’m sold. What next?

Learn more about the power of building a community

Understand how you can manage people through this course on teamwork and diversity

Discover more on diversity and inclusion in the workplace 

Emotional quotient (EQ)

The more we are in tune with our own emotions, the better we can manage all the situations we encounter. Emotional intelligence helps us relate and connect with people, unlike robots.

Why the fuss? 

Once again, EQ helps us distinguish ourselves from machines. People with high EQ would be better at navigating ambiguity, displaying empathy and being leaders.

I’m sold. What next?

How about learning to create emotional balance and emodiversity in your life through this workshop? 

Udemy has a course on using Emotional Intelligence on the job

Analytical thinking and decision making

While EQ is important, it is also important to think cooly with a logical approach. This is why critical/analytical thinking is so important! It helps you look at the information dispassionately and come to reasonable conclusions. 

Why the fuss? 

When you think analytically, you can make the right decisions, without being overly emotional. This is an essential trait for a leader

I’m sold. What next?

Understand the deeper art of decision making through this course on how to move from being stuck to unstuck through decision intelligence

Glean some useful insights from this course on applying product thinking and product management skills to your life and career 

Check out these 10 apps to train your brain to get sharper and more analytical

Leadership skills

We need leaders who can shoulder the responsibilities of building a better future for all of us. Leaders need a combination of skills to inspire and help their teams elevate themselves. Good leadership skills will contribute not just to organizational growth but also to the growth of a better society.

Why the fuss?

With the right kind of leader, no task is insurmountable. 

I’m sold. What next?

Discover the 7 habits of a dynamic leader.

Do you know there is a secret recipe to becoming an effective new-generation leader?

Many state that “no one is born a leader.” So, here is a class that’ll guide you to leadership

Learn more about adopting humility for strong leadership and conflict management

Navigating ambiguity

Let’s face it, we have no clue how the future looks. We are facing some of the most serious problems of climate change, disappearing flora and fauna, depleting fossil fuel resources, etc., and we need people who can embrace uncertainty and get down to work. 

Why the fuss?

We need people who are flexible and can innovate and conquer changing circumstances.

I’m sold. What next?

Cultivate positive psychology and carve your path to wellbeing

Understand sustainability and what we can do as a community

Figure out how to change your relationship with stress for good and learn to tackle any situation or change

Growth mindset

We have time and again spoken about the importance of building a growth mindset and becoming a lifelong learner. And experts agree that this will be a critical skill to develop in the coming years. A growth mindset will help you flow and grow with the times. It makes you curious about the world around you, helping you dig deeper and understand it better.

Why the fuss?

With a growth mindset, no challenge is too big. It helps you adapt, be flexible, learn the skills required and tackle a challenge. 

I’m sold. What next?

Start by adopting a growth mindset by learning about the art of working in flow.

Open up your mind to possibilities and growth through some documentary films and invigorating conversations in our community event on igniting curiosity with impact.

Read Dr Carol Dweck’s highly regarded book on the subject that popularized the concept of growth mindset

Communication skills

With the advent of social media, we are all being admonished for being non-communicative. Hence, it is super important for us to pick up some communication skills. This will help us connect and collaborate with others efficiently.

Why the fuss?

Human communication is complex, something that machines can never perfectly emulate. The better we can communicate, the more valuable an asset we become.

I’m sold. What next?

Wharton has a comprehensive MOOC on the subject of improving communication skills.

Understand the subtle art of communicating and building relations through this class on beginners guide to building deep human connections on LinkedIn.

If public speaking is your nemesis, this class on tackling public speaking with the “Five senses framework could help


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