Future of Work: What Skills Will Help Us Keep Pace?

From the growing clamor of voices warning robots will take away our jobs, it is clear we are focusing more on the problems of AI, robotics, and automation than the solutions. While the problems are real and should be taken into account, social innovators around the world are already working to deliver solutions.
It’s true that today’s technology is reworking the economy and our role in it. But this needn’t herald economic end times. To smooth the transition, we need to ensure that displaced workers have the resources to learn new work and children are given a good head start. This is nothing new. Modern society has long invested in humans alongside machines.
During the Industrial Revolution, in the US, we demanded every child attend school and learn reading, writing and math. Education gave workers the requisite skills to operate new industrial machines and sped integration into the emerging industrial social organization of competitive, hierarchical, siloed businesses with employees using machines to perform repetitive jobs.
 Throughout the 20th century, humanity poured tremendous resources into ensuring every human develop these skills as technologies advanced. Now, in the 21st century, we are faced with a similar task but a new set of technologies and skills.
Most of us have heard of STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, and math), but there is another lesser known skillset that will also be critical. These are the changemaking skills of empathy, innovation, new teamwork and new leadership. As STEM skills help us learn the latest technologies, changemaking skills can help us flourish in a society transitioning from hierarchical to flat, fast moving networks.