The world around us is rapidly changing. That child who has always been on an iPad is our future coworker. In a world with information overload, participants suggested that humans need to be inspiring to be of value.

Sue recommends the book “Forward Focus,” which talks about some of the changes to our brains and the availability of information. She suggests that humans are getting stupider. How we access information has changed, which changes what is important. Memorization, for example, is not as important as it once was. She asked us to think about the possibilities.

Tumisu / Pixabay

She explained that we have a hard time committing to long term career planing because the future is so unknown – it is like committing for a stranger. She asked us to write some first-person statements about how we might learn in 2028:

  • I will want to engage in virtual reality
  • I will want to learn in the moment (instead of training)
  • I will be able to choose relevant learning
  • Technology will support my learning

My role will be to:

  • Inspire learning among colleagues and students
  • Be valued for interactions and ability to facilitate learning rather than content expertise

I will no longer need to:

  • Manage scheduling conflicts
  • Manually track student data metrics
  • Be tech support

I will likely:

  • Be a curator

Some skills to focus on:

  • Curation
  • How to help people change performance

Focus Areas

Futurists focus on how to make the future possible (not predicting it). Her group did some research and identified some skills:


Knowledge is no longer power – performance is.

Everyone can access knowledge. Human skills like empathy are more important. She recommends resources from the dschool as a starting point.


Growth Mind-set

You will need to learn every single day as the future comes faster and faster. Agility, resilience, and learning how to learn become important.

Skitterphoto / Pixabay

Cognitive flexibility

Sense-making is an important skill. It is common to feel overwhelmed with data. She recommends we fight the algorithm and look for alternate views to grow, learn, remove bias and stay relevant.

Digital and Data

We need to have technology skills. Technology is part of the future. Collaboration tools, data and analytics, are important for us to understand. We need to understand emerging technologies.

We need to enable these skills among our learners.

Pexels / Pixabay

Group Work:

What are current roles: Creation/curation of learning objects. Helping people meet performance standards.

What is needed: Individualized learning on demand. Just in time training.  The ability to manage change.

Sue recommends Laura Overton‘s work on towards maturity and habits.

She ended by asking us to create an artifact for our future to help keep the part of our brain going to prepare new skills in the following categories:

  • Industry Knowledge
  • Tools and Technologies
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Other Skills

How will we build those skills? We need to think of our own learning and development. Institute for the future has some tools and nicely designed graphics to help with skill building.


Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit


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