Human Skills: From Conversations to Convergence | MIT J-WEL

Human Skills: From Conversations to Convergence

Overview and Registration Program Venue and Travel

Join us for Human Skills: From Conversations to Convergence

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J-WEL members - a separate registration process is involved. Please email us for details.

March 4, 2020

At this highly interactive workshop, J-WEL convenes leading thinkers from academia, industry, edtech, and public policy to explore the essential human skills and attributes that workers need. We’ll learn from experts who are pioneering novel ways of teaching and measuring human skills, and take this opportunity to determine how we might move towards a common understanding about how to train and assess these skills across the workforce ecosystem.

Rapid technological and economic changes are transforming the types of jobs being demanded and the nature of the work in those jobs. At the same time, focus on STEM skills over the last decade is rapidly evolving to “STEAM” or “STEM+” skills as employers realize that technical skills are not enough to succeed. While technology skills depreciate rapidly, another set of skills – which we call “human skills” – are far more lasting. These social and higher-order thinking skills have been shown to be related to greater career performance.

And yet these human skills are hard to define, hard to assess, and hard to train. Our recent research found 41 separate nontechnical skills frameworks, overlapping only about 60% between lists. 

If we are to produce workers who can thrive in today’s dynamic organizations and in the future of work, we need to develop a strong perspective on what these skills are and how we can teach and assess them.