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UNESCO Key Competencies 2030

New Education Report

We noted these comments and these skills below included in the recently published UNESCO Education Report. Rather than subscribe to any one report we think its useful to look across many. Although different organizations are using different terminologies, there are often numerous similarities in many future skills reports.

The most often appearing capacity being called for is Complex Problem Solving, also referred to as Integrative Problem Solving with the context being described as high in complexity and uncertainty while being overloaded with information. This is not the problem solving of yesterdays world. We liked this list even though it missed SenseMaking which appears on numerous other Future Work Skills Lists.

"People must learn to understand the complex world in which they live.

They need to be able to collaborate, speak up and act for positive change

(UNESCO, 2015).

"As societies around the world struggle to keep pace with the

progress of technology and globalization, they encounter

many new challenges. These include increasing complexity

and uncertainty; more individualization and social diversity;

expanding economic and cultural uniformity; degradation of

the ecosystem services upon which they depend; and greater

vulnerability and exposure to natural and technological


A rapidly proliferating amount of information is

available to them.

All these conditions require creative and self-organized action

because the complexity of the situation surpasses basic problem-solving

processes that go strictly according to plan.

We can call these people “sustainability citizens.”

(Wals, 2015; Wals and Lenglet, 2016).

Anticipatory competency: the abilities to understand

and evaluate multiple futures – possible, probable and

desirable; to create one’s own visions for the future;

to apply the precautionary principle; to assess the

consequences of actions; and to deal with risks and


Strategic competency: the abilities to collectively develop and implement innovative actions that further sustainability at the local level and further afield. Collaboration competency: the abilities to learn from others; to understand and respect the needs, perspectives and actions of others (empathy); to understand, relate to and be sensitive to others (empathic leadership); to deal with conflicts in a group; and to facilitate collaborative and participatory problem solving. Critical thinking competency: the ability to question norms, practices and opinions; to reflect on own one’s values, perceptions and actions; and to take a position in the sustainability discourse.

Systems thinking competency: the abilities to recognize

and understand relationships; to analyse complex systems;

to think of how systems are embedded within different

domains and different scales; and to deal with uncertainty.

Normative competency: the abilities to understand and

reflect on the norms and values that underlie one’s actions;

and to negotiate sustainability values, principles, goals, and

targets, in a context of conflicts of interests and trade-offs,

uncertain knowledge and contradictions.

Self-awareness competency: the ability to reflect on one’s

own role in the local community and (global) society; to

continually evaluate and further motivate one’s actions;

and to deal with one’s feelings and desires.

Integrated problem-solving competency: the overarching

ability to apply different problem-solving frameworks

to complex sustainability problems and develop viable,

inclusive and equitable solution options that promote

sustainable development, integrating the abovementioned


To learn more about Humantific's Complexity Navigation Program send us an email kickitup (a) humantific (dot) com.


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