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A New Way to Look at Employability Skills for the 21st Century

Aside from technical know-how, what skills will be essential for the 21st century worker?

The National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) recently hosted a special 90-minute webinar on the topic of “Building C21C Indipreneurial Lifeskills for the 21st Century.”  This presentation offered an entirely new way of looking at workforce employability “soft” skills.  The foundation of the webinar was the work of socioeconomic futurist and author Carolyn Corbin – who is also a member of the CTC’s Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT).

In the webinar, Carolyn explained that the 21st century – particularly from now until 2050 – “will be unlike anything the world has experienced” but will also present a number of opportunities for those will the skills to maximize life “within or without an organizational structure.”  The idea is the era is ending in which an employer handles for workers things like retirement money and health care.  More and more, individuals will have to assume more assertive control over their careers and their lives.  This new paradigm will be driven by the kinds of “indipreneurial” skills Carolyn encourages programs to consider teaching to students.

The presentation delivered an overview of five interconnected “Life Skills” – “Resourcing” focuses on knowledge, “Futuring” focuses on vision, “Optimizing” focuses on hope, “Tracking” focuses on control, and “Balancing” focuses on harmony.  The last half-hour of the webinar was spent digging into the specifics of “Optimizing” because an optimizer will likely thrive in the 21st century because of high self-esteem and a high sense of personal responsibility.  Further workshops will be provided by Carolyn to explore other aspects of her “Indipreneurial Lifeskills.”  If you’d like to be added to an invite list, please email

If you’d like to watch the webinar, click here.  You can also learn more about Carolyn and her books here.

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