So much will change in the next 20 years that not only will some jobs disappear (like many cashiers, truck drivers, accountants, and stockbrokers), but our schools will not prepare kids for the new ones. The have/have-not divide will only widen between schools with high-tech labs and free laptops on one hand, and schools with unprepared teachers that won’t teach evolution or climate science and care more about what girls are wearing than learning.
Right now, we are at best preparing kids for 2005, not 2050.
The new smart will be determined not by what or how you know but by the quality of your thinking, listening, relating, collaborating, and learning. Quantity is replaced by quality. And that shift will enable us to focus on the hard work of taking our cognitive and emotional skills to a much higher level.We will spend more time training to be open-minded and learning to update our beliefs in response to new data. We will practice adjusting after our mistakes, and we will invest more in the skills traditionally associated with emotional intelligence. The new smart will be about trying to overcome the two big inhibitors of critical thinking and team collaboration: our ego and our fears. Doing so will make it easier to perceive reality as it is, rather than as we wish it to be. In short, we will embrace humility. That is how we humans will add value in a world of smart technology.