Competences for Living in Modern Times

This beginning of the millennium brought a significant boost to the pace of change for a generation that tends to live up to 100 years. How many innovations and how many paradigm shifts will these people, from the so called generations Y and Z, experience during their lives?

Professor Carlos Salles in his article “The New Business Environment” defines three factors as responsible for the constant changes in the market: The technology, globalization and changing customer habits. In everyday life this finding is not different: INTERNET technology emancipated many young people not only to increase their knowledge on specific topics of interest, but also the subjects range over which they can talk with knowledge; economic globalization reflected in the globalization of food habits, clothing, and objects of desire of the people, driving young people away from old habits of their families, but approaching them from other teens in different corners of the planet. This change of habits makes the Y generation not wish to have closed curricula, super-specialized, marked by passing through a single company during their career, as Generations X and the Baby Boomers used to.  Hence the misguided thinking that these young people are less committed than previous generations. They are not committed to the model of management and career practiced until then, Gary Hamel, consultant and professor at the London Business School, calls management 1.0, and in his own words in an interview on the show Conta Corrente, on GloboNews said “… is becoming an impediment to business success …” and also “… in today’s world, those who create wealth are different people with different ideas, creating different products and services … “. In these new times, which will be increasingly marked by administration 2.0 from Hamel, and the continuous and rapid changes in technology, personal habits and world economy, what are the competences necessary for the success of an individual?

Jacques Delors, in the report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the XXI Century, coordinated by him, identifies four pillars for a new type of education:

  1. Learning to live together, which is based on the interdependence of the modern world and the importance of relationships;
  2. Learning to know, which is based on the discovery, learning to learn, attention, memory and reasoning;
  3. Learning to do, which means the technique of association, methodology, with the application of theoretical knowledge; and
  4. Learning to be, which refers to the development of human talents: Imagination, physical, aesthetic sense, among others, confirming the need for each to know and understand better.

In short, there are not few necessary skills to live in this new world. Relating the pillars of Delors with essential skills to support each pillar, can be regarded as indispensable in the following competencies:

Associated with the pillar Live Together: Ability to negotiate, resilience, capacity to influence people, empathy, ability to work together, active listening, oral communication and writing skills, flexibility;

Associated with the pillar Know: Ability to operate with new technologies (computers, social networks, fixed and mobile telecommunications, Internet, technology derived from quantum physics), concentration, constant exercise of reasoning and memory, interest in reading, open-minded, interested in learning methods and their applications , analysis capacity;

Associated with the pillar Do: Ability to manage time, methodology in action, ability to plan and execute the planned capacity for synthesis, commitment to your goals, decision-making, use of logic and common sense;

Associated with the pillar Be: Ability to accept the new, self-knowledge, ability to respect the other, active imagination, interest in the practice of fitness, ability to control emotions and sell ideas.

Some of these skills are connected to more than one of Jacques Delor pillars, and of course a person with all these attributes to a high degree of proficiency would be a superhuman; but the search for these skills, combined with the gifts that each one has, will shape the path to success and the fullness of the people in this new millennium.


DELORS, Jacques. Education: The Treasure Within; report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the the XXI century. 7th.ed. São Paulo: Cortez Editora, 2012.

HAMEL, Gary. Interview for the show Conta Corrente on Globonews. Available at Accessed on 04/01/2015.

SALLES, Carlos. O Novo Ambiente de Negócios. In: Revista Mundo PM, 2003. Available at Accessed on 04/01/2015.

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