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Symposium 2014

Virtual Library File - Transforming Students’ Lives with Social and Emotional Learning

The Challenge

The time will come when technologies have completely substituted labor. No way, you say, and you are probably right: it will perhaps only be half of all labor. Indeed, a growing number of commentato ...

The time will come when technologies have completely substituted labor. No way, you say, and you are probably right: it will perhaps only be half of all labor. Indeed, a growing number of commentators think that technology is likely to have a more pronounced impact on employment than it has had in the past. While routine, codifiable tasks have already been largely automated, machines are becoming increasingly good at carrying out cognitive, formerly “human-only” tasks, such as language processing or driving. And the emergence of artificial intelligence and the digital interconnections between people will do much more; with unclear consequences for the labor market. Yet, automation is not the only reason for concern. Combine technologies with globalization and the jobs which cannot (yet) be automated will be offshored or taken over by an international superstar who can, aided be the internet, reach out to individuals anywhere on the planet.

Which competencies will the young generation entering the labour market need? Highly developed social skills will certainly help to set us apart from machines on the labour market. This article by two researchers from a Yale psychology lab shows how emotional and social skills can be taught, and how this makes students’ lives a little bit better already today.