Education – Learn as much as possible. The twenty-first century will be dominated by those who invest in education and energy (and the two are tightly interlinked). It used to be the case that sending a child to college or learning a trade was the ticket to a comfortable middle class life. It provided the basic skills to be either a white-collar or blue-collar cog in the industrial machine of the Industrial Age. Now, such skills are barely table stakes for a subsistence living. If you want to thrive in the world, you have to be (a) better at something than several billion highly motivated members of the developing/emerging world (ie. BRIC), and (b) better than a computer (which by the way can beat a chess world champion grandmaster).
Specialisation – In addition to a generally deeper degree of education, graduate degrees or supplemental education will be the norm. As it becomes less and less possible to understand everything, it becomes more important to be an expert in something.
Age of Knowledge – More than pumping more funds into schools kind of thing, we need a wholesale rethink of our approach to knowledge in society. Today, religion is treated with a special respect that any practice or association thereof is accorded certain deference and implicit support. Its leaders are literally ‘revered’. Science itself and its leaders and elite practitioners need to be elevated to that same status. The populace needs to demand just as actively that their leaders attend science lectures as they current demand today that leaders attend church.
Open Minds – Never before has it been so critical to embrace the failure of what one might know and understand. A perpetual sense of ‘not getting it’ and ‘not getting it right’ will be accepted and commonplace in the digital age. As a result, people will need to approach all claims with a sceptical eye. People will continue to make mistakes as they do today in their choices. But hopefully, with open minds, they will be ready to accept those mistakes and make new choices when provided with new information.