Blog publications

Future literacy for a green economy

Future literacy for a green economy

Dimitar Hristov

Recently, on the occasion of the last version of the Orientation Guide for Development of Green Skills, elaborated under the Go Green Project, I had to think and write some "wise thoughts" about future literacy as an important solder for creating a green economy, or more specifically for developing the so-called "green skills". However, let's not react with emotional overload when writing about the "green topic", because our focus here is mainly on future literacy.

The European Center for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefob) defines green skills as knowledge, abilities, values ​​and attitudes necessary to live, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society.

These skills cover a wide range of areas, including renewable energy, resource management, environmental technologies, climate adaptation and environmental protection.

Green skills are relevant for people of all ages, but they are of utmost importance for the young, who can contribute to the ecological transition for a longer period. In addition, green skills help to address environmental challenges, foster innovation, create green jobs and build resilience to environmental challenges. With green skills, there is a shift to the so-called "green economy", which we see as an engine for economic growth by creating new jobs in such areas providing economic benefits to people as renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, environmental protection, etc.

And here comes the importance of future literacy, without which we can hardly imagine building any future-oriented green skills. UNESCO defines literacy as a continuum of learning and skills in reading, writing and using numbers throughout life and as part of a larger set of skills, including digital skills, media literacy, education for sustainable development and global citizenship. Literacy skills themselves are expanding and developing as people increasingly engage with information and learning through digital technologies.

Future literacy is crucial for economic development and a better future. It is considered in the context of economic sustainability, green economy and the fight against climate change, poverty reduction, increasing labor market participation and positive impact on health and sustainable development. In addition as part of education, future literacy is called to expand the capacity to prepare, plan and interact with the complexity and novelty of society and to facilitate the difficult relationship of generations with the environment, climate and nature. I believe that the skills of future literacy should refer primarily to three abilities – critical and strategic thinking and creativity.

Below I reflect on these three abilities.

1. We can be said to have the ability to think critically about the future, including the challenges posed by climate change, when we are able to find and analyze objective information and draw rational conclusions. Critical thinkers do unbiased analysis, have good communication skills, ask the right questions (based on results), practice self-reflection and ultimately make well-informed decisions. It is not a problem for them to understand and interpret complex cases and participate in their resolution. In the context of green skills, this includes the ability, knowledge and attitude we be informed and to study emerging trends in climate change, to anticipate them and to seek a long-term response to them, including through adjustments in one's own behaviour.

2. Strategic thinkers have the ability to foresee and plan for the future. They not only see the prerequisites for the emergence of new problems, but are also able to propose new solutions to already known problems as well as they are able to constantly adjust their own point of view. In strategic thinking, the feelings and details of everyday life are overcome, and the problematic situation is viewed from above, seeking the objective perspective of the "bird's eye". Strategic thinkers have a lifelong learning mindset and are used to constant self-improvement, seeking advice from others and not being afraid to take risks.

3. Creative people are innovative and future-savvy individuals. They are capable of generating new and useful ideas to turn into innovations through their skills in bringing these ideas to the social environment or to a company or organization. They have theoretical knowledge and practical experience in using new approaches to solve existing problems as well as in proposing solutions to the diverse challenges related to climate change. These solutions creative individuals can recognize from other fields of knowledge or practice, modify and use in solving existing or anticipated new challenges.

These future literacy skills are important because they are part of lifelong learning, help us gain that all-important sense of personal autonomy, make us more effective at work and in our personal lives, and allow us to more easily to get out of difficult situations. Future literacy is those skills that will empower generations to achieve the desired sustainable future of the planet.

Latest news

© 2024 SOFIA - Knowledge City - cluster.