| Innovator’s Mindset: 5 necessary skills of the future |

In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, intrapreneur and a human being in the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution, individuals need to incorporate a set of soft skills into their learning system. According to World Economic Forum, the 5 necessary skills of the future are cognitive flexibility, critical thinking, empathy, creativity and collaboration.


But what do these 5 skills really mean?

Cognitive Flexibility

Think about your previous generation and how they used telephones. First came the landlines, then cell phones, and now smartphones. From pressing the digits on their phones to using WhatsApp and Viber, they learnt different methods to do the same thing: contact someone.

This process of learning, un-learning and re-learning is cognitive flexibility. It is the ability to adapt to new information, and being flexible in learning that new information.

It is important for innovators use this to take a step back, set aside assumptions and biases, and look at problems from a fresh perspective.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking refers to understanding “why” and “how” a problem arises. It also involves using logic and reasoning to find a possible solution.

We use critical thinking when we participate in debate competitions. We take an issue, analyze it from different angles, and defend our argument using our reasoning.

Innovators need to analyze information critically. Critical thinkers would be able to identify the underlying problems, discover the insights and develop potential solutions.


We all have that one friend we go to whenever we are worried. Why? Because these people understand our feelings better than others in our lives and give us advice we can apply. This ability is an example of empathy.

Empathy is the skill to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. To empathize with someone means being able to see his perspective, and it is essential for innovation.
Dr. Muhammad Yunus’s innovation of providing micro credit to the poor uses empathy to understand their pain points and needs, and solving them accordingly.


Creativity is one word that comes to our mind automatically when we think of innovation. Creativity doesn’t stop at generating completely unique ideas. It also means looking at an existing process and coming up with new ideas to do the same thing.

If you are creative, you would be able to use your imagination to connect the dots between information, and have the confidence to present your solution.

Pathao used two very common things in Bangladesh – motorcycles and mobile apps – to introduce a whole new mode of transport for the people! And there lies its creativity.


The best solutions do not come from a single individual. Combined efforts, or collaboration, of multiple people from diverse backgrounds helps build effective solutions.

When you organize any club event, you involve different people who are best at what they do. By working together and collaborating, you are able to pull off a success.

The same is true for innovators. To develop holistic solutions, considering various facets of a problem, innovators need to collaborate and negotiate.

We at Toru believe, an individual with these skills possess the Innovator’s Mindset. Every individual should be an innovator in their own spectrum by practicing these skills. This change does not happen overnight though. It take a strong level of dedication, courage and determination. We work towards creating transformative leaders with innovator’s mindset who will lead us in the future.

About Toru Institute

Thinkers, ideators, creators are the minds that build a society. We must accommodate their minds to thrive. With the emergence of the 4th industrial revolution, the traditional educational system will have to evolve to a heterogeneous discipline – enabling our minds to learn from diverse sources.

Toru is an institution dedicated to the future of learning and innovation in the 4th Industrial Revolution. We work towards an ecosystem which will encompass all sectors towards innovation, transformative leadership and inclusion.

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