The 1 Most Important Skill in the Age of AI

How to be successful and find meaning in disruptive times?

Jan van Essen
2 min readFeb 22, 2020


Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

What is it that makes humans unique? Artificial intelligence permeates all industries. Automation will profoundly change the way we work. In the next few years, there will hardly be a sector that is not affected by AI.

Many cognitive tasks that could previously only be done by humans will be performed by machines. However, this does not make humans superfluous — on the contrary.

Liberated from monotonous and repetitive tasks, humans will have more freedom to unfold themselves. Their very own ability is to think and act creatively. The decisive competence will be to use the new tools and building blocks in new ways and to find innovative solutions.

The conceptual age begins

Already in 2005, the author Daniel H. Pink described the transition from the information age to the conceptual age in his book “A Whole New Mind”.

In an increasingly automated world, a different way of thinking is gaining in importance. Creativity, innovation, and design are becoming competitive factors in the conceptual economy.

Information technology has been the basis for economic success, now it is important how to use the new technologies in a creative way.

“The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind.” — Daniel H. Pink

Daniel H. Pink describes in his book aptitudes that play an essential role in the conceptual age. These six senses will increasingly guide our lives and shape our world:

  1. Design — Create products that are beautiful and emotionally appealing.
  2. Story — Tell good stories instead of arguing with facts and figures.
  3. Symphony — Work on recognizing patterns and combining existing ideas.
  4. Empathy — Learn how to better empathize with other people.
  5. Play — Increase productivity with fun, humor and playful elements.
  6. Meaning — Align your work with purpose and fulfillment.

The age of artificial intelligence is especially also an age of creative intelligence. Freed from routine tasks, people can unfold and realize themselves through inspiration and imagination.

The AI era brings profound changes. Don’t just prepare yourself technically, learn to think and work more creatively.

Make creativity your core competence!



Jan van Essen

Creative Coder & Generative Artist · · How to build the future? · Web3 developer · Impact Tech · Blockchain & Deep Learning