The future of work in the fourth industrial revolution rests in combining skills

Storymaping an example of future skills combined

Ainsley Brown
3 min readFeb 19, 2018


​“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.”Robert Greene

Storymaps are an authoring tool and technique used to tell a story that involves maps, places, locations, or geography. They are internet-based applications that let authors combine beautiful maps with narrative text, images, videos and social media. The applications are designed to be attractive and usable by anyone, which makes them great for education and outreach, either to the general public or to a specific audience. This makes Storymaps ideal to show at presentations, classes, and workshops to engage people and influence decision makers and stakeholders.

Future skills

Storymapping is part of the emerging fields of data analytics and data visualization, is a means of developing and demonstrating several of the sought after skills projected to be needed in 2020. The World Economic Forum in its The Future of Jobs report looked at the employment and skills of the future workforce. Specifically, the top three skills it identified of complex problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity are at the heart of storymapping.

Future skills in action

In fact storymapping is a technique/methodology that I have used, with much success with my students at Excelsior Community College:

Specifically, students produced beautiful storymaps (unapologetic proud teacher moment)by learning to:

  1. storymap using the StoryMapJS technology;
  2. use techniques that are transferable to any other strorymapping technology;
  3. develop a range of skills including the top three sought after skills of the future as identified in the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs report:

a. Tourism and Renal Dialysis — complex problem solving

b. Chicken Rearing — critical thinking

c. Toyota — creativity

Unemployment and future skills

Unemployment and underemployment are serious issues the world over. A major part of solving the unemployment issue, particularly youth unemployment which is on the rise globally, is to equip people with the necessary skills now and into the future that will see them thrive. This is why the theme of Jamaica’s National Careers WeekBuilding the Future by Guiding the Present — holds so much significance in this day and age:

Building the Future by Guiding the Present Click To Tweet

With the contours of the Fourth Industrial Revolution rounding in to shape it has become even more critical that people and societies begin to future proof themselves by first creating opportunities and second by taking up those opportunities to acquire new skills such as storymapping.

Call to action

It doesn’t have to be storymapping but you can find something to teach or to learn that covers one or more of the top ten skills needed in the future. So have at it.

This article was written to mark Jamaica’s ​National Careers Week, which runs from Sunday, February 18 to Friday, February 24, under the theme ‘Building the Future by Guiding the Present.’

Originally published at on February 19, 2018.



Ainsley Brown

Special Economic Zone Specialist | Logistics and Global Value Chains Enthusiast | Educator | Blogger | Lawyer| Data Viz Student| Rugby Player