As we can see the world is changing at a fast pace; consequently, paradigms are being substantially transformed or created such as technology, communications, and other fields or industries.

According to the World Economic Forum, we are on the cusp of the fourth revolution, what does it mean? It means that we are in the transition to the technological and disruptive era.

We are facing new ways to communicate faster, easy and without boundaries.

Secondly, the new economy companies that are emerging such as Amazon, Facebook, Apple to mention a few, they are specializing in one thing “diversification”. Recently, Amazon, launched the new store where cashiers do not exist, they acquired Whole Food Company, they can distribute books, clothes, shoes and other things.

According to Facebook, they have 2.2 billion, and Instagram has 700 million monthly active users. The YouTube platform has 1.5 billion monthly active users. All of them are between 18 to 60 years old.

We are around 7.5 billion people living on planet earth according to 2017 World Population data, around 65% of the world population are between those ages. Therefore, 4.9 billion people are using in one way or another these platforms monthly.

Some industries and professions have been already affected such as the music, journalism and newspapers industries.

Big television networks are disappearing such as TELEVISA network in Mexico that went bankruptcy recently. In the other hand, some newspapers have shifted by recognizing this disruptive trend such as The Financial Time, The Guardian and The Economist, by the way, they are the leaders of digital news in the world.

Why is this occurring? People between 18 to 35 years old do not read newspapers or watch TV either. Therefore, 28% of the population equals to 2.1 billion people have already shifted to consume digital news.

Third, the new economy era is offering to the companies to be much more efficient and grow globally, however, they need to re-evaluate current strategies, business models, and operations. By having these type of opportunities, we need to evaluate the following1:

  • Are your footprints and organization structure according to the new economy era?
  • Should you offer one brand and product line around the world, or customize for local markets?
  • Do you have the right suppliers and customer channels?
  • Are you ready for the new era?
  • Are you prepared for the new risks?


As the previous introduction, will you think that your profession and career be affected? The answer is yes.

Here there are the ten top skills that safety professionals and engineers need to master2 by 2020.

The World Economic Forum made a table to compare the skill needed in 2015 versus the new skills.

2015 2020
·        Complex Problem Solving

·        Critical Thinking

·        Creativity

·        People Management

·        Coordinating with Others

·        Quality Control

·        Judgement and Decision Thinking

·        Service Orientation

·        Active Listening



·        Complex Problem Solving

·        Critical Thinking

·        Creativity

·        People Management

·        Coordinating with others

·        Emotional Intelligence New

·        Judgement and decision Thinking

·        Service Orientation

·        Cognitive Flexibility New.




Creativity, complex problem solving, and critical thinking will be the three topmost demanded skills.

However, to develop them, we need to learn People Management (Better known as Leadership), and the most important Emotional Intelligence will be a key skill to master.

Our mental models to solve and succeed in the current world will not be applicable in two years. For many professionals, it will be a very critical point, it might be painful but necessary.

One skill that is not mentioned here is Learning, a skill that will be a paramount,

We need to learn constantly, a technology which is used today but not tomorrow.

Regarding of occupational and process safety, the changes will affect the current models and methodologies. Most of them are focused to change the worker behavior instead of changing the management behavior.

Fourth, the era of one specialization is almost over, what do I mean? We are seeing young engineers creating their own companies, therefore they need to learn marketing, digital communication, emotional intelligence, sales in the new economy, and other disciplines if applied.

Amazon is the best example of the non-specialization company, they sell books, clothes, shoes, and food.

Many safety professionals and engineers will be forced to shift careers, because that discipline may not exist anymore.

Experience and skills will be very valuable, for example, if you are familiar with a methodology that helps you to conduct incident investigations, but you can use it to solve a logistics problem, you will very valuable.

I think safety professionals and engineers will be valuable only if they adjust to this new reality. We need to be capable to solve complex problems to help others not only focusing on being an expert in the technical field. At the end one reality will not change, whoever make strategic decisions using those 10 skills, she or he will succeed in life (Emotional Intelligence) and professionally.


  1. McKenzie Global Institute, Digital New Era of Global Flows. March 2016
  2. World Economic Forum, The Ten Skill You Need to thrive in the Industrial Revolution. March 2016







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