“The humanities are absolutely essential to both a free people and a free market.”
Steve Seibert, Executive Director of the Florida Humanities Council
The Florida Chamber Foundation’s recently released Florida Jobs 2030 report analyzes the jobs of the future and the skills that will be needed for Florida’s workforce to be prepared. In the most recent edition of the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line, Steve Seibert, Executive Director of the Florida Humanities Council, discusses the importance of two trends that emerged from the research: the demand for digital skills and employability skills.
“You identify two general areas in that Jobs 2030 report that employees will need to know, one is digital skills and the other are employability skills,” said Seibert. “And it’s the employability skills that really involve the humanities, and those are broadly defined in your report as communications skills. Almost any business that I talk to says, ‘we need people who can write better, we need people who can work at problem solving, we need people who can work in teams’. Those are the kinds of skills that are informed by the humanities…To me, the humanities and STEM skills are simply two sides of the same coin.”
As the Florida Chamber Foundation travels to each of Florida’s 67 counties for Florida 2030 Town Hall Briefings, participants have rated art, culture, heritage and sense of place as one of the top issues across Florida. Humanities matter, not just from a personal or community point of view, but for Florida’s business community.
“Almost every business leader I talk to, seeks a broad knowledge of the people that they are hiring. They need to have some of those skillsets in the humanities in the people they are looking for,” said Seibert. “The other piece is a broader one… Our nation was built on ideas, we were humanities driven from the very beginning. These notions of justice, and of the free market, and of self-improvement, and of the capacity of a free people to govern themselves- all of those pieces are informed not just by technology and innovation, but also by the humanities. I would argue that the humanities are absolutely essential to both a free people and a free market.”
As we plan toward 2030, Seibert discusses the need for humanities to take a larger role in our state’s next strategic plan.
“We can’t forget the fundamentals of our democracy and of our free enterprise systems,” said Seibert. “I would ask that we make sure that these discussions about humanities are at the table in all of our major decision making.”