On a sunny friday afternoon I find myself in a lively street in the center part of Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin. The Dutch musician Rik Spann and today’s interview partner Stephen Nachmanovitch are at my side. Stephen came here to give one of his popular improvisation workshops. Rik and I are two of the participants. None of us know that area of Berlin so we decide to go to an Italian restaurant just a few steps away; artists need to eat as well.
What all art genres have in common is they support the emergence of a skill set that is desperately needed in the Information Age. But what are those skills? It is European educational policy to emphasize the development of transversal skills. Examples of transversal skills are the ability to think critically, take initiative, problem solve and work collaboratively–all needed to equip individuals for today’s varied and unpredictable career paths. Transversal skills can also be called cross competencies or generic skills.