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Crucial Skills


Admission requirements

This course is only available for participants of the Honours Program Tackling Global Challenges by the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs in The Hague.


“Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.”

This course trains you to become an effective 21st century skills professional.

The course will make you more effective in making decisions and getting things done through an investigation of those values, assumptions and habits that will strengthen your empathetic, ethical and expressive qualities. The first part of each class focuses on analytical, ethical, and empathetic reflection, while the second part builds professional and personal skills. To be effective in school, work and private life, students must be able to activate a range of functional skills, such as project planning and financial management, as well as personal skills, such as creative thinking, presenting, listening and negotiating. These skills will help you to navigate the complexities of life.

Course objectives

  • Practice a growth mindset by identifying continuous potential for personal development

  • Examine core values and identify a personal mission statement

  • Recognize the way that communication and presentation are mutually inclusive

  • Apply personal and theoretical reflection in writing

  • Practice how to generate new perspectives on conventional wisdom to discover possibilities, creative thinking

  • Connect traditional to new notions of (entrepreneurial) value


Friday’s from 13.00 – 16.00


Location: Schouwburgstraat 2, Living LAB

Mode of instruction

Interactive lectures and workshops

Course Load

Total study load 140 hrs by attending lectures and workshops, preparing for seminars, writing an individual essay, doing a group project, writing a group report and reading literature.

Assessment method

Impact Project

  • Impact-report 25%

  • Impact-experience 20%


  • Autobiography 5%

  • Eulogy 5%

  • MS 5%

  • Journaling 5%

  • Blogpost 10%

Reframe-essay 25%


Blackboard will be used. The coordinator will enroll you on Blackboard.

Reading list

  • Stephen R. Covey, “Seven habits of highly effective people” (1989), chapters on Habit 1 and Habit 3.

  • Carol Dweck, “Mindsets and human nature: Promoting change in the Middle East, the schoolyard, the racial divide, and willpower”, American Psychologist, 67:8 (2012): 614-622.

Watch the following TED-talks:

  • Brene Brown on The power of vulnerability

  • Michele L. Sullivan on Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness

  • Ken Robinson on Do schools kill creativity?

  • Sebastian Wernicke on Lies, damned lies and statistics

  • Julian Treasure on How to speak so that people want to listen

  • Marshall Rozenberg “Nonviolent Communication” (2011) chapter 1 & 2.

  • Roman Krznaric, “Empathy and Climate Change: Proposals for a Revolution of Human Relationships” (2007).

  • Jeremy Rifkin, “The Empathic Civilization: An Address Before the British Royal Society for the Arts” (2010).

  • Karim Benammar, Reframing or the art of thinking differently, (Amsterdam: Boom, 2012), chapter 4 & 5 (pp. 55-75).

  • Thomas Nagel, “The Fragmentation of Value”, in his Mortal Questions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

  • Melanie Mitchell, Complexity: A Guided Tour (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), Chapters 1 (“What is Complexity?”).

Note: this reading-list may be altered before the course starts. You will be notified in time via blackboard and the course syllabus.


The Honours coordinator takes care of registration in Usis.


Teachers: Wicher Schols and Annette Righolt