What is Fusion and what are Fusion Skills?

The 21st Century is characterised by Fusion. There are fusions of industries, fusions of cultures, and fusions of identities. It is the idea that a website is a series of codes AND a creative work of art AND an exciting user experience. That art is in a gallery AND on your phone. That friendships are in your local area AND on the Internet AND in global subcultures. To live, work and study today is to navigate through and around these fusions and the myriad of possibilities that they bring.

Fusion Skills are the competencies, characteristics and tools which individuals need to flourish in the 21st Century Fusion environment. They are as necessary for school-age children as they are for working-age adults. Our list of Fusion Skills is based on research with schools, businesses and cultural venues because Fusion Skills are required and developed in each of these sectors. Whether we’re in a maths lesson, presenting in a work meeting, attending a sculpture park or attending a parents’ evening, we will all need to reach into our Fusion Skills toolkit to engage, communicate, learn and flourish.

The 12 Fusion Skills are:

  1. Oral communication/presentation skills
  2. Collaboration and teamwork
  3. Initiative
  4. Problem solving
  5. Organisational skills (planning, time management, deadlines, prioritisation, multi-tasking)
  6. Adaptability/flexibility
  7. Written communication
  8. Independent working/autonomy
  9. Critical thinking
  10. Resilience
  11. Creativity
  12. Analysis and evaluation

Despite the ubiquitous and increasing relevance of Fusion Skills, they are continually underrepresented in national, local and organisational policies and practices which means many individuals are being left behind. Since 2018, the City of London Corporation has been championing recognition and action around Fusion Skills. In 2019, the City Corporation commissioned research to develop the list of 12 Fusion Skills and has since developed this research through investigating assessment frameworks and taxonomies of Fusion Skills across education, culture and business sectors. Learn more about Fusion by exploring the Fusion Factor White Paper, Fusion Manifesto, Fusion Governance and an A-Z action list with ideas to further Fusion here.

In 2019, the City Corporation launched its first international Fusion Cities meeting which convened individuals and organisation from cities across the world to showcase effective practice in the promotion and development of Fusion Skills. These cities were spotlighted for their approaches to bringing together education, culture and business sectors to produce initiatives which develop Fusion Skills for citizens in those local areas. The report on the outcomes of the meeting can be found here. A second meeting was convened virtually in 2020, the findings and creative outputs can be found here.

The City Corporation also funded the Culture Mile Learning Fusion Prize which invited schools, universities, charities, businesses, and others to work together to pitch ideas for innovative programmes or products to develop Fusion Skills through engagement in culture and the arts. The Fusion movement is well underway.

Find Fusion is an important next step in the Fusion movement. Find Fusion aims to bring together learning experiences from across the education, culture and business sectors to support learners, whatever the stage of their journey, to develop Fusion Skills and to flourish in the 21st Century. By their nature, Fusion Skills are cross-phase and cross-curricula and they apply to learning in all contexts. Alongside the traditional categories of learner type and key interest areas, we encourage Find Fusion users to include Fusion Skills as they find, create and share Listings and Learning Journeys.