In 2005 Daniel Pink wrote his book A Whole New Mind (2005) where he introduces the term "The Conceptual Age" to readers. The Conceptual Age is the new era of work where current economic demand calls for workers who are skilled in areas guided by the right hemisphere of the brain including: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning.
Each of these “senses” are high touch, uniquely human abilities, that in past eras of work have not been in demand even seen as hindrances to the successful completion of left –brain dominated work. Pink describes these previous eras of the Agricultural, Industrial, and Information Ages (Pink, 2006, 49) as times and work that required bodily strength and fortitude, attention to detail and computer like knowledge building, highly dependent on left-brain skills. These left-brain skills include a reliance on text, detail, and sequence.
The conceptual age differs from eras of the past in that it now requires people whose skill sets are different from those dominated by the left-hemisphere of the brain. According to Pink (2006) conceptual age workers must be able to “create artistic and emotional beauty, to detect patterns and opportunities, to craft a satisfying narrative, and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into a novel invention…to empathize, to understand the subtleties of human interaction, to find joy in one’s self and elicit it in others” (p. 51). The impetus behind this change from The Information Age of work to the Conceptual Age lies in Asia, Abundance and Automation. For the Western workforce to compete with more inexpensive labor oversees, the automation of computers and technology, as well as the demand for products which enhance the meaning of our lives and moves beyond function we need to develop these right-brained skills, and those that do will be in high demand in America’s Conceptual Age workforce.