Rethinking Thinking

A conference exploring the challenges and opportunities of a super-connected world will take place at Sofitel Melbourne from 16 to 18 November. The 2011 Creative Innovation Conference will feature 35 leading thinkers, speakers and innovators including inventor Ray Kurzweil, innovation architect Paddy Miller, leading education and technology guru Stephen Heppell, IDEO partner Brendan Boyle, technology entrepreneur Tam Le, cognitive scientist and philosopher Daniel Dennett, social researcher Hugh Mackay and many more leaders and speakers from across sectors.

One of the conference’s highest profile speakers is Dr Edward de Bono, the prolific author of 82 books on thinking. The Maltese-born multimillionaire was given the nickname ‘Genius’ at primary school and made the Harvard medical faculty at 33. Beginning in the late 1960s, De Bono had a massive impact on popular culture with the advent of lateral thinking. Donald Trump has called de Bono’s ‘Six Thinking Hats’ method “a terrific guide to precise thinking - thinking without confusion and thinking that provides results”. De Bono has built a considerable empire from a simple idea: the championing of what he originally called ‘asymmetrical thinking’. He insists that most problems are the result of bad thinking and promotes the idea that thinking can and should be taught - to children and even to the long-term unemployed.

De Bono’s connections to Australia are many and varied: among his many achievements, he holds a diploma in design from Melbourne’s own RMIT and there’s a De Bono Institute in Blackburn South. But De Bono has previously written that the achievement he’s proudest of is having invented the word ‘po’, a word somewhere between ‘either’ and ‘or’.

The CI2011 conference, aimed at the corporate sector, is being billed as “an opportunity to change the way you think, to inspire your leadership and achieve business success.” It will feature a two-day conference, ten master classes, two “deep conversations” and a gala dinner.