July 2005 will see a gathering of some of the most esteemed and respected thinkers of our time for a conference that celebrates and embraces the humble concept of thinking. Not just a series of lectures or talks, the 12th International Conference on Thinking (ICOT) will offer participants the chance to learn, reflect, discuss and be actively involved in thinking through new possibilities for the future. The conference will be held in Melbourne, Australia from July 4-8, 2005. ICOT brings some of the most brilliant minds from all parts of the planet to discuss a range of topics and issues under the umbrella of this year's theme; "Celebrate the Past - Window to the Future"
Presenters at the conference include:
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Edward De Bono - Originator of the Concept 'Lateral Thinking' Baroness Susan Greenfield - Internationally recognised scientist and ranked 14 in the "50 Most Inspirational Women in the World" Peter Draper - Director of Marketing for Manchester United Football Club Carlina Rinaldi - Director of Early Childhood Education for the Municipality of Reggio Emilia (Italy) Peter Senge - Chairperson of the Society for Organisational Learning and author of The Fifth Discipline Jan Van Mol CEO of Ad!dict Creative Lab, Flanders
Targeting seven key strands (Business, Health/Wellbeing, Science/Technology/Mathematics, Arts/Humanities, Education, Sustainability/Environment and Peace), ICOT will offer attendees the chance to participate in plenary sessions, workshops and presentations from a variety of the keynote speakers crossing over and complimenting several strands.
ICOT will also provide a major international forum at which to show-case and celebrate the innovative thinking and creativity already occurring in Australia.
The intention of ICOT is to promote cross field involvement in the development of thinking skills and to help leaders of organisations, educators, researchers and practitioners to develop people who are: Critical and creative individuals, Involved and productive local citizens, Aware and active regional citizens, Concerned & committed global citizens
A key aim of the conference is to acknowledge and value the culturally diverse range of concepts about, and approaches towards, thinking and learning.
Australian conference convenors, Jane Stewart and Karin Morrison, were inspired to bring this prestigious conference to Australia after attending the seventh ICOTin Singapore in 1997.
According to Jane Stewart, one of the strengths of the International Conference on Thinking is the interaction that it promotes between people from different fields.
"We are expecting that there will be incredible synergy that comes from people of diverse backgrounds, getting together to discuss ideas and possible outcomes around topical issues like sustainability, business, education and health," said Jane Stewart.
Karin Morrison supports this belief and feels that there are real, tangible results to be garnered from ICOT. "We have brought together some of the most intelligent people on the face of the earth, a group of people who are motivated and inspirational, with the aim of utilising their creative minds to throw around new ideas, challenge our beliefs and develop philosophies across many parts of our lives to carry us through the 21st Century.
"The conference is about thinkers, marketers and 'doers' not only philosophers and ponderers," said Ms. Morrison.
While Melbourne is home to the 12th International Conference on Thinking, this prestigious event has a rich and colourful history, spanning over the last 25 years.
Beginning in 1978 as the "Conference on Cognitive Process Instruction" and hosted by Jack Lochhead* and the University of Massachusetts, the continually evolving nature of the conference has started to take shape, four years later becoming the "First International Conference of Thinking", held in 1982 at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji which explored a variety of topics and issues across a broad spectrum of disciplines.
Following the success of the Fiji Conference, David Perkin and Inabeth Miller from the Graduate School at Harvard University took up the mantle of the "Second International Conference on Thinking" focusing on five key areas: cognition/cognitive development; epistemology/critical thinking; educational issues/facts; educational programs; and problem solving/technology.
From here, every two or so years saw an International Conference on Thinking being held in places such as Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Singapore and Townsville, Australia.
Coordinated by an International Standing Committee, the Thinking Conferences are a meeting of thinkers and people of action from across the globe. They have consistently attracted world leaders from all levels of government, community organisations, business, academia, education, health, science, sustainability & environment.
Now in its 12th incarnation, speakers attending the 12th International Conference on Thinking do so at their own cost, with the aim of sharing their vision and ideas for the future. Previous keynote presenters include Howard Gardner, Sir Edmund Hillary, Kishore Mahbubani and Michael Fullan.
The motivation for the conference is to understand and enhance thinking, learning and creativity across disciplines at the individual and organisational level and to develop people and learning organisations through improved thinking and learning strategies.
With the support of industry and government groups, ICOT will offer participants the chance to be a part of an internationally recognised and esteemed event that a long and established profile world wide.
ICOT is being held at the Melbourne Convention Centre between Monday July 4th and Friday July 8th, 2005. For updated speakers lists and to enquire about registrations, session times and conference activities log onto www.thinkingconference.com.
Quotes from Keynote Speakers
"This conference is the best, and only, opportunity to see what is happening in the area... It may be many years before the conference is held again in Australia. So come. Listen, learn and make useful contacts." Edward de Bono November 2004
"In July 2005, Melbourne, Australia will be hosting the 12th International Conference on Thinking. In my experience, the Thinking Conferences is a uniquely diverse gathering for leaders and people of action from business, education, health, science and government to meet and explore ideas, issues and strategies to help shape a better future. I'm looking forward to being there and learning with you and the other thought leaders participating in this conference." Peter Senge December 2004
"Manchester United has a proud reputation in it's own category of "being first to the ball".Not just on the field but off it as well. I'm hoping that by being involved in the THINKING Conference we can continue to learn from the sharpest minds and take that learning back into our organisation to keep ourselves at the forefront of sports franchises worldwide. I look forward to participating in the event." Peter Draper February 2004
"This international conference represents a unique opportunity for experts, scientists and lay persons alike to come together and exchange ideas about the thinking process, and will undoubtedly provide both presenters and attendees with significant insights into how they might become more creative thinkers. I am traveling halfway around the world to be part of it and I am sure every mile traveled will be well worth it. " Professor Michael O'Boyle, Ph.D