The School of Thinking

Master of Lateral Thinking


This is an elite program of only 100 Master Students worldwide. It is the #1 degree qualification for Lateral Thinking in the world. 

The Master of Lateral Thinking is not available from Oxford, Harvard, the Sorbonne or the University of Melbourne but only from the School of Thinking (SOT). SOT was the first school on the internet (1995) and is still 100% online. 

This is a unique, personal and highly bespoke applied academic program with a one-to-one relationship between the student and the Academic Tutor. This is the original immersion teaching method of the ancient universities. one2one. 

To be considered for this program applicants may apply, online, at the School of Thinking Admissions Office to request an Applicant Interview with the Academic Tutor, Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, who is co-founder and Principal of the school. 

Dr Hewitt-Gleeson is a Vietnam war veteran (Second Australian Task Force) who holds the world’s first Doctor of Lateral Thinking (1980),the first ever academic degree in this now world-famous cognitive skill. His Academic Tutor was University of Cambridge Professor Edward de Bono. His PhD Examiner was Dr George Gallup, Founder of The Gallup Poll at Princeton. His lateral thinking project covered 23 New York City hospitals and 40,000 employees. 

In order to graduate, as a Master of Lateral Thinking MLatTh(SOT), the Master Student must complete 400 DFQs online and design an independently valued x10 Project in two years. 

The purpose of the Applicant Interview is to assess the motivation and commitment of the Candidate and determine if he or she can be awarded a place in the program. If the Candidate is successful he or she may be enrolled as a Master Student SOT and be awarded a place in a Master Class of Ten. There will be ten only of these classes. 


For detailed information please review these three links: 

• The Quick FAQs:

• The Academic Tutor:

• The Offer Document:

The Vice Chancellor of the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Professor Ian Jacobs, is considering bringing the School of Thinking to their campus. In the meantime we are doing a pilot with a selected group of students from their Hero Program.

On 27 June Michael was invited to the campus to conduct an SOT Thinking Instructor Masterclass for 65 of their students. Their Program Manager, Anatoli Kovalev, was delighted with the high level of student engagement and their quick uptake of the SOT lateral thinking skills. More to come!

33 years ago I joined the internet on getting my first Mac in 1984. The first app I started using was email and that has remained my number one preferred app ever since.

WordPress is my second favourite. I use others like google, wikipedia, and youtube.

After discovering the hyperlink (which I think is one of the greatest ever education inventions in history) I immediately began teaching lateral thinking on the net by email.

In 1995 we launched the first SOT website (there were 10,000 sites then) and we later won the “Top 5% of the Web” award. Since 1979 SOT has disseminated over a half billion lessons globally.

That first decade was the mid-80s to mid-90s when the net was a great hope and filled us with energy and optimism about the future and the coming millenium in 2000.

The culture of the net (or cyberia as it was often called then) was freedom. The internet wanted to be free. It was full of academics, engineers, entrepreneurs, scientists and seekers and there was the School of Thinking.

The net was faster than anything before but nothing like as fast as today and it would crash from time to time and you’d have to resort to the fax machine.

But there was no spam, no pop-ups, no physhing, no trolls, no bullies, no rage-fests, no mud-slinging, no death-threats, no paranoia. There was, however, lots of trust and boundless generosity.

In 2017 the internet still has the School of Thinking but the net has also evolved into a dark age, a crackling chaos, a 24/7/365 whirling, howling, cacophonous wilderness of the greedy grasping global marketplace with its siren songs, ferocious fads, toxic wastes and vicious moods, its callous explosions, its viral plagues and epidemics and cruel and sudden extinctions.

It is rife everywhere (literally globally) with hidden minefields of traps and secret predators, spammers, snake-oil merchants, the pornerati and paranoid conspirators draining us all down into a whirlpool of a future dark web WWIII cyberwar. Is optimism being overtaken by pessimism?

As the famous evolutionist, Richard Dawkins, pointed out:

Evolution does not always go in a positive direction.




Deception is one of nature’s long-standing survival strategies. All of the unfolding darwinian extravaganza of life uses deception to survive — even at the level of microorganisms.

And, as any ten-year-old already knows, when it comes to human behaviour, things are rarely as they seem.

There are deceptions. There are hidden motives and hidden agendas. There are people ‘behind the scenes’. There are manipulators. There are scapegoats. There are turncoats. There are the actively disengaged. There are traps and ambushes. There are willing or paid agents. There are big investments and potential payoffs. There are opportunists and there are traitors.

Little wonder that situations are rarely how they seem. Rarely how they are portrayed. Nor are they what they seem to be on the surface. So what can you do? What can you use to find out what’s really happening in complex situations? What investigative tools can anyone use?

One ancient and clever tool is called cui bono.

The power of the cui bono is the most likely answer to the question: who benefits?

This is always a very useful question to ask. However, because of the very nature of deception there is not always a very obvious answer to that question.

Investigative journalism and criminal investigations may invest considerable resources in trying to construct comprehensive answers to the cui bono. They are trying to find out: who benefits most from the crime or situation that we are investigating?

The Cui Bono Test

When you are trying to uncover a much better understanding of the truth you can use the Cui Bono test. Whenever you find yourself looking to allocate suspicion or blame to agents involved in a situation ask yourself if they have passed the Cui Bono Test.

To apply the Cui Bono Test you carefully ask the questions: How did that agent benefit? Who else benefited? Who benefited more? Who benefited the most?

Of course, some situations can be very complex and they may require answers to many more questions than this but cui bono is always a useful place to start.