School of Thinking is a wikischool.

3[1]In a wikischool the students are the teachers. The pedagogical model of the wikischool is bottom-up where: the students are the teachers and the teachers are the students.

THE STUDENTS are the most important reason for the School of Thinking. The SOT Experience is their training and the value of these skills used in real life.

That’s the quintessential benefit of being an SOT student. Every day the school receives comments and detailed feedback from thousands of SOT students around the world in many different locations, enterprises, cultures and mindsets.

••• Click for members’ recent comments about their personal SOT experience •••

 Since 1995, a unique innovation of the online School of Thinking is that the students–as individuals and as a campus body–are also part of the faculty.

In response to the SOT daily feedback questions (DFQs) students around the world voluntarily contribute many thousands of comments on the SOT lessons and articles. Many insights, edits, suggestions, corrections and improvements result from this ongoing interactive and daily collaborative effort. This SOT strategy is based on NewSell not oldsell.

SOT students range widely from employees, farmers, salespeople and retirees to young school students, teachers, parents, scholars and Nobel scientists to knowledge-workers in media, business, sport, politics and the arts, and from more than 50 countries worldwide.

As a result of all this collaborative work over the past 18 years, the SOT instruction model has evolved to become a very robust and effective training method for transferring metacognitive skills online, and at a distance.

Later, in 2001, Wikipedia launched a similar bottom-up model of an online encyclopedia where the readers also become the writers. This is also an example of a voluntary and collaborative online model which has proven to be very effective.

School of Thinking invented the very first MOOCs. MOOCs are the medium for teaching in SOT.

Today everyone is talking about MOOCs. New York Times even declared 2012 – The Year of the Mooc!

Today a MOOC is a Massive Online Open Course. In fact, the first MOOC was an Australian invention and was officially launched in Melbourne in 1995. School of Thinking is 100% online and has been offering and teaching its original version of daily moocs–training thousands of students in dozens of countries and every single day–since its online establishment in 1995.

SOT daily mooc courses were massive. They were open access (to anyone with an email address). They were online. They were daily. Our training motto was and still is: We teach thinking as a skill. Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime.

If any traditional higher-learning institution had wanted to create a MOOC site to match the School of Thinking they would have first needed to publish 251 educational articles and then posted 1,191 authentic questions that had stimulated 47,591 thoughts and comments returned from their students … as of today! (16 October, 2013).

Where does learning take place?

Since Plato, Aristotle and Socrates 2500 years ago, the traditional view of education is that learning takes place in the classroom. The traditional model for most universities and centres of higher learning has been campus classes and tutorials with qualified professors for groups of around 100 students at a time.

SOT takes a different view. A digital view. We say learning takes place in the student’s brain. Every day! That brain can be anywhere, anytime, anyplace.

SOT is not a university. We are established to focus on only one faculty: metacognition. So SOT changed the traditional model.

The problem with the ancient campus model is that it is not scalable. Campus classes are often groups of around 100 students with a professor at most universities. SOT employed our x10 strategy and started online classes (in those days we called them virtual classes) of ten times the offline number. 100 x10 = 1000. And more!

Previously we even issued a printed MOOC. We collaborated with Readers Digest magazine presenting a broadcast of 7 SOT lessons which went to a massive audience of 68 million. As that was in 1983 this audience was not yet socially wired. There was no charge for the lessons. The lessons were free (except for the cost of the magazine). Thought experiment: Imagine what might have happened if this massive RD class could have been online.

Day by day by day

It’s the dailiness of SOT lessons that gets the results. Since 1995, SOT has been sending out daily moocmails to students in business and government enterprises around the world. There is a BIG difference between MOOCs and Daily MOOCs!

The Benefits of Daily MOOCs in Business

The-MOOCs-what-changes-for-teaching-tomorrowDaily MOOCs cost much less. Daily MOOCs save time and money. Daily MOOCs are digital not analogue. Daily MOOCs are much more scaleable. Daily MOOCs offer a much better ROI. Daily MOOCs are much faster. Daily MOOCs can transfer business skills like innovation, cost-cutting and selling. Daily MOOCs can be personalised or bespoke. Daily MOOCs can be enterprise-wide. Daily MOOCs can raise enterprise intelligence. Daily MOOCs can raise employee engagement. Daily MOOCs are measureable. Daily MOOCs can raise employability. Daily MOOCs can create more profit. Daily MOOCs can be bottom-up instead of top-down. Daily MOOCs can be global not just parochial. Daily MOOCs can be offered to customers not just employees. Daily MOOCs can create jobs. Daily MOOCs can be free!

Daily moocmails: “Give us this day our daily moocmail!” At SOT we developed the first daily moocmail–daily massive open online class driven by email–and each daily moocmail has a DFQ. A DFQ is the basic training unit of SOT. It’s a Daily Feedback Question. A DFQ is an authentic question to which the daily mooc seeks an authentic reply from the SOT student. SOT uses the DFQ as our primary pedagogical KPI. DFQs are like an innovation enzyme. Those brains that are on DFQs are thinking much faster (up to ten times faster) than those brains who do not have daily access.

DFQs are one of the pedagogical strengths of SOT. They are self-organising educational lessons where the students become the teachers.

EXAMPLE: click and see an example of a daily mooc and note the massive number of student feedback COMMENTS at the end of the online class.




half a billion lessons since 1979 …





July 31

History is littered with the failed predictions of experts. Yet governments hire high-paid consultants to advise on policy; businesses use them to vet research and development projects; and venture capitalists have them make investment decisions. Experts excel in looking backwards, protecting their turf, and saying what their clients want to hear. Their short-term predictions are sometimes right, but they are almost always wrong in forecasting any more-distant future.

Experts are the greatest inhibitors of innovation—the ones who shouldn’t be listened to. Peter Diamandis says it best: “An expert is someone who can tell you exactly how it can’t be done.”

Look at some of the most famous historical examples:

“The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” – a Western Union internal memo from 1876

“Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.”– Lord Kelvin (William Thomson), president of Royal Society of London in 1895

“There is no reason for any individuals to have a computer in their home.”  –  Ken Olsen, president, chairman and founder of DEC in 1977

The problem with experts is that they think they know it all; ignore data that don’t fit their points of view; and extrapolate from the past on a linear basis. If some disruptive technology hasn’t come along in the past, the assumption is that it won’t happen in the future. What’s worse is that experts often try to block technologies that might up-end their roles. After all, if things change too fast, they will no longer be experts.

You see these specialists in governments, businesses, and academia. Government experts usually have an agenda. Business experts are typically old-timers trying to protect their jobs. Academics specialize in digging deep into fields that most people would consider arcane or obscure. They gain tenure by writing academic papers and being extremely knowledgeable in a narrow area. They often remain in the same field for decades and can’t see the forest for the trees.

Technology is, today, moving faster than ever. Advances that took decades, sometime centuries, such as the development of telephones, airplanes, and the first computers, now happen in years. Witness how smartphones and social media have come out of nowhere in the past seven years and changed the way we interact and communicate. We are always connected to each other and to our employers. Computing power is advancing at exponential rates and causing acceleration in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, sensors, and medicine.

When advancing technologies converge, they lead to artificial intelligence–based apps that analyze data from medical sensors, with the potential to disrupt the medical industry. Smartphones apps such as Uber and AirBnb are already threatening transportation and lodging. has made bookstores disappear and Apple has changed the music industry. Which experts ever predicted these disruptions?
The experts are becoming more wrong—and irrelevant—than ever.

In the early 1980s, McKinsey & Company created a forecast for AT&T of how many cellular phones would be in use in the world in 2000. It estimated this number to be 900,000. The actual number was greater than 100 million.

In June 2007, then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told USA Today there was “no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item.” The iPhone currently has 42% market share in the U.S.

Silicon Valley’s most respected venture capitalists can’t see even the near future. Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers produces a yearly report, Internet Trends, which is the tech industry’s bible. Its May 2013 report analyzed the leading players in social media and made predictions on the future of mobile technologies. It did not even mention WhatsApp—which Facebook acquired for $19 billion in February 2014. This was the largest acquisition in history of a venture-backed company and was not even on Meeker’s radar.

As an academic expert in advancing technologies, I may lack the credibility to write this article. When entrepreneurs come to me for advice, I tell them, as I am telling you, to take it for what it’s worth. No one can accurately predict the future of business any more, because too much is happening too fast. At best, you can gain an understanding of the overall trends and the types of opportunities and obstacles that lie ahead. You can look backwards to understand what problems have already been solved, how others overcame hurdles, and what types of business strategies worked best. You can learn what questions to ask. You can realize yourself when your idea is either just plain silly or impractical.

I tell entrepreneurs that if they really believe in their gut that they have a world-changing idea, then they should pursue it. They shouldn’t let anyone stop them—no one really knows more than they do. As Peter Diamandis also says “The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.”

Vivek Wadhwa is a fellow at Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University, director of research at Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke, and distinguished fellow at Singularity University. His past appointments include Harvard Law School, University of California Berkeley, and Emory University.