Q. Why is the glass so obviously half empty to some brains yet to other brains it’s actually half full?
A. Neuroplasticity! Because brains can change.


There’s never been a better time to train your brain.

Masterclasses for your business, school or organisation.

120 minutes. 100% online.

•••Contact Michael to book online masterclass dates for Aug/Sep/Oct. 2022. Masterclass fees starting @ AUD$1000. Participants starting at 5 to 500.

••• Click here to email Michael. 📩 •••

In 1982, Professor Edward de Bono was asked by his co-founder, Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, to write out his opinion of the benefits for School of Thinking members. 

Edward de Bono and Michael Hewitt-Gleeson. New York. 1982.

Edward was asked to show what he personally thought were the real brain changes and growth attributes to be expected of those trained in School of Thinking (SOT) masterclasses … …

Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, Melbourne, February 2021.

There’s never been a better time to train your brain

Masterclasses for your business, school or organisation.

120 minutes. 100% online.

•••Contact Michael to book online masterclass dates for Aug/Sep/Oct. 2022. Masterclass fees starting @ AUD$1000. Participants starting at 5 to 500.

•••Click here to email Michael. 📩

SOT collaborates to create startup science-business assets for Victorian Government

Announcement by the Victorian Minister for Agriculture:  

“We are excited to announce that Smartsense AgTech will be the first startup based in the dedicated incubation hub here — helping to rapidly improve the use of digital sensing technology across the agriculture industry”.


In a three-year x10 Thinking project (2020-2022), School of Thinking was sought by the Department of Agriculture to help design a growing range of innovative startup science-business assets for the Victorian State Government.

Specifically, the project – called AVR x10 – created the science-business incubation hub at AgriBio which has designed four startups to accelerate commercialisation pathways of their IP assets. The first is Smartsense AgTech, a new business with technology that asks, “What if farms in Victoria were ten times smarter?” It will offer commercial solutions to that question including camera drones for use in photographing soil, earth, water, plants, crops, and agricultural products. It will focus on rapidly improving digital sensing technologies used across a range of agricultural sectors including dairy, horticulture and grains.

There will be more AVR x10 start-ups to follow.

Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas with Professor German Spangenberg, Head of AVR (Agriculture Victoria Research) at AgriBio.

Minister Thomas announced the State Government is providing $7.5 million funding towards the x10 start-ups that will support “a major development for Victoria’s agtech industry”.

Working in collaboration with Professor German Spangenberg, Head of AVR at AgriBio, Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson of School of Thinking led three 10-week semesters of x10 Thinking for the senior scientists and commercial managers that produced a range of innovative outcomes including the creation of the science-business incubation hub at AgriBio.

Professor Spangenberg has summarised in his letter to Dr Hewitt-Gleeson: “Thanks for all your amazing work in delivering a fantastic AVR x10 project. It has been a genuinely transformative initiative that will have lasting impact – I see the excitement of our AVR scientists in discovering their entrepreneurial skills, learning from each other, getting to know colleagues. Indeed, 5 start-up pitches in Term 1 alone is an exceptional achievement! And more to come in Term 2! Thanks again for making all of this possible”.

Thinking Instructors: The Problem

What the research has revealed …

• 93% of teachers agreed it’s important to teach thinking skills but only 21% say they have what they need.

• Teachers cited a lack of training as an obstacle to teaching thinking. Only 17% say they’ve had any real coaching on teaching thinking.

• The other major obstacle was time: 50% say they struggle to find time to develop what they need to teach thinking skills.

The future?

We don’t know what the jobs of the future will be, but we do know that the ability to think is an essential skill that will prepare your students for success no matter what they do. By looking at the results of this survey we can clearly see that more support is required to give teachers the resources and the confidence they need to teach thinking skills effectively.

How many teachers?

Australia: In 2019, there were 288,294 full-time equivalent teaching staff across Australian primary and secondary schools.

The World: There are close to 85 million teachers worldwide: 9.4 million in pre-primary; 30.3 million in primary; 18.1 in lower secondary; 14.0 in upper secondary; and 12.5 in tertiary education.

Thinking Instructors: The Solution

***NEXT INTAKE: The next intake of certified thinking instructors will be on Tuesday 7th June. Ten places available. 180 minutes of intensive training. Certificate earned: fee $100. If you’d like to be considered for this intake write to Michael.

There’s never been a better time to become a Thinking Instructor.

***NEXT INTAKE: The next intake of certified thinking instructors will be on Tuesday 7th June. Ten places available. 180 minutes of intensive training. Certificate earned: fee $100. If you’d like to be considered for this intake write to Michael.

When it comes to Thinking Lessons, Michael Hewitt-Gleeson has taught more people to think than any Australian in history.” – Dr Edward de Bono, Co-founder School of Thinking.

School of Thinking trained the first certified thinking instructor in 1980 in New York. There are now 6 million thinking instructors worldwide most of whom are primary and secondary teachers. Some are certified and most are not. It’s cool either way. As long as it’s the teaching of metacognition.

Michael Hewitt-Gleeson has been training thinking instructors, as co-founder of the School of Thinking in New York since 1979. Then, in Australia in 1988, and online since 1995.

Here Dr Hewitt-Gleeson gives a short commencement address to Victoria University in Melbourne in 2008 …

***NEXT INTAKE: The next intake of certified thinking instructors will be on Tuesday 7th June. Ten places available. 180 minutes of intensive training. Certificate earned: fee $100. If you’d like to be considered for this intake write to Michael.

New Smartphone Edition of a classic best-seller …

Click here. Start reading. Pass it on >>


This smartphone edition (5.0) is designed with larger font and less words per page to make it easier for smartphone readers. So there are more pages (415) but much faster to read. This edition is free, so pass it on to others if you wish. Previous editions titled ‘Sofware For Your Brain’ have been international best-sellers since 1989.

SFB 5.0: Click here. Download the book. Start reading about …

SOT 2021: 42nd Anniversary today.

School of Thinking celebrates its 42 Anniversary today. SOT was founded in New York on the 17th November, 1979 by Michael Hewitt-Gleeson and Edward de Bono.

• During the 2020-2021 pandemic lockdowns SOT, based in Melbourne, upgraded and adapted to streaming all SOT training to now 100% online.

School of Thinking is an elite independent school awarding bespoke degrees in Lateral Thinking.

It has a student body of 650+ active students of whom over 80% hold post-graduate degrees in science. In 2021 SOT has awarded 82 Advanced Certificates, 37 Diplomas and 23 Master of Lateral Thinking degrees.


SOT has no advocacy and no agenda. It is privately self-funding. It accepts no sponsors, grants or aid. No accreditation nor affiliation. It is a school of thinking. Not a school of thought. Our mission is to teach metacognition.

SOT is not for everyone. However, all are invited. School of Thinking was the first school on the internet, in 1995, and always offers pro bono lessons to anyone, anywhere, anytime, 24/7/365. 


The School of Thinking’s Diploma of Lateral Thinking DipLT(SOT) is an elite academic deed awarded for the successful completion of advanced studies in lateral thinking. It is elite because lateral thinking is difficult and the award is rare – being less than 100 diplomas ever awarded worldwide. Ten hours of masterclass training with Michael Hewitt-Gleeson are required for qualification plus twenty hours of practical application in the field. So, it may take around thirty hours to gain proficiency in lateral thinking.  

The DipLT(SOT) masterclasses and clinics involve a different kind of training combining valuable IP from business, the academy and from military science.


Dr Hewitt-Gleeson co-founded the school with Cambridge Don, Edward de Bono, in New York in 1979.

Today he is recognised as the father of x10 Thinking. The Visiting Fellow in Innovation, Latrobe University, holds a PhD degree in Cognitive Science from the elite International College. It was the world’s first PhD in Lateral Thinking (1980).

International College was an independent, private, licenced college, founded in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. Licensed to grant degrees by the California State Department of Education, its degrees were recognized by Harvard, Yale, NYU and other Ivy League colleges. It was a virtual college having no classrooms, libraries or laboratories and a business model that was ahead of its time. As its motto, In Vestigiis Institutorum Antiquorum indicated, the college followed the methods of the first Greek and Roman universities, where gifted students were paired one student/one master with outstanding tutors. At International College the outstanding tutors were: Leonard Bernstein in Music and Conducting; Anaïs Nin in Novels and Writing; Buckminster Fuller in Innovation and Design Science; Lord Yehudi Menuhin in Violin and Music; Professor Edward de Bono in Education and Psychology.

In 1980, Hewitt-Gleeson was admitted to International College and paired with Edward de Bono for the world’s first PhD in lateral thinking. The field project he designed involved 26 New York hospitals and their 40,000 healthcare employees. His external examiner for the project was Dr George Gallup, founder of The Gallup Poll at Princeton.

Prior to his career in lateral thinking, he had already 7 years of service in the ADF (Australian Defence Force). He had been educated and trained at the rigorous Officer Training Unit, Scheyville (1967-68) and after a tour of duty in the Vietnam War he continued as a reserve officer and Chief Instructor in the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) and honourably discharged in 1974 with the rank of Flying Officer.

Melbourne 2021

Dr Hewitt-Gleeson is Australia’s best-selling author of Software For Your Brain (1990), The x10 Memeplex (2000) and The 4th Brain (2019). His current projects include a new online pandemic recovery experience for teaching x10 Thinking called Australia x10.



Vale Edward. School of Thinking is in mourning because our co-founder, Professor Edward de Bono, died this year on the 9th of June. Our sincere condolences have been sent to Edward’s son, Caspar de Bono, and his family in Malta and the UK. We were invited to attend the funeral service streamed from the Old Mdina Cathedral in Malta. It was elegant, tender and consoling. The celebration was attended by the De Bono Family and friends and the Emeritas President of Malta. You may view the service here.

School of Thinking also gave Caspar a Book of Remembrance which recorded the condolences sent by individual SOT Members. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.


NEW: Ten day course on WOMBAT Theory

If you want to multiply your sales by ten you have to multiply your WOMBATS by ten!

Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, author: NewSell; WOMBAT Selling: How to sell by Word Of Mouth

The future is coming and it has lots to offer especially in the WOMBAT Economy. If you want to use WOMBAT Selling to help you to multiply your business by ten then a good place to start is with this ten lessons course on WOMBAT Theory.

There are no fees of any kind. You get a lesson a day for ten days. The lesson takes less than ten minutes but the ideas may stay with you all day as you apply them to your daily business activities.

The Course

If you would like to be considered for WOMBAT Theory training apply here by email.


The Book

If you would like a complimentary copy of my book, WOMBAT Selling, just say WOMBAT SELLING, Please here by email.

Welcome to the x10 project …

Who in their right mind would multiply their life by ten?

Who in their right mind would multiply their business by ten?

Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, Melbourne, February 2021.

These questions have been the focus of my career in lateral thinking for the past 40 years and I can say now there’s never been a better time for lateral thinking. But, as with all elite cognitive skills, there is good news and bad news.

The Good News: Lateral thinking aka x10 thinking is fast. Often ten times faster than logical thinking. x10 thinking gives you more. Much more. More options. More hope. More choices. More solutions. More value. More ideas. More opportunities. More futures. More mindfulness. More cognitive resilience.

The Bad News: x10 thinking is hard. It’s not for everyone. In fact, most people most of the time are thinking inside their box. That’s just the way it is. It’s the natural way of things. However, lateral thinking is thinking outside the box. It’s not easy. It’s not natural. It’s acquired. It takes effort, practice and skill. But you CAN do it.

I’m Michael Hewitt-Gleeson and welcome to all. Thank you for visiting the School of Thinking. The reason I say that lateral thinking is hard is because a lot of people know about lateral thinking, sure, they’ve bought the book and some have even read it but … can they actually do it with skill and virtuosity?

Very, very few in my experience. In the I-am-right-and-you-are-wrong world of our Western Greco-Roman logic education it’s a very difficult cognitive feat to escape from the box of our own thinking. We are inclined to defend the rightness of our ‘truths’. We favour judgement or Black Hat Thinking. We find it easier to criticise than to design. The great Max Planck observed how difficult it is even for scientists to escape from current truths when he said, “Science advances one funeral at a time”.

We can all observe every day – in relationships, in business, politics, media and even in science – just how hard it is for most thinkers to escape from logical binary thinking so they can shift sideways to lateral trinary thinking. We do, of course, see quite valuable exceptions.

Academically, I hold the world’s first PhD in Lateral Thinking (1980) but my own lateral thinking skills were first acquired at Scheyville, a military leadership school in the Australian Army, in the late ’60s. It was an intensive 22-week program of mostly being taught and drilled in outside-the-box thinking in preparation for jungle warfare in Vietnam. It’s interesting to see that today, 50 years later, the military still values these difficult lateral thinking skills in its elite training programs. Recently (July 2020), Commanding General for US Army Special Operations Command, Lt. Gen. Fran Beaudette, told the graduating class after their 50-week intensive training;

From here, you will go forward and join the Green Berets where you will do what you are trained to do: challenge assumptions, break down barriers, smash through stereotypes, innovate, and achieve the impossible.”

The numerical or metric synonym for lateral thinking is x10 thinking. Although x10 thinking is not natural for humans it can be taught and learned and applied. This is what we have been doing at the School of Thinking for 40 years.

Lateral thinking (x10 thinking) is our best tool for creating value, our best hope for solving wicked problems, our best defense against imagined or real fear: fear of mistakes, fear of failure in career, business or job-related situations, fear of family crises, relationship conflicts, social media, fear of political or global issues.

Lateral thinking is science-based. Professor Jenny Graves holds the Prime Minister’s Science Prize. She said, “I applaud School of Thinking for its teaching of scientific thinking”.

There are ten lessons in this at home training course. This full course includes cutting-edge cognitive theory and instruction about the potential of your PFC (Pre-Frontal Cortex, your 4th brain). It gives you simple but powerful software for your brain and coaches you in real life application of this potential. The career and life results are exciting, tangible and can be measured.

Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson is the best-selling author of Software For Your Brain and co-founder with Edward de Bono of the School of Thinking in New York in 1979.

If you can successfully complete the training you’ll qualify and attain your personalised Lateral Thinking Certificate – Advanced from School of Thinking (SOT).

OK. Having plainly laid out the challenges it’s also true to say that lateral thinking is creative, liberating, rewarding and a lot of fun to do! I very much look forward to working with you if your application is accepted.

Very best wishes,


The Fees

There are no fees for SOT Members.

• Apply for training … Certificate of Lateral Thinking – Advanced

Edward de Bono’s Lateral Thinking

Logical thinking is vertical thinking, digging the same hole deeper in order to get a more correct hole. The right hole. The search for perfection. We need vertical thinking and we are already very good at it. Most of Western education is based on logical, step-by-step, vertical thinking. It is useful but it is not enough.

Lateral thinking is escaping from the hole in order to dig a hole somewhere else, perhaps sideways. The search for more alternatives, for reappraisal, for new possibilities and extra choices. We need much more lateral thinking because lateral thinking creates value.

Flashback to 1979

In 1980 I completed the world’s first PhD in Lateral Thinking conducting an idea-generation experiment I designed with 26 hospitals in New York. My project included a 30-day campaign in which 40,000+ hospital employees generated 33,000+ bvs ideas to the immediate value of over USD$10 million (1979 dollars). Employees were taught how to think up BAD ideas, ideas that could save the hospitals a Buck-A-Day (BAD). It was the first time in history that 26 NYC hospitals had ever co-operated in any enterprise. The x10 results were astounding and became national news – New York Times, Wall Street Journal and network news.

The New York Times, Tuesday March 13, 1979

Alternatives’ with Edward de Bono

My PhD supervisor was the late Dr Edward de Bono, the Cambridge Professor of Investigative Medicine, who originally coined the term ‘lateral thinking’.

Here, we’ll go back in history to 1982 when Edward recorded a BBC series on lateral thinking and here is his lesson on “Alternatives”. The total lesson is 24 minutes divided into three clips: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. I think you’ll enjoy Edward’s excellent presentation:

• Part 1 of 3

• Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3