Phillip D. Jaffe (CHE), Teina Moetara (NZ), Tina Grotzer (USA) David Perkins (USA), Vishal Talreja (IND) and Patrick Newell (JPN), confirmed to attend the 20th International Conference on Thinking in Melbourne – July 7 to 11, 2024

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The International Conference on Thinking (ICOT) is to once again be held in Melbourne for its 20th conference, and will feature an impressive array of keynote speakers across nine strands.

With the 2024 theme of: ‘We are on the edge of what?’ The conference promises thought provoking innovation, creative and critical thinking and transformative ideas in the context for the greater good as we look to the future.

The interdisciplinary nature of ICOT 2024 provides opportunities to venture further from what participants have traditionally leaned towards and encourages them to do so. The conference targets nine key disciplinary strands that include: Human Rights, Business, Education, The Body, Technology, Globalisation, Arts, Environment and Sports.

International presenters at the conference include:

Phillip D. Jaffe (CH) – Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland and elected member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Tina Grotzer (USA) – Senior researcher at Project Zero, faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and cognitive and learning scientist specializing in education.

Vishal Talreja (IND) – Co-founder of Dream a Dream, a charitable trust empowering children from vulnerable backgrounds to overcome adversity and is an advocate for disadvantaged children.

Bill Martin (USA) – Faculty member during the Columbine School Shooting, who has gone on to enable voices to be heard and foster the creation of desired cultures.

David Perkins (USA)  – the Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr. Professor of Teaching and Learning, Emeritus, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and is a founding member of the well-known research and development group Project Zero at HGSE.

Patrick Newell (JPN) – Co-National Project Manager for the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)’s Survey for Social and Emotional Skills in Japan.

Ron Ritchhart (USA)  – Researcher at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education since 1994 where his research focuses on understanding how to develop, nurture, and sustain thoughtful learning environments for both students and teachers.

Jonathan Levy (FRA)  – He is the initiator, program, and scientific director of the CRIA (Child rights in action) forums. Jonathan is educated in Pedagogy and the philosophy of education, and provides training in the education, social, Intergovernmental and NGO sectors.

Teina Moetara (NZ) – an accomplished composer and performer in Māori Performing Arts, and trained as a primary school teacher delivering in the Māori language. 

Yong Zhao (USA) – Distinguished professor at the School of Education at the University of Kansas and a professor in Educational Leadership at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.

International speakers will join local academics, educators, artists and business leaders including Rita Reichman (Steinway Artist), Mary Featherston AM, Kieran Nolan (, Lina Le (Shrunk) John Edwards (Author, ICOT steering member), Associate Professor Tilman Ruff AO, Suzie Betts (Boob Armour), Ryan Trainor (, Andy Dinan (MARS Gallery) , Simon Goodrich (Portable) and Anders Sorman-Nilsson (Thinque).  

You can find out about these speakers and more here 

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 organisations through improved thinking and learning strategies.

This internationally renowned cross-disciplinary event is set to celebrate its 40th year, in Australia’s cultural capital, which will introduce shared experiences and thinking strategies that can be utilised to develop and co-create a positive future. This is the second time Melbourne will be home to the conference, playing host in 2005 to the 12th International Conference on Thinking. 

ICOT gathers a wide range of participants including practitioners, researchers, academics, innovators and students from many international backgrounds, successes and experiences.

Further presenters will be announced as the conference approaches.

The 20th International Conference on Thinking will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on July 7-11 2024.

Conference Details
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About the International Conference on Thinking 

ICOT is a highly regarded event with a rich history spanning almost 40 years of gatherings in cities around the world, attracting people from near and far and fostering deep, creative and critical thinking.

The in-person conference experience will enable participants to explore what ICOT 2024 offers including engaging with people with different experiences and stories as well as experiencing thinking that can empower.

Now more than ever we are aware of the consequences of ours and others’ actions and the impact of today on the future. ICOT brings together thinkers and doers from a variety of disciplines, to think creatively, critically, collaboratively and take actions towards common goals. 

Inspirational people who have positively presented at ICOT events include:

Edward de Bono, Richard Dawkins, Mark Rose, Margaret Boden, Reuven Feuerstein, Peter Doherty, Jan Van Mol, Veronica Boix Mansilla, Richard Saul Wurman, Hans Rosling, Guy Claxton, Robyn Williams, John Edwards, Tony Buzan, Howard Gardner, Art Costa, Paul Davies, Fiona Wood, Susan Greenfield, Shari Tishman, Carla Rinaldi, Valerie Walkerdine, Joy Murphy Wandin, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Kirsty Sword Gusmao, Ewan McIntosh, Frederick Mendelsohn, Mary Featherston, Donald Horne, Sir Edmund Hillary, Jan Millikan, Bruno Della Chiesa, Robert Sternberg, Futa Helu, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ana Perez Saitua, Paul MacCready, Peter Senge, David Perkins, Rita Reichman, Mahathir bin Mohamad, Molly Harriss Olson, Kevin Warwick, Stephen J Gould, Carol McGuiness, Jeffrey Rosenfeld, Ron Ritchhart, Robert Swartz, Javier Bahon, Lane Clark, Joseph Renzulli, Paul Davies, Sunetra Gupta, Bengt Lennartson

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