The CLEA was founded in 1995 as a transdisciplinary and interfaculty research centre under the initiative of the well-known Belgian philosopher Leo Apostel, and carries his name. By founding the CLEA he wanted to create a bridge between the various human and exact scientific disciplines, in order to counteract fragmentation of our knowledge. Within the CLEA international eminent scientific research is carried out across the boundaries of the subject areas. Besides its own research programme, the centre also mentors several students during their doctorate research in Interdisciplinary Studies.
With the postgraduate course ‘School of Thinking’, the CLEA now also adds a practical course to its activities. Through various classes, workshops and exercises, provided by, for instance, the VUB professors Francis Heylighen and Jean-Paul Van Bendeghem, students are trained in methods to learn to think better, i.e. more creative, critical, systemic and collaborative thinking. In this way the CLEA wants to give students tools to better handle complex, current problems in, for example, science, society, the economy and technology. The course is initially aimed at professionals, such as entrepreneurs, managers, politicians, consultants and coaches who, in their position, are confronted with complex problems requiring innovative thinking processes.
“Due to our upbringing and education we are typically taught to think in a defined way or we develop expertise within one specific domain. We like to talk about ‘thinking outside the box’, but these boxes remain in our head and limit free thinking without us being aware of it. We aim to teach students various thinking methods that will make their ingrained ideas collide and bring them in motion. To find creative solutions for complex problems, we have to dare to transcend the boundaries of mindsets and disciplines, but, at the same time, remain sufficiently critical to distinguish good ideas from bad ones” says Prof. Dr. Francis Heylighen.
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Dr. Marta Lenartowicz
Prof. Francis Heylighen