The University of Malta wishes to salute the memory of one of its most successful and most accomplished alumni and Visiting Professor at the Institute for Creative Thinking and Innovation named after him, Prof. Edward de Bono, world-renowned academic and Father of Lateral Thinking.
He passed away peacefully at 88 years of age, his family announced late on 9 June 2021.
Born in Malta, Prof. Edward de Bono received his initial education at St Edward’s College, Malta, and the Royal University of Malta, where he achieved a degree in medicine. Then as a Rhodes Scholar at Christchurch, Oxford, where he gained a degree in psychology and physiology and a D.Phil. in medicine. He holds a PhD from Cambridge, a DDes from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and a LLD from Dundee. He has had faculty appointments at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London and Harvard.
He became interested in the nature and teaching of thinking while working in medical research investigating the self-organising nature of physiological systems. This led to his description of the behaviour of the mind as a self-organising system, (see his book Mechanism of Mind) and his interest in the development of lateral thinking to change perception.
Prof. de Bono originated many thinking methods that are widely used today. He originated the phrase Lateral Thinking—which has an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. He described Parallel Thinking, also known as the Six Thinking Hats® method as an alternative to argument. He has written over 60 books and programmes, with translations into 43 languages, has been invited to lecture in 58 countries and has made three television series.
His ideas have been sought by governments, non-profit organisations and many of the leading corporations in the world, such as IBM, Boeing, BT (UK), Nokia (Finland), Mondadori (Italy), Siemens (Germany), 3M (Germany), NTT (Japan), GM, Kraft, Nestle, Du Pont, Prudential, Shell, Bosch (Germany), Goldman Sachs, Ernst & Young and many others. The global consultancy, Accenture, chose him as one of the fifty most influential business thinkers.
Director of the Edward de Bono Institute for Creative Thinking and Innovation, Dr Leonie Baldacchino, said that thanks to his many contributions in this field, including lateral thinking and the 'Six Thinking Hats', Prof. de Bono will be remembered across the globe as an expert in creativity. It is an honour for us as an Institute to continue to promote these methods, which are very important in every area of life, and thus continue to commemorate and honour his memory.
Below is a short clip of Dr de Bono speaking about creativity and the generation of ideas around his 87th birthday:
Rector of the University of Malta, Prof. Alfred J. Vella, said that thanks to his invaluable contributions to knowledge, Dr de Bono's name will be held in the highest places across the globe and his rich heritage is something that will make us Maltese proud for a long time to come. "He will live on in the minds of many whose lives he has touched, and in the many ideas and theories he inspired. May he rest in peace, and sincere condolences to his family on behalf of the UM community".
Meanwhile, tributes from colleagues and local dignitaries have started pouring in: