Joseph Woods, the chief executive of Edward de Bono's Malta-based World Centre for New Thinking, has been invited on the panel of the Creative Business Convention in Cologne next week.

Dr de Bono's World Centre for New Thinking, headquartered in Kalkara, promotes creative and parallel thinking, particularly in areas of international visibility such as conflict resolution and youth and community development.

The convention is being held as part of c/o POP, Germany's largest urban music and media festival which attracts some 30,000 visitors each year. It aims to provide a forum for contact and cooperation among the creative and innovation industries, from film and music to web, fashion, branding, art and science. Cologne, as a European Capital of Culture 2010, was seen as the ideal venue to capture the imagination for this event.

The Cologne convention is a unique opportunity for leading decision-makers, creative business entrepreneurs, practitioners and representatives of global and national think-tanks to discuss new strategies and business models for creative industries in the digital age.

Panel speakers are drawn from leading figures in the fields of creativity, thinking and economics, and include Cristiana Falcone, director of Outreach within the World Economic Forum; and Dieter Gorny, president of the European Centre for Creative Economy.

Discussion will focus on how to define and monetise the creative industries; the future of creative markets and intellectual property, and the emergence of new business models enabled by digital technologies.

Mr Woods said that the World Centre for New Thinking had a valuable contribution to make at Cologne having given rise to numerous initiatives specifically aimed at promoting creative thinking and harnessing creativity as an economic driver. Concepts spun off from the WCNT include 'Idea Factory', which generates ideas using de Bono's parallel thinking techniques, and innovation generation centres, which see public and private sectors along with NGO's coming together to create the innovations of tomorrow.

"Our umbrella concept is 'RENAISSANCE 2.0' which seeks to spark off a 'second Renaissance' by combining creative thinking tools and social networking. The first Renaissance was sparked off by elite and gifted artists; the second will be enabled by networked communities using creative thinking tools," explained Mr Woods.

Mr Woods was invited on the convention panel following his contribution on behalf of Dr de Bono in Stockholm last December at an event marking the close of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation. Mr Woods has conducted training in lateral thinking in Malta, Italy, Belgium, Bulgaria, Sweden and Latvia.

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