CPSI Core CPS 2020

The Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) is a unique learning experience that is breaking new ground in 2020 due to the novel Coronavirus COVID-19. At the core of the Creative Problem Solving Institute is its flagship Creative Problem Solving Program, which begins with CPS Level 1: Foundations of Creative Problem Solving. This is the course we highly recommend for all first-time CPSI participants.

These classes will meet on Zoom and Mural, so a strong internet connection will be necessary and a working webcam is preferred. 


Alex Osborn, the founder of the Creative Problem Solving Institute, invented brainstorming, which evolved into a more complete process of Creative Problem Solving. The Creative Education Foundation has been teaching and honing this process, and related programs, ever since!

Creative Problem Solving Program | Creative Problem Solving InstituteThe Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Program is a multi-year experience designed to help you develop critical skills and capabilities for driving creativity, innovation and change. Each course deepens these skills so that you move from being led through the CPS process to adding tools and techniques to enhance the process to facilitating the process and, ultimately, to teaching others how to facilitate the process.

When you complete the full CPS Program, you have a dynamic set of skills, tools and processes for leading for creativity, as well as fostering creative thinking and problem solving in individuals, in teams and across your organization.

CPSI 2020’s Core CPS creativity training programs offer in-depth learning experiences about creativity, innovation and change. If this is your first time at CPSI, we highly recommend registering for the CPS Level 1: Foundations of Creative Problem Solving program as your Core CPS selection.

Apply what you learn in the Core CPS Program to identify better problems to solve, generate more and different ideas, produce better solutions, and act more confidently to implement those solutions.Creative Problem Solving Program | Creative Problem Solving Institute


Creative Problem Solving Program: The Courses

Due to the virtual nature of CPSI Core CPS 2020, we are offering two courses which develop deliberate creativity skills through Creative Problem Solving (CPS). Because they run sequentially, participants may register for both classes if they so desire.

CPS Level 1: Foundations of Creative Problem Solving

If you are new to CPSI, Foundations of Creative Problem Solving is your fast track to a deliberate creativity process for solving problems and capitalizing on opportunities. You’ll learn the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Process, the research-based gold standard of creativity methods, and be exposed to the FourSight framework, which can help you understand how you and your teammates approach challenges.

In an incredibly engaging virtual format, your team of experienced facilitators will use hands-on activities, real-world examples, and a variety of divergent and convergent thinking tools to give you the skills you need to advance your personal and professional goals. The class will meet twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 12:00-2:00 PM EST from September 29-October 22. 

In this course, you will:

  • Recognize and overcome blocks to creativity.
  • Identify attitudes and behaviors conducive to creative thinking.
  • Apply core concepts of creative thinking.
  • Use a variety of divergent and convergent thinking tools.
  • Apply the CPS method to many simulated or real situations.
  • Consciously be creative when facing problems and opportunities.

CPS Level 2: Creative Problem Solving Tools 

This is a natural stepping stone if you have previously taken Foundations of Creative problem Solving (formerly Springboard). This fast-paced course allows beginner to intermediate facilitators to go deeper into the CPS process, adding more facilitation tools to your repertoire. You will gain a clear understanding of which tools to use at each stage of the CPS process, as well as how to modify them to fit your session objectives or add a bit of creative flair. You will also learn a variety of energizers and fun grouping games to keep your sessions engaging and interactive. Learn through small- and large-group work, including round-robin sharing and show-and-tell exercises. The class will meet twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 12:00-2:00 PM EST from October 29-November 19. 

In this course, you will:

  • Explore a variety of divergent and convergent tools for individual and group problem solving.
  • Learn how and where to apply different tools within the CPS process.
  • Practice facilitating tools.
  • Discover how to use tools when you or your team are unable to progress or working in areas of low preference. 

The following courses are part of the Creative Problem Solving Program but will NOT be offered virtually in the fall of 2020.

CPS Level 3: Creative Problem Solving Facilitation Techniques

Facilitation skills are central to the effective use of CPS, whether in formal meetings or informal brainstorming sessions. This course is designed for those who already know the CPS process in theory and are ready to put it into action as a facilitator. This course uses peer-group practices to prepare participants for working with actual clients. Characteristics of successful facilitation will be identified and practiced, and you will develop an awareness of your own strengths and areas for development. In this course, you will:

  • Review and start to internalize the CPS process through the lens of the facilitator.
  • Experience CPS from several points of view – as a facilitator, as the problem-owner, and as part of the resource group.
  • Understand how to facilitate each step of the CPS process.
  • Receive general facilitation tips that enhance any meeting.
  • Receive individual and group feedback on facilitation skills.
  • Explore and develop your facilitation style.

CPS Level 4: Creative Problem Solving Instructor Training 

This program is designed to provide the modules, framework and practice to help you train individuals and groups in the Creative Problem Solving Process as taught in the Foundations of Creative Problem Solving course. In this highly interactive course, you will have the opportunity to train others in these modules and receive feedback and coaching from your peers and experienced facilitators. Come prepared to work hard and have fun. Please note: Pre-work and on-site preparation will be required in order to “teach back” the course. In this course, you will:

  • Explain each step of the CPS process.
  • Explain the supporting principles of the CPS process.
  • Apply adult learning and thinking styles for effective instruction.
  • Demonstrate the skills needed to teach the CPS process, principles and tools, including effective presentation.
  • Deliver the core CPSI Foundations of Creative Problem Solving course, which introduces participants to a layered approach to learning CPS.