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Whole Brain Innovators Recognized with Big Thinker Award

It is always thrilling to see the application of Whole Brain® Thinking have significant impact! This week in South Africa I was delighted to honor that achievement by bestowing our Big Thinker Award to Pieter du Toit for his application of Whole Brain® Learning Design to Higher Education.

Professor Pieter du Toit of the University of Pretoria, is one of South Africa’s leading minds on learning and teaching in higher education. Peiter has been a trailblazer in applying Whole Brain® learning design principles to significantly improve the outcomes of learning in higher education. Peiter has also overseen a large number of doctoral students furthering his research insights and applications. 

The prestigious Big Thinker recognition is awarded to individuals who have developed breakthrough new applications of Whole Brain thinking, thinking “big” about the possibilities, taking the work to new heights.

These innovations result in a whole brain approach to new arenas and disciplines that expand the value of understanding and fully leverage the cognitive diversity available. Other award winning applications have included Change Management, Diabetes Education, Values, Systems Thinking, MBA Program design, Project Mgt., Safety in the Plant and Strategic Thinking.

Also shown is Ann Louise de Boer, earlier a Big Thinker recipient  for her work in Diabetes Education. Together with Detken Scheepers and Theo Bothma they co authored Whole Brain Learning in Higher Education: Evidence Based Practice which is the most comprehensive resource on Whole Brain Learning Design available.

As part of Pieters presentation at our Whole Brain® Thinking Practitioner event entitled: Changing the Mindsets of Lecturers and Students, Pieter shared an array of examples of students demonstration of learning using a Whole Brain® approach.


In addition Pieter shared the Learning in Colours Model that is the basis of their approach to a Whole Brain® learning design process.


The Herrmann team wholeheartedly congratulates Pieter for his seminal work and look forward to more applications and doctoral dissertations!

Other Previous Whole Brain® Application Big Thinker Award recipients include:

  • Accounting Education- Professor Jim Proctor
  • Career Development- Danny McCall
  • Change Management- Anthony Palombit 
  • Conflict Resolution- Russ Osmond 
  • Creative Thinking in a Plant Environment: Byron Collins GE Hendersonville
  • Diabetes Education-  Ann Louise DeBoer 
  • Diversity- Vincent Brown, Janet Reid and Sam Lynch
  • Engineering Education- Ed and Monica Lumsdaine 
  • Leadership Development-  Nap DuFault 
  • Learning Design- Tom Boldrey, Joyce Felstehausen 
  • Whole Brain MBA Design- Dr. Beth Schwartzmueller Franklin University
  • Mentoring- Lynne Krause, US Navy
  • Organization Design- Paul Gustavson
  • Project Mgt.- Jim Lewis
  • Safety- Jim Casto, Dupont
  • Sales Systems- Mo Bunnell, BIG
  • Systems Thinking- Hal Williamson
  • Strategic Thinking- Chuck De Ridder US Forest Service
  • Values Integration– Manny Elkind


The Whole Brain® Organizational Learning Award recipients include:

  • PwC, DeAnne Aussem 
  • IBM, Rich Deserio and Jahn Wattendorf
  • Franklin University, Ray Forbes, Dr. Beth Schwartzmueller
  • Microsoft Game Studios, Shannon Loftis
  • Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited, Sue Atkins
  • Perfetti van Melle, Ronald Korenof, President
  • Ultimate Software, Regent Cornell

Tags: Events, Whole Brain Thinking

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