About CPSI

The Creative Education Foundation’s Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) is the world’s longest-running creativity conference.

Choose from several experiential programs where you will learn a proven process for deliberate creativity – from the place that invented brainstorming and has evolved and taught the Creative Problem Solving process for more than 60 years.

CPSI offers a one-of-a-kind personal and professional training opportunity. You will gain practical creativity skills and tools in an inspiring, interdisciplinary learning environment. Make CPSI a family affair when you sign up your 8-17 year olds for YouthWise, too!

Connect with a diverse cross section of more than 400 business leaders, educators, community activists, nonprofit and government professionals, artists, students and others from around the globe.


CPSI is where you learn the skills that you and your organization need to stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing world. At CPSI, you will engage an array of workshops and training courses geared toward personal and professional development – all centered around processes for fostering creative thinking and doing.

As a CPSI participant, you will learn through listening and observing, but mostly by doing. You will learn a proven, disciplined and repeatable approach for Creative Problem Solving. For the many participants who return year after year, CPSI has become a professional home and a must-attend event. CPSI is truly unique:

You’ll explore every facet of creativity and innovation among an international community of like-minded people sharing best practices and life experiences from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, and professions.

You’ll learn creative techniques and methods that can be used personally and in the workplace immediately. You’ll emerge renewed and armed with the skills that you and your organization need to stay competitive in today’s challenging marketplace.

You’ll be in a dynamic, multi-dimensional learning environment brimming with collegiality, playfulness, openness, challenge, spirit, and purpose.

At CPSI you meet like-minded, intelligent, curious, and experienced people from all walks of life, creating connections that will be the basis for a lifetime of continued learning and exploration.


Founded in 1954, the Creative Education Foundation is the recognized world leader in applied imagination. Alex Osborn, an ad man and educator, not only founded CEF and CPSI, but also invented brainstorming and co-founded the ad firm, BBDO. His classic book, Applied Imagination, continues to inspire the work of CEF.

With Sidney Parnes, Osborn developed the Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving process. For more than 60 years, CEF has been teaching adults and children how to use this proven process to develop new ideas, solve complex problems, and implement innovative solutions.

The first annual Creative Problem Solving Institute was held in 1955 at the University of Buffalo. The first virtual CPSI conference was held in June, 2020.