Interdevelopmental Institute Services 2024-25

Are you a complex thinker, or interested in becoming one? – The world is in great need of such people.

Otto Laske is a world expert on complex thinking. Since 2000, he has taught dialectical, meta-systemic thinking at the Interdevelopmental Institute (IDM), working with international groups of experts in their field and reflective practitioners generally, mostly consultants.

Laske is continuing his teaching, starting the Spring of 2024. His teaching will focus on learning how to use DTF, the Dialectical Thought Form Framework (2000), recently broadly publicized by three books published by Springer under the title of “Advanced Systems Level Problem Solving ( Book #1 and #2 form the background to Book #3, the only existing Manual of Dialectical Thought Forms.

Complex, dialectical thinking differs from logical thinking, abductive thinking, and conventional systemic thinking in that it is ‘meta-systemic’. Such thinking critically investigates the structure of one’s own thinking as articulated in real time (NOW), in whatever social venue and circumstances. As a result, Laske’s approach to teaching dialectical thinking is dialogical: people learn to listen deeply to each other and scrutinize the structure of their own thinking with the help of others, in the process becoming complex thinkers.

Starting in the Spring of 2024, Otto Laske is offering expertly prepared courses for helping professionals unbury their unused cognitive resources for meta-systemic thinking. There are two different but related offerings:

  • Dialectical Analysis (of data, texts, images, one’s own real-time speaking)
  • Dialectic as a Mature Form of Dialogue (for the sake of ‘helping’ others; for reaching consensus, understanding each other deeply)

IDM courses have no prerequisites.

We assume that every adult has the resources to become a complex thinker. A Summary of IDM offerings starting in May of 2024 is found below.


Activities of Participants Participants work on scientific or literary texts in fields of common interest. Work with dialectical thought forms shows them a pathway that leads to intense self-reflection and analysis of their own real-time communication, while they absorb a meta-systemic view of the texts they analyze and, as a result, of their own thinking. Participants learn to listen to others by way of a protocol called ‘The Three Houses’ that to enact requires knowledge of dialectical thought forms. It is a protocol for inquiring into the dialectical structure of others’ thinking about three topics: their role and function in diverse professional venues; their relationship to these venues; and their own professional agenda.
Activities of Instructor In introducing key concepts of DTF and modeling its analytical uses in real time, the instructor acts as a team leader, teacher, cognitive prompter, and dedicated mentor, if not also a developmental team coach over the duration of the course.


An IDM Certificate of Complex Thinking is available to participants who submit individual ‘case studies’.

In introducing key concepts of DTF and modeling its dialogical uses in real time, the instructor acts as a team leader, teacher, deep listener. and witness to the group’s real-time communications. Once the course has been taught, he works on giving detailed, individual feedback to participants who have written ‘case studies’ submitted for the purpose of IDM certification.
Workshop Duration Ten 1-hr sessions over 20 weeks (5 months) Fifteen 1-hr sessions over 28  weeks (7 months)
Number of Participants Up to 10 participants; minimum of 6 Up to 6 participants; minimum of 5
Certification IDM Certificate of Meta-Systemic Thinking IDM Certificate of Meta-Systemic Thinking
Workshop Cost US$5,000 US$7,000


About the instructor: Otto Laske is a student of one of the founders of the Frankfurt School, Th. W. Adorno (Dr. phil. 1966 with a dissertation on dialectics). He is also a developmental psychologist (Psy. D. 1999 with a dissertation on developmental coaching and consulting). Otto is internationally known for his work with and on meta-systemic thinking and is published internationally. He can be reached at [email protected].

Author: Otto Laske

I am the founder and director of IDM, the Interdevelopmental Institute. My background is in philosophy, psychology, consulting, and coaching based on developmental theory to which I have mightily contributed myself. See the blogs at