Autonomous Thinking

The art of thinking for oneself & acting proactively

We live in a world where information is everywhere. Information is constantly being hurled at us, in big volumes, and we must develop the ability to think independently when assessing the information and separating the valuable from the non-valuable (or even toxic).

Autonomous thinking is a blend of critical thinking and creative thinking. However, often times we slide into the trap of thinking that only creating art counts as being creative. Or that only highly analytical people can be good critical thinkers.

In fact, both these cognitive approaches can be developed, and they are at the basis of a novel mindset: Autonomous Thinking. This “skill of the future” can help us solve issues in more efficient ways.


This module is designed for individuals and organisations interested in developing an autonomous mindset, and for all those who wish to gain the ability to overcome their biases and operate efficiently despite assumptions.


  • Developing the ability to think for oneself
  • Understanding both the creative thinking process and critical thinking methods.
  • Becoming aware of the importance of autonomy and accountability within the organisation

Main topics

  • What is autonomous thinking?
  • Thinking for oneself and challenging every situation
  • The filter theory: facts and assumptions
  • Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking
  • Navigating challenges
  • How to take different stands. The 6 Thinking Hats model
  • Structuring opportunities
  • Creativity in autonomous thinking
  • Building self-esteem and self-efficacy

Adela Cristea

Managing Partner & Founder Ascent Group

Adela Cristea is the managing partner of Ascent Group and founder of the consortium. Adela's academic background is in Economy and Law, at the "West University" Timișoara and "Vasile Goldiș" University, Arad. Throughout the years she's become specialised in numerous areas, studying at universities abroad (Gent University - Belgium; Göttingen University - Germany; National Democratic Institute - USA), as well as become trained in the Systems Thinking course at Oxford University.

Adela's wide experience of 20+ years, particularly that pertaining to the area of management and human resources, has been accumulated with multi-national companies such as Unilever or International Resources, as well as with consulting groups, such as Archimedes Consulting Group and Ascent Group.

All along, Adela has been engaged in multiple business start-up projects, company restructurings, labor conflicts and training, for multi-national companies, as well as for local businesses in a wide array of fields, both in Romania and abroad. Adela's multi-disciplinary experience is rounded off with a 15-year stretch teaching at the university.

Since 2017, Adela has become the co-founder of Design Thinkers Academy Eastern Europe, contributing to the development of the company to reach over 20 countries in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Central Asia.

Diana Simion

Senior Trainer

With a background in academic and marketing research, Diana has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies and significant experience as a facilitator in Design Thinking projects, as well as with brand consulting.

Her inter-disciplinary awareness and curiosity to explore and connect people from various areas of activity have made her activity, over the last 15 years, revolve around organisational consulting and diagnose, soft skills and personal development trainings, brand consulting, marketing research, Design Thinking, customer & employee experience, communication and marketing.

Diana is a relentless explorer, who, whether online or in class, building on the relevance and clarity of her content, engages with participants as a highly empathetic and playful trainer, enabling a unique learning experience for them, one in which not only their curiosity will be catered to, but one in which good cheer and smiles are a natural byproduct, too.