Sad news for us was that Tony Buzan died on 13 April 2019.
Vicki and I met him in 1981 in Johannesburg. A friend had set up a workshop from Tony called “Use Your Head.” She invited us to the session in Braamfontein because they were short of registrants! It was a freebie for us.
Tony was the leading authority on the brain who created the mind map technique. It has no peer for note-taking, creative thinking, presenting and much besides. He claims it has 250 million followers.
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The technique is like a Swiss army knife for the brain. As you well know, it encourages creative thinking and improves memory.
Tony said he first noticed at school that some were intelligent – yet did not do well in traditional exams.
He first began to develop his ideas about memory and learning at the University of British Columbia. He was studying psychology, English and mathematics. He noticed that the students who did well did not always have the neatest notes. In fact their notes tended to be messy and covered with doodles, scribbles and key words.
“The great thinkers, including Da Vinci and Montessori, always drew images and arrows and lines in their notes,” he said, according to The Herald of Scotland. “When I started using keyword notes, bigger letters, with colour and arrows, it allowed my brain to speak to myself with a lot less clutter. It was as if I’d been driving all my life with my windscreen caked in mud, and suddenly I could see clearly.”
After graduating from UBC in 1964, Buzan worked for a time as editor of the journal of Mensa, the high IQ society. A 1973 BBC series Use Your Head made him famous. He also published several books with the BBC which sold more than three million copies.
Tony was prolific- writing some 80 books in over 40 different languages.
He also established the World Memory Championships in 1991; the latest event will take place in Wuhan in China in December.
Speaking about his work, Buzan said his ideal was a world in which everybody was aware of their extraordinary potential. “And they use that for their own personal self development and to help others.”
His latest project was collaborating on Mind Maps for Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi’s new book Exam Warriors.
He had the greatest love of learning of anyone I ever met.
After the Braamfontein Use Your Head seminar we got to work with Tony and the Learning Methods Group. We later set up Thinking Skills Training in SA. And then TST International in Australia when my mom emigrated there.
I have now got great responsibilities in a non-profit organisation. But sharing Tony’s gifts continues.
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