By Tony Buzan
It pours out of the mind and you see the beautiful externalisation of the beautiful internal thinking. And that is a Mind Map. And for every second of the competition itself you can observe the externalisation of the brain – it is quite miraculous. How does the brain do that? How does it take a giant scenario and how do you put it onto something outside on paper or canvas – and it’s real.
So you are seeing what the original geniuses in the 400,000 years ago, maybe even a million years ago, the first pre-homo sapiens and homo sapiens themselves, They first realised they could externalise their thoughts with a mark.
As the father, or grandfather, or grand uncle of the Mind Map, I am always exceptionally excited to see the externalisation of thought in an incredibly complex way, that being incredibly complex, can also make simple, make clear, make transferable, make it an educational tool.
The Mind Map Championships became at the beginning a second child, because Memory was in everybody’s minds, and Mind Mapping wasn’t even known even in 1991. The Mind Mapping Championships began in 1997 – the same year as the World Speed Reading Championships.
The Mind Map Championships were a little kid, and not known. Few people entered
and those who had, dived into oceans of Mind Mapping including Phil Chambers, and particularly Elaine Colliar. They have done beautiful Mind Maps because they saw both the beauty and the logic in the multiple cognitive skills contained within a Mind Map. When I came in 2018 to Guangzhou for the to The World Mind Map Championships and The World Speed Reading Championships and The World Memory Championships, I was very excited. The ceremony covering the World Memory Championships was beautiful.
In Guangzhou we visited the new Brain School, the first Mind Map School. And there was the new group of TBLIs who were there. The TBLIs helped launch the school. I and Dr Guo were the joint captains who launched the Ship of the Brain, the Ship of Mind Maps. We took you onto the ship, across the threshold into the beautiful quarters of the Mind Map Ship.
That ship has the history of the Mind Maps throughout it. There are photographs of early Mind Maps, there are pictures on the wall of the tree of the development of the history of the Mind Map, how it grew. On one side of one quarter, there was the picture of one quarter, there was picture of Global Brain, the diurnal picture, which is one of the great images painted by hand by Lorraine Gill. She is the Artist who gave the gift of both Image and Colour to the Mind Map.
On another side of the wall was the Notturno, the Global Brain seen at night and part of the history of the growth of the Mind Map. There were small classrooms where every child from the age of 1 could learn how to draw and how to Mind Map, how to colour, how to think. Dr Guo had emphasised that Mind Mapping was the prime intellectual thinking and cultural tool – the tool for getting the brain able to deal with its own language, the Human Language.
I then traveled on the speed train to come from Nanning to Guangzhou to the championships where there was much discussion between, the arbiters, the organisers, our teams, government leaders.
When I came off the train there was a lady who wanted to see me as I was coming off the train with a large reception committee and we were having flowers thrust at us. This lady, somewhat shy, followed me to the entrance of the hotel and said, “I want to give you these to you.” And she had an envelope – a big envelope, like an architect’s envelope. She opened it and there were 10 Mind Maps which were magnificent. I said “Where did you learnt that?” She said “I learnt from your book. I learnt from The Mind Map Book. I learnt from Liu Yan, the teacher of TBLIs in China. I fell in love with Mind Maps and I am entering the World Mind Mapping Championships!! I don’t mind if I win, I just love them. I love them. And I love you.” And she ran off.
So we now enter the room for the World Mind Mapping Championships. Word had spread around before the championships that it was the new big thing, the
thing to be good at. And it was the Mind Map. People around China, and indeed around the world, began to realise that they could say to people: “Look! Look at what I’ve done! This is me! Look at me Mummy! Look at me Daddy!” They showed the Mind Maps with true happiness.
We expected people of different ages, because kids do Mind Maps, Junior Kids do Mind Maps, Adults do Mind Maps, and so do Seniors. And sure enough we were not surprised but made happy because there were Kids, Juniors, Seniors, Adults, and they did some incredible Mind Maps.
There were three disciplines. And the three disciplines were held in one day. There’s a lot of Mind Mapping to do! And the ability to do it fast is one skill – very much like in the World Memory Championships, like the Speed Numbers.
The first discipline in the World Mind Map Championships is a lecture. So the competitors had no idea, no idea. I was going to be the lecturer. I lectured on the history and the whole area of Thinking about Thinking and the Human Language and how that evolved into the Mind Maps.
I obviously had to compact a life-long history and they had to record that in any language they wanted, because key words could be used in a Mind Map from any spoken language. And the Human Language of Image, Colour, Location goes beyond the spoken languages. The Mind Map is in the Human Language. I lectured and watched while I was lecturing and I could see more than 100 finalists.
The second competition was an unseen book or magazine. They had to Mind Map that. They had to be able to scan the essence of what was in a book and Mind Map. Obviously these events relate every strongly to any individual at any level. Because if they could do a big Mind Map that was always following all the Mind Map Guidelines, the Mind Map Laws, then it would multiply all their cortical skills. They would remember much better, they would remember much faster, they would understand more deeply, they would think as a real thinker, they would be getting themselves into the Aristotelian level where they were thinking in beautiful metaphors and making infinite number of connections between things which immediately elevated them into an A++ level of international scholarship.
During each competition they had a break and during the break they could see each other’s Mind Maps and they were all amazed by each other.
One said: “Oh my God! Look at that one!” with amazement in his eyes.
Nations began to emerge and people began to emerge and the arbiters became utterly involved in it. They weren’t just marking – they were falling into these ‘like lover’s eyes’. They would spiral into all these Mind Maps that were being done.
The third and final competition was the freehand. Anybody who wanted to Mind Map on any subject in any way following the Laws they could and would. The Mind Maps evolved into magical expressions. They had a longer time. This was more like a marathon – anything they wanted to do they did. I and the arbiters, Phil Chambers and Sania Alam were prime judges with me, would look at them and we had to judge them.
While we were walking around we could see that the images were becoming natural expressions and that the Laws were surprisingly nearly all kept. To make the judging more sensible, so that the Championships could be announced at the end of the day, we had all the arbiters and there were nearly 50 arbiters.
The top arbiters with the management of Lester, I and Phil gave them the instruction of finding the top 20, and within the top 20 to select the top 5. Then Phil and
I could have splayed out on the desks so that we could make the final judgements as we knew very well which ones were the better. As the granddaddy had written all the Laws.
We had more than 40 of the finalists Mind Maps. Phil and I went independently and picked out our own top 5. Phil and I were very close in selecting the same ones and we didn’t know the names of the competitors. We had no idea who was who. We did begin to realise that the French / Gulf Team were pushing ahead.
So we did not know who was going to win and we are now at the final judging.
The French and the Gulf Mind Mappers who are obviously identifiable as European, Gulf and French. We had a division into categories but that combined itself back into the overall championships. The points were for clarity, points for colour, points for logic and super logic, points for curvilinear nature, points for words, One Word Per Branch, points going through each one of the Laws and they get points for each one so the tabulation was very objective with some subjectivity for beauty etc. There was Feng Shui for the beautiful organisation of the Mind Map.
We went through each one and, Dear Reader, you will see in the tabulation the Results on the Mind Mapping Championships Starting on page 14. When we had decided upon and double checked it with the top arbiters as well, we looked at it and we had no idea who won Bronze, Silver and Gold. We didn’t know. And sure enough, surprise number one:
Bronze: it was a European – a beautiful one.
Silver: again a surprise – and that was the open French Championships, a young man who had not only fallen in love with Mind maps, but he was telling everybody he could about them. It was thought that all the Asian competitor would win Bronze, Silver, Gold. There were two unexpected but brilliant Mind Maps.
And up pops the winner and we checked through each one of the competitions and this was the only person in all the categories who had come 2nd, 3rd and 1st. He was everywhere in the individual medals.
The translator calls out the name and who should walk up on the stage but the lady who gave me the Mind Maps after I had exited the super speed train to Guangzhou. She who had given the gift and we did not know.
Her Mind Maps had style but we couldn’t tell it was hers and we had no idea who had won. It was almost like a Shakespearean foreshadowing. Having arrived on the super train off pops this super lady!
She has inspired more and more people and after the Mind Mapping Championships we visited to schools and the champion would help people. Kids would come up to us. We went to an institution for helping underprivileged people and any people with learning difficulties. Dr Guo had done these beautiful displays and there were young children who had fallen in love with Mind Maps and they were wearing traditional native costumes. They all went up to a giant board to do a joint giant Mind Map.
There is an equal beauty with centuries old national costumes and there radiant smiles when they saw the Mind Maps. The Mind Map Champions are great big jewels in the quantum universe and the ripples that those Mind Map Championships are spreading, and they’re almost breaking some of the quantum laws. With the quantum laws, something starts ripples and they spread out in circle and fade into the distance but they continue forever. But the Mind Map Championship starts the ripples, but they start to accelerate and those ripples become bigger. It is a reversal of the quantum physics. And here are some of these waves in Synapsia.
Could it be that the World Mind Mapping Championships is going to be the Mind Sport, the new Mind Sport? The World Mind Mapping Championships have wonderful advantages?
When people watch the World Memory Championships, they see people Thinking. They don’t have the privilege of being inside the person’s head while they are travelling on infinite journeys as they remember. The World Mind Mapping Championships have the advantage that what is in their head is exuded.