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Tribute To Tony Buzan

Tony Buzan - Mind Map Inventor, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee & Author of over 150 books on mind mapping, memory & creativity died of a heart attack on 13th April 2019. He was 76

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Tony Buzan - Mind Map Inventor, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee & Author of over 150 books on mind mapping, memory & creativity died of a heart attack on 13th April 2019. He was 76.  

When Anurag Batra Chairman & Editor in chief - BW BusinessWorld asked me to write a tribute to my guru I was both elated & nervous. Elated because I got an opportunity to write about a giant’s life on such a respected & far-reaching platform.  

Nervous because Tony was such a multi-faceted personality that it was going to be difficult to distill his life in a few words. How can one describe a force of nature? How can one deconstruct a hurricane ’s energy, whose every pulsation was so deep, different & long lasting - each a juggernaut in itself?  

I was lucky to be trained in mind mapping by him in Dubai & to spend a massive amount of time with him whenever he visited India thanks to the efforts of Gautam Ganglani, Ram Ganglani & The Right Selection Team  

A Mind Map is a thinking tool that has massively helped millions of students, teachers, parents, business executives & entrepreneurs think better in terms of learning, memory, creativity et al. People from schools like Harvard & from Fortune 500 Companies to 5-year-olds have bettered their thinking with mind mapping 

I think one of the gutsiest things Tony did was to dedicate his life to brain literacy & to stick to his path. He was a smart student & could have easily found a cozy job & make a bunch of money. 

Very early in life, he was plagued by questions like How do I learn how to learn? What is the nature of my thinking? What are the best techniques for memorizing, creative thinking, reading & thinking in general? Could one invent a useful thinking tool?  

Unlike most students, he had the audacity to ask these questions. He was dissatisfied with the lack of answers in the 1960s & hence made it his life’s mission to seek & spread the knowledge  

In the 60s great researchers were terrible communicators & good communicators were lousy at science  

Tony was a rare bird who straddled both worlds like The Hulk!  

After inventing mind mapping along with his brother Barry Buzan ( Professor LSE ) he had a major breakthrough in bringing mind maps & brain literacy to the world through a BBC series called Use Your Head. He also lectured on mind mapping around the world so eloquently that he was ranked among the best 5 public speakers in the world by Forbes magazine. He wrote books that sold millions of copies. He was brilliant at using the best technologies of his age to the hilt. When he reached the “ app “ age he created a stunningly beautiful software called iMindMap with Chris Griffiths - a Welsh entrepreneur.  

He was both creator & marketeer 

I was lucky to be the last person to video interview him in Feb 2019 in Mumbai on his latest book pending official release - Mind Mapping For Mindfulness.  

My last question to him started with ‘ As a parting shot …” Little was I to know that it was going to be THE parting shot,  

A dedicated teacher, diligent marketer, amazing speaker, poet, Aikido expert, connoisseur, ballroom dancer, gym fanatic, humorist, childlike questioner - myriad sides of the diamond – Tony Buzan.   

Before he died he was telling people to use their brains in a better, smarter way. It was the right time to do it because people have surrendered their brains to their mobiles & they need to be shaken off their stupor. 

The journey to brain literacy is easier for humankind. Tony has left huge footsteps on the trail.  


Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Dharmendra Rai

The author is a renowned Mind Map Trainer.

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