Tony Buzan, and His Quest for World Mental Literacy


Tony Buzan is a world-renowned memory expert, and co-founder of the World Memory Championships, among pages and pages of other credentials. In 1970 he developed the technique, “Mind Mapping,” that revolutionized the way people utilize both sides of their brain in order to increase their memory and cognitive skills. He has taken his program all around the world, in lectures and books on the subject of organization to maximize brainpower.

Born Anthony Peter Buzan in Palmers Green, Enfield, Middlesex, England in 1942, “Tony” as he prefers to be called, was an exceptional child. His mother said, “… Has shown intelligence beyond his years from a very early age. Extremely logical and literal mind… Extraordinarily exact memory.” She said that as a young boy he never preferred soft toys, but gravitated toward numbers and blocks.

He was captain of the winning chess team, and class valedictorian at Kitsilano High School (1960). He went on to the University of British Columbia, where he graduated with honors and a Bachelor of Arts with Science degree in 1964.

BuzanIn the late 1960s, frustrated with traditional note taking techniques, he developed the Mind Mapping program, an adaptable tool for just about anything: planning, organizing, creating, presenting, problem solving, communicating and much more! He says of the program, “Normal linear note taking and writing will put you into a semi-hypnotic trance, while mind mapping will greatly enhance your left and right brain cognitive skills.”

He is a proponent of speed reading. “Research is increasingly showing that the faster you read, the better your comprehension. So if you read at 1000 wpm, learn to read at 2000 wpm and your comprehension will soar like a dolphin. This is because information is organized into meaningful chunks that make immediate sense to your brain. This increased ability to understand in turn helps you to remember better.”

Since 1969 Buzan has written over 120 books, in over 30 languages, that center around maximizing the brain’s potential with such subjects as: “genius quotient (GQ)”, spiritual intelligence, memory, creativity and speed reading. He is probably best known for his book, Use Your Head, his promotion of mnemonic systems and his mind-mapping techniques.

“The old linear pattern of thinking by reading and describing from left to right, top to bottom has many problems in organizing information coming from eyes, ears, etc. For example, the ability to read and understand the context of a book is different from memorizing them simply as sentences.”

He has appeared on television programs, and is a highly regarded speaker to corporations, schools, and civic organizations. He has helped Olympic athletes, governments, high profile individuals and children of all ages to enhance their brainpower through mnemonics and his Mind Map techniques.

He is the founder and President of the Brain Foundation (not to be confused with various medical-related bodies with the same name) and also the Brain Trust Charity. In 1984 he founded the World Speed Reading Championships, and in 1991 he co-founded the World Memory Championships, along with Raymond Keene. Except for the year 1992, the tournaments have taken place each year since. The memory championships have grown to cover over 30 countries, with the granddaddy of them all, the World Memory Championship. He also was a co-founder of London’s Mind Body Spirit Festival, as well as the Mind Sports Olympiad.

Throughout the years he has managed to coach and compete in rowing tournaments (including being on the coaching team for the Olympics), chess matches, edited the MENSA International Journal, and dozens of other accomplishments. One would say he was driven to succeed.  

In 2006 he launched his own software program, iMindMap, as a support to Mind Mapping. Buzan has been “the instrumental driving force in bringing the world mental literacy, and his work continues anew with ThinkBuzan, in developing further innovative thinking solutions.”

Buzan is dedicated to taking his work all around the world to increase literacy, and help people to maximize their hidden potential.

Authored by Ron White, memory speaker

 Memory Training


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