Tony Buzan

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Tony Buzan
Buzan in 2007
BornAnthony Peter Buzan
(1942-06-02)2 June 1942
Palmers Green, Middlesex, United Kingdom
Died13 April 2019(2019-04-13) (aged 76)

Anthony Peter "Tony" Buzan ( /ˈbzən/ ; 2 June 1942 – 13 April 2019) [1] was an English author and educational consultant.


Buzan popularised the idea of mental literacy and a thinking technique called mind mapping, [2] inspired by techniques used by Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Joseph D. Novak's "concept mapping" techniques. [3]

Leonardo da Vinci 15th and 16th-century Italian Renaissance polymath

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, more commonly known as Leonardo da Vinci, was an Italian polymath of the Renaissance whose areas of interest included invention, drawing, painting, sculpture, architecture, science, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, paleontology, and cartography. He is widely considered one of the greatest painters of all time, despite perhaps only 15 of his paintings having survived. The Mona Lisa is the most famous of his works and the most popular portrait ever made. The Last Supper is the most reproduced religious painting of all time and his Vitruvian Man drawing is regarded as a cultural icon as well. Leonardo's paintings and preparatory drawings—together with his notebooks, which contain sketches, scientific diagrams, and his thoughts on the nature of painting—compose a contribution to later generations of artists rivalled only by that of his contemporary Michelangelo.

Albert Einstein German-born physicist and developer of the theory of relativity

Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He is best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula , which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.

Joseph Donald Novak is an American educator, and Professor Emeritus at the Cornell University, and Senior Research Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition. He is known for his development of concept mapping in the 1970s.

Early life

Buzan was born in Palmers Green, Enfield, Middlesex, and was an alumnus of Kitsilano Secondary School in Vancouver. His brother is the academic Barry Buzan. Buzan completed his undergraduate studies in psychology, English, mathematics and science at the University of British Columbia, [3] and was a charter student at Simon Fraser University in 1965–66 where he spent a year as a graduate student and the inaugural president of the Simon Fraser Student Society. [4] During his time at SFU, Buzan became very involved in Mensa, going on to become editor of the International Journal of Mensa. [3] [5]

Palmers Green area in London, England

Palmers Green is a suburban area of the London Borough of Enfield in north London, England. It is located within the N13 postcode district, around 8 miles (13 km) north of Charing Cross. It is home to the largest population of Greek Cypriots outside Cyprus and is often nicknamed "Little Cyprus" or "Palmers Greek".

London Borough of Enfield London borough in United Kingdom

The London Borough of Enfield is a London borough in north London, England. It borders the London Boroughs of Barnet, Haringey and Waltham Forest, the districts of Hertsmere, Welwyn Hatfield and Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, and Epping Forest in Essex. The local authority is Enfield Council.

Middlesex historic county of England

Middlesex is a historic county in southeast England. Its area is now almost entirely within the wider urbanised area of London. Its area is now also mostly within the ceremonial county of Greater London, with small sections in other neighbouring ceremonial counties. It was established in the Anglo-Saxon system from the territory of the Middle Saxons, and existed as an official administrative unit until 1965. The county is bounded to the south by the River Thames, and includes the rivers Colne and Lea and a ridge of hills as the other boundaries. The largely low-lying county, dominated by clay in its north and alluvium on gravel in its south, was the second smallest by area in 1831.


He was a promoter of mnemonic systems and mind mapping techniques. He launched his own software programme to support mind mapping called iMindMap in December 2006 with Welsh entrepreneur, Chris Griffiths. The Buzan Organisation holds trademarks on the phrase "Mind Map s" in the context of self-improvement educational courses in the UK, [6] the USA [7] and Germany. [8] The trademark does not appear in the records of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. [9]

Mnemonic Any learning technique that aids information retention or retrieval (remembering) in the human memory

A mnemonicdevice, or memory device, is any learning technique that aids information retention or retrieval (remembering) in the human memory. Mnemonics make use of elaborative encoding, retrieval cues, and imagery as specific tools to encode any given information in a way that allows for efficient storage and retrieval. Mnemonics aid original information in becoming associated with something more accessible or meaningful—which, in turn, provides better retention of the information.

Mind map system or map used to visually organize information

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is hierarchical and shows relationships among pieces of the whole. It is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those major ideas.

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office is the patent, trademark, and copyright administration body of Canada. Structurally the CIPO functions as a Special Operating Agency (SOA) which is associated with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Following his 1970s series Use Your Head for the BBC, [10] many of his ideas were set down in a series of five books: Use Your Memory, [11] Master Your Memory, Use Your Head, The speed reading Book and The Mind Map Book. He was author or co-author of more than 80 books altogether. [12] [13] His five BBC books had, by 2003, sold over 3 million copies. [14]

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

Speed reading ability to read quickly

Speed reading is any of several techniques used to improve one's ability to read quickly. Speed reading methods include chunking and minimizing subvocalization. The many available speed reading training programs include books, videos, software, and seminars. There is scientific controversy surrounding the domain of speed reading.

As a popular psychology author, Tony Buzan wrote on subjects relating to the brain, "genius quotient (GQ)", spiritual intelligence, memory, creativity and speed reading. He was 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, the World Memory Championships [15] and the World Championships of the Brain. He was a co-founder of London's Mind Body Spirit Festival as well as the Mind Sports Olympiad, [16] and World Brain Day. [12]

Popular psychology is the concepts and theories about human mental life and behavior that are purportedly based on psychology and that find credence among and pass muster with the populace. The concept is cognate with the human potential movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

Spiritual intelligence is a term used by some philosophers, psychologists, and developmental theorists to indicate spiritual parallels with IQ and EQ.

World Memory Championships

The World Memory Championships is an organized competition of memory sports in which competitors memorize as much information as possible within a given period of time. The championship has taken place annually since 1991, with the exception of 1992. It was originated by Tony Buzan and co founded by Tony Buzan and Ray Keene. It continues to be organized by the World Memory Sports Council (WMSC), which was jointly founded by Tony Buzan and Ray Keene. In 2016, due to the dispute between some players and WMSC, the International Association of Memory (IAM) was launched. From 2017 onward, both organizations have hosted their own world championships.

He died in the early morning of April 13, 2019.

Selected bibliography

Related Research Articles

Neuroscience scientific study of the nervous system

Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. It is a multidisciplinary branch of biology that combines physiology, anatomy, molecular biology, developmental biology, cytology, mathematical modeling and psychology to understand the fundamental and emergent properties of neurons and neural circuits. The understanding of the biological basis of learning, memory, behavior, perception, and consciousness has been described by Eric Kandel as the "ultimate challenge" of the biological sciences.

Concept map diagram showing relationships among concepts

A concept map or conceptual diagram is a diagram that depicts suggested relationships between concepts. It is a graphical tool that instructional designers, engineers, technical writers, and others use to organize and structure knowledge.

A mind sport is a game of skill where the competition is based on a particular type of the intellectual ability as opposed to physical exercise.

Group concept mapping

Group concept mapping is a structured methodology for organizing the ideas of a group on any topic of interest and representing those ideas visually in a series of interrelated maps. It is a type of integrative mixed method, combining qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection and analysis. Group concept mapping allows for a collaborative group process with groups of any size, including a broad and diverse array of participants. Since its development in the late 1980s by William M.K. Trochim at Cornell University, it has been applied to various fields and contexts, including community and public health, social work, health care, human services, and biomedical research and evaluation.

Method of loci mnemonic device adopted in ancient Roman and Greek rhetorical treatises

The method of loci is a method of memory enhancement which uses visualizations with the use of spatial memory, familiar information about one's environment, to quickly and efficiently recall information. The method of loci is also known as the memory journey, memory palace, or mind palace technique. This method is a mnemonic device adopted in ancient Roman and Greek rhetorical treatises. Many memory contest champions report using this technique to recall faces, digits, and lists of words.

Note-taking the practice of writing down pieces of information gained from a particular source, such as a lecture or presentation

Note-taking is the practice of recording information captured from another source. By taking notes, the writer records the essence of the information, freeing their mind from having to recall everything. Notes are commonly drawn from a transient source, such as an oral discussion at a meeting, or a lecture, in which case the notes may be the only record of the event.

Michael J. Gelb is an author and public speaker specializing in creativity and innovation. He is the founder and president of The High Performance Learning Center, a firm specializing in consulting and training for organizations interested in developing more innovative cultures. He co-directs, with Professor James Clawson, the Leading Innovation: Thinking Creatively for Positive Change Seminar at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business.

Barry Gordon Buzan is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and honorary professor at the University of Copenhagen and Jilin University. Until 2012 he was Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at the LSE. Buzan sketched the Regional Security Complex Theory and is therefore together with Ole Wæver a central figure of the Copenhagen School.

Brain mapping is a set of neuroscience techniques predicated on the mapping of (biological) quantities or properties onto spatial representations of the brain resulting in maps.

Terry Stickels is the author of numerous puzzle books, calendars, card decks and posters featuring critical thinking skills. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, he is the oldest of three children. Stickels is a lifelong member of Mensa, One In A Thousand Society and The International High IQ Society and the Epimetheus Society. He currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas.

David Lewis (psychologist) British neuropsychologist

David Lewis, a French-born English neuropsychologist, is founder and director at the independent research consultancy Mindlab International based at the Sussex Innovation Centre in Brighton. Additionally, he is a chartered psychologist, an author and lecturer. He currently specialises in non-invasive techniques for measuring human responses under real life conditions. The studies started in the early 1980s while he was a doctoral student at the University of Sussex and required him to develop both the hardware and software necessary to monitor and record electrical activity in the brain.

XMind Mind-mapping software

XMind is a mind mapping and brainstorming software, developed by XMind Ltd. In addition to the management elements, the software can be used to capture ideas, clarify thinking, manage complex information, and promote team collaboration. As of April 2013, XMind was selected as the most popular mind mapping software on Lifehacker.

3D Topicscape, a software application, is a Personal Information Manager that provides a template loosely based on mind-mapping or concept mapping. It presents the mind map as a 3D scene where each node is a cone. It can also display in a 2D format. Nodes are arranged in a way that indicates how they are related in much the same way as a mind map. In addition to its use for information management it is claimed to be suitable as a task manager, and for use in project management.

Ten percent of the brain myth urban legend

The 10 percent of the brain myth is a widely perpetuated urban legend that most or all humans only use 10 percent of their brains. It has been misattributed to many celebrated people, notably Albert Einstein. By extrapolation, it is suggested that a person may harness this unused potential and increase intelligence.

Edward "Ed" Cooke is a British Entrepreneur and author of Remember, Remember: Learn the Stuff You Thought You Never Could. He is also a Grand Master of Memory and the co-founder of Memrise, a free online educational platform that uses memory techniques to optimise learning. Following this tweet in July 2011, he is also reputed to be the originator of the idea of Vine, a mobile social networking service based on short looping videos. He grew up in Oxfordshire.

<i>Moonwalking with Einstein</i> book by Joshua Foer

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything is a nonfiction book by Joshua Foer, first published in 2011. Moonwalking with Einstein debuted at no. 3 on the New York Times bestseller list and stayed on the list for 8 weeks.

ConceptDraw MINDMAP

ConceptDraw MINDMAP is proprietary mind mapping and brainstorming software developed by CS Odessa for Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS operating systems.


  1. "The Gravest of News!". Tony 13 April 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  2. Mind Mapping, Developing your ideas, Information Skills for Researchers
  3. 1 2 3 Corcoran, Leonie (2015) "How Tony Buzan used mind maps to doodle his way to millions", Irish Times , 1 June 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2018
  4. "SFU Student Presidents: Where are they now?". The Peak. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  5. "We Were Here First". The Peak. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  6. Mind Maps Trademark , UK
  7. Mind Maps Trademark, USA
  8. Mind Maps Trademark, Germany
  9. "Canadian Intellectual Property Office".
  10. Saeed, Saeed (2013) "Tony Buzan on how 'the brain works on images'", The National, 12 March 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2018
  11. Pulson, Barbara (2 July 1986). "Memory Man!" . Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 30 November 2018 via British Newspaper Archive.
  12. 1 2 Lantin, Barbara (2000) "Simple - it's all in the mind", Daily Telegraph , 24 October 2000. Retrieved 30 November 2018
  13. O'Kelly, Ita (23 October 2002). "Are you making the most of your brain power?" . Irish Independent. Retrieved 30 November 2018 via British Newspaper Archive.
  14. "Internationally renowned best-selling author of mind- and memory- improvement books, Inventor of Mind Map®" (press release), BBC, 4 March 2003. Retrieved 30 November 2018
  15. "A Memorable 26 years for the Mind Sport of Memory – The World Memory Championships". The World Memory Championships.
  16. About WMSC, World Memory Sports Council