Mind Mapping for a Cause

May 7, 2014
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i_94edcb30316430e5_html_1b02c687Create Your Own Heart Map


“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

– Napoleon Hill


It takes vision to change the world. Bringing this vision of unrealized ideas and goals together in your Brain enables you to turn lofty ideas into real-world results.

Often, users find that the Brains or Thoughts in their Brain that mean the most to them are causes or missions larger than themselves. Creating a Brain that serves a cause larger than yourself is one of the best applications of your digital Brain. It is a great place to map out and explore key ideas and their ramifications. If you want to change the world, it all starts with a Thought. Here are a few examples to help get you going.


The Seattle Heart Map

In 2008, the City of Seattle welcomed 14th Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and other luminaries to an event called Seeds of Compassion. The purpose of the five-day gathering was to nurture kindness and compassion. One outcome of the event is the Compassionate Action Network (CAN) that helps people make a difference and help each other in their local community.

Jon RamerThe Compassionate Seattle Brain, known as “Heart Map” was created by Jon Ramer, Community Engagement Coordinator of CAN, to bring together all of the community’s resources and realize ideas that might otherwise be overlooked.

The Seattle Heart Map provides a public information resource that visualizes the connections between individuals, groups and organizations committed to creating a culture of compassion in the region.




View the Seattle Heart Map online.


Jon also hosts the “munch and map session” where he projects his Brain on a large screen projector for his team and they brainstorm on widening the net of compassion. When I asked Jon what he values most about TheBrain he said “TheBrain makes the invisible visible” and “brings people and ideas together for the greater good”. Jon is also using his Brain as Director and Chief Technology Officer at Four Worlds International Institute, with a focus on the Campaign “To Protect the Sacred”. With the help of his digital Brain his campaign has already produced the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects, signed by over fifty different tribes throughout North America.


Climate Watson

Dr. Mark TrexlerAfter more than 25 years of advising companies on climate change risk management, Dr. Mark Trexler decided it was time to try something new. He is now focused on using knowledge management to change the way we perceive climate risks, and to inform better climate change decision-making. To that end he has developed “Climate Watson,” a climate risk management system based on TheBrain software that currently encompasses more than 8,000 documents and more than 50,000 links.


Watch Dr. Trexler’s recent webinar: all about his Brain.



To this day Mark will go into his Brain and find stuff he forgot was even there. This Brain is his curated knowledgebase on climate change and its breath and scope are genius. One of the things I learned in engaging with Mark was that flexibility of categorization is very important to him. Mark has done a lot of mind mapping in the past, and notes that conventional mind maps are very useful tools. However, he would have to create dozens and hundreds of mind maps to capture what he has done with his single Brain Climate Watson. Mark notes that “TheBrain is ideal for organizing an infinite number of information but still getting instantly to the right detail.”


Cardiothoracic Surgery Brain

Dr. Craig BakerPerhaps the ultimate and most literal “heart” map is one that was created by Cardiac surgeon Dr. Craig Baker, Chief of Cardiac Surgery LAC+USC and Vice Chair of Surgical Education at USC’s Keck School of Medicine.

The Cardiothoracic Surgery Curriculum Brain visually consolidates a wide range of information that would otherwise be scattered across the internet and file systems. But beyond bringing the information together, this Brain visualizes relationships between diseases, treatments and surgical techniques so students get the big picture on cardiothoracic surgery as well as easy access to the best resources.

Dr Baker notes, “When we think about diseases we think in terms of chunks. TheBrain actually allows you to mimic how you would want to categorize any disease process.”



Dr Baker adds, “Most mind maps are very linear, you can track information but the information is not associative. What TheBrain does is create an incredibly dynamic interface so all the various related aspects of content are not only displayed near each other, they can link to other aspects of content. So if you have a surgical procedure it can be associated with two different diseases. You can link it together in a very dynamic way.”

TheBrain’s flexible categorization ability and dynamic interface is helping to educate the next generation of surgeons. Thanks to Dr. Baker and The Joint Council on Thoracic Surgery Education the next generation of surgeons will have better access to knowledge that aids them in their quest to save lives and keep millions of hearts beating.


Visualize Your Cause in Your Brain.

Many users ask how and what to get started with in their Brain. I like to suggest, even if you have downloaded the software for a particular business project or something else, start by creating a Brain on what’s most important to you and the world that surrounds you. Ask yourself the question of what kind of world you would like to be a part of and start mapping it out in your Brain.

Gautama Budda said “With our thoughts we make the world.” And with our digital Brains we can make it happen!




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Filed under: All Entries | Posted on May 7th, 2014 by Shelley Hayduk

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