Global Change Seminar "It's Your Move!"
Individual Exercise

Creating a Mind Map

           A Mind Map is a technique to draw out all of the possible things we need to think about when undertaking a new project or activity, solving a problem, or learning about a new concept or subject. (Click here to see a sample Mind Map.)

  1. Give the project, idea, or issue you want to focus on a name of 2-3 words.
  2. Sit down in a quiet place with a blank sheet of paper and a pen or pencil. Write down the name in the middle of your paper and circle it.
  3. Now, open your mind and on the paper quickly jot down words and ideas that your mind associates with the name.
  4. Follow whatever trains of thought occur.
  5. Try to cover every aspect of the idea or issue, the different things that have to be done around it (for a project) or different ways of looking at it (for an idea) or different aspects of it (for an issue).
  6. Write all over the paper.
  7. Join words with lines if you feel like it, or radiate lines from the name and cluster words along the lines.
  8. Give yourself at least 10-15 minutes to do this. Use a timer if you like.
  9. Even if nothing more comes to mind, wait and see if something else shows up. Give yourself the full 10-15 minutes, however long you have allocated.
  10. Put the Mind Map away, and bring it out at a later time. Look it over, and spend 5 more minutes adding words that you forgot the first time.
    Think About

    • What struck you most about this exercise?  
    • What might you have forgotten?     
    • What was most useful about this exercise?