A mind map is a radial diagramming technique where a central concept is drawn in the middle of a page, with closely related ideas radiating directly from the centre and secondary (and further) thoughts branching further outwards. Mindmapping helps deconstruct complex issues or questions without losing an overview of links between the different elements and how they relate to the whole. In futuring processes mindmaps can be useful at any stage of the process, whether done individually or in a group, but they find their most explicit expression in the futures wheel.

Process

Mind maps can be made on any piece of paper with any writing tool. For group processes it helps to have a larger writing surface and thick markers of different colours (for visual grouping and clustering), so that the diagram can be seen (and in some cases created) by all participants.

Step 1: Frame the discussion with one central issue or question. Write or draw this issue in the centre of your writing surface. The simplest mind-maps use only words, but you can use drawings, symbols, images or whatever else helps get the idea across.

Step 2: Discuss the issue and while discussing note down keywords around the issue in the centre and link them using lines (try to distinguish the lines that are linked directly from the centre and the other branches). Try to summarise each idea in one or two words, or a single image.

Step 3: Discuss the relationships between the different concepts and if needed create links, circle concepts or use other visual grouping techniques.