An important fact about Footnotes is that you don’t need to have succeeded in this word-centred, qualification-driven world to benefit from, and help others use the techniques. It can help to open up one’s thinking, away from the restrictions of linear-lexical (word dominant) processing, to harness hidden capacities in order to learn, understand, create and thrive.
Einstein once said ‘If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it’.
We believe that, like Einstein, a very large percentage of the population are natural visual multilayered thinkers, and that huge numbers of people who don’t know this, could be greatly missing out on their unique and inherent abilities. In some parts of the world this lack is having a particularly detrimental effect on many facets of community life.
This is why Footnotes is vital, as an innovative tool that helps to unlock and develop individuals’ innate visual and non-linear thinking skills; traits that are often underused and not valued in the modern world. Modern life is often lived at such a fast pace, that we may not even take the time to question whether our thoughts or words hold any real value.
The Footnotes Programme is a flexible series of visual thinking techniques that are straightforward to teach, easy to learn and highly adaptable to any individual or situation. This is being constantly proved, as Footnotes strategies are increasingly applied to many aspects of community life all over the world. This global application is partly due to the lack of emphasis on words, which makes Footnotes particularly accessible in, and transferable to, any language.
It is so simple that sometimes people don’t always grasp how effective Footnotes is… until they begin to use it. For others, it’s the thing they always knew, but never had the permission or framework to live and work in this way. We understand that we are all wonderfully unique and it’s vitally important that we are able to communicate in our preferred way.
Footnotes is made up of a set of drawing-related strategies that use a grid (either paper or digital) to give people a different type of language based on images, finding their voice as they learn how to process inner thoughts and feelings without having to sequence ideas or choose words. This could later be given structure and translation in many different ways, including words, so it can be externalised to others.
With Footnotes you can make notes at the speed of thought, carry multiple ideas simultaneously and all the while see the bigger picture. Profound breakthroughs are often seen when these techniques are applied.
One example of this breakthrough is from a project in South Africa, where they have found Footnotes to be a solution:
“We’ve seen that the teaching methods imposed from either the UK or from the States just don’t work…[but] even though your system comes from the UK we could use it as a really African system of teaching our children. And that’s something that we need, a system that works for South Africa.” – Western Cape Education Representative.
We believe that Footnotes gives the ability for people from all nations to maintain their individuality and cultural difference, whilst being able to embrace and communicate with the positive influence of other societies.
From education to enterprise, communication to community, reconciliation to healing, Footnotes is for anyone.