In recent weeks, American (and global!) pop culture has seen the debuts of several Big Things. It’s no surprise, after all, as the summer season is prime time for savoring high-profile music releases, movies, and other media. And an element present in many current hits is nostalgia, that evergreen trend in pop culture.

What’s great about nostalgia is that it takes us back to our roots, and makes us reminisce through rose-tinted memories about our past. Sure, it can be exhausting to be inundated with it in the current media landscape, but it’s there because it works. Something in us lights up when we’re reminded of the “good old days” and the joy of youth or yesteryear. (It’s a major ingredient in the recipe to our Catalyst Ranch environment, as you know.)

Another great thing about Nostalgia, and how it is currently used in pop culture, is that it’s a great lens through which we can dissect art. Nostalgia helps us identify threads of influence that likely went into making a TV show or a pop song. For many people, that makes consuming media a richer experience.

And even further, when you analyze what a piece of art activates in you, you can discover ideas and threads you can apply to other creative work. For us at Catalyst Ranch, our environment is so popular with our Meetings clients because it uniquely allows our clients to be imaginative and go further with creative work and ideation.

The process of naming the ideas/memories spurred by a piece of art is a great example of Mind Mapping. For teams who want to play with creative brainstorming, you can use Mind Mapping as a valuable tool.

Upon its release, Beyoncé’s latest single, “Break My Soul,” immediately sparked sensations for listeners with its house music sampling and urgent lyrics. This mind map example shows the idea threads that one song might spur.

**We made our Mind Map examples with a design app, but Mind Mapping is invaluable because it can be done simply with a pen and paper, or a dry erase board and marker, to record your thoughts as swiftly as they occur to you and your team.

Briefly, Mind Mapping is a great activity that stimulates your brain visually while connecting mental dots and mining ideas. It can be done analog or digitally, solo or collaboratively, and has many uses.

While Mind Mapping can and should be about brainstorming all ideas that come to mind, without judgment or qualification, it’s possible that you may need a filter to focus your ideas and bring specificity to the landscape. That’s where nostalgia can be useful.

Starting a Mind Map from one piece of media with the lens of nostalgia is a great starting point to explode all the elements that influenced the creators, and all the memories/sensations it evokes.

A great next step would be to hone in on one idea in your Mind Map and use that to tackle a work project, such as new product creation, storytelling for marketing, or identifying a new audience. The possibilities are endless with Mind Mapping.

Here are some helpful Mind Map tools:

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