A try-it-yourself challenge:

Create a graph model from a mental model of something that matters to you. You could win some cool stuff.

How does this challenge work?

We all hold in our minds lots of different mental models. It might be for something process-related like how teams contribute to projects, something subject-related like how genes affect disease, something philosophical like how tools constrain our thinking (image above), or something just plain fun like how different flavor combinations evoke emotions. Whatever it is, we want to see it, and help you see what happens when you draw out your mental model using something better than just a whiteboard. To participate here's what to do:

  1. Fill out the form on the right telling us just one sentence about what you want to model.
  2. You'll be automatically directed to where you can set up a free Cognitive City for this challenge. Just create an account and enter a name for your free City that's related to what you're modeling.
  3. Once you're in your sandbox Cognitive City click "Model" in the left sidebar and use the modeling tool to map out the thing you're interested in. Keep it simple - like in the picture at the top of the page - no more than 6 nodes and 10 connections. Add detail by adding a few properties to the element types of your model. 
  4. Use the help button in the bottom right corner of the modeling page if you get stuck, and use it to let us know when you're ready for us to check out your model. Please submit your model by April 30th if you'd like to be considered for the prize.
  5. We'll select a winner based on the amount of discussion the model generates between the members of our review panel. Even very simple models can be extremely thought-provoking. Get the reviewers talking and you could win!
The winner will receive:

This challenge was inspired by this blog post about the importance of flexible mental modes by Exaptive's founder, Dave King. Check out the post to learn more. It might give you some inspiration for your own mental model!

I have a mental model for ....