BAW Brainstorming

Promoting brain awareness is a yearlong effort at the Dana Foundation and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. The highpoint of this effort comes every year for one week in March for Brain Awareness Week. BAW, a global campaign to increase awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research, has grown since its launch in 1996 to a worldwide campaign spanning six continents and more than 50 nations. In 2012, 916 events from across the globe were posted on the International Calendar. For BAW 2013, which will be the week of March 11-17, we are hoping for even more.

The planning and preparation for BAW 2013 has already begun at Dana and, although it may be months away, we encourage everyone to start brainstorming their 2013 celebrations sooner rather than later. A great place to start is the Partner Reports section.

Each year, following Brain Awareness Week, we ask our BAW Partners to submit a report on the results of their BAW activities, including the successes, the challenges, and any lessons learned. These reports include best practices; photographs; and outreach, planning, and attendance information. If you are struggling to find BAW event ideas, checking out these reports can be tremendously helpful. Reading about the successes and challenges, as well as the general advice partners include in these reports, can be valuable for perfecting your own initiative. Two hundred and twenty-five BAW Partners submitted reports in 2012, so there is plenty of useful information to read through. To find reports that are most relevant to your interests, you can search by country, U.S. state, city, event type, and target audience.

Another must-see section of the BAW website is the BAW 2012 Photo Gallery, which contains more than 150 photos from BAW Partners across the globe. Looking through these photos is truly inspiring, and will give you a sense of the breadth of events, audiences, and venues that have proven successful in past campaigns.

Brain Awareness Week may not be until March, but raising awareness about the potential in brain research is always important. Visit Dana’s BAW site now to find out how you can get involved, and consider becoming an official BAW partner.

–Simon Fischweicher

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