Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and your loved ones peace, health, happiness, and prosperity in the coming New Year. Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year from The Whole Brain Foundation!


December 2016​​

Dear Friends of Charlie,

My Merry Christmas 2016 present to you is the promise of a 3-D Whole Brain Artificial Mind as a Digital Prototype of “Charlie's Conceptual Cube” for delivery December 25, 2017 to the whole team.

The 2-D Whole Brain Model has been enormously successful and has transformed the lives of millions worldwide.

I’m inviting my Friends to join in a fundraiser to transform the mock-up of the Whole Brain 3-D Artificial Mind of 2016 into a DIGITAL PROTOTYPE for Christmas 2017. I’m seeking to raise 100K for 2017 and asking you to collaborate.

Merry Christmas 2016 and Happy New Year 2017!

I’m sending along a report of progress and a request for support for the mission and vision of The Whole Brain Foundation, Inc.

My 80th year has met all expectations. My recovery and rehabilitation has resulted in the invention of something new under the sun: a 3-D Whole Brain Artificial Mind that integrates Creativity in problem solving with Humanity and Technology. It will help Human Intelligence communicate with Artificial Intelligence.

I call it “CharliesConceptualCube.” CCC’s promise is to increase Human Intelligence many magnitudes by providing a tool to improve thinking in the three dimensions of Creativity, Humanity and Technology. It will change the paradigm for “thinking” for smarter persons and smarter phones. It is a common denominator and conceptual framework that builds on and improves upon the 2-D Whole Brain Model in our current logo.

This new improved mental framework has led to unexpected and astonishing successes. We now have a mockup on the dining room table that is constructed of cubes. It looks like the streets of Manhattan. Our strategy is to create a digital prototype that all can view, manipulate, and explore — right there on their smartphones.

It’s a “mindshot” moonshot. We’ve completed our initial organizational work, partially funded with member dues, in order to exploit this research breakthrough. We’re now a 501(c)(3) non-profit with an outstanding board of directors, advisors and staff. They serve on a volunteer, part-time or free-lance basis. Paid workers wait in the wings — ready to go in 2017 when we will seek research contracts after raising our seed capital.

The 3-D Whole Brain Artificial Mind

Mock-up of CharliesConceptualCube

Charles Atkinson, EdD, Cambridge MA 02138 12/21/16

Questions you may have about The Whole Brain Foundation, Inc.

1. PASSION: What are your Passionate Interests?To create a new tool for thinking

about thinking behaviorally — a picture-able, programmable, identifiable and

connectable 3-D Whole Brain Artificial Mind. I call it: “Charlie’s Conceptual Cube” (CCC)

2. MISSION: What are your Goals and Mission?To invent this new tool for thinking,

or CCC, I must first realize the spatial roadmap problem-solving process from the

back to front of the brain dimension for Creativity; second, provide a left to right

horizontal dimension for the identifiable networks of Humanity; third, map the bottom

to top vertical hierarchy of knowledge interconnections of Technology. The 3-D

Whole Brain Artificial Mind is a common denominator conceptual framework. It will

add pattern-recognition to alphanumeric thinking and computer processing for five

billion humans and as many smartphones by 2020.

3. VISION: What is your Vision and Strategic Plan? “CharliesConceptualCube”is

now a mock-up with eight 5x5x5 Rubik’s Cubes configured as an imaginable city —

with a dome, streets, buildings, three dimensions, five divisions, six directions, and

eight buildings plus basements yielding 1000 rooms. The CCCDigital

Prototype (DP) will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to build an Artificial Mind (AM). Each

room is a memory palace that augments Human Intelligence (HI). The DP is the most

critical step in developing and sharing CCC.

4. CONSTRUCTION: What is your Budget and Use of Proceeds for Seven

Program Initiatives?With $100,000 in seed capital in 2016 to prepare for obtaining

$1,000,000 in 2017, we will pursue:

5. Research: Continue the 3-D exploration of the Conceptual Framework for the

Human Mind – a tool to improve thinking with Creativity and the connection between

Humanity and Technology. CCCis the research result of startup proof of concept

projects —— successful health, learning, and business applications — for individual,

social, organizational, political and civilizational problems, challenges and


6. The Directors, Officers and Advisors: Charles Atkinson, President and

Founder; Malcolm Mackay JD, Russell Reynolds Managing Director; Gene Keluche,

MBA Chairman Native American Sports; Buks Moolman, CPA,CA(SA), ACA(CA)SA),

CGMA, Treasurer; Advisors: John Winthrop, MBA, Malcolm Peabody MBA

IssueOne, Charter Schools Washington, DC; Andrew Farrar, Entrepreneur; Tyler

Richard AB Harvard Teaching Fellow; Francis deMarneffe, MD President Emeritus

McLean Hospital.

7. Staff and Member Services: Kiara Barrow, Chief Operating Officer; Allison Cook,

Chief of Staff; Jen Matheson, Executive Assistant; Nolan Watts, Director, Health

Competencies; Yanique Montille, Director, Finance and Administration; Lauren

Hawkins, Director of Development; Salesforce.org nonprofit enterprise qualified;

Microsoft TechSoup Donation Program; Timothy Burke and Chris Bulens, JD, CPA

8. The Book: “CharliesConceptualCube”CCC The 3-D Whole Brain Artificial Mind

9. Social Media: TheWholeBrainFoundation.org, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube

10. Products: A digital prototype of CCC, envisioned as the streets and buildings of

Manhattan, configuration of eight cubes; learning how-to learn and think curriculum; a

database learning system platform; simulations, games and toys; and a set of

standards to be co-developed and shared through a consortium.

11. Contracts and Projects: The MacArthur Foundation, 100&change (7,084

registrants, we are one of 1784 proposals accepted, winners announced December6, 2016);

XQAmerica – Rethink American Schools – we were selected to compete;

10 proposals won. AI 100 – second round 800. All Competitors will be offered the 3-D

Whole Brain Artificial Mind DP for CCC as a tool for Creative problem solving to

connect Humanity and Technology

12. EXECUTION: How to donate?Please give generously with a check to: The

Whole Brain Foundation, Inc., Charles Atkinson, EdD, at 6 Clement Circle,

Cambridge, MA 02138 IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit) or give securely online:


I look forward to hearing from you and meeting in the New Year to discuss the many

ways we can change the world for the better.


December, 2015

It was the best of years; it was the worst of years.

Charlie’s recovery, unbelievably, continues! He is now able to walk with a cane (under carefully monitored circumstances), and Emese, his physical therapist, assures him that tennis is not out of the question. The climax of his year was a phenomenal celebratory 80th birthday bash at the Fly Club – with 160 guests from all parts of his life toasting, dancing, singing, and generally reveling in his recovery.

Jeannette continues to paint, though not as often as she would like, and had two of her favorites juried into a couple of local shows. She also, finally, after many years of trying, made a successful batch of her grandmother’s beach plum jelly – without pectin, of course.

Tuyet was married in October to John Hurst (whom we like very much indeed!), and Charlie and I traveled to Georgia to celebrate at their reception in November. John and Tuyet have three children each, and “The Brady Bunch” was a constant refrain at the event.

Our grandchildren have all experienced triumphs, large and small. Here’s a sampling: Caleb is launched and is now a sophomore at the University of Maryland; Meg was selected “best citizen” out of all the students at her high school; Grey is a standout in football and tennis; Chloe was a phenomenal Fiona in “Shrek, the Musical;” Elise was elected captain of her Milton swim team; Lydia has a very observant eye, especially for natural beauty; Liam is a serious robotics competitor; Sam is the spelling champion for his whole county; and Maddie is a joyous performer and fledgling drum player. We are so proud of them all.

Elise and Meg, both seniors, are in the throes of applying to college, and Liam, a junior, has started his search. (Why is this process SO much more competitive than in their parents’ day? Not to mention our own?)

But the year has been overshadowed by a very sad and difficult occurrence – Tom’s wife, Banu, suffered a brain aneurysm and hemorrhagic stroke back in February, and is still hospitalized. Her brain stem was damaged, and though her thinking is excellent, she is not able to speak or swallow and her mobility is very impaired. She is receiving excellent care at Spaulding/Cambridge – on the same floor of the same hospital where Charlie spent a year of his life – and plans are underway for her future treatment and care.

Jeannette would like to recommend a book that is seriously mind-boggling and lots of fun if you don’t expect to understand more than one sentence out of five. It has helped me put things into the BIGGEST of contexts: Why the World Exists, by Jim Holt.

Charlie founded The Whole Brain Foundation, Inc. on October 1, 2015 to do educational and technological research to develop the tool he calls The Atkinson Protocol that helped him, Ronald Lee Fleming and Banu Atkinson in their recovery in the face of dire predictions. His goal is to help people to see opportunities masquerading as crises and to use creativity to solve problems with technology. Charlie invites all to join him in his adventures in 2016: How to Make the Most of the World


December 24, 2014

Slow and steady wins the race!

A year ago, Charlie stopped using the ventilator at night. In January, his tracheotomy tube was removed. In May, he moved back to the upstairs, eventually sleeping through the night on a regular basis. In September, we were able to find another home, via Craigslist, for the hospital bed that had been in the dining room.

Thanks to the continuing ministrations of Rogerio, his aide-de-camp; Emese and Merrilynn, his physical therapists; Nolan, his massage therapist; Sandra, his singular CNA; and a spectacular AlterG “anti-gravity” treadmill, he is learning to climb stairs, walk with a cane, and take his wheeled walker for Sunday outings. He has overcome much in the way of collateral damage, and in particular, thanks to a new, miraculous “FMT” treatment (look it up!), conquered recurring bouts of C-Diff, a very nasty and serious infection.

Charlie has definitely earned his new acclaim/notoriety. He’s been invited to join Spaulding’s Patient & Family Advisory Council, give the keynote at their annual fundraising dinner, and been interviewed by various media including The New Yorker on-line and WBUR. “Focus,” a German weekly newsmagazine that is doing an article on FMT, recruited him as their cover boy, and his photo was taken in situ at the MGH “Ether Dome.”

His piano-playing is even more enthusiastic and tuneful than before; he participated in a Newport, RI, “Musiycale” in March; and Dublin embraced his return last summer by christening “Charlie’s Piano.” Aided and abetted by the latest in iPhones, he is once again fully engaged in multiple business ventures. Charlie’s businesses have always involved medical education in one way or another. Now he brings an additional perspective – that of the patient. He is committed to supporting and advocating for others who are experiencing very serious health challenges.

Jeannette has been celebrating Charlie’s return to near civilian life and has been supported by many friends. She has been marking the many achievements and milestones attained by the grandchildren: Caleb’s enrollment at the University of Maryland; Grey’s winning football season (playing on with two broken arms!) Meg’s enthusiasm for the theater; Liam’s tech-y “STEM” participation; Sam’s piano passion; Elise and Lydia’s swimming prowess and progress; and Chloe’s and Maddie’s dramatic performances. On the theory that she should face her main challenges head-on, she has been improving her computer skills with training at Apple. And best of all, her painting is still a great passion and pleasure.

Links to Charlie's Recovery Memory Lane

2012 to 2014

August 2012 to December 2014

Charlie in the first week at MGH ICU before going into a coma withWNV


Caringbridge.com provides a link to journal entries to Register for Website CharlieAtkinson by family and friends from August 2012 to December 2013


First steps on the parallel bars with three PTs in April 2013


January 2014

West Nile Story 400 Days in a Hospital

By Annie Brewster, MD of MGH

This is a perspective on what happens to patients who make it out of the ICU and RACU to face the challenges of Long Term Chronic Acute Care developed three months after Spaulding.


February 2014

Limbo Between Life Worth Living and Death

By Daniela Lamas, MD at MGH


While those who leave the I.C.U. alive often carry scars, the chronically critically ill typically cannot breathe without a ventilator, are prone to infection, and suffer from brain dysfunction that ranges from intermittent agitation to a coma. Worse, they have dim prospects for getting better. Half die within a year; those who press on tend to remain institutionalized, with only ten per cent ever returning to independence.

March 2014

Attending the March musicale at Bellevue House in Newport. East fifth away from the house and I traveled in the SUV with a mattress in the backseat and it is a one day round-trip. It was wonderful to know that I could be back in society having so much fun as the guest of Ronald Lee Fleming.


April 2014

On April 1 at a lunch 6 Clement Circle, iPhone played a trick on him and shot a video instead of a photograph. But you can see that we all enjoyed an Atkinson family lunch.


May 2014

Just days after first trying the AlterG antigraviy treadmill and experiencing the value of a full, normal gait exercise to complete fatigue and finding remarkable a rapid increase in finding my strength.


Charlie reports on first week of using the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill with a rapid acceleration in his rehabilitation from WNV poliomyelitis


Charlie attends the Harvard Commencement with John Stimpson his classmate of 1958


Charlie goes to the Apple Store at the Cambridgeside Galleria to upgrade from iPhone 4S to an iPhone 5s improve the critical tool that helped him survive WNV and replace his car, augment his less functional arms and legs and expand his mind with an auxiliary brain


June 2 014

After six weeks on the AlterG, real progress is made, even overcoming setbacks from normal activities. Thoughts on the rehabilitation process!


July 2014

Charlie returned to the Dublin Lake Club on July 5, 2014 with a celebration with old friends and no fireworks but wild winds instead. Sundar Subramaniam recounts what's happening in the world of technology innovation. And Sam relives Dad's departure from Dublin to MGH 23 months earlier in an ambulance.


From WNV to dancing in the street in Boston.


August 2014

A visit to Clover Food in Harvard Square


Rena Longstreth's 50th Birthday Celebration Costume Party in Dublin New Hamshire where we spent ten wonderful summers from 1985 to 1995.


September 2014

Charlie takes a bike ride at the Abilities Expo Boston with thousands of fellow travelers.


Tom Lowe returns to for a vocal piano weekend at 6 Clement Circle.



Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Fundraiser 9-29-14

Keynote by Charlie Atkinson


This is a 15 minute video where my talk is between minutes 3 and 13. It give a pretty quick picture of my adventure since 8-1-12

October 2014

Charlie and Francis deMarneffe reminisce about amours former days of glory when they were boys in the boat at the Head of the Charles 2014


Ron Lee Fleming and Charlie meet at 6 Clement Cir. to discuss the ways in which Charlie's except perperience in overcoming WNV can be applied to helping Ron Lee Fleming beat end stage renal disease


Charlie and Amanda Ravens of Spaulding Hospital Cambridge talk about the Fundraising Keynote and plans for field testing technological innovations to help patients recover faster and better


November 2014

Ron Lee Fleming and Charlie meet with Rogerio and Yanique to launch a patient advocate coach education resource Six Month Boot Camp to find a suitable, compatible Living Kidney Donor – Campaign Committee by June 1, 2015.

May Day!



December 2014

Charlie goes to the Ether Dome at MGH for a photo shoot to provide a case study of how a research clinical trial with FMT can potentially help cure a serious nosocomial infection suffered by millions.


With another upgrade to the iPhone 6+, Charlie sees amazing possibilities for helping Ron Lee Fleming use the power of the Cloud, Social Media, YouTube, and Crowdsourcing to be able to keep on living and an approach that could later help other critically ill patients and their families


On December 19th, Charlie returns to 90 Sherman Street for a DBLS Board Meeting with Emese Bod, his physical therapist of two years since was first able to join the Spaulding Rehabilitation Boot Camp


Len Davenport, President of DBLS Holdings thanks Charlie for coming back to its Whole Systems Board Meeting.



Christmas, 2013

What a roller coaster of a year!

At the end of December, 2012, after five months of hospitalization to deal with the effects of the West Nile virus, Charlie was about to be discharged from Spaulding long term acute care facility to..…we didn’t know where! Two days before D(ischarge) Day, at the end of an emotional “family meeting,” the pulmonologist decided to put Charlie back on a ventilator at night to control his high carbon dioxide levels, which had been making him very logy. This decision, resulting in the need for high tech equipment and care, totally negated the plan for discharge, and Charlie remained at Spaulding.

In January, the physical and occupational therapists informed us that they were cutting back the time devoted to Charlie’s therapy, because of his lack of progress.

In March, the physiatrist at Spaulding (the doctor in charge of making prognoses) said that Charlie’s progress had been minimal and that he was unlikely to make any further gains. Despite this prediction, Charlie announced that he would be going home on the first of October.

In April, the top physical therapist at Spaulding (encouraged by a perceptive aide who had been working with Charlie), offered him a challenge: if he could tolerate being in her boot camp, she would take him on.

The tide had turned!

By the end of April, Charlie was standing up. By the end of May, he’d taken his first step – and there was not a dry eye that day in the hospital gym. All the many nurses and therapists who happened to be there burst into applause.

Also in May, Charlie participated in his 55th Harvard reunion, right from his hospital room. Spaulding is just five blocks from Memorial Hall, and classmate after classmate came by to visit and lift his spirits. Friends and family from near and far have made all the difference this year.

Throughout the summer we started to prepare for Charlie’s return home, arranging for a long-time assistant of his to take the daytime shift, and for a young couple from Reunion Island (a French island just east of Madagascar), who would be studying at the Berklee School of Music, to live with us and help out at night.

Spaulding threw Charlie a wonderful party, complete with speeches and a huge cake, on September 30, the day before his planned (and predicted) discharge. A surprise infection kept him in the hospital for another week, but he returned home on October 8, and has remained here ever since. Infections, pulmonary issues, and other collateral damage have made this recent stage of his journey a somewhat rocky one, but through it all, Charlie has grown physically stronger and remained optimistic.

Jeannette’s saga has mirrored Charlie’s, though of course in a much lower key. Painting has remained a great joy, and she was thrilled when, amid all the gloomy news last winter, one of her cheeriest flower paintings was used as the cover for the catalog of the Cambridge Center of Adult Education.

As always, writing this letter and sending these cards is a wonderful way to feel a loving connection with so many dear friends around the globe.


December, 2012

We debated for a long time whether we would send out cards this year, which would entail writing a letter, as per our custom, and what indeed would we say? But then we realized that sending cards was really a very joyous experience, as we remembered our many friends, one at a time, all over the globe, and thought about them, and loved them from afar, and wondered what they were up to. And then our daughter-in-law Tess called out of the blue to say that she was in a card store and should she buy a collection of Christmas cards for us to send out, and the die was cast.

This year was divided for us both into “before August 9” and “after August 9.” Before that date, there was the quiet but happy round of grandkids’ events: concerts, swim meets, plays (both viewed and performed), dance recitals, circuses (we saw “Grandma’s” last performance with the Big Apple Circus), skiing, strawberry-picking, and trips to Williamsburg and caverns in Tennessee with Tuyet’s kids.

High points for Jeannette were witnessing the very moving naturalization ceremony of a friend’s Jamaican health aide; working on a painting of a friend playing pool with her buddies in her retirement community; my 55th Foxcroft reunion in New York City; and a walking trip in Dartmoor, followed by five days in Paris, with my good friend Jennifer Frum.

Charlie’s year began with a Whole Brain Workshop, delivered at the Harvard Faculty Club, to analyze the various presidential candidates’ policies and approach to leadership. In March, he enjoyed a fabulous performance of Les Miz and participated in a very elegant musical evening at Bellevue House in Newport, RI. Charlie had had a car accident on New Year’s Eve, 2011, skidding on some black ice in New Hampshire, which was followed by surgery to repair his flailed ribs in April. This surgery (somehow??) uncovered bladder and prostate problems, which were successfully treated with green light laser surgery in June. These health episodes were difficult but not impossible, as Charlie handled them aggressively and optimistically. July was a very good month, with trips back and forth to NH, plenty of tennis, and lots of time with friends and family.

Then on August 9 Charlie came down with West Nile Virus (thanks to a Cambridge mosquito), with encephalitis, spinal cord involvement, polio-like weakness and respiratory problems. He was hospitalized for five weeks at Mass General, and then moved to Spaulding Hospital in Cambridge (a Long Term Acute Care Facility and rehab), where he is now. Recovery has been very slow, which we were told to expect, but steady. For a description of his continuing saga, you can go to the website “Caring Bridge,” and enter the name Charlie Atkinson. (You’ll have to give your email address and create a password.) Our son Tom updates it regularly, complete with photos. It’s possible to post messages on the site, which Charlie really enjoys. The one silver lining to this experience has been the amazing, absolutely AMAZING, involvement of our children and support from so many friends. We both want to thank everyone for their visits, cards and letters. Keep them coming!