Think ponds are intentional communities for cultivating and nurturing the endeavors of everyday people. They can expand your options and improve your impact as you make a living, build a fulfilling life, contribute to your profession or community, and make a difference to the people and causes that you wish to support.
Starting or joining a think pond can bring greater passion, intention, and discipline to your pursuit of four lifelong enterprises that each of us needs to pursue in these challenging, uncertain times:
- Dream chasing. Exploring possibilities and envisioning your desired future. Inventing the job and career that will both fulfill you and make a positive difference. Seeking ways to share and maximize your assets and talents.
- Life-embedded learning. Taking advantage of the numerous learning opportunities surrounding you. Continually investigating what you know and what you think you know. Consciously developing and applying new skills. Deepening the meaning and significance of your encounters with people, environments, and projects.
- Solution crafting. Looking at experiences, images, and cultural expressions from different perspectives. Bringing an artistic sensibility and design thinking into whatever you do. Thinking creatively and collaboratively about how to respond to circumstances, problems, challenges, opportunities, and aspirations.
- Experimental entrepreneurship. Thinking about and testing ways to carry your ideas and solutions forward into the marketplace for your profit, into the public sphere for the good of others and the enrichment of the culture, or just into a wider conversation for their continued development and enrichment.
Think ponds let each of us bring our enterprises into a common space. By connecting our enterprises to the ideas, knowledge, skills, and projects that emerge from the enterprises of others, we increase focus and energy and capture possibilities that otherwise could be lost.
A think pond starts with a small group of individuals who know and care about each other. It grows—both in size and in impact—as those individuals pursue dreams, ideas, career moves, projects, and business ventures that they once thought were beyond their grasp.
You can start a think pond with people who just want good conversation about ideas, creative work, career challenges, or community issues. It can be a sounding board, a testing ground, or a cheering section when you face or seek change. It can be fluid and flexible, continually reconfiguring itself to serve its members’ purposes. Members may converge and then diverge, each pursuing his or her own project with the knowledge that the creative energies and complementary skills of their think pond are there when they need support at critical points.