What is a Think Pond?
Think Ponds are fluid associations of diverse individuals who bring their imaginations, knowledge, and skill sets, along with their dreams and passion projects, into a community of their own design. Creative energies converge, expanding possibility. Obstacles are flattened as complementary skills combine and available resources broaden. Timelines contract. Promising ideas stay out of the trash. Connections proliferate.
For individuals, a Think Pond is a next generation platform for shaping and strengthening four essential lifelong enterprises: 1) Dream Chasing, 2) Life-embedded learning, 3) Solution crafting, and 4) Entrepreneurial experimentation. Making the most of these enterprises will both improve your competitive edge and increase your level of fulfillment with the work you do in the world.
For the greater good, an evolving ecosystem of Think Ponds is a wellspring of creativity and collaboration that can increase the sustainability of innovative, socially valuable programs, incubate new businesses, and activate unrealized human potential.
Who can benefit from a Think Pond?
Think Ponds are for people who want to:
- Do joyful, creative, meaningful, and fulfilling work.
- Have conversations and experiences that stretch the mind, spark the imagination, and expand the vision.
- Make “digital life” less fragmented, more inquiring, and more aspirational.
- Become attuned to possibilities and potential changes that could have wide-ranging effects on their lives and the world.
- Work with a diverse array of minds and talents.
What do the four lifelong enterprises look like?
Do you think of a career as a sequence of jobs with progressively higher pay and greater responsibility? What if you reimagined your career as a set of four lifelong enterprises that you continuously create and expand and refine. Merriam-Webster defines an enterprise as “a project or undertaking that is especially difficult, complicated, or risky.” In other words, I am talking about endeavors that continue whether you are employed, unemployed, or under-employed. Whatever your circumstances, you keep these four enterprises alive because they supply something you need.
I think everyone need to pursue these four lifelong enterprises, regardless of the individual’s passions, aptitudes, credentials, employment experiences, assets, and constraints:
Dream Chasing. Using your imagination fully. Paying attention to the sensory experiences, images, and cultural expressions that swirl around you and mindfully pursuing those that awaken your mind, heighten the intensity of your emotions, and enrich your soul. Exploring possibilities, envisioning your desired future, and inventing the kinds of endeavors that will both fulfill you and make a positive difference.
Life-embedded learning. Taking advantage of the numerous learning opportunities afforded by books, media entities, technologies, community resources, and people in your sphere. Continually investigating what you know and what you think you know. Consciously developing and applying new skills, adapting existing knowledge and skills in new areas, and finding greater depth of meaning and significance in the people, environments, and experiences you encounter.
Solution Crafting. Looking at your life from different perspectives and seeking ways to synergize your assets and talents. Bringing an artistic sensibility, design thinking, and surprise into whatever you produce. Continually generating divergent ideas about how to look at and respond to circumstances, problems, challenges, opportunities, and desires–both individually and collaboratively.
Entrepreneurial Experimentation. 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.
What is the guiding question for individuals starting a Think Pond?
How can I respond to this present time of rapid technological change, social upheaval, and economic uncertainty in a way that will fulfill my vision for the future?
How can I start pursuing each of the four lifelong enterprises?
Take stock of how you spend your time and what you want to to do. You probably have already had ideas or conversations–and even active involvement–in one or more area. Here is a link to some guiding questions to help you get started.
Copyright 2017, Deborah Vrabel. All rights reserved.