"The Pond is a story from my childhood. Every day, and especially when something crazy was happening, I'd retreat, with my dogs, to the pond. There, I'd reconnect with myself and with Nature. I'd find calm, regather and listen to my child's inner wisdom. It was from that place that I navigated a way forward. It was my sanctuary."
Scott Poynton, Founder The Pond Foundation & The Forest Trust
In the short excerpt below from a recent podcast, Scott explains what The Pond meant for him, how it helped him, and why everyone needs a pond.
Everyone needs a pond.
Here at The Pond, we bring together inspiring and aspiring change-makers, to help them find calm in the chaos that often surrounds them so that revived, they can go out again into the world and inspire change at unprecedented scale.
Because goodness knows we need it!
Our essential lesson from more than 25 years at the frontier is that, as happened with our Founder's story from his pond, unprecedented change can happen when we get connected to ourselves. With that connection comes a deep calm that allows our inner wisdom to emerge and guide us. From that place, we can support others to find their calm and inner wisdom amidst their own crazy chaos.
And that's when big change happens.
The Pond's purpose is to help bring change at scale by helping change-makers inspire the calm others need to hear and act from their own inner wisdom.
Finding calm amidst the storms of life and bringing change is brutal, gruelling work. Change-makers suffer great physical and mental challenges and need a place to return to, to rest and find sanctuary, to learn from others, and be nourished with the care and understanding that can only be shared by those, who by virtue of their own tough experiences, are travelling similar roads.
The Pond seeks to create a calm place for sharing, listening, learning and participation. It seeks to lift people up and support them, acting as a springboard for their unprecedented change-making efforts.
It's a place for growth.
A message from our Founder
"Bringing change can be a beautiful thing that helps so many. But it can be stressful and difficult too; so often our efforts founder for reasons we don't understand. It can be so difficult to remain calm and rational in face of challenge and adversity. What we hoped would be a wonderful outcome for people and the planet just fizzles away to nothing.
I know how that feels.
I've watched forests I was fighting to save get destroyed. I've seen people I was trying to help get exploited and mistreated. I've seen leaders orate majestically about change but despaired as they just kept grinding down the Earth and all its inhabitants under the heel of their old, damaging ways.
But I've seen great outcomes too and that's my passion - to help create more positive change in the world.
I've spent my life working to bring change in highly complex, challenging situations. The key lesson from all my experience is that each and everyone of us has everything we need to be great change-makers already, we just need to tap into and develop those inherently human skills, and to remain connected to ourselves along the way.
I've met so many inspiring and aspiring change-makers. Through my own experiences and listening to them and imbibing their stories, I've learned so much about what helps and what hinders change-making. It's my passion to build a sanctuary, where a dynamic change-maker community can engage together to share, support, learn from each other, and find their own calm in the chaos.
Together, we can super-charge change-making efforts the world over.
The world needs so much change and we need inspired and inspiring change-makers, out there, working to make change happen.
That's The Pond's essential goal - to help you become the inspired and inspiring change-makers we need to take change to scale by giving you a sanctuary during these gruelling times."
We created The Pond to bring you together with equally passionate people ready for something new. It will be a sanctuary for calm and collected thinking, with support from others in the same boat as you. We want to help you build gentle practices and habits that will help your change-making efforts so that we can each inspire each other and create change all around the world, in our own communities, wherever we are.
There's exclusive content and events reserved solely for the community. There are a couple of online courses but more really interesting ones to come and we have plans to launch peer-to-peer coaching/mentoring programs too. You can ask questions, share your knowledge and engage however you choose, which can happily be just resting a while, enjoying the music and the posts, imbibing in other's thoughts and just breathe!
There is no pressure at The Pond.
The essence of our collective experience is that change happens deep in the hidden recesses of the human heart.
We can only change things if we can together cross over a bridge from the place where things divide us to a new place of cooperation where change can unfold. We think of that place as Rumi's field.
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there's a field. I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase 'each other' doesn't make any sense."
The path to that place involves getting deeply connected to yourself, to who you are, to your own values and through that, you help others get connected to their values. If we can operate from that place, change can unfold.
In The Pond, there's be a big emphasis on connection - connection to self, connection to others and connection to Nature. Nature is so important because in my experience, we can more easily find that connection to ourselves if we get connected to Nature. Then we can find connection with others.
Testimonials from current members
"To contribute to change-making in the world. To be connected to other people who are positive and want to change things in the world. Every contribution, how small, can help and even make a big wave in the end."
"Connecting to like-minded people; finding motivation and inspiration."
"First off, I wanted to explore what is here. Secondly, peer to peer mentoring sounds helpful to me. I am also curious to see what the courses have to offer, and last but not least I would love to share and learn from other people all around the world. See how it will help me grow."
"I am excited to connect with like-minded peers who can share experiences and give one another feedback and guidance."
"An opportunity to share, help and empower others, especially women in need."
It would be our privilege to have you join The Pond.
Every new voice adds its own rich history, its own view, its own song. We really can learn so much from each other. It's a place where participation and engagement is encouraged so jump in and let's get engaging and from that, let's see what we can do together to bring change, that most beautiful of things.
"Knowing others is intelligence; Knowing yourself is true wisdom"
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. Translation by Stephen Mitchell