Scott Poynton: 'With my online platform, I’m recapturing that wonderful freedom I’ve had for the last 20 years'
A man with a clear vision and driven by nature: At the age of 15, Scott Poynton was determined to be a forester, to travel the world and inspire others to take good care of our planet. In 1999 he founded the Tropical Forest Trust (now Earthworm Foundation) and in 2018 he created his online platform to inspire people to get closer to who they really are. To change the way they interact with nature and understand what they can do to have a positive impact on the world.
"At that moment I decided I wanted to become a forester"
“I’m Australian and grew up in Cranbourne, rural Australia. Around the age of 15, I listened to a very old man on Australia’s ABC radio. He was speaking about travelling the world, planting trees and trying to save the forest.” The old man was Richard St Barbe Baker, global advocate for forest conservation and tree planting. “At that moment I decided I wanted to become a forester. Baker really inspired me and his broadcast changed the course of my life.”
“So I got my Forester degree and worked in a forest in Australia. I also did a one year Masters at Oxford University in England and was fortunate to get a job overseas in Vietnam, looking at how to reforest a big area that had been cleared after the Vietnam War. I became a consultant and eventually ended back to the UK.”
“In 1998, there was a big NGO campaign across the whole of Europe against garden furniture. All this garden furniture that was coming into Europe from Vietnam, was made from logs that been cut illegally and with much destruction and human rights abuses in Cambodia. I was already working on this project as a consultant and everybody came to me and asked me to fix this problem. This is when I started my non-profit organisation, the Tropical Forest Trust (TFT), to help companies run more responsible supply chains. It really transformed the garden furnish industry. The organisation grew and grew and I ended up working on major projects for some of the biggest companies in the world. I was running the organisation for 17 years, but in 2015 I felt it was time to step aside. I was ready to do my own thing and wanted to share all the lessons I’ve learned. As part of this, I created my own online platform”
"I felt that an online platform would be a great opportunity to share my knowledge on a global scale"
“I already had a website but felt that an online platform would be a great opportunity to share my knowledge on a global scale. I wanted to share my experience on how to help companies to become more responsible, not destroying the environment and people’s lives.”
“Then I met Corien, she presented the idea of Coobly to me, which was exactly what I needed. I liked the idea that I could have a platform for my online business, with online courses, coaching, mentoring, mailings and blogs. All sorts of things that people can sign-up for. My goal is to reach a broader audience and create the opportunity for interactions and group coachings, to help CEO’s, sustainability leaders, just everyone really, to understand what they can do to have a positive impact on the world.”
“At the same time, I don’t want to worry about the back-end of my website. I’m not hopeless when it comes to these things, but don’t want it to cost a large percentage of my time. So Coobly helps me with doing all that.”
"Getting out in nature is a really good way to get people closer to what they really are"
“Currently, I’m developing online courses to help people in general (not just companies) to understand a different way of being in the world. I want to call forward what’s good in people, being the best they can. Caring about the environment and other people. I’ve learned from my work that if you can connect people to that, they can make dramatic changes in the ways they do business. That reduces the negative impact on the environment and has a positive impact on other people. As part of the process, I want to offer retreats and walks in the Swiss mountains, to help people connect with nature. Getting out in nature is a really good way to get people closer to what they really are. If you can connect to that, really great things can happen.”
“With my online platform, I’m recapturing that wonderful freedom I’ve had for the last 20 years”
“First I was always working for someone else, but when I founded TFT, I became my own boss and since then always was. For me, not being governed and being free to follow my passion, beliefs and values is a terrific spirit of freedom. With my online platform, I’m recapturing that wonderful freedom I’ve had for the last 20 years. I want to take it up to another level, with my voice, impact and passion. My vision is to reach millions of people with my platform.”
“For me, the beauty of a platform is that I can solely focus on what I’m good at. Which is working with people and help them with this ‘different way of being’. There’s so much to running an online business. It takes so much time. Coobly has a team of people that’s looking out for me, making sure everything works. With that peace of mind, I can focus on my own business.”
“Be different in the world. You can be, just take the courage and risk to do that”
“One of the things I say to people a lot is: ‘just follow your dreams, go for it’. Right now, I’m also crossing my fingers with this latest adventure. I’m 55 and because of that, lots of people were saying: ‘what are you doing, are you starting your own business again?’ But I want to follow my dreams and keep going. There’s always a reason not to do something. So let yourself go, you’ll get there. If you think about it and dream about it strongly enough, the future starts to align for you. So I think it’s not just going to be great, It’s going to be sensational.”
“So many people are stuck and it really affects their mental and physical well-being. Life doesn’t need to be like that. Sometimes we let that happen to us. I think we can tell ourselves a different story. That’s why I keep talking about a different way of being. Be different in the world. You can be, just take the courage and risk to do that.”
Visit Scott's platform at: Scottpoynton.com