About the Compression Institute

The Compression Institute was founded in 2011 to extend ideas that Robert “Doc” Hall summarized in the book, Compression (2009). Compression refers to the squeeze we are placing on the planet, and to the squeeze we must place on our own consumption to live in balance with nature. 

A lot has happened since 2011. Environmental initiatives have arisen in many places. They are growing. One can sense that they are starting to coagulate into a more cohesive movement. But their numbers remain far short of a mass change in how we live. 

The same existential threats are still with us, while the engines of economic growth keep pedals to the metal to keep old systems going. The huge rift between expansionary thinking and Compression Thinking, if anything, has widened. In the famous words of Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” We are struggling against our own culture and psychology. 

Crossing the great divide between expansionary thinking and Compression Thinking is essential if the human race is to avoid environmental debacles. We have a series of podcasts you can watch. 


The primary vehicle for meeting these challenges, we believe, is by developing Vigorous Learning Organizations, and the Compression Institute will help define, clarify, disseminate, and implement the principles for creating them.

Learning includes a huge shift in thinking, both for individuals and for businesses. An intellectual direction for it is Compression Thinking. The emotional shift needed is sensing that we must become symbiotic with nature’s processes. This is sometimes called Deep Ecology.

How can you get started with us? There is no one single solution, no “magic bullet.” Volunteer to form a local Learning Circle, and begin with serious dialog about what you can do, where you are. Sign up here, and we can get started.