Bob Doppelt

Me to We: Five Commitments That Can Save The Planet and Change Your Life (April 2012)

Massive floods, prolonged droughts, intense heat waves and other extreme weather events, coming at a time of economic collapse, escalating social friction and political unrest have left people confused and despondent. Everywhere we look, the systems we depend on seem to be collapsing.

Our long held assumptions and beliefs cannot explain these tumultuous changes, nor do they provide credible solutions. People yearn for a way to make sense of and respond to the world that reflects today’s realities and offers positive outcomes.

Each of us adopts beliefs and assumptions that help us interpret reality. Our core views help us define problems, determine right and wrong, and identify solutions. Every society adopts practices, technologies and policies that reflect the dominant collective perspectives of the time.

Beliefs and assumptions are helpful only if they remain relevant to existing conditions. When reality changes, the thinking that guides us must also change or tragic consequences result.

So it is today. In Me to We: Five Commitments That Can Save The Planet and Change Your Life, systems change expert Bob Doppelt reveals that most people today live a dream world, controlled by false perceptions and beliefs. The most deeply held illusion is that all organisms on Earth, including each of us, exist as independent entities. The consequences of this fantasy are startling. We incessantly repeat behaviors and produce technologies and policies that degrade the Earth’s landscapes, exterminate its species, and destabilize its climate. Our illusion also cause great pain and suffering for other people -- and for ourselves.

At the most fundamental level, the change needed to overcome our misperceptions is a shift from focusing only on "me" -- our personal needs and wants--to also prioritizing the broader "we" -- the many ecological and social relationships each of us are part of that make life possible and worthwhile. Research shows that by using the techniques described in this book this shift is possible and not that difficult to achieve.

Me to We offers five "commitments" that can help you change your perspective and engage in activities that resolve today’s environmental and social problems. Not coincidentally, making the commitments can improve the quality of your life as well.

Major Publications

This book calls on all climate change programs to rapidly expand beyond emission reductions and physical adaption, to focus on assisting individuals and groups to learn skills to use the adversities caused by climate change to learn, grow and flourish. It calls on mental health, education, and faith leaders to expand beyond post crisis-treatment to emphasize building preventative personal and psychosocial resilience skills. Failure to proactively help people deal constructively with the harmful mental health and psychosocial impacts of climate disruption will seriously impair the safety and health of individuals as well as the security and social wellbeing of organizations, communities and whole societies for generations to come. It will also delay or completely block efforts to reduce the impacts of climate disruption to manageable levels. On the other hand, research shows that building personal and psychosocial resilience can increase wellbeing--even as climate disruption grows worse.

The book begins by describing how natural human psychobiological reactions to the traumas and toxic stresses generated by climate disruption damage the psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing of individuals, organizations, communities and whole societies. Using numerous examples, including his own organization's Transformational Resilience program, the author describes methods and skills that may be used to build capacity within all levels of societies to avoid self- and socially harmful reactions and use the traumas of climate change as catalysts to find new meaning, direction, and hope in life. This book applies an important new perspective to the question of how to successfully respond to climate change.
Through the integration of advanced psychology, ecosystem science, and Buddhist precepts, From Me to We describes the five commitments required to resolve climate disruption, economic collapse, personal distress, and much more. The commitments can help us all shift from a sole focus on ‘me’ – our personal and organizational wants and desires – to meeting our needs by always prioritizing the broader ‘we’ – the many ecological and social systems each of us and each institution are part of that make life possible and worthwhile.

Practical methods for transforming climate-damaging unsustainable practices into sustainable thinking and behaviors.

Leading Change toward Sustainability describes the process organizations must engage in to shift their focus to environmentally and socially sustainable practices and policies
I offer on-line seminars and in-person workshops of 1-5 days length. I also regularly facilitates workshops for non-profit, public, and private organizations. If you are interested in a workshop contact me at

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