Author Archives: Tom Crompton

Tom Crompton

About Tom Crompton

I'm Change Strategist at WWF-UK. For five years I headed WWF-International's Trade and Investment Programme (working on World Trade Organization issues, for example). While I was (and still am) convinced that international trade policy is crucially important in sustainability terms, I was frustrated by the glacial pace of change on this agenda - and the fact that even those trade negotiators I got to know who were personally quite 'radical' nonetheless felt impotent in a system where there was so little political space to pursue the changes that are needed. This led me to ask how organisations like WWF might begin to work to help create the political space for more ambitious change. What leads to more vocal expressions of public concern about sustainability issues? What motivates people to bring more pressure to bear on their elected leaders? These questions led to work with social psychologists and political scientists, and the publication of a series of reports: "Weathercocks and Signposts: the environment movement at a crossroads" (2008); "Simple and Painless? The limitations of spillover in environmental campaigning" (with John Thogersen, 2008), and "Meeting Environmental Challenges: The Role of Human Identity" (with Tim Kasser, 2009). These pieces of work culminated naturally in our new report, "Common Cause".

Value Modes and Common Cause: 
The dangers of appeals to money, image and status

There is much about the Common Cause approach which is in agreement with the ‘Value Modes’ approach advocated by Chris Rose and Pat Dade:  both approaches draw from a similar body of empirical work, recognize the tensions that exist in…

Values retreat, Machynlleth – March 2011

Over the 18-20 March 2011, twenty-five people met on the site of Owain Glyndwr’s revolutionary Welsh parliament of 1404, in Machynlleth, mid-Wales. Our conversations focussed on the problems that we face in meeting profound environmental, humanitarian and social challenges –…

New report from Friends of the Earth US and Psychologists for Social Responsibility

On September 23 and 24, 2010, nearly two dozen activists and psychologists gathered at the offices of Friends of the Earth in Washington, D.C., to explore how to productively apply research and insights from psychology to inspire and empower real,…

Transparency in communications

Here are some reflections from Shaun Chamberlin over at Dark Optimism about Common Cause. He puts his finger on one of the key challenges that this work raises – the subject of prolonged debate in the course of putting the report…

A value-laden elephant in the boardroom

Here’s a piece that reflects on some of the implications of Common Cause for the business community, published today on the Guardian Sustainable Business site.

George Monbiot on Common Cause

George Monbiot writes on Common Cause in today’s Guardian.

Common Cause report launched

Over the course of the last year, the Common Cause Working Group has been overseeing the production of a major new contribution to debate within the third sector. Common Cause: The Case for Working with our Cultural Values is published…

The Economics of Biodiversity – and why it matters

Today is the International Day for Biological Diversity, so attempts are being made to drum up public concern about biodiversity loss in time-honoured fashion – by asking: “how much is it worth?” Well, the ‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity’…

Real reason and false reason: where progressives fail

This piece from Common Dreams provides a great and condensed overview of Lakoff’s political thought, and how it’s rooted in an understanding of neuroscience. It provides an account of why progressive political argument fails when it relies on logic and…

A Whiff of Social Engineering?

This blog was originally posted on Identity Campaigning. There’s a whiff of social engineering to identity campaigning, says Justin Rowlatt, BBC’s ‘ethical man’ on last night’s Analysis. The piece opens with Soli from Futerra recounting her ‘magic wand’ experiment: she asked…

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