Be a Guide

What is the most powerful lever for driving transformative, societal, sustainable behavior change at scale? Is it fear, pressure, social shaming, education, positive storytelling, hope? What will get people to take action quickly?

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We brought together clinical psychologists, sustainability professionals, researchers, and design thinkers to think through these questions.


These Guiding Principles are grounded in evidence-based studies, research, best practices, and wisdom honed over years of clinical practice—informed by our advisors, experienced clinical practitioners, all of whom have been applying clinical depth psychology to our climate and environmental crises.

In 2019, we gathered in San Francisco where we asked our advisors:

→ What practices do you use to guide people to transform and shift hard behaviors?

→ What can we learn from these practices that can be translated into the most urgent issues of our time?

→ What are key ingredients that promote and support transformation versus short-term change?

What we found was a core set of ideas—irreducible, interrelated, and mutually reinforcing. When applied to engagement campaigns, they constitute a new approach to shifting consumption patterns and behavior.

As a result, we have created Five Guiding Principles.

Each Principle includes both inner and outer work, concrete practices that we can apply now in a variety of contexts, scales and settings. We do not see a hard line between these principles. When fully integrated into a strategy, we can begin to move from a traditional behavior change mindset—which relies strongly on levers, drivers, nudges, and cheerleading—to a new guiding and empowering mindset. It’s ultimately about creating and fostering cultures of connection, support and guidance, as we all navigate the tough work of transformational social, cultural, political, economic, and individual change.

The Guiding Principles make up the foundation of our work. They inform our tools, materials, guides, and resources. We have collected all of our Guiding Principles into one document that you can download.

Download the PDF