Structuring Compression Thinking

The Compression Institute is inching closer to feet-on-the ground experimentation. We’ve long harbored the idea of forming local learning groups that would foster real experiments doing more using less by real work organizations. By prevailing thinking, just volunteering to think about this is a somewhat gutsy move.

Nonetheless, by March we would like to have 2-3 learning groups in formation. Potential locations: Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Louisville, Chicago, Dallas, and Bergen County, NJ. On Dec. 9 Dave Veech will hold a familiarization meeting for a potential group in Louisville. Wherever you are, if you are interested in dipping more than a toe in this water please contact Doc ( or Dave (

In addition, we are working on structuring a certificate program in Sustainability Leadership (Compression) with Ramapo College in Northern New Jersey. It could become a model for similar certificates elsewhere. A certificate will not create “experts” (sort of an oxymoron for a subject as big and diffuse as Compression), but it will make a lot more people familiar with the thinking in greater depth.

We are also seeking examples of real organizations that are pioneers being very effective while using much less. They could stress becoming more effective with customers, or drastically cutting the use of virgin resources, or both. A technical example is Novacem, a British company that appears to have the lead in increasing the strength of magnesium silicon cement so that it can displace Portland cement. This is a big deal because concrete using Portland cement is a major user of energy. Of course, a question preceding that is why we want to use so much of any kind of concrete.

Perhaps a short way to describe Compression Thinking is learning the art of asking questions that we never thought to ask before – or never wanted to ask before.