chapter  14
15 Pages

Towards sustainable psychology


We must recognize that … we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of the earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life and future generations. (Preamble, the Earth Charter, at )

The focal theme of this Congress ‘Psychology Serving Humanity’ signifi es an important shift in the discipline’s emphasis. It implies a departure from the focus on individual and brings ‘service’ and ‘humanity’ into centre stage. It warrants a global and non-individualistic paradigm and promoting the practices of care and consideration. This shift is very apt for a meeting of psychology on the soil where Mahatma Gandhi, a great champion of service to humanity and respect for nature, struggled for 21 years, from 1893 to 1903. Keeping the broad concerns of the Congress I chose to dwell upon the issue of sustainability and to envision where psychology stands in the pursuit of this goal. I believe that the sustainability of the discipline of psychology would depend on the extent to which it prepares itself to contribute to the sustainability of the ecosystem.