2006/11/11

The Great Turning

Watch David Korten, Phd, author of The Great Turning: Empire to Earth Community, give an important lecture at the Canadian Centre for Peace in Vancouver BC: http://www.globalpublicmedia.com/lectures/781

If you have trouble with that stream, as sometimes happens, you can listen to or downland an MP3 audio version right here: David Korten MP3

I first became aquainted with Korten's work in late 1990's when I read his books, When Corporations Rule the World and The Post-Corporate World. His new book is on my "must have" list.

This lecture is one of the most interesting, thought provoking, comprehensive, and even spiritually uplifting talks I've heard about the state of the world and what to do about it. He doesn't spoon feed answers, but rather offers a different way to look a the situation and invites us to engage the problems together in new ways. I hope you will enjoy it.
-Pandabonium



Who is David Korten?

Introduction by Celine Rich, Executive Director Post Carbon Institute:

"Good evening, my name is Celine Rich. I am the Executive Director of Post Carbon Institute. I would like to welcome David Korten to Vancouver and introduce him to you.

Mr. Korten has had an illustrious career. For 25 years he worked inside the establishment. He began with BA in psychology from Stanford University and went on to an MBA and Ph.D. from the Stanford Business School. He is a student of psychology and behavioral systems. He studied how culture and institutional structures shape human behavior.

His early career was devoted to setting up business schools in low-income countries - starting with Ethiopia. He hoped that this was the key to ending global poverty.
As a captain in the U.S. Air Force served as military aide to the civilian head of all defense department behavior and social sciences research.

He was visiting Associate Professor of the Harvard University Graduate School of Business where he taught in Harvard's middle management, M.B.A. and doctoral programs. He also served as the Harvard Business School advisor to the Nicaragua-based Central American Management Institute. He subsequently joined the staff of the Harvard Institute for International Development, where he headed a Ford Foundation-funded project to strengthen the organization and management of national family planning programs.

In the late 1970s, David left U.S. academia and moved to Southeast Asia, where he lived for nearly fifteen years, serving first as a Ford Foundation project specialist, and later as Asia regional advisor on development management to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In the latter capacity he traveled regularly between Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. His work in Asia gained international recognition for his pioneering contribution to the development of organizational strategies by which large scale public bureaucracies can be transformed into responsive support systems dedicated to strengthening community control and management of land, water, and forestry resources.

Disillusioned by the evident inability of USAID and other large official aid donors to apply the approaches that had been proven effective by the nongovernmental Ford Foundation, he eventually made his break with the official aid system. His last five years in Asia were devoted to working with leaders of Asian nongovernmental organizations on identifying the root causes of development failure in the region and building the capacity of civil society organizations to function as strategic catalysts of national- and global-level change.

Gradually he became aware that the crisis of deepening poverty, growing inequality, environmental devastation, and social disintegration he was observing in Asia was also being experienced in nearly every country in the world - including the United States and other "developed" countries. In 1990, he joined with colleagues from around the world to found the People-Centered Development Forum as a support network for those who were seeking to challenge the dominant development paradigm. He has since served as the Forum's president and principal spokesperson. His analysis of the global crisis deepened, his Asian colleagues suggested that he might best help them in their cause by returning to the United States to educate other Americans in the devastating negative impact on democracy, people, and the environment of U.S. economic and political policies around the world.

In 1992, David and his wife Fran, moved to New York City, and began the research that led to publication of When Corporations Rule the World. In 1994, he accepted an invitation to join a gathering of global activists working on trade issues that led to the formation of the International Forum on Globalization, an alliance that assumed a major role in building global awareness of the dysfunctions of corporate-led economic globalization.

Following the launch of When Corporations Rule the World in 1995, his attention turned increasingly to a search for alternatives to the destructive patterns of global corporate rule. The beginning of 1996, David co-founded with Sarah van Gelder and other colleagues the Positive Futures Network, publishers of YES! A Journal of Positive Futures, which he has since served as board chair. In 1998 he and Fran moved to Bainbridge Island in Washington state, the home of YES! and the heartland of Ecotopia. Where he finished his manuscript The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism, which was launched at the United Nations headquarters in March 1999.

He contributed to writing a consensus report of the International Forum on Globalization titled Alternatives to Economic Globalization published in 2002.
This same year that saw the launch of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) as an initiative to advance the emergence of a new economy in the United States built on a foundation of locally owned independent businesses and free from the dysfunctions of corporate rule. He helped frame the underlying rationale and strategy of BALLE and now serve on the BALLE board of directors.

We are pleased that David Korten will be discussing his new book The Great Turning. As you will hear tonight this is a book for those of us who know the peril the world is in and understand that the time to act is now.

At Post Carbon Institute we understand and share the imperative of this vision. Our Relocalization Network initiative offers practical tools to help communities respond to this vision. We offer an online suite of communication tools and suggestions for practical activities communities can implement. We now have 122 Local Post Carbon Groups in 11 countries. Please sign up for our newsletter to learn more about our initiatives.

I hope you are inspired by David’s passion and ideas and will use that inspiration to work together in your communities."

For more information see the websites:
thegreatturning.net ballebc.com postcarbon.org and relocalize.net

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7 comments:

YD said...

Thanks panda! I'm having a look on Amazon for the "Great Turning", and thanks for the links.

I think those politicians who are currently debating over carbon trading and other environmental issues like climate change should really read this, or at least learn about the various ideas.

By the way, the postcarbon.org link has an error. the "ballebc.com" address was accidentally inserted together with the "postcarbon.org" address. You might wanna amend it. =)

Pandabonium said...

Thanks YD. I corrected the link error and also made them all open in new windows.

One of the great things about his approaches are that they do not look to governments - which mostly work for the mega corporations - to fix anythhing. Rather it starts from the local level. As Hopi saying used on his website says, "we are the ones we've been waiting for."

YD said...

Oh, social enterprise. I read in the newspapers that the trend is starting here as well. Enterprises started to be socially and environmentally ethical (well, to attract customers, not that they want to be NPO). But at least it is a good start to see the changing trend.

By the way, the "postcarbon.org" still has an extra "com" stuck in the middle of it's link location. Just wouldn't shake off it's "company" status to be NGO? Hehe... ;-P

Pandabonium said...

Yd, thanks again. Got it fixed now.

One of his points is that corporations, which are just artifical entities created by law, only care about profit. An individually owned business on the other hand is far more connected to and responsive to the community it serves.

I like the fact he not just an academic but has rolled up his sleeves and is doing the work as well.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

The G20 came and went in Melbourne without much fuss - a few articles in the papers then it's fizzed out.

A bit of violence in the protests, highjacked by some group wearing white overalls and that gave bad publicity to the protest and upped the anti for those who say security is a priority.

Meanwhile the bankers did their talking and worried about oil, etc.

At least 'Let's make Poverty History' was on the agenda even for a week.

A worrying trend now is that some Australians are getting serious about nuclear energy - our PM reckons it is alright! Hey there -stop and think about that!
W.

Pandabonium said...

Wendy - The politicians are getting stressed trying to prop up the madness. The costs, both short and VERY long term of nukes are mind boggling - and will come too late affect peak oil anyway. But whatever distracts the masses from the problem at hand...

Australia has uranium deposits, so Howard goes for that. Bush keeps yapping about corn and "celluslostic research" as his panacea.

Many of the people who make trouble and give a bad name to good movements are government plants who are there to discredit the opposition. We learned that the hard way in the USA during the Vietnam war era.

Awareness of the true problems we face is spreading. I hope it is enough.

Pandabonium said...

Wendy - The politicians are getting stressed trying to prop up the madness. The costs, both short and VERY long term of nukes are mind boggling - and the power will come too late affect peak oil anyway. But whatever distracts the masses from the problem at hand...

Australia has uranium deposits, so Howard goes for that. Bush keeps yapping about corn and "celluslostic research" for ethanol as his energy panacea.

Many of the people who make trouble and give a bad name to good movements are government plants who are there to discredit the opposition. We learned that the hard way in the USA during the Vietnam war era when the FBI's operation COINTELPRO infiltrated the peace movement and deliberately goaded some people into violence.

Awareness of the true problems we face is spreading. I hope it is enough and in time to make a difference, but denial is a hard obstacle to overcome.