In occasional newsletters, beginning in 2023, David will share his thoughts on current events and matters relevant to our shared commitment to creating a world that works for all people and living Earth. These thought-provoking, short-form essays are useful for sharing and engaging important conversations. You are invited to explore the rest of the David Korten website as well, where you’ll find the intellectual products of his lifetime in service to transforming our narratives and advancing the movement toward an Ecological Civilization.
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David was inspired to write January’s essay by a recent webinar hosted by the Deep Transformation Network (DTN), led by Jeremy Lent. The discussion focused on the Earth Charter, a global consensus document outlining the principles for an Ecological Civilization of care for Earth, equality, and peace, and featured Mary Evelyn Tucker, who was a member of the Earth Charter drafting committee, and Mirian Vilela, Executive Director of Earth Charter International.
This newsletter includes the links to Nov 28 webinar, East-West Dialogue on Ecological Civilization and the scripts for David’s response to the questions that framed the conversation. David also elaborates on the role of the Earth Charter in framing the principles and actions that serve to move us toward the global transformation we so need. The naming and framing of an Ecological Civilization invites us to think and act from a holistic perspective to address the many interconnected issues of our time.
This special edition was sent as an invitation to participate in the November 28 webinar hosted by Earth Charter International. David joined three colleagues from China, South Korea, and the U.S. to define “ecological civilization,” explore the driving forces to get there, and share examples of what can be done to move forward. The recording is now available HERE…
What even serious philanthropists commonly miss, however, is that to have real impact they need to help with the transition from institutions that centralize power to institutions that support localization and sharing of power. Such decentralization requires leadership from those with influence within current institutions of power. David explores how and why the most obvious candidates for such leadership are philanthropists who are also successful corporate leaders.
In this newsletter, David shares his ever-deepening inquiry into how, in the context of how the prevailing conventional economics, that prioritizes consumption and growing financial assets, exacerbates inequality, and destroys the very systems that sustain life. Alternatively, an inquiry into many species of living organisms that self-organize to create and maintain conditions essential to their existence may offer alternatives.
David addresses the great wealth illusion that allows financial fraudsters to create imaginary financial assets to enrich themselves and impoverish the rest of us. “We are dealing with a corrupt financial system for which a substantial majority of current financial transactions are purely exploitative and best eliminated.”
This newsletter includes David’s reflections on – and links to – the June 17 world premiere of the film “For the Love of Life” Finding Our Way to an Ecological Civilization.” (See June Newsletter.) In his essay, David explores what we must do to get our purpose right, given that our defining institutions are transnational corporations dedicated to maximizing financial returns to the world’s richest owners.
This special edition of our newsletter provides the information necessary to join us for the world premiere of the film, produced and directed by David’s long-time friend and colleague Audrey Kitagawa. Narrated by David himself, the film features a number of his long-time and new colleagues/collaborators and stunning video of the state of world and places where more loving, cooperative societies have existed for millenia or are now emerging. (Links to the recording of this session are included.)
Introducing the defining relevance of the commons as it applies to both human and non-human life and to the transition to an ecological civilization in relationship to equality and ownership in human systems is the topic of this newsletter essay.
To recognize the significance of this Earth Day and the human potential for bold and creative efforts to change direction for the benefit of life of Earth, David highlights the stories of two people who have been devoted to the cause – activist filmmaker Joshua Wright and former economic hitman John Perkins. “…we can create a future consistent with our true needs and nature only if we the people – all people – put extractive competition behind us.” We also feature the upcoming Celebrating Life series (May 2023) from Age Nation and a new book, The Progress Illusion, by David’s colleague, Jon D. Erickson. Read the newsletter here…
David calls attention to the remarkable work of his long-time friend and colleague, Georgia Kelly, and the transformative achievements of the worker-owned network of businesses – the Mondragon Cooperatives – in Spain. For further consideration, we’ve included links to two noteworthy pieces – David’s recent conversation on the “Navigating Our Future” podcast with Larry Greene, and his paper, “Ecological Civilization: From Emergency to Emergence” – plus a short excerpt from Agenda for a New Economy relevant to the discussion of “ownership.” Read the newsletter here…
In this newsletter, prompted by a recent article in The New York Times related to population, David shares his thoughts on getting our questions right as we work to challenge the current narrative and ask, instead, what will lead to a better future for people and Earth. You’ll also find links to a video of a recent Work That Reconnects conversation with David and Della Duncan and to David’s special presentation recorded for Alternative Radio. Find it here…