Synopses & Reviews
We humans live by stories, says David Korten, and the stories that now govern our society set us on a path to certain self-destruction. In this profound new book, Korten shares the results of his search for a story that reflects the fullness of human knowledge and understanding and provides a guide to action adequate to the needs of our time.
Korten calls our current story Sacred Money and Markets. Money, it tells us, is the measure of all worth and the source of all happiness. Earth is simply a source of raw materials. Inequality and environmental destruction are unfortunate but unavoidable. Although many recognize that this story promotes bad ethics, bad science, and bad economics, it will remain our guiding story until replaced by one that aligns with our deepest understanding of the universe and our relationship to it.
To guide our path to a viable human future, Korten offers a Sacred Life and Living Earth story grounded in a cosmology that affirms we are living beings born of a living Earth itself born of a living universe. Our health and well-being depend on an economy that works in partnership with the processes by which Earth's community of life maintains the conditions of its own existence—and ours. Offering a hopeful vision, Korten lays out the transformative impact adopting this story will have on every aspect of human life and society.
Prologue: In Search of a Deeper Truth
Chapter 1. Our Story Problem
Chapter 2. Our Quest to Know
Chapter 3. A Brief History of Story Politics
Chapter 4. Living Universe
Chapter 5. Children of a Living Earth
Chapter 6. Making a Living
Chapter 7. Enslaved by Corporate Robots
Chapter 8. Economics for a Living Household
Chapter 9. A Living Economy for a Living Earth
Chapter 10. Own the Story, Own the Future “If ever there was a guide to a better future, this is it.”—Maude Barlow, National Chairperson, Council of Canadians, and 2005 Right Livelihood Award winner
“Among the most important books of our time, from one of the most brilliant thinkers of our era, Change the Story, Change the Future hands us the keys to a world in which all people live in creative, peaceful, and coproductive partnership with one another and with nature.” —Thom Hartmann, bestselling author and internationally syndicated talk show host
“Joining the wisdom of the great spiritual teachers with findings from the leading edge of science, David Korten outlines a transformative new narrative that is both promising and powerful.” —Van Jones, founder and President, Rebuild the Dream, and author of Rebuild the Dream
“Once you read this book, you'll never be able to look at today's tired old stories the same.”—Annie Leonard, Executive Director, Greenpeace USA, and author of The Story of Stuff
“One of the most thought-provoking analyses of the shifts in Western ideals and modern society now available under one cover.”—Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, Executive Director, Benetvision, and author of A Passion for Life
We humans live by stories. This defining human quality distinguishes us from other intelligent species and gives us a capacity to rapidly change our individual and group behavior in response to changing circumstances. On the downside, when we get our story wrong, the consequences can be devastating. In this extraordinary work, David Korten identifies three cultural stories--ways of understanding the world--that have contributed to our current economic, political, and environmental crisis. Korten explains how these stories, however arguably well intentioned, have led us to value life by its market value, view nature as a commodity, and see ourselves as separate from our world. To find a path to a viable human future Korten offers a new story, one consonant with both modern science and spiritual traditions, that acknowledges the reality that we are living beings born of a living Earth that itself is born of a living universe. He shows how we can choose our actions and design our institutions based on this understanding.
Every society is governed by stories--overarching cultural frameworks that determine what people value and how they understand and relate to the world and each other. Bestselling author David Korten argues that our current political, economic, and environmental crisis can be traced to fatal flaws in our current stories, and offers a new one that promises a better future.
About the Author
Dr. David C. Korten is a co-founder and board chair of the Positive Futures Network, which publishes YES! A Journal of Positive Futures; founder and president of the People-Centered Development Forum; an associate of the International Forum on Globalization; a member of the Club of Rome; and serves on the boards of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economics and the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. He has authored or edited numerous books, including When Corporations Rule the World, The Post-Corporate World, and Globalizing Civil Society.
Table of Contents
Prologue: In Search of a Deeper Truth Introduction: Human Choice: Chapter 1: Three Stories, Three Truths Chapter 2: The Story of Our Stories Chapter 3: A Living Universe Chapter 4: Living Beings Born of A Living Earth Chapter 5: To Make A Living Chapter 6: T o Make A Killing Chapter 7: Economics for a Dead Earth Chapter 8: Living Economies for a Living Earth Chapter 9: Human Transformation Questions for Reflection