Recently at NVI, I've had the pleasure of speaking with David Korten, the founder and president of the Living Economies Forum, which aims to reveal issues with current economic models and advance alternatives. He is also the co-founder of YES! magazine and has contributed prolifically to it. He is a current member of the Club of Rome. He previously served as a professor for Harvard Business School. He has authored many books, such as When Corporations Rule the World, Agenda for a New Economy, and The Great Turning - to name a few.
Throughout my interview with David, he discussed the role of the current economy in altering human behavior. While humans naturally tend towards cooperating with one another, the current economic system, which David refers to as “ego-nomics”, encourages actively competing against one another at each other’s expense. David also discusses issues with the current system of education, which he believes focuses on memorization and discourages critical thinking. Furthermore, David describes the future goal of an “ecological civilization” which he believes that we should aim for, where we are able to live in concert with both each other and nature. Ultimately, my interview with David stresses the importance of aiming for a nonviolent world and how we should always strive to aim for a better, more human future.
I enjoyed talking to David and hearing about his insights regarding humanity and how our thoughts and actions can be shaped by our economic system. Our discussion really highlighted the importance of economics to me by showing how our current economic system encourages violence and selfishness, while our current education system only compounds these issues by discouraging critical thinking about this system. I learned a lot from David and hope that you also will!
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