Episode 18: David Korten

Episode 18: David Korten

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Dr. David Korten is an economist, author, and progressive activist with a background in international business. He is the president of the Living Economy Forum, co-chair of the New Economy Working Group, co-founder of YES! Magazine, and a member of the Club of Rome. His books include When Corporations Rule the World and The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community.

Our conversation covered a broad range of topics from economics to ecology, cultural myths to systems thinking. As you would expect, connections abound. I am especially happy that David brought our fundamental cultural stories (myths? narratives?) into the project and quite intrigued that he categorizes the Newtonian scientific narrative and the religious patriarch narrative into the same anthropocentric category. How do Cameron Whitten’s interest in advertising and Laura Musikanski’s focus on branding relate to David’s interest in changing our cultural myths? And speaking of Laura, David’s conversation further explores the question of “what is an economy for?” The list of connections could go on forever, but David seems to be working with an idea similar to Timothy Morton’s mesh and, though we don’t address this headlong, you’ll probably end up wondering about the philosophical difficulty of biocentrism that came up in Chris McKay‘s conversation. David’s conversation also raises questions about defining “waste” and the balance between technology and long-term sustainability.

Like Timothy Morton, I’m running this episode a little longer because it packs in a lot of ideas. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Artwork by Eleanor Davis.