• climate

Today we are looking at a significant book by David C. Korten entitled CHANGE THE STORY, CHANGE THE FUTURE (A Living Economy for a Living Earth).

Currently we-the-people are up against Corporations that control everything, including politics, education and health. The people work hard to offset total corporate control, but can we do enough?

David Korten looks beyond the laws and policies of our government to something more basic…that is the story we live out of. What informs our daily thoughts and actions? What makes the world go around for you?

Most of us live out of the story that time is money, and that the purpose of life is to make money. Money has become our God.

However, our story has a problem. David Korten observes:

“Money prospers. Life withers. We cannot eat, drink or breathe money. No matter how rich we are, we depend on Earth for food, water, air, and a stable climate.”

Daily we watch the stock market report and ask how our money is growing. What about asking how people and the earth are doing?

Korten continues: “Making money is our life’s purpose and shopping is our civic duty. This story is false and is based on bad ethics, bad science and bad economics. Profit is not the problem. A modest profit is essential to the survival of business.”


The old story is called SACRED MONEY AND MARKETS. It was invented by people and promoted by corporate advertising. It is not connected to the earth nor the world in which 99 per cent of the people live.

However, a new story is emerging. Many people around the world are realizing that time is life. Real wealth is living wealth. The new story is called SACRED LIFE AND LIVING EARTH.

Korten explains: “We humans beings are born of and nurtured by a Living Earth. Life exists only in community. A connection to nature and community is essential to our physical and mental health and well-beings. The purpose of human institutions–whether business, government, or civil society–is to provide all people with the opportunity to make a healthy, meaningful living in a balanced co-productive relationship with Earth’s community of life.”

Korten continues, “Human institutions are human creations. That which humans create, humans can change.” These words are encouraging. Korten shows how change is possible. He examines three stories of the cosmos to answer deep questions of where humans come from and why. He looks at various stories that served people long ago. The most dangerous assumption is “with enough money, our human technologies will liberate us from a dependence on nature.

Many people around the globe are realizing that people belong to the earth. Earth does not belong to people. Rather than confront the corporations under their frame, we need to focus on using human time and talent and Earth’s natural living system. We need to argue out of our own frame of a sacred life and living earth.

The challenge is huge. We need to re-think, re-tool and restructure all our systems. Time is short. I urge you to read this book and share through your blog, web publications, workshops and conferences. Invite friends to read and discuss this book.

If changing our story seems impossible, remember this: in the past 70 years, we saw the “collapse of British rule in India, the transformation of race relations and gender roles, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the end of apartheid in South Africa, and the ouster of the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines. Each seemed impossible until it happened.”