Oct. 3, 2006 — David Korten, author of the bestseller “When Corporations Rule the World” and “The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community,” will speak at the U on Monday, Oct. 23, from 1:30 until 3 p.m., in the old University’s Fine Arts Auditorium, 370 S. 1530 E., adjacent to the Arts and Architecture Building. The event is free and open to the public.
Korten’s presentation will trace the roots of “Empire” and the critical need to now move from empire and its tie to corporate globalization to the new paradigm of “Earth Community.” Korten, co-founder of Positive Futures Network, argues that corporate consolidation of power is merely a contemporary manifestation of “Empire”-the age-old organization of society by hierarchies of domination resulting in fortune for the few and misery for the many.
Korten also makes the case that an economic and environmental “perfect storm” is fast approaching. He claims that a convergence of climate change, the fast approaching peak and decline in oil production and the financial instability inherent in an unbalanced global trading system will bring an unraveling of the corporate-led global economy, resulting in a dramatic restructuring of every aspect of modern life.
Korten’s hope is to turn what he sees as an inevitable crisis into an epic opportunity to bring forth a new era of “Earth Community,” which he describes in his Earth Charter, crafted in 2000. He states: “We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future . . . . To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth Community with a common destiny.”
Korten’s visit is sponsored by the U’s Environmental Studies Program, the College of Architecture + Planning, the Environmental Humanities Program, the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment at the University of Utah, the Center for the Environment at Westminster College, the First Unitarian Church, The Salt Lake City Public Library and “Yes! Magazine.” Korten will be hosted by Sustainability Salon, a not-for-profit group of citizens whose focus is the promotion of dialogue regarding the future of our environment and culture.