This file is reprinted here from it's source ( http://iisd.ca/pcdf/korten.htm ) with the permission given at the bottom of the People-Centered Development Forum Home Page ( http://iisd1.iisd.ca/pcdf/ ). A similar version of this appears at the end of The Post-Corporate World in the section entitled, "About the Author", pp.317-318.
|DAVID C. KORTEN|
|Cofounder and Board Chair, Positive
Futures Network publishers of YES! A Journal
of Positive Futures
Founder and President, The People-Centered Development Forum
Dr. David C. Korten has over thirty-five years of experience in preeminent business, academic, and international development institutions as well as in contemporary citizen action organizations. Trained in economics, organization theory, and business strategy with M.B.A. and Ph. D. degrees from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, his early career was devoted to setting up business schools in low income countries -- starting with Ethiopia while still a doctoral candidate at Stanford -- in the hope that creating a new class of professional business entrepreneurs would be the key to ending global poverty.
After graduation, Korten completed his military service during the Vietnam War as a captain in the U.S. Air Force, serving in Air Force headquarters command, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency.
He then served for five and a half years as a Visiting Associate Professor of the Harvard University Graduate School of Business where he taught in Harvard's middle management, M.B.A. and doctoral programs. He also served as the Harvard Business School advisor to the Nicaragua-based Central American Management Institute. He subsequently joined the staff of the Harvard Institute for International Development, where he headed a Ford Foundation-funded project to strengthen the organization and management of national family planning programs.
In the late 1970s, Korten left U.S. academia and moved to Southeast Asia, where he lived for nearly fifteen years, serving first as a Ford Foundation project specialist, and later as Asia regional advisor on development management to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). His work there won him international recognition for his contributions to pioneering the development of powerful strategies for transforming public bureaucracies into responsive support systems dedicated to strengthening community control and management of land, water, and forestry resources.
Disillusioned by the evident inability of USAID and other large official aid donors to apply the approaches that had been proven effective by the nongovernmental Ford Foundation, Korten broke with the official aid system. His last five years in Asia were devoted to working with leaders of Asian nongovernmental organizations on identifying the root causes of development failure in the region and building the capacity of civil society organizations to function as strategic catalysts of national- and global-level change.
Korten came to realize that the crisis of deepening poverty, growing inequality, environmental devastation, and social disintegration he was observing in Asia was also being experienced in nearly every country in the world -- including the United States and other "developed" countries. Furthermore he came to the conclusion that the United States was actively promoting -- both at home and abroad -- the very policies that were deepening the resulting global crisis. For the world to survive, the United States must change.
He returned to the United States in 1992 to help
advance that change. He has since had a leading role in raising public
consciousness of the political and institutional consequences of economic
globalization and the expansion of corporate power at the expense of democracy,
equity, and enviornmental health. His publications are required reading
in university courses around the world. He is also a popular international
speaker and a regular guest on talk radio and television.
Fax: (206) 842-5350