Thinking Outside the Box
The current economic system, with its almost total disregard for nature, is steamrolling both people and the planet. Profits uber alles inevitably will lead to social and ecological breakdowns. Bold innovative ideas are needed to repair and nurture the earth. The traditional path of growth for growth’s sake and conventional notions of development require urgent reexamination. Years ago consumption was another name for tuberculosis. Today it is a lifestyle. It is something desirable and is heavily promoted by corporate advertising. To paraphrase Descartes, We consume, therefore we are. But look at the real costs. Environmental degradation is accelerating. The scale of the crises demands replacing the dominant fragmented techno-economic worldview with a more holistic perspective embracing the interdependence of the natural world. More and more communities around the globe are discovering the value of self-reliance and exploring alternative models.
Helena Norberg-Hodge, a native of Sweden, is an internationally renowned environmentalist. She is a leading critic of conventional notions of growth and development. She is the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the alternative Nobel Prize. She is founder and director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture and author of Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh.