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Short biography
Dr. David Korten has over thirty-five years of experience in preeminent business, academic, and international business institutions as well as as in contemporary citizen action organizations. e is currently founder and president of The People-Centered Development Forum, a global alliance of organizations and people dedicated to the creation of just, inclusive, and sustainable societies through voluntary citizen action.

Korten earned his M.B.A. and Ph. D.degrees at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Trained in economics, organization theory, and business strategy, his early career was devoted to setting up business schools in low-income countries--starting with Ethiopia--in the hope that creating a new class of professional business entrepreneurs would be the key to ending poverty. He completed his military service during the Vietnam war as a captain in the U.S. Air Force, serving in Air Force headquarters command, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Korten then served for five and a half years as a faculty member of the Harvard University Graduate School of Business and taught students in Harvard's middle-management and M.B.A. 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 United States 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 moved to New York City in 1992 to help advance that change process.
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 environmental health.
Dr. Korten is also co-founder and board chair of Positive Futures Network, which publishes YES! A Journal of Positive Futures, a quarterly magazine, a board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, and an associate of the International Forum on Globalization.

His publications are required reading in university courses around the world. ... He contributes regularly to edited books and professional journals, as well as to the publications of countless citizen organizations. [from: When Corporations Rule the World (2005)]
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