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John Perkins is the best-selling author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Hoodwinked. A former ‘economic hit man’ for the World Bank he felt motivated to blow the whistle on unethical international banking practices after 9/11 and has continued to write, teach and support NGOs working for a more equitable and sustainable world. Last week he taught a short course called Hoodwinked at the College. We took the opportunity to ask for his thoughts on what we can all do to create a more equitable world.
We’re living in revolutionary times. This is the greatest revolution that human beings have experienced, bigger than both the agricultural and the industrial revolutions. It’s a revolution in consciousness, the first time in history that every sentient being has faced the same crisis. We are all facing climate change and the decrease of our resources at an accelerating rate. We are also now discovering that we have created failed social and economic systems. We know we’ve created a militarised system, one that is based on killing people, and also one that is based on polluting our resources. So we are finally coming to know that we need to change.
I have worked with many indigenous cultures across the globe and they are all saying that this is a time with opportunities for tremendous change, we just need to direct our energy and our actions towards creating the change. We need to direct our energies into convincing corporations that they must work within the context of creating a sustainable, just and peaceful world where all sentient beings can thrive. Only supporting corporations that are doing this is the driving force. During my lifetime I’ve seen consumers force corporations to do away with apartheid, clean up polluted rivers, open their doors to women and minorities, get trans-fats out of food – and many other things.
Every individual also has passions and talents beyond what we can do in the marketplace and we need to direct them towards creating a world our grandchildren would want to inherit. How we need to direct our energies is the kind of thing covered in my book Hoodwinked and in what I’ve been teaching here in the UK at Schumacher College. It’s a great honour to teach at the College – just the feeling of the place is extraordinary. The teachings are very powerful and the students are of a very high standard. Here people are devoted to evaluating where we stand today, deciding what needs to change and then going out and making it happen.
Schumacher College runs a postgraduate programme and associated short courses in Economics for Transition. Places are still available for part-time and full-time Masters and PG Certificates starting in September 2012. Click here for more details >>