A moving portrait of tradition and change in Ladakh, a scathing critique of the global economy, and a rallying call for economic localization.
When Helena Norberg-Hodge first arrived in Ladakh, or “Little Tibet” in 1974, she found a pristine environment and a people who exhibited remarkable vitality and joy. But then came the global economy—and with it a whole range of problems, from polluted air and water to unemployment and religious conflict. Yet this is not a story of despair. Social and environmental breakdown, Norberg-Hodge argues, is the product of political and economic decisions—and those decisions can be changed.
Originally published in 1991, the 2016 edition contains a new Preface in which the author describes a kaleidoscope of grassroots projects pointing the way to both human and ecological well-being. These initiatives are part of a rapidly growing worldwide localization movement that is rebuilding place-based cultures, strengthening community, and reconnecting people with nature. Ancient Futures challenges us to redefine what a healthy society means, and to carry ancient wisdom into our future.
Ancient Futures has been translated into French, German, Italian, and more. Visit our Translated Resources page to find your language here.
“Some books provide insights into our problems; others offer guidelines for a different future. Ancient Futures does both, brilliantly. A true classic.”
“Ancient Futures was a critical early warning about the social, spiritual and ecological costs of exporting ‘Western’ lifestyles to every corner of the globe.”
“Ancient Futures was a formative influence on my worldview. That it is still so relevant today shows how far ahead of its time it was.”
“Ancient Futures had a huge impact on the course of my life’s work. It shows us that another, better world is possible!”
Author Helena Norberg-Hodge is a pioneer of the new economy movement and the recipient of both the Right Livelihood Award and the Goi Peace Prize. Through writing and public lectures on three continents, she has been promoting an economics of personal, social and ecological well-being for more than 40 years. She is the founder and director of Local Futures and the International Alliance for Localization. She produced and co-directed the award-winning film ‘The Economics of Happiness’, and is the author of ‘Local is Our Future’ and co-author of ‘Bringing the Food Economy Home’.