Ancient Futures

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Ancient Futures
Ancient Futures book cover for 2009 edition
Cover for the 2009 edition
AuthorHelena Norberg-Hodge
CountryUnited States
ISBN978-1578051625 (2009 edition)
LC ClassHN690.L33 N68 2009
WebsiteLocal Futures Books & Reports

Ancient Futures: Lessons from Ladakh for a Globalizing World, originally published with the subtitle Learning From Ladakh, is a book by Helena Norberg-Hodge. It was first published in 1991.


The 1st part of the book describes the happy and egalitarian nature of the region of Ladakh when Helena first arrived in 1975, prior to the influx of Western ideas and material goods forced upon this community by China. In this world, Ladakhi women enjoyed high social status and family and community ties were very strong.

The 2nd part describes how Ladakh changed socially, ecologically and economically when "development" set in. Ladakh is begun to enjoy the comfort and convenience of modernization, while increasing greed, intolerance, unemployment, inflation, and pollution set in and threatened the ecological balance and social harmony which had been maintained over the past centuries.

Ancient Futures raises important questions about the notion of progress, and explores the root causes of the problems faced by a highly industrialized society.[1] The book has been translated into almost 40 languages and is used regularly at the grassroots level to raise awareness of issues surrounding globalization and the loss of indigenous wisdom.[2]