KARL-ERIK SVEIBY has for several years been Professor of Knowledge Management at Hanken Business School, Finland, and Honorary Professor at Griffith Graduate School of Management, Brisbane, and at Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Sydney. He is the author of twelve books in business and management.
TEX SKUTHORPE is a Nhunggabarra man from Nhunggal country in northwestern New South Wales and a painter, educator and custodian of traditional law and stories. He was awarded Aboriginal Artist of the Year by NAIDOC in 1990/1991 and currently works with young Aboriginal offenders in Kariong Correctional Centre, New South Wales.
Paintings by Tex Skuthorpe
Ch 1: In the Beginning
Ch 2: The Country is a Story
Ch 3: The Knowledge is in the Story
Ch 4: Learning the Story: the Education System
Ch 1: Knowledge Economy
Ch 6: Leadership: All Have a Role
Ch 7: The Fourth Level
Ch 8: The Spirit of Death Arrives
Ch 9: The Nhunggabarra Recipe' for Sustainability
Ch 10: Sustain our World!
Further Reading and Research Notes
References and Sources
We are consuming more than our earth can provide. In Australia, cities and towns struggle to maintain a reliable water supply, climate change triggers droughts which devastate farmland, and fish stocks are running low. It is increasingly clear that we are heading towards collapse if we don't change direction.
Aboriginal people taught themselves thousands of years ago how to live sustainably in Australia's fragile landscape. A Scandinavian knowledge management professor meets an Aboriginal cultural custodian and dares to ask the simple but vital question: what can we learn from the traditional Aboriginal lifestyle to create a sustainable society in modern Australia?
Karl-Erik Sveiby and Tex Skuthorpe show how traditional Aboriginal stories and paintings were used to convey knowledge from one generation to the next, about the environment, law and relationships. They reveal the hidden art of four-level storytelling, and discuss how the stories, and the way they were used, formed the basis for a sustainable society. They also explain ecological farming methods, and how the Aboriginal style of leadership created resilient societies.
Treading Lightly takes us on a unique journey into traditional Aboriginal life and culture, and offers a powerful and original model for building sustainable organisations, communities and ecologies. It is a compelling message for today's world.