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Treading Lightly : The Hidden Wisdom of the World's Oldest People - Karl Erik Sveiby

Treading Lightly

The Hidden Wisdom of the World's Oldest People

Paperback Published: 1st June 2006
ISBN: 9781741148749
Number Of Pages: 288
For Ages: 11 - 14 years old

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Australian Aboriginals taught themselves thousands of years ago how to build a sustainable society in our fragile landscape. In a unique collaboration, a Swedish knowledge management professor finds out from an Aboriginal cultural custodian how they did it, and what we can learn from them.

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.

About the Author

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.

Industry Reviews

This book may prove a tipping point' for many people...this is one of the most thought-provoking books I have read in the last few years.' Brian Henshall, Emeritus Professor of Management, University of Auckland."The book becomes a fascinating cross-cultural dialogue...a bold attempt to show the intelligence of Aboriginal culture and values and to also show how much the world's oldest living culture can teach us about the world we inhabit today'National Indigenous Times

All Australians (and others) should read this book!


I am telling my friends about this knowledge which is new to me, much to my shame.

Melbourne, Australia


I do buy the book again and again.


This book far exceeded my expectations; as a non -indigenous person, terms such as 'respect' and story-telling, took on significance never before considered or appreciated.

Hunter valley NSW


A new way of seeing Aboriginal culture.


Will use in my PhD thesis.


Treading Lightly

5.0 3


Nhunggabarra Storiesp. vii
Paintingsp. viii
Acknowledgementsp. ix
Tex's Storyp. xiii
Introductionp. xv
In the Beginning...p. 1
The Country is a Storyp. 15
The Knowledge is in the Storyp. 40
Learning the Story: the Education Systemp. 59
Knowledge Economyp. 72
Leadership: All Have a Rolep. 95
The Fourth Levelp. 147
The Spirit of Death Arrives...p. 162
The Nhunggabarra 'Recipe' for Sustainabilityp. 169
Sustain Our World!p. 184
Yuwaalayaay/Yuwaalaraay Glossaryp. 210
Further Reading and Research Notesp. 214
References and Sourcesp. 246
Indexp. 252
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781741148749
ISBN-10: 174114874X
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
For Ages: 11 - 14 years old
For Grades: 7 - 10
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 1st June 2006
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 15.2  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.41
Edition Number: 1

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