Managing the “Community” in Community Business

Running a business accountable to a community is hard, whether it’s an Indigenous corporation or an artists’ collective. Not only do you have to manage the business successfully, but you also have to address the expectations, aspirations and needs of the community. Managing this relationship well means that the business can draw on the support,…

Revaluing Tropical Diversity

Why clear vast swathes of rainforest, with up to 75,000 tree species per kilometre, and replace it with a single species of oil palm? Why are custodians of a vast amount of cultural knowledge forced to live in poverty on the sidelines of society? The short answer is because there is a huge difference between…

How visual data and mobile technology can improve Indigenous decision-making and accountability

Following on from my last post, I started to write about how better access to meaningful, accessible information for Aboriginal leaders can improve decision-making, but I realised the issue was bigger than that. This post discusses how graphical data collection and display, app proliferation and mobile technology can improve decision making and accountability, both for…

Rethinking Aboriginal Governance II – the NT’s Regional Councils

This article is the second in a series which discusses how current our current institutional landscape hinders Aboriginal community development. The usual explanation for dysfunctional institutions is that unskilled or unsavoury directors are not carrying out their function properly, yet what if the problem is the current institutional set-up itself? In 2008, the Labor government instituted reform of…

The Maasai Warrior and the Holy Mountain

Tanzania is home of some of Africa’s greatest natural spectacles but it also feels, well, just that - a spectacle - its roads lined with German tourists in safari vehicles and its traditional African hospitality coming with a (large) price tag. You have to search harder for the magic here than elsewhere in Africa, but…

Madagascar, the Nothing and the Neverending Story

Madagascar feels like a fairy tale. In its varied landscape, around 90% of its 200,000 known species are unique to the island; lemurs, fossas, tenrecs, pygmy chameleons and giant geckos are just some of the wonders. Originally settled by Indonesians, its culture is a strange mix of Indonesia, Africa and France, where people grow rice,…