Reviews and comments

For anyone interested in transforming an organisation, this book will expand your horizons.
From a Western standpoint we are accustomed to a hierarchical management style, with all decision-making power concentrated at the top. Organisations with this type of structure may not survive several key losses in the upper parts of the hierarchy. Treading Lightly shows us another model, whereby different knowledeg areas are championed by various parties within the organisation. A key feature of Aboriginal society relates to sustainability and interconnectedness, currently something about which we in the mainstream are only now really becoming aware.For anyone interested in reshaping or transforming an organisation, this is a book that will expand your horizons. Glen Tindall, GAICD, Director Books, Australian Institute of Directors.  
I was initially sceptical... I soon became absorbed in the book and fascinated.
When a colleague gave me a copy I was initially sceptical...Yet, as I flicked through the pages, I soon became absorbed in the book and fascinated by the details of Aboriginal culture, and how deeply it is linked to the sustainability of their way of life. As the authors point out, indigenous Australians have the longest continuous cultural history in the world. Mingled with fascination was a sort of national pride in their achievements and shame that it has taken a Finnish professor of knowledge management (Sveiby) to make me aware of them.
Richard Eckersley, founding director of Australia 21, a non-profit, public-interest research company, and the author of Well & Good: Morality, Meaning and Happiness Read full review  

"Sveiby has turned his attention to the cradle of KM"
A community-wide respect for knowledge gives knowledgeable individuals a leadership role, although not a commanding position within the group. The knowledge is prized rather then the individual. Observing Aboriginal traditions through a knowledge-management prism makes for interesting reading, and certainly reinforces the need for human-to-human interaction to allow knowledge to flow. Treading Lightly is something of an archaeological dig and as such will interest knowledge management practitioners. For the rest of us it is a reminder that knowledge management is a people rather than a technology issue and that Australia was never terra nullus.
Beverley Head, Boss Magasine November 2006 issue, Australian Financial Review.  

"One of the most thought-provoking books I have read in the last few years".

This is one of the most thought-provoking books I have read in the last few years. It will amaze you that "stone-age" people have so much to offer to help solve the problems facing us today.
Professor Brian Henshall in NZ Knowledge Navigation - August 2006. Read full review  

"A hopeful read, forcing you to wonder if we could again achieve a sustained society."
Treading Lightly is a hopeful read, forcing you to wonder if we could again achieve a sustained society with economic, ecological, social and spiritual elements, all focusing on the core mission to keep everyone alive.
Anita Heiss of the Wiradjuri Nation in the Bulletin - September 2006.

"A breakthrough book and a must read for all leaders in business and government".
Skuthorpe takes Sveiby on a journey of exploration ino how Aboriginal society was built on respect for knowledge and Know-how. Treading Lightly is a breakthrough book and a must read for all leaders in business and government. Engineers Australia - August 2006  
"A supreme irony, that...modern western society may well find..a blueprint."
It is an uncanny historical reversal, a supreme irony, that, despite the cataclysmic clash of cultures that resulted in the near annihilation of Aboriginal Australia during the 19th century at the hands of a "superior civilisation",modern western society may well find in the traditions of the Nhunggabarra people a blueprint for meeting the environmental and social challenges of the new millennium. Richly illustrated with colour reproductions of Skuthorpe's paintings, Treading Lightly culminates with a powerful and compelling vision for sustainable societies and ecologies.
Janet Haynes, Australian Art Review July - October 2006.  

"What makes it an exciting book...are...the parallels with modern-day leadership."
What makes it an exciting book is not simply the sensitive manner in which the authors develop our understanding of aboriginal wisdom, but the intricate, comprehensive yet accessible way that they draw the parallels with modern-day leadership.
Dr. Paul G. Power, Director, Hay Group on Amazon - July 2006. Read full review  

"I was sceptical about this approach at first. But as I read further..."
The approach taken in the beginning of the book shows the reader how someone undertakes the process of trying to better understand themselves and their surroundings by using Indigenous knowledge.I must confess that I was sceptical about this approach at first. But as I read further I began to appreciate that Sveiby is, by using the four levels of meaning in each story as his framework, genuinely trying to understand the story within the world views of the Nhunggabarra. In this way, the book becomes a fascinating cross-cultural dialogue where the Aboriginal culture is more persuasive and as highly valued as the culture of the person attempting the interpretation. National Indigenous Times - July 27 2006. Read full review  
"Fascinating. The unique approach confronts the reader with the need for action."
The book is fascinating. An original story, intertwining ancient aboriginal wisdom with a contemporary western world framework. The unique approach confronts the reader with the need for action by drawing on the philosophy and stories of the Nhunggabarra people over the past 20,000 years. They call for action at the individual and institutional levels to build a sustainable future. James Guthrie, Professor, University of Sydney -  May 12 2006.  
"This book is a 'signpost'."
This book is a 'signpost'. For many of us who write and read about Aboriginal histories and cultures, who are exposed to the various media portrayals of Aboriginal cultures across our many nations within Australia and who advocate (in our respective ways) for social justice for Aboriginal peoples, the book 'Treading Lightly'  teaches us. For those who care about our communities and our Mother, the Earth, 'Treading Lightly' teaches us.
Chris Evans of the Wiradjuri People - lecturer at University of Technology Sydney - June 6 2006.

"Strongly recommended to all teachers."
I read this book while I was in Darwin attending the national English and Literacy conference. Stories are read in many different ways depending on the reader or listener. Critical literacy draws attention to decoding texts in order to make meaning of them. Discovering the four levels of meaning in Aboriginal myths in Treading Lightly is a timely reminder that there is much more to stories than readers assume. It is strongly recommended to all teachers, not just English teachers.
Duncan How, State Moderator, English, Elizabeth College - Sept 2006. Read full review.  

"It does provide a structured way of thinking about sustainability."
Unable to escape our 'progress' paradigm, we search for explanations which privilege progress; thus, the biological theory of evolution becomes a social theory, Indigenous societies are presented as 'primitive' and/or 'inferior', and our cleverness is confirmed. But Sveiby asks: just how clever is it to destroy one's own habitat? Of what benefit is modernity, viewed from a holistic perspective? By questioning the assumptions that underlie our present social structures, Sveiby's book makes a valuable contribution to this school of thought, and to the ongoing debate regarding our future. Its strength and its shortcoming is its simplicity, and it could be accused of presenting an oversimplified 'Aboriginal = good, European = bad' dichotomy. I don't believe that was Sveiby's motivation in writing the book, however, and it does provide a structured way of thinking about sustainability, which much of the discourse to date has lacked.
Adelaide Bookshelf - June 4 2006. Read full review  

"A must read for all leaders in business and government."
"Australian Aboriginal people created a sustainable society tens of thousands of years ago. It maintained stability until European settlement. Karl-Erik Sveiby and Tex Skuthorpe's breakthrough book ‚€œTreading Lightly‚€ is a must read for all leaders in business and government. The Nhunggabarra developed a cutting edge knowledge management system that integrated sustainability into the core of their societies organisation. By following their recipe modern day leaders can simultaneously unlock innovative potential and embed sustainability."
Stephen Gale, Sustainable Projects Leader, The Hatch Group - June 10, 2006