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Treading Lightly: The Hidden Wisdom of the World’s Oldest People

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Summary

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.

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2018, Treading Lightly: The Hidden Wisdom of the World’s Oldest People, <https://www.creativespirits.info/resources/books/treading-lightly-the-hidden-wisdom-of-the-worlds-oldest-people>, retrieved 24 February 2019

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