Knowledge Management as Enterprise

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    Indigenous people have been for a long time deprived of financial benefit from their knowledge. Campaigns around the stolen wages and the “Pay the Rent” campaign highlight this. As does the endemic poverty and economic disenfranchisement experienced by many Indigenous people and communities in Australia. Recent enterprises developed by Indigenous people, such as the sale of art works, can be seen as examples of people receiving remuneration for tangible products deriving from their knowledge. Also, tourism involves the sale of selected knowledge in context. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a rich and expanding area of enterprise development which supports the development of knowledge and its use in enterprise. While such work depends on the owner’s, or in this case Indigenous, control of the knowledge, it can open up new avenues for enterprise development. Knowledge about local land can be included in children’s computer games, knowledge about successful projects can be shared between communities through the immediacy and multimedia format afforded by online environments, and government reports and statistics can be accessed and analysed by Indigenous groups, given tools that suit a community’s abilities and needs. In particular the way in which ICT can be adapted to individual requirements make such tools ideal for communities which form such a varied and complex environment. The author believes it is important that Indigenous communities not only benefit from ICT by taking control of the technology for their purposes, but are also part of its creation and design to suit their aspirations. ICT is a highly flexible technology which can be tailored to many different enterprises. This paper presents some of the projects being developed at the University of New South Wales and suggests how these can be extended.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137-144
    Number of pages8
    JournalAustralian Journal of Indigenous Education
    Issue numberS1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


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