Young Australians have been priced out of the property market.

Homeownership rates in Australia have been declining for decades. Today, young Australians and those with low incomes face the most frightening financial future of any generation since the Great Depression.

The economic conditions that have led to this situation have been decades in the making. Cities have not been able to develop new and affordable housing to meet the growing demand. Housing prices have increased rapidly, as a result of falling interest rates, rapid migration, property related taxes increasing demand and planning regulation decreasing supply.

Socially, we are facing a…


Insights on China in the twenty-first century. (7/7)

Many in the West, including myself have deeply rooted misconceptions about China.

During my MBA at the University of Sydney I travelled to China to undertake a course of study on International Business. There we were invited to ‘unlearn’ much of our previous interpretations of Chinese history and culture, and empathise with the Chinese people, to understand these issues from their perspective.

One interesting conversation I had was with a Chinese Tour Guide. A woman in her early twenties who explained to me how excited she was that President Xi Jinping was…


Insights on China in the twenty-first century. (6/7)

In the west, we learn world history as written by Eurocentric historians who often distort or ignore the dominant role that China played in the world economy for thousands of years.

As far back as the 11th Century, China was the world’s leading steel producer, led innovations in textile manufacturing and was the leading trading nation. Innovations in paper, printing, weapons and high agricultural yield were transported globally by the world’s largest commercial ships with the most sophisticated navigational systems.

There is an abundance of empirical data making the case for China’s…


Insights into China in the twenty-first century. (5/7)

If there is one thing I have learned when seeking to better understand China, it is that things are not always how the appear. To say that the country is full of complexity only begins to described the mille-feuille of contradictions that exist in harmony with each other.

There are so many ways in which China surprised and delighted me. In Shanghai the streets were incredibly clean, the parks (and there were many) the greenest green and I was geniunely in awe of the scale of public landscaping that framed the streets…


Insights on China in the twenty-first century. (4/7)

During my recent trip to China, as part of my MBA studies, we (a t4am of four fellow students, and a translator) partnered with a privately owned enterprise in Shanghai, that was involved in manufacturing construction tools and equipment. Through this I experienced first-hand the true importance of trusting relationships, or as the Chinese call it ‘Guanxi’.

Strong, successful long-term business relationships in China are anchored by strong personal brands.

Before we arrived in China, we had great difficulty connecting with the partner organisation via several modes of communication (emails, WeChat, Phone)…


Insights on China in the twenty-first century. (3/7)

China’s long and complex history is omnipresent in conteporary Chinese culture, despite interventions over the years to rewrite much of it’s narrative.

During my recent trip to Shanghai, I ventured to neighbouring Hangzhou — a one hour high speed train trip from Shanghai (not factoring in the one hour it takes to drive to the station in Shanghai traffic!) where I visited the Linyin temple — a place rich in history, and (you guessed it) complexity. It is one of the largest and wealthiest Buddhist temples in China, established in 328 AD…


Insights on China in the twenty-first century. (2/7)

With it’s roots in contemporary psychology, Cognitive Decentering is the experience of observing objectively, rather than from our own learned perspectives.

On Day One of our trip to Shanghai, we were introduced to the extraordinarily impressive David Gosset — a French-born Sinologist, who studies the notion of the “Chinese Renaissance”. David invited us to study and experience China at its depths, not merely at a surface level — appreciating the similarities between the Chinese and the West. Much confusion surrounds the idea that the Chinese are as foreign to Westerners as can…


Insights on China in the twenty-first century. (1/7)

China matters, therefore understanding China matters. It was with this attitude I elected to join the MBA trip to Shanghai in August 2018, to gain a deeper and more insightful appreciation of the world’s most populous country and it’s large a growing role in the global economy.

Over the ten days we spent as a cohort, in the city, and the few extra days I spent travelling to nearby cities I began to truly understand that what defines China in the twenty-first century is the notion of unprecedented complexity.

Shanghai — a…


Engaging and fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.

In recent years the media has drawn great attention to the systemic flaws in organisational diversity. As a result, many companies have made great steps towards building diverse and inclusive workplaces. But sadly, the majority are still making token promises without consideration and development of effective business strategies to enable the participation of women and minorities at all levels — including the highest.

I’ll admit that diversity is probably the most overused word in organisations today. It has evolved…

Katherine Withnell

Navigating #startuplife, writing about stuff that interests me and trying the save the world.

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