disruptr highlights the IK Systems Lab.

22 May 2021 Read time: 2 min

In its research-centred publication disruptr, Deakin University highlights the work of Dr Tyson Yunkaporta whose Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab recently received financial support from Kearney Group.

“Released in 2019, [Yunkaporta’s book] Sand Talk explores the connected methodologies of Indigenous Thinking and how its application could help us develop new approaches to some of the world’s biggest challenges,” writes disruptr.

“Today, as a senior research fellow at Deakin University, Dr Yunkaporta is exploring how to create a space where Indigenous practitioners – not just academics – can come together and apply their thinking and their systems to different contexts around the world.”

“By shifting our thinking to be about the knowledge that exists in connected systems, Dr Yunkaporta says we can solve a lot of the problems and issues we face on a global scale,” the author continues.


Infusing IK Systems in modern settings.


The concepts of Sand Talk are already being applied across a range of fields and disciplines- from artificial intelligence to economics, and cybernetics to health policy.

One of ideas in Sand Talk that deeply resonated with Paul Kearney, was the concept of Kinship.

Kinship models are currently in use at Kearney Group, helping the firm anticipate how both our client and employee communities interact, and ultimately how complex financial advice can be delivered in a more meaningful, human-centric and globally-aware manner.

“Knowledge exists within the relationships we develop, and Kearney is invested in seeing how Dr Yunkaporta’s work can further establish kinship in society’s protocols and systems,” writes disruptr.


Solving ‘sticky and complex’ problems.


For Yunkaporta, Indigenous Knowledge is uniquely positioned to shed light on the world’s most ‘sticky and complex’ issues (those problems that cannot be looked at as a single issue, because they’re actually many interconnected problems that together, contribute to our global meta crisis).

One sticky and complex issue is that of sustainability which, Yunkaporta notes, only recently has been taken seriously.

“A lot of complexity theory and systems thinking is beginning to inform the way we meet these challenges around the globe,” writes Yunkaporta, “I think that presents a unique opportunity for our Indigenous communities and practitioners of ancient, complex thinking to really be able to make a massive contribution to this change.”

Dr Yunkaporta’s wish “is to see IK Systems Lab pop up around the country and attract Indigenous thinkers from the country and the world, who bring their expertise and can infuse these systems into other projects to further develop global solutions.”

With support from Kearney Group, the IK Systems Lab is that much closer to realising its goals.

You can read the full article in disruptr here.


Get involved.


If you too are interested in supporting the work of the IK Systems Lab or ensuring “progress” towards a healthier, more sustainable future includes critical Indigenous voices, contact:

Jonathan Cosgrove
Director, Development Advancement at Deakin University
Tel: +61 3 9244 5862 or email


Speak to the team.