The Globe as you know it is changing. Coming June 2019

  • More thought provoking stories that inspire
  • Independent, free and member supported
  • Vote for, pitch and commission stories
  • Member engagement with our journalists
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To understand more about why you are so important to our member support initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

The greenest seaweed / Indonesia’s edible alternative to plastic packaging

By: Cristyn Lloyd - Posted on: February 15, 2018 | Featured

An Indonesian startup keen to fight plastic waste has created eco-friendly, zero-waste packaging with a twist – it’s made of seaweed and you can eat it

Bruxel waffles wrapped in seaweed packaging. Indonesia is one of the world’s largest producers of seaweed.

The next time an Indonesian junk food lover sinks his or her teeth into a burger, they might think twice about throwing away the plastic wrapper. After all, if it was produced by Evoware, there’s a reasonable chance the wrapper is more nutritious than the burger itself.

Using seaweed as a raw material, the Indonesian startup has created a plastic wrap that it says is entirely environmentally friendly – and edible.

“Plastics are contaminating everything – our air, our food and even our water. Recent studies [by Orb Media] said that drinking water [in Jakarta] is 76% contaminated by microplastics,” says Evoware co-founder David Christian.

Plastic is a particularly big problem in Indonesia, according to a 2015 study published in the journal Science, which found that the archipelagic nation is the world’s second-worst culprit, behind only China, in terms of contributing plastic waste to the ocean.

Evoware’s seaweed-based packaging dissolves in warm water, creating zero waste, and is almost completely odourless and tasteless. “Basically it’s not plastic, because we don’t use any petroleum-based [products] or plastics in it. It’s edible because it’s 100% made from seaweed,” Christian says.

The material is aimed at becoming the go-to for small sachets such as one-cup coffee packets and the seasoning packets found in instant noodles, which are currently difficult to recycle due to the presence of numerous materials that are tricky to separate. Single-use packaging for takeaway foods such as burgers and sandwiches are also a target.

Evoware’s seaweed-based packaging in its various guises

Given Indonesia’s status along with China as “by far the largest seaweed producers” in the world, according to an article in the European Journal of Phycology, Evoware’s products have the potential for a second social impact. In 2014, the two countries each farmed more than 10m tonnes of seaweed, creating a vast oversupply for Indonesia that Christian hopes his company can help make a dent in – improving the livelihoods of farmers in the process.

“Maybe our products will be more expensive [than conventional plastics], even when we do mass production… because we still want to help the farmers,” he says. “We want a fair price. We don’t want to push the seaweed farmers so that they are selling us really cheap seaweed.”

The team only launched their edible packaging at the end of September, but they are already struggling to meet the high demand, particularly from outside of Indonesia, according to Christian. They are now focusing on building a bigger production facility and developing the versatility of the product beyond food and beverage packaging.

“The reaction has been great,” says Christian. “Right now we are still very new… We are hopeful. We want to replace plastics, but we need to do it [little by little], I think. That’s the long-term goal.”

This article was published in the February edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. For full access, subscribe here.

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