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

To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported 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.

Koompi / Launch of Cambodia’s first laptop can inspire future generations, says founder

By: Robin Spiess - Posted on: September 17, 2018 | Best of 2018

A team of Cambodian engineers are launching the Kingdom’s first homegrown laptop, and the new product promises to be as affordable as it is high-tech

The lightweight Koompi laptops will sell for a maximum price of $369

Local entrepreneur Rithy Thul dreamt up the concept of the “Koompi” laptop project several years ago with the aim of bringing high-rate technology to the Cambodian market. Through his Smallworld venture, a local coworking space he launched in 2011, Rithy was able to begin testing hardware for the product as early as August 2014.

“We wanted to build this laptop as a tool for local engineers, problem solvers and discoverers,” Rithy said. “The world needs more discoverers, more innovators – not just copycats. That is what we hope we are working toward with this product.”

With 200 laptops already preordered, the Koompi project will see more than 2,000 units go on sale beginning 10 October. As the most expensive Koompi laptop is priced at $369, Rithy and his fellow engineers will be making under $50 in profit per laptop sold – and plan to reinvest all profits back into the company.

“We sell at the market price, and we don’t want the computer to go higher than that,” said Rithy. “Of course we have to make money to reinvest into what we believe and scale up the impact, but that’s not the primary purpose.”

His team’s main goal, Rithy explained, has long been to market their product to Cambodian teenagers and young professionals who could greatly benefit from access to an affordable, powerful computer.

“The primary goal is to help build the next generation of engineers by giving them access to this kind of technology,” he said. “They’re the ones who are going to heal us. They’re the ones who are going to discover new ways to solve problems. So that’s what our success is.”

Koompi founder Rithy Thul (R) says that the aim of the laptop is to inspire future generations of inventors

The laptop is light, weighing in at just over a kilogramme, and is available in both a light grey and a rose gold colour. While buyers are able to choose their preferred keyboard at the time of their purchase – whether that be English or Khmer – they are especially encouraged to try out a new, updated version of the Khmer keyboard that Rithy and his team have been perfecting.

Most notably, each laptop runs on a Linux operating system, which is open-source and therefore freely distributable. Rather than purchase a Windows operating system – which could be priced anywhere up to $200 per laptop – Rithy hopes to see more people shift toward use of Linux systems, which can be harder to learn at first but which offer free applications, take up less storage, and do not force users to constantly update.

“The reason we can make these laptops affordable is because we don’t have to pay for software licences to big companies, since we make our own – but the biggest thing is that we don’t need to make too much profit, because that’s not our goal,” Rithy said. “One of our goals is to see 500 million people using our operating system in the next five years. So if more people are using Linux, then that is how we measure our success – not in money.”

Though the Koompi team is made up of only eight members, Rithy has big plans for the future of the project.

“We started out wanting to help Cambodians find access to a good, durable laptop for less,” he said. “But now we’re seeing that this project could help people in other Asean nations, as we’ve already had potential partners in Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines express their interest in the computer.”

“It seems a lot of people want a good computer for a low cost,” he added, chuckling.