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.

Cambodian business leaders / ‘I climbed the ladder to be here today’

By: Robin Spiess - Posted on: March 8, 2019 | Business

Around the globe, women face persistently low representation in the highest levels of business leadership – and the number of females leading the world’s largest companies has actually been on the decline in recent years. In celebration of this International Women’s Day, Southeast Asia Globe sat down with Cham Krasna, the CEO of Cambodian company Soma Group, to discuss challenges and successes encountered during her first year working as the company’s first female CEO, as well as her vision for the future of Soma Group

CEO of Cambodian company Soma Group, Cham Krasna

As a female CEO in charge of a Cambodian company, you are one of the few women business leaders in the country. How did you get to this position, and have you faced challenges as a woman in a male-dominated field?
It’s been a year since I became CEO at Soma Group, but I’ve actually been with the company for about ten years total. I climbed the ladder to be here today: I’ve been in several divisions across the company, from the marketing to business and from the hospitality to real estate divisions, and now finally I’m here in this macro perspective role as CEO.

There have been many challenges on my rise to this position, and one of the main ones has been, for me, that when I walk into a meeting room I do not want to be perceived as someone’s secretary. Being young and being a woman, you need to be sure you look credible when you walk into the room, and need to be taken seriously in a meeting. That was one of the main challenges for me at the start, especially when meeting with bigger partners who were coming to meet Soma Group. They’re expecting someone who is much older and, often, someone who is a male figure. I think it took a lot of them by surprise, to see me as CEO. I have had to be sure I am assertive, very informative, and know exactly what I want out of each meeting to help overcome this.

What was it that encouraged you to enter into business?
Well, since graduating university I have been working at Soma Group, and haven’t actually worked much anywhere else – which is probably one of the reasons I’m sitting here in this role now. Ever since I was young, I always wanted to contribute and give back to the Cambodian people, to our society, country and economy. Entering into business allows you to make decisions that will help impact a lot of people, and potentially help create a lot of jobs. This is one of the main reasons I wanted to enter into business. Of course, profit is the bottom line for any business, but to create value for the people is important, and for us to be taking part in driving the building of Cambodia is ideal.

So toward that end, what have you done since taking over as CEO?
Numerous things… pretty much I haven’t slept. Actually, there has of course been a big learning curve, but through it all we’ve learned a lot….

Also, surprisingly, ever since I joined Soma Group we have had more females taking positions in top management than expected. This is growing organically, through our process of filtering for competent employees who are able to push us to the next level. We’ve been getting more women applying who are very competent and very committed to doing the work. And so far, they have been really positively impacting our company. We’ve gone from 20% women to 60% women in under two years. We’re an equal opportunity employer, but we’ve also started including “women are encouraged to apply” to our applications. Most of the time, women tend to be reluctant to apply because they feel that this is a man’s world, not a woman’s.

And it’s also about feeling comfortable during the interview as well, potentially being interviewed by a fellow woman rather than a male.
Yes of course.

So, pivoting the conversation a bit here, you attended university to study ethical business. I’m wondering, how have you been implementing the basic tenets of ethical business since becoming CEO of Soma Group?
We want to be a more sustainable business, and to do that, you need a long term relationship with your employees. That’s what we’ve been focusing on, and that’s what gives us our balance of ethical and sustainable business.

One of our underlying goals is also to take part in more SDGs, or the UN sustainable development goals, as we aim to help alleviate poverty. Our involvement in the water treatment business, for example, is very important to us, because we need to make sure everyone in the countryside can have clean water – it’s a necessity in life, and we need clean water to help reduce incidence of health issues as well.

And do you have big plans for the growth of Soma Group under your leadership?
In the near future, we will be bringing on board Soma Utilities and we’ll also soon be expanding our property and development sector.

We are a local company, and we want to take pride in that fact, and in the fact that we can internationalise our business. This doesn’t mean that we have to rely on an international partner; we can do it ourselves. This is why we want to push our people to grow their skills, and to change the corporate mindset to go into this with a “can-do” attitude. When I was attending university in the US, we always used to think that the sky was the limit – so why can’t our local company achieve just as much as any other international company?