Karel Boele

Karel Boele

MSA (ANU), BE Hons Phys, BA (Syd)

Founder and Director, Jnana Australia

Karel has been managing Jnana and People Decide since 2010 and 2013 respectively.

People Decide is a participatory democracy model where voters get to vote on the Bills and decisions being made in parliament and council, and the politicans are contracted to the vote with the people. Karel is the Independent Candidate for South Brisbane, Griffith and Mayor of Brisbane on the People Decide platform.

He also managed EcoDirectory Australia, Australia's original online directory for environmentally friendly products and services.

Notable projects:

  • developed and manage the software, mobile apps and support for government Timebanking projects in urban and rural regions;
  • manage an international study into complementary currencies;
  • designed, negotiated and managed a large project to draft the regulations for the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia (SECC), rules for a stock exchange, rules for a dealers association and recommendations for wider legislative change; and
  • developed and manage a participatory democracy model and political party.

He has good experience and knowledge in complementary currencies, securities, banking, ethical consumption, participatory democracy, political campaigns, international aid and development, human rights, negotiation and mediation.

Prior to this Karel lived in Cambodia managing The Provision of Experts for the Development of Securities Sector in Cambodia, to set up a stock exchange in Cambodia, a unique consultancy style project using volunteers. A prominent steering committee consisting of the Australian Government, compliance and international development associations, legal, risk management, securities and banking experts was established to oversee, and prominent organisations partnered with, the project.

He co-ordinated the feasibility studies, negotiated with the Cambodian Government and together with consultants designed the project.

This was preceded working for a small Canberra based NGO managing international aid projects in Cambodia, Vietnam, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. Projects covered the financial, legal, education, health, environmental and IT sectors.

Karel has worked with Amnesty International Australia. He was involved in campaigns aimed at achieving financial equality for all, disseminating information about anti-terror laws, Guantánamo Bay, CIA rendition flights, indigenous rights and conditions in Darfur, Sudan.

Karel lived in the wilderness solo for 6 months, similar to the movie "Into the Wild", taught meditation courses at the University of Sydney, and has been a judge for the Green Awards and Ethical Enterprise Awards in Australia.

In the late 1990s he worked as a mechatronic engineer on a robotic system to calculate the friction on airport runways where he developed good project management skills. He has also had experience with the United Nations and represented Australia as a performer in the handover ceremony at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA.

Karel has a Masters of Strategic Affairs from the Australian National University. A Bachelor of Mechatronic Engineering with an Honours thesis in physics and a Bachelor of Arts in studies in religion and asian studies. He also worked on a special project into an interpretation of quantum mechanics. Other qualifications include business and risk management.

Publications and speeches:

  • Boele. K. & Jenkin. T. ‘The Community Exchange System and Australian Timebanking’, Speech, 3rd International Conference on Social and Complementary Currencies, Salvador, Brazil, 2015.
  • Boele. K. ʻNew directions in Asia-Pacific Co-operation - Linking Tracks 1, 2 and 3ʼ, Conference Paper, Towards Greater Efficiency in Regulating and Supervising Financial Markets in Emerging Economies, East Asia Summit Seminar, 2009.
  • Boele K. ʻEvidence of a Virtual Anode in Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC)ʼ, Physics Thesis, University of Sydney, 2002.

Karel spends his spare time working in his organic garden, the outdoors, wilderness, going to good dinner parties, experimenting with physics and working on personal development. He enjoys politics and economic development. He is a certified leaders wilderness first aider (but don't expect him to remember how to help you if you get into trouble) and enjoys spending time with people.

Sonam Tobgye

Sonam Tobgye

B.Com (Uni. Delhi), M.Com (Uni. Delhi)

Member of the board and Gross National Happiness expert

Sonam was deputy managing director of Bhutan Postal Corporation Limited for 7 years. Prior to that he was a senior lecturer in business at the Royal University of Bhutan for over 10 years.

He was also senior finance officer of Chukha Hydro Power Corporation for 3 years, general manager of Bhutan Board Products Limited for 3 years and investment manager of National Pension and Provident Fund Bureau of Bhutan for 2 years. 

He is currently a PhD student at Queensland University of Technology specialising in Gross National Happiness (GNH).

Sonam has a Bachelor and Masters of Commerce from the University of Delhi. Advanced level courses in Management, Financial Accounting, New Venture Development and Environmental Accounting from University of Calgary, Canada.

Publications and speeches:

Tobgye. S. 'Gross Organizational Happiness (GOH)' Bhutan Journal of Business and Management (Vol.2, Issue 1).