CEO and Co-Founder, Xylo Systems, AGSM MBA (Executive) 2022
I was very much an introverted scientist. I had no idea about business, but I knew I wanted to be a business leader and use business to make a difference. Throughout my AGSM MBA, I really became a confident businesswoman and was able to start my own company.
Camille Goldstone Henry co-founded Xylo Systems – a tech platform for businesses to measure and manage their biodiversity footprint.
Camille is an experienced conservation biologist and Kamilaroi woman. After working for years to save the worlds most endangered species like the Tasmanian devil and Sumatran tiger, Camille turned to tech to make a greater conservation impact.
Camille grew up hugging chickens in a house with home-grown organic veggies on the table and solar panels on the roof. She always wanted to protect natural wildlife but never thought she’d be harnessing artificial intelligence to do so.
I was taught about sustainability from a very young age. I always knew my career would be about preserving ecosystems and contributing to our world.
After studying animal and veterinary bioscience, Camille worked with endangered species around the world. But soon realised if she was going to help stop the 69% decline in global biodiversity over last 50 years*, she needed bigger levers to pull. *WWF Living Planet 2022 Report
As a scientist, Goldstone-Henry understood data and was familiar creating connections between seemingly disparate things. She could see businesses lacked timely information and data to make effective conservation management decisions.
I saw that many businesses often don’t understand how they impact nature – let alone depend upon it.
She decided to focus on technology and business, which brought her to the AGSM MBA for new skills to enable her to help businesses understand and reverse their impact on biodiversity.
I enrolled in the AGSM MBA because I thought, I'm a scientist. If I'm going to make real change, I need to understand how business works, how the world essentially works.
Studying AI and advanced analytics at AGSM was the catalyst for an idea that soon became Xylo Systems. And so Xylo Systems was born – right in the middle of her AGSM MBA!
Xylo answers the problem of fast access to decision-making data with a biodiversity intelligence platform. Businesses can measure and understand their impact, and then take action to mitigate it. For example, property developers can work with landscape architects to plant or replant flora that support any threatened species in the area.
The next task was framing her story. Experience had already taught Camille that sharing data alone doesn’t change behaviour – facts need to be woven into a relatable story.
Her MBA first semester subject Executive Blueprint proved both timely and useful – as it covered storytelling by framing your mission and purpose so it speaks to anyone.
Camille says her AGSM MBA helps her to break highly scientific narratives down so everyone gets just how vital wildlife is to their continued existence. The tipping point? A lecturer simply saying: “Tell it to me like I'm 12 years old”.
I was speaking to my AGSM cohort peers in banking, military, and the law, and, well, they had no idea what I was talking about! So, I had to frame it in a very simple way.
An example of better story telling: Some $44 trillion - or half of the world's GDP - is directly reliant on biodiversity. Camille explains that biodiversity is like a Jenga tower.
Every species we lose is a piece pulled from the tower – until the whole thing falls.
So, we're empowering businesses that impact the environment to start regenerating our ecosystems for those who’ll follow us.
Unsustainable business practices and the prioritisation of technology over nature are major causes of wildlife loss. Yet Camille sees tech and business as the only forces powerful enough to reverse the decline of species before we reach a point of no return in 2030. She credits her AGSM MBA for giving her the ability to engage with almost any industry.
Without biodiversity, we won't survive as a species.
I did a lot of research before I decided on AGSM for my MBA. The clincher was their focus on the cohort experience. I wanted to learn and connect with others. I didn't want to just have a degree at the end of the day.
Aside from building her confidence as a business leader, Camille says her AGSM MBA built her a network of peers – people who she knows will build a better tomorrow. And Xylo Systems will be an integral part of that future.
AGSM MBA is more than a degree. It connected me to a network of peers who’ll be Australia’s future business leaders.
AGSM equips forward-looking leaders to make it in an accelerated world.
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