A recent panel at the Sydney Architecture Festival titled "Where does your stuff come from?" promised to be an interesting exploration of the supply chains behind everything from foundations to furniture to fashions.

Each of the four panellists was asked to introduce themselves and outline what they do, what they’re passionate about, and why it would matter to them where their ‘stuff’ (materials, resources, skills, and so on) comes from. Preliminary introductions unfolded smoothly. And then, surrounded by beautiful furniture and great minds,…