The stories we tell ourselves

If you have ever dreamt of a society with great wealth, distributed fairly and intended exclusively for the wellbeing of its people then maybe you have dreamt of Europe’s first great civilization – the Minoan empire on the island of Crete, 4600 years ago.

The Minoans created a seafaring empire. Their ships sailed to all points of the Mediterranean peninsula for trade. They built well-developed roads connecting 100 cities across the island of Crete.

For 500+ years they lived in peace. The Minoan capital of Knossos had no defense walls and no army. The capital did not feel threatened by the other cities in their domain, nor any of its citizens. Its rule of law relied upon equitable distribution of wealth and strong, connected leadership.

The Minoan palace was the heart of the city. It had 1,400 rooms, which housed schoolrooms, government services, artist workshops and theatres. Wide corridors and large rooms made space for thousands of citizens to come and go.

Archaeologists found impressive multi-coloured wall paintings depicting day-to-day life and the Minoan’s reverence for nature. People, animals and plants were joyously painted in bright colours. It is also clear from these paintings that women had an important role in all aspects of society; if not higher than men, than certainly equal. They competed on an equal basis to men in the athletic games, even in the most daring events.

 

 

The Minoan civilization came to an end in 1630 BC when a volcano on a neighboring island triggered a tsunami and ash clouds. Archaeologists found that the buildings had fallen outwards as they collapsed, presumably full with water.

Today the Minoan society seems quite remarkable. First that it existed and second that it is so little known. A European civilization that was well off and shared that wealth and power among its citizens, and revered the earth’s living systems? Doesn’t seem possible. But it was, and it lasted for 500 years. 500 years of a different world-view, standing in clear contrast to most, if not all, ancient (and many modern) European civilizations that have sought to accumulate wealth and power. It can’t help but inspire optimism… and we can’t help wondering, what might we begin to build if we truly believed in our own wisdom and generosity?

COVID-19 Support Options Available for Your Business

We have compiled a comprehensive list of support available to Social Entrepreneurs, Not-for-Profits and SMEs in Australia.

Navigating upheaval: our last 7 days

Like most small business and NFPs we only just began to comprehend the wholescale impact of the Coronavirus on our business and the Australian economy last week. Within 7 days it hit us hard.

Koongarra cultural tourism: creating experiences and opportunities in Kakadu National Park

Meet Difference Maker James Morgan and cultural tourism entrepreneur. James was recently a participant of our most recent Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) Accelerator Program. At 22 years old, Bininj man James Morgan has entered the entrepreneurial world. James has...

The hidden value of creative industries: bringing life to many economies: International Women’s Day 2020

It fascinated us that creative industries aren’t included in Papua New Guinea’s GDP, in fact there is very little data to understand the economic impact of creative industries in PNG. This is staggering considering that creative industries represent $US2.250 Billion in the global economy (World Economic Forum, 2015). This includes all creative industries including visual arts, media, TV, music etc. Other research suggests Handicrafts contributes around US$32 Billion to the global economy (The Aspen Institute Artisan Alliance) but this is a difficult figure to nail down when whole economies don’t even count handicrafts in their GDP.

Other interesting facts from the World Economic Forum’s study found that Creative industries are more inclusive employers employing more youth (15-29 years) than any other sector, employ a higher percentage of women compared to other sectors globally and small business makes up a large portion of this sector as well. In the US artists are 3.5 times more likely to be self-employed.

TDi enters a new stage of consciousness and clarity

What is TDi? This is a question we are asked all the time, and have struggled to answer with real clarity. TDi started as a private quest in response to societal problems, long before it became a public conversation which culminated into the entity today we call The...

Doubling your revenue and doubling your profits: a bold but achievable challenge

This week has been full of tough questions, soul searching, tears and laughter.
The theme of the week has been “Doubling your revenue and doubling your profits” – a bold challenge, but one that’s achievable.
Here are some of the interesting themes and lessons that came up in the accelerator…

TDi celebrates UN World Day of Social Justice with demonstrations of hope for a more just and inclusive economy.

20 February 2020 Today the UN is calling for “closing the inequalities gap to achieve social justice”. We want to share the ways in which TDi and our partners are helping to address inequalities through the power of business and cross-sector innovation. Inequality is...

PNG-Aus Partnership program connects a different kind of entrepreneurial network

“I’m very, very passionate about Indigenous female entrepreneurship, so, when I heard that this was going to be a cultural exchange that was purely women, that was really, really exciting.” Kylie Lee Bradford is one of 18 female entrepreneurs in a pilot program,...

Long-standing cultural connections forge new trade links between Australia and PNG

For Carol Vale, co-founder of Game Enough? – an Indigenous Australian bush foods and game meat company based in Brisbane, Australia – the Laikim Sister pilot program has deepened her connections with Papua New Guinea (PNG) both professionally and personally.

Game Enough? creates foods and beverages that adopt the flavours of the Australian bush.

Celebrating the 2019 difference makers as we enter a new decade

At TDi 2019 was another amazing year. Again, we’ve had the privilege of helping Difference Makers from Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Australia.  We’ve helped entrepreneurs build out their ideas and business models. We’ve worked with NFPs to explore new...