Stories of SardexPubblicato: 5 maggio 2012
I’ve been working with the Sardex team for around one year now and there are so many interesting stories happening around this startup, that I think one day I’ll have to write a book about it. Sardex is a complementary currency, born in Sardinia, my homeland. The most beautiful island in the Mediterranean sea. Sardex is a voluntary commercial credit network based on trust that is implemented through a virtual currency (the Sardex). The founders are building in Sardinia a network, based on the learnings from the biggest complementary currrency there is today, the Swiss WIR.
Sardinia is truly beautiful and has a millenial culture, still now, has it’s own language and ancient traditions. These days the crisis in biting very hard Italy and beating up the economy in the island, which has 1,5 million inhabitants. In many rural areas of Sardinia and now also in the cities and towns, you start to see real poverty, things that probably only my grand parents would remember.
The Sardex founders, organize across the island several local meetings to explain about what they offer. Complementary currencies are a new topic and initially understanding the system is not so obvious. These meetings are key to explain what Sardex is, how it works and most of all, why it is useful and how should be used to maximize its value. During one of the last meetings, as usual, the initial reaction of the crowd was a wave of questions. People are suspicious, skeptical or at best initially they ask themselves, “so what’s the point? Why should my life change if I was to use Sardex instead of euros to transact? What’s the point in using Sardex instead of normal Euros that can be spent anywhere?”.
As the group was questioning hard the Sardex guys, one guy comes out of the crowd. Typical sardininan figure, short, rough. His wife with him. Small and rough, like him. He had been a member of Sardex for a couple of months. His service is transportation: he carries around people with his small VAN. “Shut up everybody!” the guy goes on the stage, his wife right next to him. “Shut up everybody!!!”. The guy starts to yell. “You don’t understand!!! I have been in the system for a little while, and we have been able to eat every day at home for the last two months. Me, my wife and three others!”
Everybody shuts up. And his wife goes. “Tell them, tell them. You have also changed the tires of the car with Sardex last month!!!”.
Having food every day, changing tyres. This is a problem for many sardinians these days.