COMPANY NAME: SYNETAIRISMOS ERGAZOMENON SOCIALITY
APPLICANT NAME: Antonis Faras
TEAM COMPOSITION: People from one or two legal entities
WEBSITE: synergatika.gr (under development)
PROJECT SECTOR: [“Economy”]
[“Blockchain technologies”,“Distributed ledger technologies”,“Others”] A financial toolkit, running on a distributed ledger, providing solutions and services for cooperatives such as micro-funding, loyalty, community transactions.
During crisis years many cooperatives have started operating in Athens, Greece forming an alternative to worsening working condition. At this point they are facing lack of financial means which affects their growth and therefore their impact in society. Our goal is to provide financial services to these coops which will also enhance cooperation between them. To achieve this we plan to develop a financial toolkit based on a community cryptocurrency. Utilizing the distributed ledger, Synergy will be able to provide advanced financial services, such as micro-funding, loyalty programs and instant exchanges within the community, while undertaking a privacy-by-design approach. Our end-goal is an added- value currency that would economically empower the Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) community, while also carrying an ethical value. Finally, we will undertake privacy-first approaches such privacy awareness loyalty and analytics while working on a cryptocurrency community governance model.
There are 847 CoOps in Greece, 45% in Athens, according to the latest report form the Secretary for Social & Solidarity Economy (SSE) in 2016. Most of the coops are service oriented (cafe,restaurants,grocery shops) and have a broad base of daily clients which we will target with our loyalty and micro-funding schemes. Our goal is to build a strong network of coops in Athens and later expand in the rest of Greece and Europe where the cooperative movement is more advanced and facing other limitations. The toolkit be will open to anyone to use, easy to replicate and hdevelop new communities.
We will follow a non-for-profit model with cooperative governance. Our goal is to create a self-sustainable community with small operational costs. Skills and services will be shared within the ecosystem contributing to it’s preservation. Possible options can be:
The complementary approaches include paid services, such as consultancy or marketing to members of the community and external funding.
Sociality | Digital Communications Cooperative is a seven-member worker’s cooperative that operates from 2014 in Athens. Our areas of activity include empowering online presence, developing user-centered digital tools, educational activities on open source frameworks and participation in research projects. We have created over 150 websites, several digital tools and organized over 40 educational workshops. We have worked with organizations, coops and private clients in Greece and abroad. We are teaming up with George Theofilis, an experienced blockchain developer from Synaphea and Matina Dimitropoulou a researcher and PhD candidate in Athens University of Economics and Business on innovation management and SSE. Our extended network of collaborators include designers (Designature), marketers (No Problem), researchers (Open Lab Athens, Nethood) and SSE experts (Dock). Our robust experience and expertise along with our community engagement equipes us to successfully materialize our plan.
We will use the grant to locate two members of Sociality to work full-time on the project and external team membmers G. Theofilis and M. Dimitropoulou (Athens University of Economic & Business) to work part-time. We will also use the grant for marketing material, bringing new collaborators to work on development and community building. Moreover, we will require the services of legal and accounting experts. The consulting services of LEDGER will be useful in the field of business development and product positioning while technologies provided could be used when necessary.
In a 2017 British Council research on SSE in Greece, it was reported that the three most important issues coops face regard financing, while proposals are made for micro-credit and crowdfunding to tackle them. Sociality as a member of this community will engage with both the coops and their clients to overcome these obstacles. Vital will be the role of the regional “Attica Coordination of SSE” which it’s members can be early adopters of the system. Our toolkit will be co-designed by the community in order to better reflect their needs and establish mutual relations. The expertise of Sociality will be used to run a broad marketing campaign for coops which will operate as an onboarding mechanism. The engaging features of our application, the gamification elements we aim to incorporate, the social value and the scalable nature of the adopted technology will all contribute to the growth of the system.