If you haven’t heard of the ‘Sharing Economy’ by now, the chances are that you may have already participated in it without actually realising it. There can be no doubt that its ubiquitous reach has touched every nation and is encroaching on just about every useful resource in the modern age.
The most commonly known ones include AirBnB, Couchsurfing, Gnamma, Corrente, Enjoy, to the latest Mobike and lots more to boot. The stats are pretty impressive to say the least:
In Bologna, tourism is worth almost three billion euros, 8.3% of the total added value. The employees directly or indirectly involved in the tourism industry are almost 40 thousand, the companies more than 8 thousand. Source: www.bo.camcom.gov.it
For over a year, however, another one called Leila-Bologna has been making headway as potentially the next BIG one to watch. In their own words, “The idea behind Leila is to promote the culture of sharing. We have created ‘libraries’ that house objects, made available to those who decide to participate in the project. In return you can borrow everything that others have made available.”
One of the six founders, Antonio Beraldi, explains how the idea found a home in Bologna. “This project was born in Germany in 2010, and I thought: why not do it also in Bologna?” From these humble beginnings, they convinced the commune to give them €1000 and space to promote the new service in the Velostazione towards the end of Via Indipendenza. And the rest is history as they say.
For example, presently on their site are objects such as cargo bikes, mixers, saxophones, shaver, baby carrying bags, garden equipment, gazebo, roller skates, hammock and camping tents. The objects appear to be in good condition although, as they demonstrate quite effectively, “sharing favours the exercise of trust. Reflection on the idea of possession in favour of use, helps to restore a value to objects and to the relationships that arise from them.” Therefore, it’s very much a case of paying respect to the use of an object, which in the long run will not only save you money but also help save the environment at the same time. A theory we wholeheartedly agree with!
Basically, you sign up to their site, paying a small annual subscription and voilà! You can begin borrowing equipment or even bring something so that others may use. Every now and again you may also see them in Sala Borsa as they have big plans to grow the service enabling others to participate in a global phenomenon sweeping the world. And who knows, possession of most objects we presently consider as personal and private may even soon be a thing of the past.