Article by SMARKETPLACE coordination for APRES-GE, Monnaie-Leman 

The saga of SmartketPlace continues, after its creation (SmarketPlace: beyond Amazon and the GAFAM!) and its launch (SmarketPlace: everywhere in Europe?), APRES-Ge, the SSE network in Geneva and Monnaie Léman, the local currency have just completed a first mandate for the government of Geneva, which complements the funds received by the Swiss Confederation. The question was: how to decline locally SmartketPlace, our white, free and open source, universal and replicable application, specifically in the Geneva region, with the particularities of its economic and social fabric?

Recall that “SmartketPlace is a generalist marketplace for local goods and services that increases sales of local products, for an economy in transition towards greater resilience and sustainability”. Its application in Geneva is called “GE consumes local”. This mandate made it possible to demonstrate the relevance of this innovative digital tool, and to deepen the following questions: should “GE consumes local” be considered of public utility? How to make it a common? What shared governance should be put in place? Which business model should ensure fair remuneration for work and a fair distribution of the value created by online commerce?

After this first funding granted by the government of Geneva, we are currently setting up European projects (Interreg, Erasmus, etc.) and are looking for other partners in Europe. The objective is now to finalize a Proof of Concept (POC) to answer technical questions and then to establish the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). It is also a question of testing the tool in other contexts, and of ensuring that the functionalities and interfaces developed really correspond to the needs of the field, those of the businesses and companies that are the future users, regardless of the region of implementation.

Across Europe, the management of the COVID-19 crisis has strengthened mass distribution and Amazon-like online shopping platforms. Everywhere, it has weakened small businesses in urban centers. RIPESS was part of the first exchanges during the lockdown, aiming to offer a “smart” and democratic digital tool, making it possible to compete with the major transnational platforms. Since then, it has included in its priorities the development of spaces conceived as commons. Whatever your city, or your region, it is always possible to get on this transition train.