A brief history

During Fa' la Cosa Giusta! 2011, certain members of the POSIT Cooperative had the chance to be part of some round table discussions dedicated to the solidarity economy; these discussions were formed almost just for fun, but with the aim of placing actors in the solidarity economy from diverse sectors into contact with one another.

The discussions were organised with those who "request for services" and others who "offer services".

In this way, there was contact between Gruppi di Acquisti Solidale (ethical purchasing groups, abbreviated to GAS) asking the audience how to resolve their management problems, wherein a proposal sprang forth then seemingly fraught with risk: the proposal to promote the development of a specific management solution for GAS based on the precepts of the free software movement.

Weeks after the presentation, the cooperative got in touch with some GAS enthusiasts of the (Associazione La Credenza) who wanted to put the proposal in practice.

The project was then financed by one of the members of the (Leader.IT) cooperative, and made available as a service on the Internet as well as released to all GAS members with free licence, under the auspices of the Solidarity Economy, which seeks the transfer of knowledge and best practices for a sustainable economy.

The application was then developed in spring 2012 and now, continuously in production.

Due to the large number of purchases and exchange of products, GAS members who manage their orders manually could not manage the internal organisation properly; and such onerous management distracted from main tasks such as:
  • to ensure the quality of the produce
  • to spread the concept of the "solidarity economy", and
  • to make contact with suppliers and users.

Moreover, orders were organised using spreadsheets on Google or on Excel, which were sent on the internet to the various members. GAS groups use Excel as database and spreadsheet; to develop GASleader, Guido Brugnara used an Excel spreadsheet as an example, using application tables based on Excel in order to be familiar to GAS groups and allow them to manage the data as before. One example is the payment method in RID which creates an automated payment at low cost.

Thanks to the assistance of GASleader in management, GAS volunteers can spend their time pursuing more rewarding activities.

The origin of the ''GASleader'' brand

In 1995, founding member Guido Brugnara participated in a development project of rural areas in the European Community, named "Progetto Leader Alta Val di Non" for which he designed an information dissemination system for tourists consisting of placing telematic kiosks scattered throughout the rural areas.

This was one of the first Free Software projects in Italy funded by public entities that would be documented in Italy.

The term "Leader" and the domain "leader.it_ were later kept and used in other initiatives, including GASleader.
Topic revision: r4 - 02 Nov 2016, GuidoBrugnara
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