“Nothing wrong in saying that we are Catalanists”
James Sène, president and founder of 11Onze, closes the Estat de la Nació cycle of programmes by taking stock of the project of the first fintech community in the Països Catalans, which will be key to achieving the individual and collective financial sovereignty of citizens, in a globalised world that is in the midst of an economic crisis.
11Onze was born as a new model of community banking, pioneering and necessary, which aims to revolutionise banking from the bottom up in a context of global economic uncertainty where it is essential that citizens take control of their finances. In this sense, financial education, one of the founding pillars of 11Onze, is an essential ingredient to empower people to build a strong and resilient Catalan economy.
The road has not been easy, but James Sène is satisfied with the evolution of the Catalan financial institution since it started operating in Catalonia in October 2021, “obviously, there are things we would like to have already, but because of the particularity of a project like 11Onze we have had to face some obstacles“ even so, “generally it is what we wanted, and we are on the right track”.
From the very beginning, 11Onze was created as a country tool, for strategic reasons, and established so that its profits would be reinvested in Catalonia, as established in the financial institution’s foundation in Switzerland. “We are a project for the Catalans, there is nothing wrong with saying that we are Catalanists”, Sène points out, “it is our raison d’être, and we have said so from the very first minute”.
Unlimited growth on a planet of finite resources
The obsession with constant economic growth has proven inadequate to ensure human well-being, social justice, and the ecological sustainability of the planet. An economic system that benefits the few and is unsustainable. As the president of 11Onze explains, “Covid has been added to it, war has been added to it, and this accelerates the process. But it is the economic proposition of perpetual growth that doesn’t work.
And he continues, “people are getting poorer, they work more, they sacrifice more, and still, it doesn’t work”. The need and urgency to look for alternatives in the social and political sphere is obvious, “the resources that are generated have to be redistributed better so that everyone can grow,” says Sène. That is precisely why it is essential for citizens to understand what is happening with the economy.
Sène sums it up plainly, “to understand economics you have to know how to count, read and have common sense, you don’t have to be a professor”, even so, the rhetoric of economists, for example when talking about inflation, is not always easy to understand, “the nomenclature and the explanation given is very sophisticated, and this doesn’t allow people to understand what is being said”.
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