Meet Dario. He’s our Partnership Coordinator on the Business Development Team. When he’s not coordinating partnerships, though, he is busy with his NoisyVision NGO.
They say it is harder to become forty than to be forty. I will let you know in a couple of months.
I have been Dario for all these years, but I have changed life a few times. Born in Padua, Italy, I moved to Milan to study Design. After graduation, I felt the urge to travel and went to Australia and New Zealand for a year. Back in Milan, I worked as an interior designer until the travelling bug came back and hit me even harder. I joined the crew of a ferrocement vessel and sailed from Cape Town to Havana, for nearly two years, along the coast of Brazil and many Caribbean islands.
All of my jobs since I was a teenager, the passion for travelling and for mountains, outline only a partial self-portrait if I didn’t mention that at the age of seventeen I was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome, a rare degenerative disease which is one of the leading causes of deafblindness. In fact, I am hearing impaired since birth. Over the years I started losing sight to the point that I am now nightblind. I have a very limited visual field (check this video to understand what it means) and quite blurry central vision.
When they told me I have retinitis pigmentosa I was shocked, but it was only later that I started feeling the trauma of the degeneration.
In 2011 I moved to Berlin. Why? Just a finger on the map.
This new stop in the journey around the world, and along my life, identifies quite a U-turn in my approach to life. I switched my mindset and focus from things I cannot do to those I can still do and founded the NoisyVision project, which is now a fully registered NGO.
NoisyVision focuses on improving the lives of people with visual and/or hearing impairments. The activities we organize, though, address everyone who wants to see and live “through the limits and beyond”.
As I said during the TED talk I did last year, we all have limits, we are made of limits, the limits define us. In my case, it is easier to name them. They are the border between what I hear and what I don’t, what I see and what I don’t.
However, we can all try to push or change those limits.
I chose a color to identify this message: yellow.
This is the color that visually impaired people see better, especially if in contrast with black.
The hashtag #YellowTheWorld became the name of an awareness campaign. It promotes accessibility and mobility for visually impaired people.
To promote the campaign itself, but mostly to prove to myself how far I could push my limits, in 2015 I went to Mount Everest and made a short documentary. In 2016 I lead a group of twelve blind and visually impaired people on a walk from Bologna to Florence.
Yellow in contrast with black. I think I said something like this, didn’t I?
This sounds like a perfect match.
Wherever else could a yellow man work if not at Blacklane?
I joined the Business Development team as Partnership Coordinator.
It was again quite a change, adding another dot in the nonlinear path of a former designer with itchy feet. After nearly two years I can say it is less unfitting than it seems.
I had the chance to challenge again my capabilities and mostly to explore in depth the travel industry, learning more about its tech side and constantly changing business landscape.
Nothing to do with the hashy mountains of Iceland, the skyscrapers of New York, the lush jungle of Peru. I keep travelling the world and exploring as much as I can, and every now and then enjoy the peace of mind of a Blacklane ride.
No matter where, if in Ho Chi Minh or Helsinki, on the peaceful back seat of that car it feels a little like home.
Because at Blacklane, not only was I supporting the sales team, but I was also given the chance to develop side projects under the name of BlacklaneCares.
I have met wonderful people who care as much as I do for the planet and for other people: for example, we became the first ground transportation provider with a zero impact carbon footprint.
Sounds quite green, but I rather stick to yellow.
This is my color, this is the color of the positive attitude, of the sun’s energy. This is the color for a more accessible world. But again, it is always a matter of perspective. It would not mean anything if not painted over a black(lane) world.