It’s hard to imagine that this friendly, giggly Franco Sabadini was a child that struggled to socialise. Evidently reading topics of archaeology and nature wasn’t cool back then. Franco laughs as he says, “I probably played with toys a liiiitle bit too long than was considered normal”. He lived in a potato growing town on the outskirts of Argentina and felt very safe and free to do whatever he chose.

Franco felt disconnected from small town chat as his mind was into gathering knowledge that could benefit the world. At university he studied a Bachelor of Software Engineering and even wrote a thesis in applying stock market algorithms to analyse historic change in source code projects - in his words, “It was such a waste of time and just delayed the reality of being in the real world”. During this time Franco’s safe country town was about to get more “real world”.

He remembers a party where all those times alone problem solving had to be put into practise. Franco and a mate arrived late, his intuition told him there was something wrong. Turns out they were held at gunpoint and put into a room with the rest of the party goers where they were tied up and had to watch their friend being brutally interrogated for money and other items. Franco tried to get out his hidden phone to call the police and got hit on the back of his head after being seen for his attempted heroism. The thieves left with Franco’s dad’s car and a bunch of other possessions. They discovered later it was their neighbour the thieves were after all along. What had happened to this safe little potato town? Franco left soon after to travel to the USA and then around the world.

He came to New Zealand five years ago after gate crashing a hippy camping tour with friends.

“Ahhhh, you know when you realise you haven’t made any real decisions in your life? That’s me, I just jump onto the flow of things and that’s how I have pretty much lived my whole life.” Well it’s not surprising that Franco has found his true place here in New Zealand, he fits right in with the relaxed Kiwi way. He decided to get a flat with friends in Auckland then took on contracting work in leadership roles, anything from software architecture to design and development.

After three years in New Zealand Franco decided to travel again and part of that trip meant going back home to Argentina, “My mistake was not buying a ticket out of there, I just bought a one way ticket.” But it was no mistake as he met his beautiful partner while he was home, they moved in together straight away and after 8 months he brought her back to New Zealand. Franco explains that he’s too sensitive for seeing social injustice, “It makes my blood boil, so South America is not the place for me”.

It’s this drive to make a difference in the world that has placed his attention on purpose rather than making money which most people in his field would have no trouble getting. Franco works with startups promoting electric cars and is also involved in other ways of developing software that helps charities make more money.

It was important for Franco to be working from somewhere where there were great people as working in solitude at home was getting to his head. He was just too bored and started looking for co-working spaces throughout Auckland. Trying most of them The Workshop was obviously the best. He said unlike other places he was greeted and talked to and after a month’s trial he decided to become a permanent resident and sat beside his new buddy the very un-boring Belinda Nash.

Franco is a very conscious soul that cares about the Earth, he loves the people here because we care about it too. He explains “I like how my mind is expanding being here, I’m inspired to think more creatively…I have deep conversations with people over coffee and vegan lunches about things that we agree and disagree about but everyone is kind and listens to each other and that’s so cool.”

He is a such an upbeat, happy person that comes to almost every social gathering we put on here and we just love having that sort of energy brightening up our environment. When Franco leaves for the day he shouts “Goodbye humans!” It always gives us a giggle as we all know we are a little different too.

Written by Justine Jamieson Brand Identity Coach

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