Our current democratic frameworks tend to produce two major reactions from citizens:
- apathy - in the form of not engaging with the system because of the difficulties involved in the process
- or noise - in the form of social movements and protests that face an enormous challenge in moving beyond agitation to actual construction
After many years of experimentation with DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) within the blockchain movement, 2019 marked the emergence of a series of groups that are succeeding in utilizing this framework to organize online and share funds to achieve their goals. A few examples are the MolochDAO , funding development for the Ethereum blockchain, and its many forks such as YangDAO, MetaCartel DAO and OrochiDAO.
In a DAO, voting and subsequent resource allocation are automated according to the rules encoded in Smart Contracts, therefore enabling trust to emerge between members that might not necessarily know or trust each other - a sort of automated constitution. Could this be the missing piece to help the diffuse organization of environmentalist organizations and movements (ranging from the Extinction Rebellion to Greta Thunberg's Climate Strikes) into effective action, by means of distributed governance using cryptographic protocols?
Democracy.Earth is a nonprofit focused on leveraging state of the art technology to transform social noise into clear signal & action with distributed ledger technology. In our website you can find a social networking interface enabling users to make proposals, debate and vote with ERC20 or web based tokens. MolochDAO is the most successful experiment in the Ethereum community, with over $1M USD pooled from members funding ETH 2.0 development. Finally, Quadratic Voting and Liberal Radicalism - pioneered by the RadicalxChange movement - are new, innovative protocols for voting and funding that aim to overcome the Tyranny of the Majority and the Tragedy of the Commons, respectively. Participants are invited to experiment with these frameworks to suggest ways in which climate organizations, or even your own community at the Collabathon or the University, can effectively leverage state-of-the-art technology for governance and collaboration.
Groups interested in solidity smart contract programming are invited to create Moloch DAO forks. As an example, this is a MolochDAO incorporating Quadratic Voting . You can deploy & experiment, or create new forks of the original Moloch code with different governance mechanisms (liquid democracy, holographic consensus, etc.)
- Fork Sovereign to implement your a voting and debating space for all Collabathons.
- Register the projects being developed in Collabathons and run a blockchain-based votes.
- Enable colleagues to peer review each others projects utilizing the Forum feature of Sovereign.
- Raise funds and use your implementation to allow members to propose projects and vote on resource allocation.
- Propose and debate new frameworks, rules and guidelines for a ClimateDAO.
- Code smart contracts with new frameworks, rules and guidelines for a DAO.
- Model how different environmentalist organizations could leverage a DAO.
- Simplicity is key. After many years and millions of dollars invested in complex DAO frameworks, the most successful product so far (MolochDAO) ended up being one that was developed voluntarily, and has only 400 lines of code.
- Give members the possibility to exit at any time. The rage quit function turned out to be the most popular with MolochDAO, credited by many to be the reason for its success.
- Leadership matters. Creating a DAO is not only about coding, it involves a good amount of grassroots organizing. You need to evangelize your peers and teach them the basic instructions to download Metamask, send tokens to their addresses and join your DAO.
- Think big! Due to the borderless and permissionless nature of blockchain technology, these initial experiments with DAOs can scale to global participation. Be ambitious with your goals.
Think small! Currently, one of the main challenges in the blockchain space is identity verification. While there is no clear path yet to build secure, privacy protecting identities in the blockchain, many believe DAOs might take us there. By organizing in small groups with strong ties between members, DAO-related activity can feed into a social graph that might be used to build DIDs one day.