Web3 and The Promise of a Decentralized System for Climate Good
After feeling disenchanted by national climate organizations and particularly the underlying structures that make the work so regressive - I’ve been excited to be exploring how people are making change in web3. I’ve found exciting results: from projects that seek to radically decentralize grant-making to climate groups and ensuring transparency in the seafood supply chain.
One of the biggest learnings that have come out of this is the importance of community and mutuality. The nonprofit space has for too long been driven by the relationships between foundations and their grantees: often with large information gaps, power imbalances, and in sum-a lack of community.
The promise of web3 is not only the reparation of these relationships, but also the ability to create a community within a member based non-profit. This mutuality allows for decentralized governance: allowing volunteers and staff of a nonprofit to make decisions in what the organization does. It operates off the premise that when we volunteer our time we should be able to enter into relation with an organization, that receiving funds as a grantee puts us into a community with a foundation, and that building relationships is essential to getting things done.
Big Green DAO does just that. It’s a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, or DAO, built on web 3. Big Green Focuses on Food Justice and the DAO is their experiment at allowing the grantees to have a say in who gets funded. The funds are only distributed if everyone agrees on who to fund, and once you get funded by the DAO you get to have a say in future funding. This is so exciting because it disrupts the competition groups feel against each other and seeks to create a community of cooperation instead.
Then there’s the Fishcoin Project. The Fishcoin project aims to incentivize supply chain data by rewarding the sellers in the market. After learning that most fishers have very limited technology and incentive to capture supply chain data, it created a token system that rewards fishers when they sell, and gives buyers and those further down in the supply chain the transparency they need. Their trace protocol allows for a variety of systems and users to share data, ensuring cooperation and transparency.
I’m currently exploring two projects. The first is a Mutual Aid DAO. I worked on Mutual Aid projects in my own community in 2020 and as part of my work at Sunrise Movement. While we were able to support groups around the country with the help of Actblue, it was extremely challenging to do so in a system that is built for the centralization of wealth. The other is the benefits of Distributed Ledger Technology in the U.S Energy Grid. As we seek to transform our electric grid, the vision of having a decentralized, smart grid that is more resistant against cyber attacks is promising.
With the climate risks of web3 shrinking after the upcoming September move by Ethereum to a proof-of-stake model, shrinking carbon emissions by 99 percent, the future of DAOS is looking promising for climate.