Web3 Impact No. 10
A briefing on the intersection of Web3 and social / environmental impact.
We’re 10 issues into the Web3 Impact newsletter. You may have noticed that we updates our branding. I hope you like the fresh new logo and color.
In general… We’d love to hear how you think the newsletter is going going. What are you loving? What do you want to see more / less of?
Additionally, we’d love to expand the team of contributors beyond Kyle and Banks. If you’re interested in being a part of the editorial team for the Web3Impact newsletter. Click here to apply. Cheers!
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X For Good
The application of a “for good” framework to Web3 brings its own complications. “X for Good” projects within the tech and social impact sectors are essentially built on the theory that the right tool applied to the right problem will result in large-scale social benefits. The “X” in these projects has historically involved tools such as artificial intelligence, data, virtual reality, or games, or social media and communications platforms, among others. At its best, the “X for Good” framework allows for community-led development of appropriate tools that help create positive social impact in areas such as poverty alleviation or social justice movements. Too often, however, it results in tech solutionism and the imposition of tools on a community, neither designed with nor by communities. There are 3 essential challenges: (1) Decentralized tech doesn’t equal distributed power. (2) A significant percentage of existing power holders are already building their Web3 business models on exploitation and extraction. (3) Building community trust takes more than decentralization. Stanford Social Innovation Review (11 minutes)
Degen to Regen
Degens came to Web3 seeking financial upside. Regens are those who are working or building in regenerative cryptoeconomics. They have a long-term view on how Web3 can be good for the world, but not just in the financial sense. Regens see how financial systems could be designed to act as channels for greater human flourishing in service of all of humanity’s needs. Gregory Landua, co-founder of the Regen Network, argues people have eight essential needs that could be expressed as forms of capital. Beyond financial capital, there’s our social, material, living, intellectual, experiential, spiritual and cultural needs. With programmable money, we can program our values into our money. Crypto has it within itself to create systems equally as extractive and fragile as the existing financial system. When a degen trades, he’s playing a zero-sum game – the tokens leave his wallet and enter the counterparty’s wallet and visa-versa. But Web3 can also build more positive sum protocols that expand resource capacity over time. Coindesk (9 minutes)
Impact DAO Book
The authors were inspired by web3-enabled collectives like Ukraine DAO replacing the traditional nonprofit structure to become a norm for solving problems of every order of magnitude. This book is worth reading if any of the following apply. (1) You think crypto is a scam and nothing more. Dive into this book to learn how talented folks are building amazing coordination systems and having a far-reaching, positive impact in the world. (2) You have heard of crypto but do not know about the broader web3 landscape. Why is it that young people are engaged, and dreamers are inspired, and technologists, humanists, climate activists, and futurists are feeling the buzz? What makes it so attractive for them to build in it? (3) You are interested in what doing good will look like in the future. Learn why nonprofits are not the answer to solving large-scale societal problems and how ImpactDAOs will replace them. The new model provides a brand new efficient way of doing good. (4) You’d like to know how DAOs are upending the traditional company. What does the future of work look like? How can you prepare yourself for it? ImpactDAOs (6 minutes)
Bitgreen, the company building blockchain's epicenter for sustainability, partners with green infrastructure developer Sewa Energy Resources (SERL) and international climate action platform Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) to finance the Betmai Hydroelectric Facility in Sierra Leone. The partnership will fund construction of the 27 Megawatt run-of-the-river hydropower project, bringing affordable, renewable electricity to an equivalent of 500 thousand Sierra Leoneans through clean energy generated by the Pampana River. Tech Times (6 minutes)
Web3 Impact is a briefing about leveraging Web3 for positive social and environmental impact by Banks Benitez and Kyle Westaway.