How DAOs are Reshaping Social Reform
JEC Toronto — Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are no longer crypto jargon, they’re pioneering a movement towards a networked future. DAOs enable a socially-conscious structure, by stressing importance on a community that builds itself.
The tokenization of assets is a foundational asset to the creator economy. Since these communities exist on-chain, their respective evolution is immutable on a public ledger. As a result, joining events and voting for protocols often requires custom tokens, that can be earned with either development, talent participation or monetary contributions. DAOs are a great example of reciprocal altruism: people contribute using a token, and in return share ownership in the community.
These communities are rethinking the way we can solve social issues — from supporting families across the world, to funding bioengineering ventures, these organizations are developing social reform, one token at a time.
Social Responsibility through Non-Profits
As DAOs progress, it becomes increasingly important that they galvanize a culture of social responsibility. The DAO structure lends itself to being a value add for philanthropic organizations.
Philanthropies, like DAOs, are hyper-focused on being transparent and incorruptible, not just for tax related purposes, but because they know these are values that their donors hold as well.
Failed traditional fiat-based corporations, that have frequently delayed philanthropic programs, emphasize the notion that communities can only grow if we take social accountability. Once communities take the time to understand this technology and start thinking about social responsibility now, its integration won’t be an afterthought. The issue lies in education, not infrastructure — enabling this technology only requires public acceptance.
Another integral flaw with traditional charitable giving is transparency: without public trust, charities are not able to appropriately fundraise and persuade the public. Private foundations that are less transparent often have fewer accountability mechanisms — this plutocratic power eliminates democratic power distribution, therefore eroding civic equality in large-scale giving. As a result, DAOs enable social accountability by letting donors be co-owners and contributors of a digital community.
The Creator Economy
Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Spotify and Patreon are so popular because they rethink interaction with an audience. Software-facilitated economies have grown over the past decade, as they have found a path to democratize information. The new vision for the Creator Economy, however, allows communities to democratize wealth through DAOs.
A foundational aspect of social reform is connection — media platforms were revolutionary because they allowed anyone to foster supportive audiences. The only problem, however, was that advertising and the exploitation of data eliminates free expressionism online: we are the product. Web 3.0 has enabled these very consumers to become creators, who can pioneer social reform through a group of like-minded developers.
As of now, there are countless DAOs working towards charitable action for international issues. The decentralized creator economy has never been stronger, as it puts the power back in the hands of change-makers with a model that is made for solving problems with tangible solutions.
For the first time in history of war, crypto movements are at the forefront socially and economically. One week into the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a team of developers in the Web3 space came together to create UkraineDAO: a community to support families suffering from the conflict. Collectively, over $6.7M was raised in Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, that was put towards supporting families and non-profit organizations. This DAO was organized by Trippy Labs, PleasrDAO, CXIP, and many Ukrainian humanitarian activists working to assure a safe place to direct the donations.
The majority of these funds came from an auction, where the DAO sold a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) of the Ukrainian Flag for $6.5 million in Ether. All donations have been donated to Come Back Alive, an organization to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The organization was founded in 2014, just shortly after the Annexation of Crimea, which emphasizes the continuity of crypto movements towards the people of Ukraine.
This is a true example of giving power to the people: decision-making & internal power is maintained and shared by the community itself. Developers and designers work with families in Ukraine to promote the cause, allowing UkraineDAO to become one of the leading contributors funding the international conflict.
Mirror’s platform has the ambitious vision of redefining publishing online by empowering writers with the tools offered by crypto. The $WRITE token enables digital expression and crowdfunding seamlessly in virtual spaces — it has become the forefront of DAOs, where groups can launch crowdfunds, NFT editions and community publications.
Every week, Mirror DAO selects recent works to highlight. Works are highlighted based on quality, engagement with social issues, social diversity and their over-arching vision. As a result, winners are granted a token that allows them to create a publication and maximize their community output.
The foundation of social reform lies in awareness — when diverse and representative communities come together to share news about dilemmas, we are truly achieving the highest form of social cohesion. As a result, Mirror capitalizes on the creator economy to incentivize writers into sharing their methods of global interaction on the blockchain.
In 2021, a team of developers wanted to decentralize legislation. Unfortunately, historical models of governmental influence have characterized the futility of power distribution in modern systems — there will always be a higher power. This team shortly realized that if they could not decentralize political power, they could democratize the policies themselves. ConstitutionDAO was a failed experiment that never went wrong — the team that wanted to buy the United States Constitution after raising $47 Million may have lost the bid to buy the document, but also inspired DAOs around the world to fix social issues through cyber-interdependence.
Social reform, in its roots, is a collective alliance towards mainstream altruism. Although the team was unsuccessful in purchasing a copy of the Constitution, they helped rewrite how crowdfunding can be a direct influence on tackling social issues. Their token, titled $PEOPLE, helped clarify their mission: policy should be owned by the nation’s people, not solely governmental institutions.
Sooner or later, we become bound to the communities that we develop. DAOs enable people to become a part of their society, thus renewing the idea that people can make meaningful contributions to the environment around them.
Creators on social media are stuck in an institutional economy — they make the content, while large companies feed off of advertising and consumer data. In a world of surveillance capitalism, we can only take back our self-determination if we put power in the hands of the people.
DAOs are the backbone of Web 3.0, the foundation of a creator economy and the future of work. By disrupting the way organizations operate — from brands, to corporates and non-profits, to individual creators — they help rethink the way economic relations work. People around the world can now truly connect, thus solidifying the truest form of international relations.