I will clean this up later, but this is from a recent conversation on funding mechanisms online, instigated by Nathalia Scherer who works at Daostack, about how to manage hypothetical (near-future?!) massive funds being donated to planetary regeneration (for example instead of Notre Dame).
Travis Kriplean: "We should probably be creating new bioregional institutions that could actually translate these massive funds into regenerative culture.
Each bioregion has an institution dedicated to its health. The institutions are in charge of (1) accepting funding to be put to use for the bioregion; (2) identifying socioecological needs of the bioregion; (3) distributing money to organizations and/or people who are working toward those needs; (4) creating calls for proposals for needs that are not being addressed yet by anyone in the bioregion.
If money flows in at a higher level than a single bioregion, there might also be a global institution that identifies high-need bioregions (with needs defined as criteria, collectively). This institution reroutes the finance proportionally to the areas of need. I imagine that quite often the money would be going to helping identify and set up the bioregional institutions themselves (possibly be something akin to basic income for the folks who want to do the work)."
My response here:
this is also kinda what Bloom Network does (http://bloomnetwork.org) - we just started calling our local chapters by their bioregion names, or something similar at a smaller scale, some kind of water-related place identifier usually. Next Wednesday we're doing a planning meeting related to the financial+action piece locally at our Bloom Yuba Watershed meetup.
Also Nathalia, I've been feeling this one too, the general post, and thinking mostly about that piece (the governance / community leadership / socially equitable leadership distribution / place-centered and movement-centered leadership) for the last seven years, and figuring people were developing the technology to do it. Planning to gather some folks in SF in June to work on laying out what fin tech tools we could use, since we'll need to implement something like this for the incubator-ish thing we're putting together for Bloom's Pollination conference in August. So far was thinking something like SwarmFund + Aragon (I haven't connected with DaoStack + Holo communities yet since a close friend works on Aragon so it's easy to ask them all the questions) + I don't know what mainstream institutional funding mechanisms there are so we'll be inviting folks who do know. Plan is to make whatever we come up with there and through Pollination open source somehow - document it in a way that anyone can do it, with other tools and communities, specific issues, etc.
Thriving Resilient Communities Collaboratory has been developing a democratic philanthropy practice that can apply to multi-sector funding collaboration. Led by movement leaders who are on the ground and know what communities and the land needs, many of whom are people of color and in collaboration with Indigenous peoples. Each year they revise the criteria for what's most important to fund. The process is a little clumsy and time-intensive but that's partly because they've been developing it as they go and the founders were white philanthropists so there has been a lot of privilege unpacking to do, and systemic analysis of the world of philanthropy in general, how grants often get made based on funders' whims and preserving their power etc. Anyway - I can share with you about that process and/or you could talk with other grassroots / "grasstops" (regional organizations that collaboration with both grassroots and institutional layer partners) leaders from that collaborative. http://thrivingresilience.org/.
Anyway, happy to share my experience and thinking on this in more detail in any way that might be helpful. The power stack is a huge part of it, like designing the finance collaboration to disrupt the siphoning of resources from communities and oppressed peoples - cryptocurrency can enable international collaboration and I'm hoping smart contracts can bridge the institutional and community pathways so we can wire stuff together. None of the existing finance sector pathways really has healthy solutions for what needs to happen right now, on their own, as far as I can tell.
Re: daostack / aragon and any other tech software that can support this - if I understand all those things correctly at all they can to some degree be wired together as communities use them and we're in relationship with each other, even if it's just through talking and sharing best practices. Oh right, we're doing a decentralized governance hackathon at Pollination in August to flesh this stuff out too - probably specific to Bloom Network since it's a mesh/networking organization. I'm not sure how far we'll get but we're going to have to have some kind of pooled finance mechanism set up by then that can support cross-sector decision making for resource allocation. That's mostly what we're doing at Pollination, is getting different regenerative culture leaders and supporters or interested people together to collectively decide what initiatives we put resources into (financial and otherwise) over the coming year to support regenerative cultures.
Very broadly I think of all this as an international cooperative, with micro economies forming locally as well. Though technically I'm not sure yet what that looks like - legally there is no such thing so it's only possible through DAO's.
Learning graphic design nourishes my being-organized OCD. This week I made a custom designed task planner in Illustrator! Glad to have the capacity to optimize my workspaces IRL and online for beauty, to make working pleasant.
Now, if I can eventually help design an interface mesh with customizable skins for people and organizations to use their own portal/interface for multiple social networks and communication hubs, coupled with some kind of secure digital identity system with user-controlled data permissions...... I'll be stoked.
I have this weird and really intense aversion to communication hubs requiring you to visit a site that is not your own homebase. It's like my main pet peeve about the internet. I think this could be created with a couple good coders or a crew who do API integrations and some amazing UX people. I'm probably going to try Superhuman for email first before wading further into this. But it's on my dream roadmap for Bloom to do once we're stable and have a dev team or partnership with one.
I think this design change would potentially free up a lot of potential for rapid collaboration and equitable business models toward working on climate change and all its connected issues.
I've been posting several blog entries about network design... perhaps I will collect this into a design packet called "My Dream Way of Using the Internet."
Update: I recently listened to this podcast about Scuttlebutt that helped me understand it better. I'll get on there soon to explore - it's along the lines of a mesh interface and has, for example a standard for modular UI apps <3. This thing also seems rad (skill sharing and ideation app)! Thanks to John Gieryn for connecting me to the Scuttlebutt universe, he's a great curator of rad ideas and media creators. So far the UI on the apps I'm seeing here aren't exactly what I'm thinking of but much of the tech is there.
I don't feel safe on Facebook. Its interface and business model feel like the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal, sucking your content and life force for the profits of its shareholders and advertisers. In 2018 I pledge to post more to my website and create media I can actually search for and support beneficial impact with. I also pledge to create more local in-person events spread by word of mouth and real face to face contact.
Facebook is actually my least favorite place on the whole internet. It often turns into the shittiest version of a town hall where everyone is just bitching within cordoned off marketing corrals of political ideology, stuffing late stage capitalism down your throats in a last hurrah of centralized marketplaces. You can't even program your news feed to show you the info you actually want.
I knew all this going into Facebook, which is why I originally created a satirical profile under a different pseudonym. Yeah right I am going to give my personal information to the public. Also at the time I didn't want my political expressions to be censored or squelshed by my conservative family members. I didn't have the emotional and intellectual maturity at the time to talk with them about my views in a constructive way. As is the case with the majority of people on platforms like Facebook and Twitter today. They are not designed for the depth of dialogue and careful moderation, as well as successful collaborative mobilization that will be required for humanity to make its way through today's problems. Further, as a political activist, managing one's identity is often a careful operation. In this sense and many others I think Facebook actually suppresses political progress.
To emotionally and intellectually digest information on Facebook, I think the user needs a lot more blank space. The platform literally squeezes commerce into every square millimeter it can get away with. On the right hand sidebar right now, I have a bad version of Craigslist showing me random stuff for sale near me, there is a top navigation bar, and a side navigation bar, a central feed and a ride sidebar, all packed to the gills with what to me seems like a completely chaotic display of information. I nearly never click anything on the left or right. And this is without the far right ticker showing you realtime friend activity. It is so bonkers! I hate looking at it. It actually makes my face look different afterward. I look like I just saw the psychic detritus of thousands of traumatized people talking into a platform centered around ego and commerce, displayed on devices that put people in variously hunched over fetal positions.
I wish I could say I'm done with the platform right now. I hope I'm close, or at least will be able to re-center my content creation outside of it and use it more as a channel. I happen to be really good at writing engaging Facebook posts, and it has been a useful social utility for me in making connections with fellow creative activists. My head still feels like garbage after I'm on it, and I honestly feel terrible the entire day after making a post to it. I think this is because I can feel everyone reading it and how uncomfortable they are in that virtual space and what it's telling them about the real world. If people spent less time yelling at each other on the internet and more time with their neighbors building community and localized production, a lot of things would start to get better.
To ditch Facebook, I need a platform that has a better integrated mobilization function, is more carefully designed to support IRL interaction as its priority, and has a community governed way to decide which features to implement. Imagine a Facebook created by the Maker community crossed with really skilled facilitators who have mad chops in mediating conflict across race, class and ideology. But don't imagine a Facebook, imagine that this is just an interface format or plug-in that is available across any website that is a hub for community to share resources and information. And that it has a good, secure identity system. I need to get a thorough rundown on Blockstack from someone over there, but I vaguely know they've been working on the identity problem: https://blockstack.org/
(To finish up the story about my first Facebook profile... After about a year my profile, friend set, and a bunch of really incredible photos people had taken of me at festivals in full costume, all vanished with no warning, with a note that I had violated their names policy. At the time, there was no warning, and no channel to recover my profile to at least pull the data off of it for myself. Once I set up a new profile I regularly download a backup. I do this with Google Drive as well because Google will also pull content down without warning if it finds something out of bounds. These are platforms the user has essentially no voice in their design, governance or policies.)
Since getting involved with Bloom Network in 2010 I've been researching social network designs and following what's out there. At the moment my favorite things are weco.in and scuttlebutt.nz . We've been approached over the years by many companies developing social networks, to be early adopters because we have a large existing global network of interesting people. However, I really think we either have one shot at asking our communities to join a thing, or, and this would be my preference, the next generation of social networks gradually emerges as a more decentralized, interwoven ecosystem, which our website is basically just an inspiring-to-be-on routing engine for.
Bloom will be producing a conference in September 2018 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. It will be part of a larger cycle of incubating regenerative action projects across the planet. As part of the practical implementation of it, and the needs for digital communication systems across the working groups, I think we're going to end up grabbing the best fit tools for now and beginning to string them together.
We've already spent 8 years designing a decentralized global governance model for Bloom. At the conference we'll be producing a hackathon to complete that including identifying the tech tools we're going to use for voting and proposals etc. I hope we can demonstrate an example of a community-directed technology/utility, which straddles the physical and digital world in a way that supports people in healing their bodies, psyches, and their ecosystems.
With love and passion for creative collaboration,
Ecotivity.org is a website dedicated to connecting people, projects, and resources for building ecovillages today. It was founded by Shayna Gladstone, who is a resident at Emerald Village in San Diego and writes for Shareable.net
The picture to the left is of The Tennessee TechVillage Project:
"The jewel of Tennessee Tech Village is a thriving community of entrepreneurs, craftsman, builders, technologists, designers, fabricators, and other creative souls that came for many reasons, but whose main objective is to build something amazing. Some are visitors, some are permanent residents. Inside of Tennessee Tech Village are safety courses to learn the equipment, machine shops for wood and metal projects, welding stations, work areas for electronics, computer stations for research and design, and a large selection of equipment and tools for community use. But perhaps best of all is the community of people who often have exciting projects of their own, or maybe there to help while learning from others.
But in the village, there is more to life than just innovation and work. Take a walk around the community and you will find large organic gardens, extensive animal husbandry with chickens, goats, rabbits, cattle, ducks, temporary living quarters for visitors, and more."...
Read more about this ecovillage and more - http://ecotivity.org