Crypto, Culture, & Society

This is a crowdfund for a discussion group exploring the impact of crypto on culture and society, and for turning the discussions into articles for a journal on Mirror.

The goal is to raise 15 ETH, which will fund ten weeks of learning from prominent voices in crypto.

All backers receive an NFT for membership, and tokens for voting on parameters like syllabus, scholarships, and guests.

The ultimate vision is to create a research DAO that's crypto-native and online.

First Semester Discussion Leaders

A few people have already offered to lead 90-minute discussions. More will likely join us after the crowdfund is proven successful.

These are all experts from within crypto. It would be interesting to pair discussions with authors from outside as well - including professors in the arts and social sciences. Funding allows us to do this.

A complete and formal syllabus, including readings, will be available shortly after the crowdfund closes. The expected timeline is from October through November.

Why Crowdfund?

Crowdfunding allows us to pay discussion facilitators, to bring in experts from outside of the DAO (including article authors themselves), and to organize everything. This will create a high level of quality for the learning experience.

The DAO can also pay for turning these conversations into articles on Mirror - giving the group its own journal of publication.

By giving tokens in exchange for backing, this crowdfund establishes the initial group of organizers who can propose changes to the syllabus and allocate expense.

Enrollment costs 0.1 ETH, which means that 150 individuals can join the group. But individuals can contribute up to 1 ETH if they want, which allows giving more scholarships.

What Do Token Holders Get?

Token holders get to participate in the live discussions with authors and experts, and get a full seminar-like in-class experience. All content otherwise will be released publicly for anyone to follow along.

All token-holders receive an NFT to certify and commemorate their involvement with this movement that integrates online learning and crypto.

Token holders will be able to vote on aspects of the syllabus and funding.

Why a DAO for Learning?

We can model education as solving to a trilemma of content and teaching (pedagogy), business model, and network.

We can apply these to the ways that people learn today, and see that each model fails to solve the trilemma:

  • Educational institution: Students attend traditional educational institutions for the network, access to professors and classes, and credential. Yet they take on debilitating upfront tuition costs in return for limited autonomy: students rarely choose where their tuition fees go, or when and how they can learn.
  • Online self-teaching: In response to universities' mixed results, other learners self-teach through free online resources produced by volunteers or attended MOOCs. These approaches had lower costs, more focus on practical skills, and supported more flexible learning styles. But without a peer community, most online learners are less likely to complete courses fully, have collaboration opportunities, or develop a strong network.
  • Apprenticeship or work: Finally, internships and apprenticeship opportunities provide concrete experience, professional mentorship, and real-life problem-solving. Yet it often trades off with rigorous conceptual foundations and critical thinking skills — apprentices are rarely offered support to learn outside of their narrow job scope.

A Learning Community DAO draws from the best of each environment.

  • Learning DAOs enable members to participate in curating the learning experience most suited to their needs. It can compensate teachers and organizers with new models - like turning courses into revenue-producing research with decentralized ownership.
  • As a remote-first experience, the DAO brings together the top experts and next generation of learners from around the globe into a curated cohort, while sharing knowledge openly for the world to follow along. Digital learning environments also have much lower overhead costs.
  • Asking learners to contribute to the token crowdfund creates skin in the game for participation, certifies proof of learning with the NFT, and enables them to cocreate their experience.

Let's see if a Learning DAO works to solve the educational trilemma!

Special thanks to Jasmine Sun, Li Jin, Reggie James, and Toby Shorin for feedback on this post.

1 Edition
Collectable NFTs available exclusively for backers.