Announcing Regen Foundation’s first cohort of enDAOment Participants

The Regen Foundation ensures that the broader Regen Network is a community-owned and governed infrastructure. We do this through the stewarding of Community Staking DAOs (csDAO). We are excited to announce Regen Foundation’s first-ever enDAOment cohort in now live. It’s an exciting moment for both the greater Regen Network and ReFi community, but before we introduce this cohort’s participants, let’s first discuss how we select enDAOment participants.

Our goal at Regen Foundation is to amplify historically marginalized communities addressing sociocultural issues in ecology, economics, and tech and the more than human world within Regen Network and Regen Ledger community decision-making. In doing so, we work to ensure partnerships that foreground equity and inclusion in network evolution and governance are prioritized through active dialogue around our values and prioritization criteria outlined below.

Prioritization Criteria

  • Mission Alignment – Aligned with our values of equity, regenerative economics, bioregionalism, and community-based governance
  • Representation in ReFi Space – Prioritize communities disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis such as land stewards, bioregions of high vulnerability such as “Global South”, experience legacies of racism, sexism, & colonialism
  • Contributions to Public Good of Ecosystem – Contribute essential perspectives and tooling to support subsequent participants such as scientific expertise, regenerative land or water practices, engineering, education, translation, activism, legal, and design
  • History of Applied Regeneration – Established track record of 1-2 projects delivered successfully in their field of expertise
  • Mature Process and Knowledge Base – Organizations work to make process and knowledge, open-source, or foreground accessibility with clear internal democratic procedures and high internal accountability
  • Established Practices of Governance – Established track record of involving the community in governance with the capacity to mediate internal or external conflict and/or align with a code of conduct
  • Digital Maturity – Ability to designate a “fellow” who is the primary digital bridge to partner with validators, onboard onto the Cosmos system, and participate meaningfully in on-chain governance
  • Capacity to Co-Create with Readiness and Optimism – Willing to work with incomplete models and designs and co-shape them while working together, bringing energy to others who work with them needed to sustain momentum

Our Approach

For this first cohort, our approach focused on 3 primary bioregions which reflect the diverse practices and systems of knowledge of regenerators: Indian Subcontinent, Colombia (northern region of South America more generally), Salmon Nation (north California into Pacific Northwest). In doing so, we sought a mix of both practice-based and bioregionally based groups. Some Community Staking DAO’s are both! By balancing placed-based communities with approach and skill-based communities, we hope to maximize the constructive support and perspectives communities bring to one another.

This being our first cohort, our prioritization also included the ability for these groups to be good mentors to future enDAOment participants. Because of this, we considered how the communities show up, engage, and support the broader Regen Network in thought and action. Lastly, we hoped for a diversity of familiarity with regeneration, technology, and Web3 principles to better understand the needs and challenges of place-based communities in becoming DAOs.

Meet the enDAOment Cohort

North East Network – India

NEN was founded in 1995, as a broad platform for building linkages among organizations and individuals, to add diversity to the women’s movement by highlighting women’s issues in India’s Northeast Region (NER). NEN strongly believes that both women-centered and youth-centered collective action can bring about or contribute positively to societal change. NEN uses a transdisciplinary, multiple-lens approach to problem-solving in its four thematic areas – gender-based violence (GBV) and violence against women (VAW), governance and state accountability, natural resource management, and sustainable livelihood. NEN works with and maintains close ties to indigenous communities in NER.

Earth Regenerators – Colombia

A community of 3800 people working in two primary areas of focus: the cultivation of social support for individuals as they make the transition from extractive economies into regenerative livelihoods and the enactment of the design pathway for regenerating Earth. Earth Regenerators use the prosocial process to develop the psychological and social capacities to guide personal and collective transformation. They are prototyping bioregional regenerative economies on 500,000 hectares of tropical dry forest in Barichara, Colombia.

ANEI – Colombia, New York, US

Ethos is a team of coffee sector and supply chain experts specializing in value chain design, partnership building, and research.

Grameena Vikas Kendram (GVK Society) – India

GVK Society’s mission is to build regenerative and circular agricultural supply chains that optimize value for small and marginal farmers. GVK society aspires to convert 1,500,000 acres of degenerative farms into resilient and thriving regenerative landscapes. They currently work directly with 13,000 farmer families in more than 650 villages in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, South India. GVK strongly focuses on women empowerment, carbon sequestration, improving soil water-holding capacity, elimination of harmful agrochemicals and GMOs, biodiversity conservation, and community resilience at all levels.

Terran Collective – California, US

The purpose of Terran Collective is to amplify cooperation among people regenerating our communities and our planet, in service to creating a world that works for all. Our work is creating systems and tools that increase participation, build trust, and distribute responsibilities & accountability out towards the edges, where real change is happening. We see our land, our resources, and our communities as a commons, and we work to grow the understanding that stewarding these shared resources is a shared responsibility.

Kulshan Carbon Trust – Washington, US

KCT’s goal is to build alliances so that people can work together to draw down carbon in ways that regenerate the land and build prosperous communities. Our mission is to conserve and sequester carbon through collaborative natural climate solutions in our service territory. At the heart of the concept is a network of non-profit organizations called carbon conservation trusts (or carbon trusts) that acquire and secure non-possessory property interests in carbon. KCT is currently demonstrating “proof of concept” for its carbon conservation trust model by implementing within the Regen Network a Biochar eco-credit methodology.

SmartAgronomics – Germany

SmartAgro works with governments, academia, and the private sector to reverse climate change with regenerative farming. Working on Cambodian and German soil regeneration projects using MRV.

Rooting Regenerative Finance

Over the next few months, we’re looking forward to kicking off our peer-to-peer communication and engagement within the cohort. Our short-term goal is to bring all members of the enDAOment cohort to a minimum viable capacity in setting up DAO logistics and familiarity with the Regen Registry program guide. To advocate and incorporate a diverse cohort of regenerative practitioners brings about many complex and exciting challenges. We look forward to developing and coordinating the enDAOment program with you all. Our diversity of regenerative perspectives is our strength. With the voices, knowledge, and practices of land stewards, Regen Network stays grounded.

Valuechains hold the key to unlocking the potential of Regenerative Finance

Rice farmers in Hanoi, Vietnam

We humans are collectively creating a reality that none of us individually want: climate crisis, mass extinction, and climax inequality are all rooted in a web of patterns shaping our interactions which can be summarised as “globalised capitalism”. A new set of stories is needed to replace this dysfunctional system. And fast. One of these stories speaks of an alternative operating system for human life on earth, using decentralised databases and exchanges channeling value flows ignored and excluded by financial accounting. Its protagonists, such as members of the Regen Network, invite us to relate to the more-than-human-world by designing more-than-money-markets. Regen Network focuses on payments for ecosystem services, but similar interventions can be imagined for other aspects of life we value that are externalised by the market, such as art, culture, wisdom, care work, etc.

Current Status of Regen Network

So we made a blockchain. And proved that it works for large farmers and large corporations. Now the question is: does it work for “the 99%”? Or more specifically the 80% of ecologically sensitive areas on the planet stewarded by indigenous people? And the 80% of agricultural land stewards that are smallholder farmers?

The premise of fixing market failure by more markets is counterintuitive, to say the least. This could easily become another Ponzi scheme, a speculative bubble benefiting the already privileged elite with the largest ecological footprints – and thus making matters worse (by providing a false sense of security and postponing behaviour change). But it could also become a platform for people and the planet to retake control over the algorithms that shape our economy. What’s it gonna be: top or flop?

Ways Forward

The answer is: we won’t know until we start implementing minimum viable versions and iterate from there. Because there are too many variables to assume success or failure. We often hear tech innovators describe their predicament as “flying an aeroplane while building it”. But in this case, we’re not even sure if what we’re building is a plane, a spaceship, or a donkey cart. 

  • On the one hand, we are a technology project operating in the payment for ecosystem services market and see similar projects moving very fast to quickly capture commercial opportunities, so maybe we are a Registry – like Verra or Gold Standard, but then for claims beyond just carbon. 
  • On the other hand, we are a community project, serving anyone who wants to get involved with shaping the future of the Regen Ledger and the ecosystem data stored on it, so maybe we are a Wikipedia, but then for ecological data.
  • Or… we could be a combination of the two with a few more identities… 

As Dave Snowden explains in his management framework (see Cynefin): when operating in unexplored territory the appropriate approach is to probe then sense and respond, allowing the path forward to reveal itself. Or, as Fritjof Capra recommends: to design for emergence. What does that look like in the case of Regen Network? I see two key ingredients:

  1. One key to a meaningful probe-sense-response process is to have critical stakeholders in our calls, chat windows, and zoom rooms who understand the implications of our tech deployment for real-world communities and landscapes and care enough about the opportunities to address the risks. Starry-eyed believers won’t expose our blind spots, and cynical naysayers won’t have the patience to prevent chucking the baby out with the bathwater. 
  2. A second key is for these critical thinkers to have access to testing grounds, where
  • Field-based requirements (ie, problems to address with new tools) can be signaled and aggregated to gather critical mass (some pilots require overheads that are too much for a small scale project to bear);
  • End-users can be involved in the design of the tools and processes, so that they have a higher chance of actually being used (eg: which functions require internet access? what kind of devices can the software run on, what language is required, etc?)
  • Teams testing similar tools and designs can learn from each other, keeping up morale and avoiding wasting time on duplication;
  • Promising experiments smoothly find their way to implementation so that the cycle of invention>testing>praxis can be completed allowing teams to move to the next challenge. (this implies integration between LABs, pilots, testnet, and mainnet realms)

The Valuechain Proposition

Disclaimer: I am deeply biased about working with value chains because my background is in organic fairtrade food and fibres. And yet I genuinely believe there is a strong case for bringing the worlds of web3 / crypto and agri-based supply chain development / ethical sourcing together.

Products that move from producers (growers harvesting crops) to consumers, through the hands of processors, traders, and designers, have the potential to bring people together across cultures, religions, and political beliefs. In these relationships, the two key ingredients mentioned above come together to create ideal conditions for collective learning.

Both coffee drinkers and cultivators identify with coffee. Both fashion designers and workers in sewing factories can relate to cotton fabric with a passion. If these material flows are such an important part of the lives of millions of people across the planet, why are we not organising ourselves along the lines of valuechain communities? Such social constellations would be natural multi-stakeholder platforms convening people from different backgrounds, each with complementary expertise and perspectives. I would even go so far as to predict that such alliances are going to be crucial to responding to the increasingly complex challenges our industries will face in the future.

But how does this help Regen Network find out if it has a role to play in the lives of indigenous and smallholder farmers and their soils, crops, livestock, and landscapes? The answer is again two-pronged: Stories and Relationships.


A ledger (decentralised or otherwise) is basically a logbook. A journal with references we tap into when we need to make sense of our world. In the evolution of Data, we arrived at a point where we realise cold numbers are not enough. As Nora Bateson has been explaining, we need Warm Data (see her LAB).

If we want to know whether we are making the web of life better or worse, we can ask the ledger questions such as “How is the forest doing?” “How healthy is the soil?” “What does the fox say?” (sorry, another disclaimer: I’m a Ylvis fan). Now, who better to ask for such updates than the people living on and with the land (or ocean)? This has a co-benefit that it will pull us Western, urban thinking intellectuals out of our screen-mediated mirror cages and confront us with local ecological knowledge systems. Boom!


Apart from certain indigenous communities who live in self-selected isolation, everyone is exposed to markets. That means they are inter bioregional relationships. Buyer-supplier ones, competipeer ones, inspector-licensee ones. Etc. As humans, we all want pretty much the same, but as I said in the introduction we’re not creating a world we want because we’re stuck in outdated patterns propagated by unsustainable value systems and goals. A regenerative economy requires relations that go beyond superficial transactions and commodity exchanges. How?

  • The Regen Registry offers a platform to co-create standards specific to each chain (we call them ecocredits, but you can tokenize to your heart’s content once you get the hang of it, including localised mutual credit systems such as the ones promoted by Grassroots Economics in Kenya or social currencies as promoted by Cambiatus in Costa Rica).
  • Community staking DAO’s allow groups who trade together to form and govern a shared treasury and use this to align incentives with shared dreams. The web2 version of this would be a coop of coops such as Justa Trama in Brasil. Web3 makes this accessible for any group anywhere in the world.
  • Both the warm data and the DAO structure can be ways to include the more-than-human world in human decision making, such as explored by USA-Canada cross border watershed governance groups.

These relationships will shape the stories and are, in turn, informed by them. Let’s look at an example:

A cooperative of indigenous farmers in Colombia who have been custodians of a sacred mountain landscape for generations is also exporting container loads of coffee to the USA. Their wilderness stewarding so far did not feature in the commercial conversation about the coffee, though it is an integral part of the farmers’ approach to growing the beans.

In the USA, busy urbanites craving a sense of connection with the planet are watching Netflix documentaries like My Octopus Teacher but don’t realise that actually their morning espresso already puts them directly in connection with one of the most biodiverse places on earth.

What if the act of buying this coffee would not just be a superficial transaction but a multi-layered exchange of deeply meaningful values? What if the brand who is in between the grower and the drinker would act not as a hoarder of surplus but as a facilitator and catalyst for more direct relationships between the nose and tail ends of the value chain?

In Western urban markets saturated with commodified stuff, authentic relationships are one of the few avenues for growth. In rural areas, respect and dignity are what is needed to keep stewards from migrating to slums and forsaking local wisdom.

Valuechains offer a rare opportunity to cover that famous last mile to reach smallholder stewards and invite them to bring in the grounded voices that the web3 platforms such as Regen Network need in order to keep them on track. The value exchanges already happening are a perfect playground for creative ideas.

With What In Mind?

In this early phase of learning about ecological impact beyond carbon, verification beyond remote sensing, and all the many shapes and colours of true biodiversity, it makes sense to focus on stewards who have one foot in the market and one foot in the wilderness.

But to ensure our learning at this stage serves the next generations of the market as well as non-market-based solutions, we need to adopt an open-source approach and culture, which means:

Copyleft, not Copyright. We are experimenting and learning on behalf of Life on Earth -our results and models belong to Nobody in Particular (kind of obvious if we realise that the problems we are solving don’t belong to anyone -so why would the solutions?)

Interoperable. One of the words in the web3 lexicon that brings discipline to the practice, where we see all our creations as pieces of a larger puzzle (the opposite of laptop or phone companies making sure their customers can’t use their friend’s charging cables!)

Breadcrumbs. Leaving a trail of error logs and bug fixes, cumulative insights, and realisations, so our successors can easily catch up (this reminds me of professional chess players who document their games for new entrants in the sport -like an institutional memory of the fraternity)

Join Us

This was a brief explanation of the rationale behind coupling Regen Network to valuechain projects. If you like to be a part of this journey in any way, please write to me at I look forward to learning together!

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