Introducing Cohort 3.0 of the Community Staking DAO Program

Regen Foundation is excited to announce the next cohort of the Community Staking DAO Program (csDAO). The focus of this cohort is around the theme of “Ecosystem Partnership and Continuous Decentralization.” This is the third cohort of the csDAO program which aims to bring founders-level stake to a network of independent, autonomous organizations dedicated to prototyping regenerative DAO pilots as well as owning and governing Regen Ledger, which serves as the earth’s balance sheet. This sets the groundwork for broader, more inclusive collaboration, uniting various actors and institutions whose contributions are vital to realizing this vision. The essence of this cohort is not just about expanding the network, but also about enhancing the impact and reach of our combined efforts in environmental stewardship. Here’s a brief introduction to their work.

EcoToken, a new addition to our csDAO pool, specializes in cross-chain communication and has developed a platform called ecoLedger specifically designed to move ecocredits across blockchains. Their experience lies in creating water credits, developing water projects, and water treatment, with all their projects so far based in North America. They aim to bring economic sustainability to environmental projects by driving demand towards ecocredits, facilitating funding for these projects to thrive and scale. They foresee a significant demand for water credits leading to clean water in numerous new areas. On the blockchain, they integrate environmental impacts into everyday blockchain activities and target consumer markets on Solana. Their ecoLedger allows for easy retirement of credits on Solana directly on Regen, and connects Regen to Polygon and other chains. EcoToken envisions a future where millions of users can adopt regenerative practices and be rewarded, creating a system that benefits both the environment and the users.

🌿

DAO DAO, is an organization that constructs open-source governance building blocks. They are at the forefront of developing tools that promote efficient coordination and operation among decentralized organizations. DAO DAO foresees a future where most interacting organizations will be DAOs or similar decentralized entities, and they are actively crafting the tools necessary for these organizations’ growth and coordination. Currently, DAO DAO has deployments on Juno, Osmosis, Neutron, Stargaze, Migaloo, and is in the process of deploying to four other blockchains, including the Regen Network. We believe this partnership could facilitate smoother web3 integration for regenerative organizations to test out community level impact verification.

🌿

Introducing Ogallala Life, a nonprofit organization with a dedicated core team and a community of contributors that extends from crypto enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to data scientists, professionals, and students. This diverse group shares a vested interest in the bioregion that spans the high plains aquifer system, specifically the southern part of the central great plains and the southern high plains. Their mission is not only to learn but also to teach and develop innovative tools that encourage and enable communities sustained by the High Plains Aquifer System to rehydrate their landscapes. They see ReFi as more than just tools; they view them as instruments of empowerment and enrichment for their communities. Amid differing views on the relevance of blockchain smart contract “ReFi,” Ogallala Life remains steadfast in its mission to advocate for their bioregion within a ReFi framework, and for ReFi within their bioregion.

🌿

Samantha Power, founder and Principal Consultant of Finance for Gaia, is a dedicated Nature Finance Specialist and Ecological Economist. Samantha is committed to facilitating economic transformations that prioritize the Earth, aiming to shift human interaction with the planet from destructive extraction to regenerative practices. She’s a strong advocate for the protection of biodiverse ecosystems and envisions a biodiversity-rich, nature-positive economy that centers around the most vulnerable. Samantha, who worked with the World Bank for over 5 years and has a broad global network, promotes decentralizing financial governance to better serve life. She’s eager to collaborate with allies in the Regen Network to foster a regenerative economy and empower land and water stewards in their essential work of regeneration.

🌿

Sunflower EcoTech is an international organization focusing on the development of dMRV and Eco Credit methodologies. They primarily work in the northwestern Andean dry forests of Colombia, the Midwestern Tallgrass Prairie & Forests in the USA, and Central Mediterranean Mixed Forests in Sicily. Their primary focus is Regenerative Agroforestry with smallholder farmers, aiming to transform regeneration into an occupation. They work towards streamlining the onboarding process into Regenerative Finance and developing an Adaptive Agroforestry Stewardship eco-credit to empower small-scale projects. As a collaborative network of ReFi founders and on-the-ground regenerators, they focus on solving friction points like onboarding and verification at small scales. They uphold principles such as prioritizing regenerators, embracing collaboration, increasing diversity in every possible way, regenerating both human and earth systems, practicing radical truth and transparency, prioritizing action, and seeking out nuance and context.

🌿

💡Simultaneously, the Regen Foundation team is reassessing our prioritization matrix and processes to date. We welcome any feedback on the process. Please reach out to us at contact@regen.foundation.

Introducing the Second Cohort of Community Staking DAO

As the winter solstice draws near, the Regen Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the second cohort of the Community Staking DAO (csDAO). We express our gratitude for the formative work this international community of regenerators has practiced to date. The second csDAO cohort comes from India, Kenya, Tanzania, Brazil, Turkey, and the US. Every organization integrates local ecosystem restoration practices with a commitment to developing grassroots regenerative economies in their context. The focus of the second cohort is to innovate high integrity ecocredits on Regen Network’s stack. We look forward to prototyping the next generation of community owned and governed ecocredits with them.

Stay updated on project development with Regen’s Community Calls. If you would like to learn more about the community staking DAOs, please consult our FAQ. If you would like to be considered for participation in subsequent cohorts, please get in touch with us here. In what follows, we’ll introduce each organization.

.

The regenerative revolution will be community owned and governed!

.

Canopy Collective

Deep in Northeast India’s lush landscapes, the Canopy Collective flourishes under the leadership of Dr. Nandini Velho. Her work bridges wildlife research, community collaborations, and creative storytelling to drive tangible conservation outcomes. Through her decade-long commitment at the Pakke Tiger Reserve and Eaglenest Sanctuary, Dr. Velho has masterfully convened a rich tapestry of stakeholders—ranging from forest personnel, indigenous communities, to researchers and filmmakers. The fruits of their collaboration include the establishment of three nature interpretation centres, innovative educational tools such as forest songs and virtual reality videos, and the remarkable creation of a community reserve, sheltering the critically endangered Bugun Liocichla. The Singchung Bugun Village Community Reserve stands as a testament to the synergy of the collective, showcasing a village youth-led forest patrolling team and sustainable livelihood initiatives.

Furthermore, the Collective’s digital and physical spaces echo the vibrant ethos of the Northeast, emphasizing a holistic understanding of the intertwining of nature and culture. Their commitment to fostering a deep-rooted community bond is evident in their approach to membership, ensuring an intimate alignment of core values. Projects like the Eaglenest Memory Project spotlight the emotional narratives of the region, while their culturally-relevant nature education programs strive to bridge communities and their environment through a lens of respect, appreciation, and empowerment.

.

Chatafisha

Set against the biodiverse backdrop of Tanzania, Chatafisha is a social enterprise that harnesses a myriad of skills from waste management to Blockchain. It is rooted in the vibrant bioregions of Dar es Salaam and Pwani they collaborate with over 10 waste picker communities in that area.

Chatafisha’s ethos encompass all three: environmental, social, and technological facets. They actively redirect plastic waste away from detrimental endpoints, foster the creation of sustainable eco-products, and initiate carbon offset through unique NFT sales. Socially, the organization underscores the empowerment of marginalized waste pickers, amplifying their roles in the community while embarking on projects to uplift local living standards. Their commitment to transparency is evident in its utilization of blockchain technology, ensuring every step in waste management remains traceable. Advocating for a circular economy, Chatafisha ensures plastic waste finds renewed purpose, symbolizing their unwavering dedication to revitalizing both the environment and the communities they ardently serve.

.

Earthist Network

Originating from Turkey, the Earthist Network embodies a shared commitment to safeguarding seed sovereignty as a cornerstone for global food security and conservation of biodiversity. Their journey, which began in 2017 with the discovery of an heirloom seed. They quickly gained momentum, expanding to over 72 members who have collaboratively spearheaded seven diverse initiatives, all aimed at the dual pillars of regeneration and education.

The community aims to envision a broader framework that entails decentralizing seed preservation and rejuvenating regional economies. Their endeavors, rooted in the philosophy “Together is greater than me,” emphasize collective progression and collaboration. As they look ahead, their aspiration is clear: to foster innovation that respects ecological norms, working with industries and other entities to move from mere sustainability to true ecological regeneration. Their belief is that in unity, they can drive meaningful change, shaping a more regenerative and prosperous future for all.

.

Ekonavi

From Brazil’s rich bioregions, Ekonavi rises as a testament to community-led ecological renaissance. Boasting over 600 projects, including farms, urban gardens, indigenous communities, and green businesses, their footprint extends not only throughout Brazil but also increasingly across Latin America, with noteworthy initiatives in Colombia. At the core of Ekonavi’s mission is to foster ecosystem regeneration, primarily through biodiverse reforestation and agroforestry. With a system that emphasizes daily documentation of regenerative actions, Ekonavi’s platform is more than just a map—it’s a dynamic testament to ecological progress. Their revenue model, anchored in token sales and validator revenues, directly fuels on-ground initiatives undertaken by their projects. Ekonavi’s community-driven leadership provides the essential framework and tools, ensuring that the tireless efforts of these field projects are verified, revered, and celebrated.

.

Foundation for Regeneration

The Foundation for Regeneration, with its roots in the American Midwest, synergizes philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and impact investing to drive socio-economic and ecological renewal.

Since its inception in February 2021, FFR has raised an impressive $875k. Its initial phase saw an insightful partnership with the Industrial Development Authority and the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, delving deep into the Blue River Valley’s century-long history. Phase II’s centerpiece was a series of 10 innovative pilots based on the “urban acupuncture” methodology, a brainchild of Berkebile and the late Jaime Lerner. These pilots, mapped intricately, sought to intertwine economic upliftment, community resurgence, and ecological restoration within the Blue River Valley.

The Foundation’s philosophy is deeply anchored in the teachings of eight forms of capital. With a place-centric approach, FFR aspires to be a tangible demonstration of commitment towards adopting frameworks for stimulating potential-rich dialogues and building regenerative economies, ensuring holistic health and wellness across communities, animals, and the environment.

.

Shamba Network

Shamba Network, firmly anchored in Kenya’s agricultural landscapes and poised to expand across East Africa, is committed to unlocking the vast potential of ecological markets for smallholder farmers. Their primary objective is to bridge the gap for these farmers, helping them gain access to carbon and other ecological markets. Shamba’s mission transcends traditional agricultural assistance; they envision a sustainable funding mechanism dedicated to regeneration in these landscapes. At its core, their strategy aims to not only ecologically rejuvenate farming communities but also uplift them socio-economically.

This community-driven endeavor boasts a diverse coalition of technology builders, grassroots NGOs, and the very farmers they aim to support. Adopting a holistic lens, Shamba’s approach is to consider the entirety of an ecosystem’s health. While they recognize the importance of carbon credits, they advocate for these to be intrinsically linked to other indicators of ecological vitality, including biodiversity, soil integrity, and water health.

.


Over the next months these organizations will receive token grants to support community governance in Regen Network and to bootstrap novel community-led EcoCredit development!

Towards a Decentralized Future: The Promise of the Permissionless Credit Class Creation

Setting the Context: Community-Led Regenerative Practices

At the intersection of ecological conservation and research, the vibrant voices of local communities resonate with tales of unique experiences and perspectives. Our journey, guided by our Ecosystem Development Lead, Shaila Agha, traverses diverse bio-regions, revealing the manifold challenges and aspirations indigenous communities grapple with.

In the development sector, buzzwords like “empower” and “develop” have inadvertently carved out hierarchies in conversations. Our engagements, especially with Chama DAO, have highlighted the difference between genuinely listening and merely hearing. While it’s easy to suggest solutions based on isolated successes, genuine progress emerges when we inquire, “What does success look like to you?”

(For readers seeking a direct understanding of our stance on the proposal, please refer to the final section.)

/

Community Narratives:

Lucky Summer Estate, Dandora, Nairobi

Tempo Arts center a regenerated green space with an urban garden

“Success to me is waking up every morning and going to work on my shamba (farm) with no interference from the city council.  We worked really hard to clean up this quarry and this is the only green space for Kilometers, people are surrounded by the dandora landfill and polluted rivers that run black with sewage and industrial waste. This is the only place that they can get fresh clean vegetables, and some relief from the concrete jungle around them.

I want to be able to garden in peace so that the kids who use this as their playground can be inspired and see the importance of feeding the community. During the weekends or during the holidays, there’s 300-500 people in our fields, laughing, playing, relaxing, reading. Some make music, some come and make art, some are training and some are practicing acrobatics. That’s why we called it ‘Tempo arts canter’, you can’t make art in a dirty and polluted environment. You need the calm and tranquility that this nature provides to be able to sit and think well. 

This place has saved so many people, including myself, that’s why we call it a temple (tempo) Sometimes people have nowhere to go, they know they can always come here, we never turn anyone away. We have avocados, bananas and so much more, and enough to share if you need. We’ve been in that position before and this place saved us, so it’s now time to save others. 

The government MCA of our area wants to evict us, they say this land is not ours.. they’ve seen how we’ve made it into an oasis and now he wants to take it and build some high rise apartments. We constantly get harassed by them. They dig up the area so cars can’t pass to bring us speakers for our events. It scares me that all the work we have put in this place will be taken away from us. I know every tree in this place, I know when they have to be pruned, harvested and replanted. If I lose this place, I don’t know what future I will have.”   

-Tempo Arts CBO member 

Tempo Arts center members giving us a tour with landfill in the distance 

/

Mida Creek, Watamu, Kilifi County

“Success to me looks like the entire community working together in harmony. If we do, we will all be happy. This creek, if managed well, has enough for all of us!  All of us at MCCC (Mida Creek Conservation Chama) are working together for the benefit of the creek. People are so disconnected from one another nowadays. Maybe it’s because we are so mixed now with so many different people from all over. Before people used to work as one and the community ensured that everyone was falling in line. Now one person acts in their own selfish interests. Some fishermen use mosquito nets for fishing, can you imagine that?! That means they pick even fingerlings that are not yet mature. This is unacceptable and lazy. Some of us go out to fish and come back with nearly nothing and it’s only because others are acting in their own interests. Fishing takes patience and one must understand the time you have to put in it. Not to come and spoil the entire ecosystem. 

Another thing is that people want to just take foreign aid money for projects that they know will not even work. They are so money hungry, they will go and form a chama, pay some women to be there and then take pictures and take the money and do the opposite of the work we are doing. Majority of Mangrove planting exercises are all useless. You cannot take a mangrove away from the mother, you are injuring the tree (by plucking the propagules from the tree instead of picking from the ground) then you are taking them to other areas that they will not even survive. 

Mangrove propagules growing successfully near their mother tree

We have 7 different mangrove varieties that all have their own specifications. Yet you accept to do useless work and just smile for the camera because you’re being paid per propagule. It makes me so angry! Have a voice, tell these NGOs what they are doing is wrong. Consult with us who know these things. We will give you that information for free. You’re spoiling the environment for all of us! Mangroves are sacred in our culture, they have medicinal properties and we know they must be protected because that’s where the fish go to lay their eggs. 

I want us to work together, we all depend on this creek, whether it’s the tourist hotels who buy the prawns or the fishermen who sell them. Even those big tunas and barracuda’s depend on the population of the small fish that grow in the creek!  When we work together, we are stronger!”

-MCCC (Mida Creek Conservation Chama) member

/

Namanga Forest Group, Kenya

“For me I know I have succeeded when all the young morans (teens) are working with the land, not on boda’s (motorcycle transport) in town, but protecting this forest and everything in it. I will feel like I have succeeded as an elder when they are all making a livelihood from our forests so they can continue to protect it as our ancestors wanted. The Maasai people depend on this forest for their medicine, for their water and for their rituals and traditions. 

This place is no different from Amboseli and Mara, we have pythons, leopards, lions, buffalo and elephants that roam free coming from Tanzania. In fact, ours are wild as they roam the 18,000HA with no fences stopping them. They terrorize the people in the village because their habitat is being destroyed and they have nowhere else to go. If people were making money like the conservancies, you think they would kill those leopards? They would protect them because they see their value. 

There is so much money to be made on this mountain, we can do guided hikes, cultural tours, we can show people how the maasai track animals, we can teach them about traditional medicine. This mountain was used to fight the British and there’s not even any importance put on it. 

Youth unemployment can be dealt with if we get these youth involved in conservation efforts. Currently we have a tree nursery, but it’s hard to maintain, no one wants to buy the trees, people don’t want to plant trees, only to cut them down!” 

-Namanga Forest Conservation Group member

/

Challenging Centralized Frameworks

It’s worth noting that despite their invaluable contributions, many of these community groups face barriers when trying to participate in carbon markets.  When we tried to contact a leading verifier in Kenya, they mentioned a wait time of 2-3 years, and an approximate cost of around $50,000 to develop the methodology. Current methodologies and processes are prohibitive, sidelining countless indigenous populations. It’s paradoxical that while rural African communities have minimal carbon footprints, contributing 3% to global GHG emissions, they’re often painted as the culprits for conservation loss. Such misrepresentations stem from the dominance of vested interests over authentic narratives, as highlighted in the revealing article “Blood Carbon” by Survival International.

Centralized entities, while promising efficiency, often harbor systemic biases that overlook ground realities. For instance, the Special Drawing Rights reserve (SDR) predominantly allocates its $600 Billion USD to American projects, sidelining regions like Africa. Moreover, Verra’s carbon credits sales show a mere 3% achieving tangible positive impacts. These numbers highlight the limitations of centralized approaches that, by neglecting local knowledge, risk sidelining communities crucial to authentic ecological solutions.

/

Envisioning the Future: The Permissionless Credit Class Creation

(For readers who have not had the chance to read the original proposal, you can read it here.)

The allure of a Permissionless Credit Class Creation lies in its promise of decentralization. However, this radical approach demands more than just shifting structures; it requires mutual trust, shared objectives, and a deep appreciation for global ecological diversity. In our current landscape, its immediate implementation poses challenges, including the risk of fragmented strategies and potential exploitation.

It is aspirational to think of a registry that is not in need of any gate-keeping, an anarchist registry that works on mutual goodwill and aligned vision with a deep commitment towards mitigating climate change. However the current market and its trends do not seem to favor that. At this stage, some level of gatekeeping is required to weed out exploitative players and maintain high integrity in the credits being minted. The essence of the Regen Registry is rooted in shared vision and trust. Without these foundational pillars, maintaining such a permissionless model could be challenging.

To truly embrace such a concept, we propose an approach based on progressive decentralization. A good starting point would be to let each region have a dedicated registry team, composed of local experts, to ensure that practices resonate with specific needs. This not only promotes diversity but also guarantees that solutions are genuinely impactful and grounded in regional realities. 

Here is how  we think we can translate this ambitious idea into an actionable change?

/

Bio-regional Approach: The Cornerstone of Authentic Solutions

At the outset, it’s vital to adopt a bio-regional approach, one where each distinct region has its dedicated registry team. These teams, a vibrant mix of experts and practitioners rooted in their regions, will play a pivotal role in crafting unique methodologies that resonate with the specific needs and challenges of their area. This would not only bring a rich diversity of voices to the forefront but also ensure that the accredited practices are genuinely impactful, having evolved from the nuanced understanding of that particular bio-region.

Each bio-region, with its distinct challenges ranging from land rights issues to intricate political dynamics and policies, necessitates a tailored approach. A blanket solution, often the pitfall of centralized frameworks, would be inherently inept. Instead, a ground-up approach, anchored in the lived experiences and expertise of local communities and practitioners, can pave the way for more genuine and sustainable solutions.

/

Rekindling Collective Memory: Beyond Amnesia to Authentic Stewardship

Centuries of colonization, unchecked industrialization, and rampant capitalism have clouded our collective memory. We stand at a juncture where our understanding of thriving ecosystems is tainted by this collective amnesia. To move forward, we must embark on a journey of unlearning and relearning. We must sift through the layers of imposed narratives to rediscover and embrace indigenous knowledge, practices, and the essence of what true ecological harmony entails.

/

Addressing Carbon Credits: The Need for Diversity in Solutions

The current market view of carbon credits, though deemed a solution, is increasingly met with skepticism. While carbon credits represent one avenue, it’s essential to acknowledge that the complexities of climate change demand a plethora of experimental solutions. Local green innovation hubs, fostered and supported by networks like the Regen Network, could emerge as incubators of these diverse solutions, grounding experiments in the realities of their regions.

/

Ensuring Authentic Commitment in the Ecosystem

The market, in its current form, unfortunately, plays into the hands of those equipped with capital. This often translates to a scenario where land titles are procured, projects are initiated, and carbon credits are marketed with little genuine commitment to tangible climate goals. There’s a dire need to introduce checks and balances – a degree of gatekeeping that ensures authenticity. By emphasizing shared goodwill among ecosystem stakeholders and enhancing the collective understanding of regenerative landscapes, we can curate an ecosystem where trust and genuine commitment are paramount.

/

The Permissionless Credit Class Creation, while promising, demands a collective endeavour. By valuing regional expertise, uplifting indigenous practices, and ensuring unwavering commitment, we can pave the way for a truly inclusive and effective ecological conservation landscape.

/

Author’s Note:

This essay is a collaborative effort between Shaila Agha and Nena Jain.

Shaila Agha holds the position of Ecosystem Development Lead at the Regen Foundation and is the driving force behind Chama DAO. This initiative marries Kenyan micro-savings models, known as Chamas, with the innovative realm of eco-feminist climate financing through blockchain technologies.

Nena Jain, as the Commons Coordinator, has played a vital role in shaping the Community Staking DAO program at the foundation. Their insights in this piece are rooted in their engagements and interactions with various stakeholders.

We invite our readers to extend the conversation. Share your thoughts on the commonwealth forum or, for those who prefer, you can email us at contact@regen.foundation. Members of the CsDAO community are also welcomed to engage on the Regen Foundation’s Hylo Forum.

How to join the Second Cohort of Community Staking DAO

We have released our strategic vision for the launch of Regen Commons, marking the next phase of our larger enDAOment protocol development.

If you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, you can find it here.

.

Process and Timeline

.
You can use this link to nominate either yourself or an organization of your choice.

Once the RF Team screens the submissions, you will receive a response with the next steps. We kindly request all candidate nominations to be submitted by July 15th, 2023.
.

If the partnership seems to be a good mutual fit, we will schedule intro calls, starting from mid-July.

Prior, we’ll ask you to share documentation on your organization. Please use the questions listed below as guiding points to help us understand your work better.

  1. Describe your purpose, vision and goals (200 words)
    .
  2. 1. What bioregions and demographics (gender, age, ethnicity) do you directly work with? Be specific.
    2. How does your work engage historically marginalized voices, perspectives, and communities integral to planetary regeneration?
    3. List some of your active partners.
    .
  3. What are you excited to share with the broader Regen Commons? (Try to be specific and provide concrete examples when possible; like you are building open source technology, you are creating key-stone methodologies or DAO governance frameworks that can be adapted by other communities, you are directly stewarding the planetary commons, you are building open source educational resources, etc. )
    >
  4. What is the intended scope of your project? What is your optimal size?
    >
  5. Bringing ownership and governance power to a decentralized protocol in service to planetary regeneration can be challenging. How do you see your organization allocating time and resources to participate in the governance process of the Network? What capacity does your team have to actively steer the evolution of Regen Network? Will you have a designated person? Group? Shifting roles?
    .
  6. What regenerative practices does your organization participate in? Kindly list and give examples of where, when and how. Include any unique methodologies that you are cultivating and how is it culturally appropriate for the bioregion you work in and their significance to planetary regeneration. e.g. indigenous seed saving and sharing, etc.
    .
  7. The Regen Commons is based on the belief that communities must own and govern the system which define ecological value.
    1. How does your org work towards direct and distributed ownership? Can you describe that approach?
    2. What qualifications makes your team well suited to this work?
      .
  8. How do you involve the local communities in your projects? Describe these processes with examples:
    1. Establishing interventions
    2. Conflict resolution
    3. Feedback from the community
    4. Decision making processes with local stakeholders
      .
  9. On a scale of 0-10, 0 being absolutely no knowledge and 10 being expert, how knowledgeable are you about Web3 systems.
    1. Do you possess a Web3 wallet?
    2. Have you engaged with staking and validating nodes?
    3. Have you ever participated in on-chain governance?
    4. In what other ways have you interacted with web3 systems before?
      .
  10. Do you have a team member who is willing to work on the development of governance models, methodologies, research into DAOs and development of Cohort specific documentation? (Approximately 7 hours a month) Please nominate that individual and have them attend the online interview
    .
The Regen Foundation works to curate meaningful cohorts of the csDAO.

We’ll follow up with reflections and if further clarification is needed, additional calls would be scheduled before the decision is made.

We appreciate your time in reading this and encourage you to reach out directly to contact@regen.foundation if you have any questions.

To learn more about the enDAOment program, please refer to our guide here.

Evolution of the EnDAOment Program

Where are we headed now?

The EnDAOment Program supports implementation level partnerships to research mutualism, and community owned and governed treasuries in support of bioregional regenerative economies. In 2023, the Regen Foundation is developing the second strategic cohort of the EnDAOment program. This cohort would mark the next cycle of our larger protocol development, which we call the Regen Commons.

Here is a reflection piece authored by Austin Wade Smith capturing the Lessons from the first Community Staking DAO Cohort

Our approach stems from our founding belief that regenerative economic protocols and instruments must be owned by the communities they serve. To do this requires tremendous support, capacity building, relationship building, and scrutiny of tools in relation to cultural and ecological context. Through enDAOment we nurture a diverse set of groups that are committed to working together, growing together, and healing the planet collectively.

This model of community engagement has been founded on four pivotal pillars that serve as its core principles and values, which are essential in realizing its long-term vision. These pillars are:

  1. Governance: Bringing voice and capacity to a diverse set of stakeholders that can enable a collective decision-making process and promote pro-social ways of engagement on a both cultural and systemic level.
  2. Education: Empowering individuals, groups, and communities with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to make informed decisions, enabling them to be proactive and take ownership of their futures.
  3. Science: Emphasizing the importance of evidence-based decision making and the application of scientific research to inform policy and practice. By applying scientific research to real-world problems, communities can make decisions that are grounded in sound scientific principles.
  4. Regenerative economics: Creating an alternative economic system that values both ecological and community wellbeing, allowing communities to create a value proposition that goes beyond temporary monetary gains.

Regen Commons and its Composition

By encapsulating these four pillars into our mandate, we invite the following types of groups that feel aligned with our vision. By foregrounding the voices that can make use of the system and add value to the Regen Tech Stack, we aim to make the Network truly community owned and governed.

These Community Staking DAOs can either be rooted in a specific bio-region or connected by a common skill.
  • Building communities and DAOs that originate credit and serve as frameworks for other regenerative communities is a top priority for this cohort. We believe that emerging collaborations between communities in the EnDAOment program could be a major way to add new Eco-Credits to our registry.
    • We invite groups that can help us identify methodologies to originate high integrity and quality credits that can epitomize the kind of regeneration the larger ecosystem aims to achieve.
    • We welcome project developers, scientists, researchers, conservation groups, farmer collectives, and other diverse sets of expert regenerators rooted in their soil and culture, who can help us originate high-integrity credit frameworks that go beyond carbon tunnel vision. We value local ownership and bioregionalism in moving this process forward.
    • Groups that prioritize scientific rigor in their methodology creation and involve communities in the process.

  • Engaging with decentralized ownership is complicated and existing Web3 governance models are unfamiliar to regenerators, making on-ground implementation level pilots essential to evolve applications and better serve these communities. These pilots cost money and require mentorship and a thriving community to support them. The Foundation will experiment with the model of the Regen Commons as a platform where such pilots can be given the space to exist and incubate.

  • Underserved groups, particularly from the Global South, have unfortunately lacked the necessary resources and manpower to record and report their practices of environmental stewardship. This knowledge is often generationally passed down in the form of stories, cultural practices, songs, and more. Lack of this “soft” data has created a significant gap in our existing understanding of holistic regenerative practices. To address this issue, we invite storytellers, filmmakers, artists, reporting and verification organizations that can capture the story behind the big “hard” numbers that currently serve as the proof-of-regeneration.

  • Lack of sufficient educational resources has proven to be a barrier for onboarding orgs into the web3 ecosystem. We welcome groups building crucial resources, that can act as trainers and mentors for low-tech literacy groups. We see the youth playing a pivotal role in this and encourage their enthusiasm to support communities transition into this new age technology that can eventually create additional income streams.

  • One of the biggest success from our previous cohort was the cultural practice that emerged as a result of engaging with group that made each one of them feel supported and heard. Cohort 2 will be substantially bigger and will require experts in pro-social facilitation practices and community engagement that can aid in the growth of the Regen Commons.

The Role of $REGEN in the EnDAOment Program

The Regen Foundation’s enDAOment program is working to bring structural equity to regenerators by dispersing 30% of all token holding power to those who would otherwise not have a voice nor representation in the space. However, recent market fluctuations have affected the prices of many tokens, including $REGEN. As a result, the amount earned through staking rewards from the enDAOment allocation may not be the same as it was at the beginning of last year.

Despite this, the $REGEN token is more than just a speculative asset. It holds governance power that gives the holder the ability to have a voice in the larger REGEN ecosystem. Holders can vote on proposals and actively participate in ongoing discussions affecting the industry. Joining industry leaders, smaller regenerator groups gain credibility and traction that was inaccessible to them individually otherwise.

The ability to co-own and co-govern is not something to take for granted. It empowers local communities and incites civic action. Many enDAOment candidates come from countries where climate justice and activism is dangerous as it is often going against the government and their practices. By offering these groups/individuals a community with resources, support, and a platform, the Regen Foundation is in essence providing them a virtual safe space.

As the Regen Foundation moves forward with Cohort 2, we realize that in order to participate in this ongoing experiment, groups and its members need to allocate quite some resources from their end (in terms of time and personnel). Additionally, on-ground implementation and pilots require funding and resourcing. There is a gap that currently cannot be filled by the enDAOment allocation, and the foundation holds this dual tension as it moves forward. The foundation invites donors, philanthropists, and funders who would like to support this vision and directly fund initiatives and projects of their choice. As such we are experimenting with a fund matching schema where tokens are matched with fiat donations in order to maximize the potential for public benefit through each enDAOment.

Moving Forward

  • We will soon be releasing our updated set of criteria that would help us select groups for the upcoming cohort.
  • To submit nominations for our upcoming round, please use this form.
  • If you are someone who is interested in funding the projects directly through a matching FIAT grant, please contact austin@regen.foundation
  • Incase of questions regarding the upcoming round, please write to us on contact@regen.foundation
  • Subscribe to our Mirror account where we actively publish our thought pieces.
  • follow us for updates on Twitter

Thank you for reading this far and welcome your thoughts and reflections.

Meso Money: What Can ReFi Learn from CoFi?

About sixty of us just wrapped up a week-long gathering in the foothills of the Austrian Alps. Across the collective, we could speak at least twenty four different languages. The event was held at the Commons Hub, hosted by the Crypto Commons Association and Informal, and MC’d by Matt Slater.

What brought us there? The call to build a new monetary system for the “meso” scale (between micro and macro—where most things actually happen).

Commodity vs. Credit

To begin—there are two basic theories of money: the commodity theory and the credit theory. Commodity money is backed by property claims, and can be associated with assets, such as gold and bitcoin. Credit money is relational, and is therefore based on contracts rather than property. As David Graeber establishes in his seminal text, Debt: The First 5,000 Years, credit money has been the dominant monetary paradigm throughout history, with a few notable exceptions. It gets a little complicated when talking about modern “fiat” money, but in essence, fiat is also closer to credit than to commodity.

To zoom out for a minute: it is helpful to remember that money starts and ends with people 100% of the time. We often talk about “assets” in finance, but these are constructed abstractions. Ultimately, all money comes from and goes to people. This is one reason why the credit theory is more fundamental. You could think of commodity money as running one layer up from credit money, if you were to think of money as we do programming languages.

As Keynes’ said, “anything we can actually do we can afford.” This is an important reminder when thinking about money. The vast majority of our societal constraints are malleable, and sometimes entirely arbitrary. Much of our systems surrounding money fall into this category. I’m a strong proponent of limits (such as those described through the blueprints published by r3.0), and I think these limits should tie back to meaningful social and ecological thresholds. Much of our financial system fails to meet these requirements.

So now that we’ve established the basics, what can we do with credit money?

What Credit Can Do

Back in October, Ethan Buchman told me about this recent paper he was very excited about: Liquidity-Savings through Obligation Clearing and Mutual Credit by Fleischman, Dini, and Littera. In it, the authors explore the arena of credit clearing. In any economy, each organization has a network of upstream and downstream trade partners (those whom they’re invoicing, and those from whom they’re being invoiced). If start looking at enough invoices, eventually you get to the point of critical mass where you’re able to start creating loops through trade partnerships to “clear” credit. All of this credit can be done without liquidity (especially due to the lengthy window given by net-30, net-60, and net-90 invoicing periods). Informal (the cooperative that Ethan helps steer), found this research so compelling that they ended up hiring all of the authors and launching a project (movement?) called Collaborative Finance. Earlier this year they decided it was time for a convening, so they sent out a public call for participants in the gathering described herein.

We actually played a game (developed by Informal) during the gathering to illustrate this concept, set in the 16th century European context described in the book, Private Money and Public Currencies, by Boyer-Xambeu, Deleplace and Gillard.

What’s the big deal about liquidity savings? Well, liquidity is where the economic system tends to get gummed up. That is where sovereign currencies and central banks get involved (or volatile commodities). As the history of financial crisis teaches us, in most instances, liquidity becomes the limiting factor in an economic recovery. As it so happens, most economies and most enterprises run at a roughly “break even” place. This means that the vast majority of their debts can theoretically be cleared without the need for any cash. There is an aside here regarding the massive inefficiencies (some would say downright failures) of contemporary methods that central bankers have used of liquidity injection. Without unpacking the details, it turns out that credit clearing is a vastly more efficient and effective method of cutting down on the liquidity necessary for recovery in the first place.

Credit Theory in ReFi

So what does all of this have to do with Regenerative Finance (ReFi)? Well, firstly, it seems like there is a evolved category emerging called Collaborative Finance (it is yet unclear what the ReFi:CoFi Venn diagram will look like. This first CoFi gathering was a blend of applied monetary theorists working on mesh credit, credit clearing, and mutual credit, and then a handful of crypto-adjacent groups (including Informal Systems, EthicHub, Grassroots Economics, Circles, the Economic Space Agency, BlockScience, and, of course, Regen Foundation). Maybe with the exception of Holochain (a sponsor of the gathering), pretty much all of cryptocurrency currently has a commodity-based architecture. That’s fine, as liquidity does matter—but with credit clearing, you can save the liquidity for where it matters most.

One subtext of the gathering is the colonial context in which the global finance system emerged. There was a strong contingent present at the gathering interested in foregrounding the work of anti-colonialism, so that CoFi doesn’t replicate some of the failings of our current systems.

Then there was also an emerging #MycoPunk thread evolving with Jeff Emmett’s stewardship.

I’ll also note that, from a phenomenological lens, much of the discussion could be framed from the perspective of interiority and exteriority. Here’s one diagram from ECSA which illustrates as much.

In regards to Regen Network, I did get the opportunity to host an open space session to co-design an upgrade of the $REGEN tokenomics (follow along on the forum for more on this in coming weeks)!

In conclusion, it was excellent to have the opportunity for myself (Will Szal) and my colleague (Nena Jain) to be able to participate in the inaugural CoFi gathering! I can’t wait to continue weaving CoFi and ReFi!

June 7th update: check out this ecosystem map from Marcelo!

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.

Stories

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!

Relationships

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 gijs@regen.foundation. I look forward to learning together!

Join the conversation, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin!

Updates to EnDAOment Criteria

Ferns in New Mexico, shot by the author

A lot has changed since we first published the Regen Network Whitepaper in October of 2017! DAOs have taken off as a mechanism of blockchain governance, and numerous tools and conventions have been developed.

We’re ready to launch our first two Community Staking DAOs on Regen Ledger—with Commons Stack and OpenTEAM.

Following the “built-in-public” ethic, we’d like to revisit the original enDAOment criteria and have an opportunity to reflect on what has shifted in the past few years.

Here’s what we had written in the whitepaper:

5.5 Community Staking Pools

30 million $REGEN will be placed in the Community Staking Pool at genesis block, split between no less than three constituency groups.

Criteria for a constituency DAO formation (taking over keys):

  • Signed by no less than 10 addresses that are verified by Regen Foundation and the Validator Set
  • KYC/AML: Organization in good standing in approved legal jurisdiction of incorporation (list pending)
  • Ratify a statement of fiduciary responsibility for ecosystem health clause in corporate bylaws of organization of signer.
  • Exclusive use of network through DAO Agreement: The organization must sign a legal document stating that they do not and will not personally hold or manage any $REGEN for any reason (e.g. that they will restrict their interactions with the network through the DAO that they belong to and manage). Note: if this is discovered to not be true, this organization will be removed from the constituency governance DAO by vote of the DAO.
  • Drafting and adoption of DAO operating agreements
  • Legal reflection of DAO operating structure: DAO must be incorporated in appropriate legal jurisdiction and have contracts with Regen Foundation outlining the appropriate responsibilities and rights.

Like any staked entity on the network, a DAO can both be slashed and will earn block rewards and fees and can vote on what to do with those fees ensures that this community is deeply aligned with the shared value generation of the network.

Before these DAOs have come online, the Foundation will steward these token pools by delegations to approved validators. The approval process of these validators will follow a strict selection process which will prioritize:

  • Security and competency of operation (no delegations will be allowed to operators running purely cloud-based set ups)
  • Rating of support of bootstrapping the network (performance in test nets and longevity of testnet participation)
  • Distribution of stake to ensure diversification security

All of this stake will be validated as close to genesis as possible. Redeligation will occur for security and any actions deemed abusive to the community (such as fee gouging). Until which point the DAOs are formed, Regen Foundation will abstain from voting tokens reserved for future constituency DAOs (promise of no overrides). 

What does the process look like now?

Each new DAO signs a “Grant Responsibility Expenditure Agreement.” This agreement was originally drafted before we planned on using it for the enDAOment process. Token grants used in the formation of DAOs are rather unusual, in that they’re permanent endowments. This document was originally written like a normal grant agreement—assuming funds would be received, spent down, and the grant would be concluded. The agreement has been updated to take into account the permanent nature of these grants. Given this direction, we’ve renamed the part of the document that articulates the purpose of the grant as the “charter.” This term better articulates the weight of DAO formation.

To look at an example, Common Stack’s charter outlines the Foundation’s grant for the following purpose:

for Stewarding the Community Staking DAO, Ambassadorship (e. g. curation, research collaboration, events and speaking opportunities, AMAs, content creation), Strategic Advisory Support (e. g. case studies from the Token Engineering Commons launch, community staking DAOs incubation with the Trusted Seed and/or Donor Advised Funds, explore synergies in crypto-philanthropy and using Giveth), and support the launch of multiple DAOs/Commons deployments within Regen Network via advisory support and community cross-collaboration, communications, events, and promotion.

The grant document has also been updated with various disclosures. As these token grants are permanently locked, Regen Foundation does not have the ability to rescind grants. That said, if a DAO shifted to malicious activity, etc. Regen Foundation or another community member could bring about an on-chain referendum for token holders to consider whether or not that DAOs funds should be confiscated (just as any blockchain can do, such as during the infamous hack of “the DAO” on Ethereum in 2016). Additionally, as outlined in the grant agreement, recipients commit to publicly publishing financials and updates, so that the larger community is aware of their contributions and status.

One of the legal requirements we’ve realized in the DAO formation process is that, as these are technically grants, we need a non-profit fiscal sponsor on the receiving end (although this non-profit can be a pass-through entity). In the cases of our first two DAOs, there is an affiliated non-profit. With future DAOs, we will likely encounter scenarios where we need to recruit non-profit community members to serve as fiscal sponsors to receive a DAO grant, and foresee this as a place we need to grow additional network capacity.

We’ve also learned that incremental token grants complexify DAO administration, as, in the current codebase, locked wallets can only receive an initial transfer of locked tokens. Each additional grant requires a fresh wallet with no transaction history. There may be work arounds—such as future upgrades to the codebase, or a DAO simply having multiple REGEN wallets.

On the pattern level, we’ve realized that there are at least two meta types of DAOs: bioregional (organized around a geographic location, such as the Amazon) and guild (focused on an arena, such as remote sensing). We’re still exploring the implications of these distinctions. As our Board Director, Kei Kreutler, pointed out on her recent interview with Epicenter, the one thing that she’s confident DAOs will be in the future is multi-chain, and we anticipate both bioregional and guild DAOs integrating other aims and communities (Commons Stack is a good example of this, in that their DAO already lives on xDai/Gnosis Chain, so this REGEN grant will bring them into the Cosmos SDK space).

We had imagined a set of selection criteria in October 2021, and set their “expiry date” for February 2022. So now is the time for review and design of the next generation of metrics.

Are you interested in participating in co-evolving these criteria, and the way in which DAOs enter and move through the enDAOment pipeline? Please join our bi-weekly governance calls at noon Eastern on Wednesdays. Reach out to us on Discord or Twitter to be added to the calendar invite.

Whom Does Regen Foundation Serve?

A photo taken in 2015 at WIRRED by the author
Oral edition of the blog post, read by the author

Our team is currently going through a branding process led by better world blockchain marketing agency, LOA Labs. The following is the result of a reflective writing process on the vision of Regen Foundation. Vision speaks to the image of the world we aspire to co-create, and whom we serve. In the spirit of open-source process and community cooperation, reflections and comments are appreciated.

The envisioned future that Regen Foundation aims to co-create

In the broadest sense of the term, agriculture has become the single largest contributor to ecological regeneration across the planet. Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) have surpassed biological product revenue as the dominant mode of agricultural income. Land stewards—from smallholder cacao growers in Ecuador, to ranchers in Australia, to indigenous nations of the Taiga—have been able to flip commodity/PES markets on their heads, so that they set the prices of their products and receive a living wage for their work. Land stewards have organized within their communities to develop true bioregional commons, and have invested in common infrastructure that contributes both to local self-sufficiency, as well as the ability to participate in high-value global markets.

Millions of scientists, Web3 engineers, and artists everywhere are receiving livelihood support for their contributions to a myriad of ever-evolving EcoCredit methodologies, dApps, and cultural content built on Regen Ledger and within the surrounding community. Along the way, scientists, land stewards, software developers, cultural creators, and consumers become ever more intimately aware of the animistic life force of their places. They come to recognize how, through their own lived experience, they’re able to feel shifts in the livingness of the world around them and understand its connections with their actions.

Indigenous nations have become the most powerful political actors globally. They steward the largest contiguous blocks of land of any nation, and their political sway has surpassed that of former global powerhouses such as the US, China, Russia, India, and the European Union. This has resulted in a meteoric efflorescence of biodiversity hotspots, reversing the decades-long Holocene Extinction. Indigenous peoples have been able to restore the lifeways of their ancestors in a way that brings their lives deeper meaning, enhances their autonomy and agency in the global theater, and serves as a touchstone of inspiration and wisdom for all peoples of the world.

The Rights of Nature movement has had sweeping legislative victories across the globe. Whereas formerly multinational corporations were the most powerful individual actors—rivers, glaciers, forests, and other natural entities have taken the helm. Along the way, people have recognized their peership with non-human beings. Humans have re-established treaties and accords with Salmon Nation, Beaver Nation, Panther Nation, Redwood Nation, Coral Nation, and countless other keystone species both legally and culturally. No longer are humans in the lonely position of the only sentient beings on Earth; they’re surrounded by the boundless wellspring of clear-sightedness brought by the more-than-human elders that have been awaiting our remembrance.