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Unpacking Scales of Governance in Decentralized Regenerative Economics

The Regen Foundation’s enDAOment program was conceived to address structural inequities by allocating 30% of all token holding power to regenerators who otherwise lack representation in the Web3 ecosystem. The program’s goal was to expand the “Commons” concept by establishing a network of regenerators including grassroots initiatives, tech stack developers, MRV providers, and more. The token enDAOment gives them governance power, voice, and agency within the broader REGEN ecosystem.

As we move into our 4th cohort, the program continues to evolve in response to market fluctuations, technological advancements, and the diverse needs of the global regenerative community. This report delves into the current state of the Community Staking DAO (csDAO), the challenges and opportunities it faces, and the strategic direction for future cohorts.

$REGEN token allows holders to participate in voting on proposals and engage in critical industry discussions, providing smaller regenerator groups with a platform for greater visibility and influence.

Bootstrapping real community ownership of protocols around defining regenerative value is difficult. One year ago we outlined several here. Two years on, the csDAO program has highlighted the need to refine our broader categories of governance models, balancing protocol-level governance with intra-communal governance.

What does that mean and what does that look like in practice?

While initially focused on network scale ownership, the csDAO has created a sandbox to prototype regenerative commons which leverage decentralized frameworks for collective:

  • ownership
  • governance
  • sensing
  • verification

These patterns unfold at the level of planetary network as well as local organizations. The terms protocol-scale and intra-community scale governance refers to the size and context specificity required in different forms of commons governance. Over the arc of our community staking DAO program, we have learned both must be nurtured in parallel. Engaging both in parallel acknowledges the complexity of decentralized governance and the necessity of grassroots engagement.

1. Protocol Governance: In this sense, the protocol is the larger framework through which regenerative value is defined. The protocol utilizes Regen Ledger and Cosmos SDK modules to create a collectively governed system to issue high integrity eco-credits. Protocol governance is infrastructure scale.

  • Development of the Regen Network Constitution and a clear pathway for csDAO community to provide strategic inputs based on their area of expertise.
  • Continuing the Progressive decentralization of network ownership to bring in key-voices into the governance discussions.
  • Protocol maintenance, and upgrades including upgrades in ledger, SDK modules, denoms list, on-chain actors, and other technical aspects.
  • Community spending pools allocations.

2. Inter-Communal Governance: The meso scale which orchestrates local shareholders with network scale infrastructure. It brings bioregion-based groups (bioregional DAOs) with affinity-based groups (guild DAOs). Any project which seeks to form eco-credits, or develop a proof of regeneration scheme, must create a plan of intervention, a set of actions to regenerate, and monitor the outcomes in order to inform subsequent planning.

  • Planning out how and where regenerative intervention should take places requires a lot of consideration, and is iterative in nature: “What ecosystem functions should our approach focus on stewarding, and how do we relate to the more-than-human world?”
  • Activities are the interventions which reflect the plan. “Should we practice prescribed burns or plant native flowers to rehabilitate a pollinator population?”
  • Monitoring is the process of testing the plan and activities to reality. It is collective Sensing and Verification. “What worked, and how do we define that?”

3. Intra-Communal Governance: Intra-communal means the rituals and practices of consensus and sense-making that occur within an org / community family. While the protocol weaves many stakeholders across domains, the csDAO introduces the need to support and learn from intimate scale governance because they form the basis of network governance. What types of entities might be considered a DAO, and how are they fundamentally informed by context-specific traditions?

Exploring the interdependence between these models foregrounds our core values of resilience and inclusion as foundational to catalyzing and ethical regenerative economic paradigm.

Can tokens be a form of equity to a common purpose? Traditionally, decentralized protocols, tokens are both a store of value, as well as a means to participate in governance. As outlined at the beginning of this piece. The csDAO program emerged to reconcile the potential for plutocracy when value and voice are held in a common unit. At present, $REGEN represents a commitment to regenerative principles and practices. As a purpose driven community, token holders are recognized as stewards of the REGEN ecosystem, embodying the integrity and trust that underpin the community’s mission. This cultural aspect reinforces the token’s value as a symbol of legitimacy and alignment with regenerative goals.

As we prepare for the fourth cohort of the csDAO, the focus will be on developing new commons in the context of the Regen stack, and the purpose its upholds.. This cohort will emphasize:

  • Community Governance across scales: Exploring how community governance can be applied to Regenerative Finance, fostering collaboration and learning across the range of scales and processes outlined above.
  • Workshops and Methodologies: Particularly within the context of human-environmental stewardship, governance is not an abstract phenomenon, but a practice and ritual which is culturally specific. We seek to support and learn from the diverse forms of existing governance rituals. How do we gather? Where? What other events and activities are related. We are focusing on the analysis, design, and facilitation of workshops to define and implement regenerative practices at local levels, leveraging the expertise and insights of diverse stakeholders.

Conclusion

The evolution of the Community Staking DAO Program is a testament to the Regen Foundation’s evolving understanding of what collective governance looks like for knowledge and living commons.

At its root we are unpacking of what governance looks like as a bio-cultural practice, and how token systems may support and serve these practices. In the process of inviting new cohorts and stakeholders in, we remain dedicated to fostering a resilient, inclusive, and regenerative ecosystem.

For those interested in joining or supporting the program, nominations for future Cohorts are open. We invite you to be part of this transformative journey, contributing to the collective effort of building a regenerative future.