Seeking a New Kind of Public Good: Opening a Door, Closing a Chapter

The top seven proposals, visualized by @peace_node

Two months ago, Gitcoin put out a call for proposals for new kinds of public goods. We sought proposals that went beyond open source code, to address different types of public spheres driven by a wide range of values.

We received over 70 responses from organizations of all kinds, and from across the world. We were wowed by the diversity of the proposals, which ranged from climate impact advocacy to public art to education projects seeking to make crypto more accessible. While we selected just 7 projects to award a grant to, we are inspired by and grateful for everyone’s contributions, and energized by the ambition and excitement around this proposal process.

Not only did this process lead to some amazing proposals, it has helped spark a thriving community of public goods advocates, and, we hope, helped demonstrate how other organizations and treasuries in the web3 ecosystem can pursue projects that expand the vision of what we’re trying to achieve.

Here is the list of projects and proposals we’re awarding. Over the next few months we’ll be publishing these pieces on the Gitcoin blog. In the meantime, you can read the abstracts below..

Thank you again to the selection committee, including Ellie Rennie, Yancey Strickler, Sara Constantino, Nathan Schneider, Xena Ni, Cierra Peters, Dena Yago, Carson Salter, and Toby Shorin, for all of their hard work in helping us pick these awardees.

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WeatherXM    

Manolis Nikiforakis

Farming is undergoing a global digital transformation, and while data plays an increasingly important role for the quantity and quality of agricultural products, 50% of global food production comes from smallholder farmers and traditional low-tech farms that still struggle with challenges that are easy to solve such as next-day weather forecasts. WeatherXM is a community-owned-and-operated global network of weather stations that provide oracle weather services to web3 enterprises and rewards station owners with a new cryptocurrency. 

HUH: new languages for the new internet.    

Duda Pedreira & Pedro Moraes

IIn web3 and crypto spaces “lack of access” has become an ubiquitous complaint when it comes to scaling projects, userbase and the web3 itself. If building anew with tools designed to empower individuals is the ethos of web3, we should take the necessary steps in actually making them available to everyone everywhere. HUH is a publishing DAO to translate and publish text. A digital space where people could go to find knowledge, such as seminal Web3 text and documentation, that wouldn’t be available otherwise in a specific language.

Public Goods, DAOs, and Nooks    

Tanaya Vikrant

Nook is creating neighborhood micro-communities with parent-care spaces and open-ended childcare spaces where parents can work/socialize while children play open-ended. Nook makes use of existing spaces like cafes, coworking spaces, Museums, and community centers, botanical gardens to achieve this and thus supporting these small businesses, communities, and public infrastructure facilities with our feet and dollars.Thus Nooks coordinating with neighborhood public spaces may become a futuristic public good scenario, thus helping those spaces to become a networked hub that are a combination of coworking spaces, open ended play spaces for children. Through blockchain and DAO’s we are thinking it can be made a sustainable phenomenon.These micro communities would enable each community to design the circles in their own way overarching with our common set of beliefs. This would generate local coordination, trust and employment in the local community.Through this model we are remixing historical Cooperative Organization models with decentralized Web3 needs.

DeSci: The Case for Decentralised Science    

Joseph Cook

Science is the process of discovery. It powers technological advancement and enables us to navigate and manipulate our environment. Strong economic, ethical and pragmatic arguments can be made in favour of scientific knowledge being a public good. However, our current infrastructure for creating new scientific knowledge is broken, from the initial allocation of funds right through to the eventual dissemination of results. The reasons for this are diverse but ultimately share a common thread: they are emergent phenomena of centralized control. In future, a stack of DeSci dapps could offer a more attractive model for altruistically driving, doing and disseminating scientific research.

DIOs – Decentralized Impact Organizations for the Climate    

Olli Tiainen

Social Policy Bonds are financial instruments that reward people when they achieve social goals. In practice, an SPB and its bondholders together form an entity very similar to a DAO: the bondholders form a grassroots level organization and share an economic fate via the bonds they own. We propose Decentralized Impact Organizations (DIOs), a model for supercharging SPBs with the powerful potential of DeFi and crypto-native decentralized coordination tooling.

The Civilian Climate Futures Project    

Bryan Lehrer

The original Civilian Conservation Corps provided income, community, and solidarity for its population of corpsmen, and also provided expanded access to America’s vast natural resources. In this sense, the Civilian Conservation Corps can be seen as a body whose primary occupation was literally constructing public goods. Today, the Civilian Climate Corps has emerged as a viable yet unrealized government program in Biden’s climate agenda. The Civilian Climate Futures Project is a CCC advocacy organization and community, encouraging pro-CCC action and imagination, leading to better policy implementation of the CCC through its impact on public discourse and culture.

Moving Castles    

Arthur Röing Baer (ARB)

Moving Castles is an organisational metaphor that tries to counter the current neo-feudal trend within so-called “dark forest” online communities. Trust is developing a toolkit that groups can use to interact with groups outside of their inner circle without the reduction of collective agency. A hybrid media that combines live-streaming with game engines, the resulting miniverses are small and independent worlds inhabited and used by communities which already today accept the tradeoffs of simple- and high-latency inputs in favour of customisable, fun, and participatory media.

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In addition to these main awardees, the Gitcoin team will be publishing a few honorary mentions in a forthcoming editorial. We hope that everyone that participated will join us in continuing to build for the public good.

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