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[Update (25 February 2023):

Taking into consideration the feedback received in the comments, I will not be posting any more DAO updates here on the forum. Updates shall henceforth be posted on our new substack at https://effectivedao.substack.com 

Anyone still interested in this project may check / subscribe on the substack or follow us on:

Twitter: @EffectiveDAO 
Telegram :  https://t.me/effdao

Remember the auction dates:  12:01 AM UTC on 27 February 2023 to 11:59 PM UTC on 1 March 2023. 

Auction link: https://bit.ly/altruistwarriors

More about the auction:  Click Here

If you do end up buying an NFT, please send me a DM here or on Twitter so that I can send you an invite to the DAO's Private Discord. ]

 

Summary / TL;DR  

  • In the last three months I've been developing the blueprint for a very ambitious and audacious plan (if I do say so myself).
  • Also in the last couple of months, there's been increasing calls for various changes and reforms in the Effective Altruism (EA) community.
  • My plan, I strongly believe, has the capability to solve (or mitigate to a great degree) several (maybe most, if not all) of the concerns raised in the various critical articles and comments on the EA community's problematic issues. 
  • It will also make it possible (and feasible) to attempt raising at least $1 Billion in donations for EA within 12 months.
  • The plan is to create a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) with a core mission to raise at least $1 Billion USD for (mostly) effective altruism every year (and to give out grants selected by the DAO members through democratic processes).
  • A DAO is an internet-native, blockchain-enabled organization made up of a group of people with shared interests or goals and a shared treasury coming together to collaborate (usually over the internet) and to work towards achieving their shared goals. 
  • Decisions in a DAO are made democratically with every member having a say in the affairs of the organization usually through the ability to discuss, debate and vote on issues relating to the DAO's activities, policies and governance. Financial controls are enabled by blockchain technology with transactions and voting results commonly recorded on the blockchain for full transparency.
  • Learn more about DAOs and how they work here and here.
  • A DAO is well suited for movements like effective altruism because it provides the tools and structural elements to efficiently manage and govern large communities at scale in a decentralized and democratic fashion.
  • My planned DAO aims to transform EA into a community-led movement by decentralizing governance and providing a way for the wider EA community to have a say in key decisions, grantmaking and fundraising.
  • Anyone who wishes to join the DAO would need to buy/obtain a membership NFT (Non-Fungible Token) that will grant them access to the DAO's platforms and give them voting abilities (plus other member-only capabilities). The sale of these NFTs also serve as one of the means of raising funds for the DAO.
  • I will post more updates in the coming hours and days to provide more details about my full plan, how it shall be executed and how anyone interested can buy the NFT and join the DAO.

 

Full article:

Who am I?

Let me start by briefly introducing myself and explaining my main motivations for embarking on this project.

  • I have an engineering degree with 10+ years experience in technology consulting where I've led various teams to develop simple software, mobile/web applications and other ICT solutions.
  • Over the course of my career, I have worked on more than 30 web and mobile apps and supervised teams of up to 20 people. I have also grown and managed online communities having hundreds of thousands of members and subscribers.
  • My superpowers include product experience design, building online communities and growth hacking.
  • I’m also a cryptocurrency and web3 hobbyist and have consulted for up to ten crypto/web3 projects including two fairly successful DAOs.

(Note: I happen to be an extremely and obsessively privacy-oriented person (the type that always uses pseudonyms online) so I'm not really keen on putting my name and private details out here in public just yet - but this is not a burner account, it's my main and only EA forum account, just bearing a pseudonym. Notwithstanding, I've interacted with a handful of people in the EA community and they already know my real identity. 

My intention is to fully "dox" myself to people who join the DAO. To them I will reveal my face and all my important personal details and even go through transparent KYC procedures if necessary. 

However what I can say here in public is that I am a 40+ male from a country in Sub-Saharan Africa. )

[Edit (added after some feedback in the comments): If knowing my true identity is an important factor for you please feel free to DM me with a request for such. I'm not against revealing who I am, I just don't feel comfortable doing it here in public] 

I first heard about effective altruism in September 2022 after coming across an article that mentioned Sam Bankman-Fried's $1 Billion donation/pledge/promise to EA. Out of curiosity I sought to learn more about this movement and why it deserved to receive such a massive sum from him.

On learning more about EA, I realized that many of its core values aligned with mine, so I decided to become a part of the community and find ways to contribute in any effective way I could.

I though of various things I could do to create impact (based on my strengths and experience) and eventually settled on founding an organization (christened EffectiveCauses Organization). 

This organization is meant to be a kind of lab and think-tank for EA projects and ideas; our primary mission is to think up impactful and neglected EA-related project ideas, raise funds for the ideas and execute or incubate them. 

The organization would also act as a kind of anchor point or base from which we could drive EA expansion (and provide extra support for EA communities) in Africa (which has very few or no EA communities in most countries).

Right now I'm actually just trying to get things off the ground with the organization. I've been holding meetings with some persons who have shown interest in being a part of the project and we have been brainstorming. 

So far we have already come up with a number of ideas. 

This DAO idea is one of them.

 

What Exactly is a DAO? How Does it Work? Will it Work for EA?

DAO is an acronym for Decentralized Autonomous Organization and, according to Wikipedia, "...is an organization constructed by rules encoded as a computer program that is often transparent, controlled by the organization's members and not influenced by a central government.

In general terms, DAOs are member-owned communities without centralized leadership. They are internet-based organizations that are owned and managed collectively by their members. 

They usually have a shared treasury on the blockchain that is accessible only with the approval of the members; and in many DAOs, financial transactions, voting results and key governance decisions are also recorded on the blockchain for transparency and accountability.

The decision-making and governance processes in a DAO are inherently decentralized and democratic, usually carried out through proposals that are voted upon by members. Proposals are commonly preceded by a more general discussion or "temperature check" to gauge the opinions of members regarding the proposal and if it should be put to vote at all. 

This sort of system ensures that the voice of every member counts and that each member has some influence in the direction the organization takes and in the decisions it makes. 

DAOs are emerging as a new organizational paradigm enabled by blockchain technology. They have been used to successfully raise considerable funds in recent times both by for-profit and non-profit entities. 

Two notable DAOs (amongst several others) are UkraineDAO (raised $6.5 Million to support Ukraine) and ConstitutionDAO (raised $45 million to buy a rare copy of the United States constitution). 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the huge potential of DAOs (note that these results were obtained despite the fact that the concept of DAOs is still relatively new and largely unexplored).

In addition to decentralized governance, a DAO will also provide a way for EA to diversify funding sources and democratize grant making. 

 

Two Pros and a Con

Main Pros of DAOs: 

  • DAO members decide on how the DAO is run, how money is spent, what projects are funded, how governance is done and various other key issues concerning the DAO.
  • There's democracy and transparency (which are both enabled by the blockchain).

Main Con of DAOs: 

  • The major con is that DAOs are still largely an experimental concept with no best practices developed yet.

 

Can this DAO Really Raise at least $1 Billion for EA Every Year? Can it Really Fix EA's Issues? Can EA Governance and Grantmaking Actually be Decentralized and Democratized this Way?

To all these questions I would answer an emphatic YES with over 90% confidence (but only if the DAO is setup and managed properly). 

The effective altruism movement is a prime example of an organization for which a DAO structure would be very effective (no pun intended) especially if done right.

The EA movement has been growing and expanding at an ever increasing rate in recent times. The movement is maturing and can no longer afford to NOT have a formal (or informal) decentralized co-ordination and governance backbone structure of this nature. 

Many great movements have evolved such structures in one way or the other at some point in their life time and this helped them to handle the complexities of scale without disintegrating, splintering or imploding. 

The effective altruism movement is fast approaching a tipping point where the absence of such a structure (or some other far reaching reform process / mechanism) may lead to the eventual splintering, disintegration or implosion of the movement as we know it today.

While my plan is not perfect, it's as close to "doing it properly" as I can envision. 

During the ideation process, I observed and studied other successful DAOs and infused some of their best features into my framework. This adds to what gives me much confidence. 

This DAO is not meant to be a separate / parallel / rival community to the current EA community or organizations, rather it is meant to be an addition to the movement: an instrument to draw the diverse EA communities and groups (scattered all over the world and online) closer. 

A symbolic icon that all EAs can rally around and identify with as being as close to a collective representation of the broader movement as possible.

It is meant to be a formalized organizational construct drawing in and embracing EAs of all shades and hues of thought, beliefs, opinions and preferences without sacrificing the epistemic health, effectiveness, cohesion and morality quotient of the movement. 

An organization that is collectively owned, controlled and governed by the entirety of the effective altruism community and geared towards growing and improving the entire movement (together with currently existing EA organizations, groups and sub-communities). 

A mechanism that can finally help to provide a satisfactory answer to the multi-billion dollar question "Who comprises the "EA Community?". 

Something that provides a true sense of identity and a symbol over which all EAs can confidently claim a real and equal sense of belonging and ownership. 

A way to concretize what the phrase EA Community really means so that people will stop enclosing it within f*****g quotation marks ffs!

This DAO project is meant to be a community effort and my team and I will not be the only ones doing it all. The success of a DAO depends on passionate, dedicated members and quality / visionary / experienced handlers.

I'm not exactly an egghead and I'm not super-knowledgeable about EA cause areas and methodology. But I have experience with building and managing large online communities and I know how to construct DAOs.

So I need the eggheads and other knowledgeable and passionate EAs to join me in hashing out the basic structures, processes and policies around which this DAO will operate. 

Please come join me let's build the EA of our dreams.

 

DAO Membership

It is usual for people interested in joining a DAO to purchase some kind of blockchain-based token (fungible or non-fungible). This token grants the holder official membership which comes with voting rights and access to the members-only online groups, channels and collaboration platforms of the DAO. 

In my plan, prospective members will need to buy/own a specific non-fungible token (NFT) to join the DAO.

An online auction for the first set of these NFTs will be held in a few days time (more on this in my next update to be posted in a few hours time).

 

Why am I Doing This? (or My Many Motivations) 

I am doing this in order to kill six gigantic birds (and many smaller ones) with one massive boulder (pardon the awful metaphor, I won't be killing any real birds, I promise). 

The six birds are (in no particular order): 

  1. SBF/FTX: Doing my bit for EA to make up for the SBF/FTX funding shortfall
  2. Fix EA's Issues: Doing my bit to tackle the various issues / complaints raised by some people regarding EA governance, grantmaking, epistemics etc
  3. Crowdfund my own funds for my own projects in a decentralized manner
  4. For other EAs: Doing my bit to help others like me who are also finding it difficult to get funding for their EA projects
  5. Creating a new, diversified funding source for EA
  6. Researching on (and experimenting with) organizing people at scale

 

1. SBF / FTX

So SBF promised EA $1 Billion.
Sadly most/all of that is no more. 
And Now there's a funding shortfall. 
A challenge for the EA Community.

Challenge Accepted!

 

2. Fix EA's Issues

In recent months there has been an uptick in posts critical of certain aspects of the EA community / movement including parts of its culture, governance, grantmaking process, funding sources etc. (See this, this, this, this, this and this for some examples of these critical posts).

So the main problems have already been identified and many people agree that something needs to be done about them. Some people have also proposed possible solutions that could be tried out.

But there is still no consensus on the best way forward.

Having given the matter some thought myself, it has become clear to me that a well-run DAO would solve (or mitigate to a large extent) many of the issues presented. 

A DAO has the ability to transform the effective altruism movement into a community-driven affair with a flatter, more decentralized governance structure instead of the current top-down pyramidal structure where a few individuals at the top of the pyramid wield most of the funding and decision-making powers. 

In a DAO, governance is not restricted to a specific group but spread out evenly with every community member having a say in the affairs and governance of the organization (for EA that would also include decisions on the issuance of grants amongst other things). 

By using a DAO, it will also be relatively easy to embed checks and balances into the organic functioning of the organization, ensuring that there is a continuously active check on any excesses or deviations from the generally agreed norms, values, mission and vision.

So this DAO is my own solution which I am not only proposing but also going ahead to implement. 

Right now my plan is still largely an untested (minimum viable) draft framework crafted based on my experience and knowledge of DAOs and Web3. While this draft is enough to kickstart the organization, a lot of things still need to be figured out and improved upon with time. 

These improvements will be largely community-driven and fine-tuned through research, experimentation and continuous iteration.

The long term vision of the project is to eventually spin off (from the main DAO) new independent DAOs focused on specific EA Cause Areas, thus we could have a DAO just dedicated to Biorisks or AI risks or Global health or Animal welfare etc

Each of these new DAOs will be set up using the improved framework as reference. They will operate autonomously and largely independent of the parent DAO but will maintain close ties and alignment with it.

Eventually this framework will be released as an opensource resource which other DAOs could use as a starting template or reference model instead of having to reinvent the wheel. 

In my next update, I will elaborate more on this framework and how it tackles the contentious issues in EA including that of uneven concentration and distribution of governance and grantmaking power as is currently the case.

 

3. Raise My own Funds

(or "Test a New way for EAs to Raise funds / Democratize Fundraising" or "Take the (Funding) Bull by the Horns")

I mentioned earlier that I am currently in the process of setting up an organization whose core mission is to generate ideas for impactful but neglected EA projects and raise the funds to execute them. 

We had actually generated some ideas but try as we might, we weren't able to secure any funding for any of them.

We applied to various funders and donors, even got some positive feedback for some of the proposals, but unfortunately none has been funded till date.

After more than two months of futile attempts at getting funding, it felt kind of frustrating and draining. I also got to learn that there are others in the community who have complained about facing similar challenges with securing funding. 

That was when I decided to try a different strategy to raise funds for my organization's projects and at the same time see what I could do to make it easier for EAs in my shoes to raise funds for their own projects.

I decided to take the bull by the horn and crowdfund my own projects by myself, while at the same time crowdfunding for the wider EA community, especially those who have had a similar experience to mine in the course of trying to raise funds.

I'm therefore using this opportunity to test out the viability of a crowdfunding-inspired decentralized strategy for fundraising (as a possible alternative to the conventional way that most EAs are used to seeking funding, which is to apply for grants from the major funders and donor organizations). 

In this strategy, the idea is for many people (i.e. the DAO members) to pool their fundraising efforts by individually going after many smaller donations from several donors (within and around their own networks) instead of chasing after one large lump sum from a big donor or funding organization. 

 

4. For other EAs Trying to Raise Funds

One of the oft-repeated complaints by EAs who have project ideas is the challenge faced when seeking funding from some of the major EA funders, which is apparently made worse in some cases by an alleged lack of transparency in the selection process and opaque rejection notices that often seem to be missing specific details as to why a project was rejected.

As stated in the previous point (#3), one of my motivations is to create a new funding source for these other EAs and also test out a decentralized crowdfunding strategy with which they can successfully raise their own funds by themselves for their Projects instead of putting all their hopes on the big funders (who, to be fair, are most likely regularly swamped by an unending deluge of proposals and funding requests).

 

5. Create a  New, Diversified Funding Source for EA

$1 Billion for EA every year is substantial enough to be a major new source of funding for the movement independent of the current major funders.

This will improve the financial resilience of the movement and offer some cushioning against unexpected events (like the SBF debacle) so that in the future, such events will not affect the movement's funding the way that the SBF thing did.

The availability of such new funds will also create further diversity in the movement's funding and reduce over-dependence on the big funding organizations. It will give the "EA community" its own funds (especially since it has already been made clear that the "EA community" does not own its donors' money). 

Furthermore, the fact that these funds will be raised from a variety of sources and controlled by the broader community of the DAO's members means that their sourcing, management and use will not be in the hands of a small group of people or organizations but will be under the control of the wider EA community. 

 

6. Research and Experimentation

One thing that many of EA's critics agree on is the need to explore and experiment with various methods and approaches to solving or mitigating the issues identified.

Managing the DAO will afford an opportunity for EA to carry out governance and co-ordination research and experiments within a live organization. 

The endgame of such experimentation for me is to develop a highly scalable opensource framework for decentralized fundraising/grantmaking that can be used by new (non-profit and for-profit) organizations to quickly get up and running.

 

Here's My Plan in a Nutshell:

  1. Start by auctioning 172 NFTs in an online Dutch Auction to raise at least $75,000 "pre-seed" funds.
  2. Onboard the 172 NFT buyers as the first cohort of DAO members (the "O.G"s as they are called in the crypto world)
  3. Work with these OGs (for about 2 or 3 months) to set up, flesh out and test the basic structures, processes and policies of the DAO in preparation for full kick-off; and to prepare to onboard the second cohort of members. 
  4. Sell 5,555 NFTs to raise $20 Million for the DAO
  5. Onboard these 5,555 NFT buyers as the second cohort of DAO members
  6. DAO begins to issue first series of grants from the funds raised from the 5,555 NFT sales. Grants are debated and voted upon by the DAO members to decide which ones to fund
  7. Begin various decentralized (and centralized) fundraising activities
  8. Auction 10,000 more NFTs to raise at least $10 Million and onboard the third and final (for the time being) cohort of DAO Members
  9. Organize continuous fundraising events and activities through commonly used fundraising methods including crowdfunding
  10. Explore new ways and avenues of raising funds (including launching social enterprises, creating crowdfunding platforms, exploiting of the project's intellectual property etc)
  11. Continue to raise funds and issue effective grants debated and voted upon by the community
  12. Continuously evaluate the impact of grants and improve upon the effectiveness of the grantmaking process and the DAO in general.
  13. Rinse and Repeat 9 to 12 Ad infinitum.
  14. Eventually spin off new DAOs for specific EA cause areas

 

OK, So What Next?

I strongly believe that this plan is something worth pursuing so I need people who will like to collaborate, contribute, support, help out etc (and if they have the sufficient financial means) to consider buying one of the 172 NFTs during the upcoming auctions and join me in setting up the DAO.

If you cannot actively participate, you could instead buy one (or some) and donate them to someone / people you know who could contribute usefully.

This will be a very difficult project and my team and I cannot do it alone. It will require substantial effort, teamwork and input from other EAs. Therefore I'm looking for critical thinkers, organizational planners, EA cause area experts and highly motivated EAs to come on board to help me flesh out my ideas and build up the DAO.

In my next update I shall elaborate on my planned framework. The update will be posted here on EA Forum in a few hours time. I will add the link to the end of this article when it has been posted.

 

Last Word: A Call to Adventure

Will this plan be easy to implement? 

Not at all. 

In fact I expect it to be a very difficult, very tasking and very time consuming process with many hurdles and many unknowns. It will be a journey fraught with many challenges. A scary adventure of epic proportions.

So if you like great adventures or near-impossible challenges then come and join me let's go on this journey together.

This DAO might just turn out to be the most impactful EA project ever. So if you care about doing good effectively then you should definitely be a part of this.

Join me let's make the most massive impact imaginable.

You just need to believe it can be done, embrace the vision, trust my lead and join me to FIGHT. Like a WARRIOR.

We can actually make this happen folks!.

Please share this to all EA communities and groups.

This is history in the making...

 

More Updates On the Way 

In the next update I shall go into more granular details about the framework.

I will also post other updates in the coming days providing even more details about the full plan, how it shall be executed and how anyone interested can obtain the NFT and join the DAO. 

Below I will add the links to each update when they have been published.

Here's the first update:

DAO#2: Details of My Plan to Raise $1 Billion for EA using a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization)

 

[Update (25 February 2023):

Taking into consideration the feedback received in the comments, I will not be posting any more DAO updates here on the forum. Updates shall henceforth be posted on our new substack at https://effectivedao.substack.com 

Anyone still interested in this project may check / subscribe on the substack or follow us on:

Twitter: @EffectiveDAO 
Telegram :  https://t.me/effdao

Remember the auction dates:  12:01 AM UTC on 27 February 2023 to 11:59 PM UTC on 1 March 2023. 

Auction link: https://bit.ly/altruistwarriors

More about the auction:  Click Here

If you do end up buying an NFT, please send me a DM here or on Twitter so that I can send you an invite to the DAO's Private Discord. ]

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I see several mentions of raising $1B/y, but it's not clear to me where the money actually comes from. I do see:

  1. Organize continuous fundraising events and activities through commonly used fundraising methods including crowdfunding

  2. Explore new ways and avenues of raising funds (including launching social enterprises, creating crowdfunding platforms, exploiting of the project's intellectual property etc)

Do you have anything more specific in mind? $1B/y is an enormous amount of money, and I don't see anything here that suggests it's likely.

I just posted the update that contains much more details about my plans including the answer to your question. I hope you can find the time to go through the whole thing here.

But I will reproduce below the section of the update that directly answers your question. Bear in mind that I have many ideas but I don't have all the ideas and I'm very open to suggestions:

Proposed Fundraising Strategies

The initial funds will be raised through sales of Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

These NFTs will also act as membership passes to the DAO's private communication, collaboration and voting platforms. Ideally one member per NFT.

In addition to NFT sales, some of the other fundraising strategies that shall be employed or experimented with include:

  • Conventional fundraising events like fundraising dinners/concerts/charity balls etc held once every quarter (preceded by two weeks of dedicated viral fundraising activities)
  • "Fundraising fortnights" which are two week sprints (done once every month or every two months) dedicated to widespread viral fundraising drives
  • Members leveraging their personal and professional networks to reach out to prospective donors and pitch the DAO to them
  • Individual members and small teams organizing micro-fundraising events, activities and activations
  • "Decentralized crowdfunding" where individual members initiate crowdfunding campaigns on their own to raise funds for the DAO
  • Developing the project's Intellectual Property into revenue-generating books, comics, cartoons, movies, merchandise etc
  • Developing DAO-owned revenue-generating fundraising apps and low-maintenance charity entrepreneurship online platforms, startups, SAAS applications etc
  • Continuously reaching out and encouraging donors to commit to regular/repeat donations
  • DAO members brainstorming and exploring various other fundraising ideas.
  • Donations from DAO members

Yes I do have some specifics I will mention these in my next update in a few hours, just putting finishing touches now.

Lorenzo Buonanno
Moderator Comment12
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We've had two three reports that this might be a scam.
Please be aware of the high base rates of scams in the crypto ecosystem and note that the EA Forum is a place where anyone can post and posts are not vetted.

Hello Lorenzo

(This is a copy paste of my response to your similar comment on the other article)

It is great that this notice is being given but I believe those reports are not proven although I'm not sure of their content.


it would only be fair if I at least am given an opportunity to redeem my self, given that these "reports" are obviously just assumptions and not proven facts.

There were a couple of issues raised in the comments which I tried to address and in places where I fell short, especially in the area of my identity, I offered to do KYC if need me to prove my authenticity.

Putting out such a notice without concrete verification already biases opinion against me. So even if the reports are unproven suspicions, some people might lean towards them being correct.

If anybody cares, I would love to prove my authenticity in any way required. Perhaps the mod that posted this could investigate further.

All I've wanted to do since I joined this community was to contribute meaningfully but every where I turn I seem to be met with lots of push back and vitriol and its not fair receiving this sort of treatment. The fact that I use a pseudonym doesn't equate to being a scam. This is very disheartening to say the least.

I still have some updates but I wonder how I can keep posting with this sort of notice hanging over my reputation.

I don't see any reason that using a DAO would be preferable to using traditional methods to accomplish the same goals. Traditional methods don't carry the risk of the DAO being hacked or manipulated, or the risks of having the donor money caught up in crypto. DAOs are useful for some purposes in that they don't require trust in any centralized actor...but I don't see that as a major upside here.

Another obvious (to me) problem is that you likely couldn't get tax deductibility for donations. In a DAO, code is law, and so there is no board of directors with ultimate authority who could ensure proceeds are spent only as allowable for a tax-deductible nonprofit.

  • In a DAO, code is law

You are correct in a sense but that is the strict DAO protocol. Mine would be more of a hybrid with some aspects handled on the blockchain. 

On the issue of tax deductibility, there are successful DAOs who have scaled this hurdle and I believe we can study what they did and figure out how to implement ours. In fact getting a tax-deductible entity is among the things that need to be figured out during the first 2-3 months stage. Its part of the reason why I want to first work with a handful of knowledgeable experts.

On the issue of DAOs vs Traditional methods, permit me to copy-paste a slightly modified answer to a similar question in another comment:

It is possible to use [traditional means] but Blockchain has some features built in that make some critical aspects easier.

Blockchain here mainly helps with automating membership tracking and portability across apps / ecosystems. They are also important for the transparency and voting aspects. Will also help in funds security, access and control.

But everything will not be built on/around the blockchain. In fact, most of the co-ordination will be on regular websites / platforms like slack (a slack clone, actually), Discord, etc. There would even be a closed forum for DAO members only. 

All of these are similar to what you are suggesting. But the NFT/blockchain aspect is like the critical thread that ties everything together.

And on the issue of hacking and manipulation, there are ways to ensure security that minimizes hacks to the barest minimum including using common sense, education and proven technology used by the best known DAOs. For manipulation, it boils down to the kind of structural framework being used. 

There are also  methods for managing crypto-related risk (one of which is the use of regulated stable coins). 

In summary, these concerns of yours are very important to consider but they are not impossible to overcome.

Moreover, one other thing with traditional methods is: Who sets the ball rolling? Who bells that cat?

If there are people willing to pay $10MM for NFTs that grant voting power in a blockchain-based grantmaker, I don't see why those same people wouldn't be willing to pay the same for voting membership in an organization that did the same thing without the whole blockchain business.

I think this is a solution in search of a problem.

Decentralization is one thing, and transparency is another. You mentioned:

I happen to be an extremely and obsessively privacy-oriented person (the type that always uses pseudonyms online) so I'm not really keen on putting my name and private details out here in public just yet - but this is not a burner account, it's my main and only EA forum account, just bearing a pseudonym. My intention is to fully "dox" myself to people who join the DAO. To them I will reveal my face and all my important personal details and even go through transparent KYC procedures if necessary.

It's fine to be concerned about privacy. But if someone wants to start or lead anything that involves $1 billion, it's reasonable to expect that people will know who they  are, what their experience levels are, what their track record is, etc. – and be able to verify these things for themselves. If you don't want to do that, fair enough, but in that case, don't start this yourself, persuade someone else who is prepared to be public to start this themselves.

I agree with you.

 I did think about this and decided to try do it anonymously anyway and see who buys the idea. 

When I have a few persons who chose to take a chance on me I will reveal everything to them and we can then decide on someone/people who are more comfortable being public. In fact there will be an entire Team dedicated to Public Relations.  I'm also in discussion with a few persons on some kind of collab so the public identity may soon no longer be an issue. 

But I just want to at least get the ball rolling...

All the same, anyone who really really needs to know my identity is free to DM me about it.

Kudos on making a concrete proposal - there's been lots of discussion of problems, not so much of potential solutions.

I'm one of those (many) people who is not at all familiar with DAOs, so I'm not sure I've got my head around this. One model is a donor lottery, where many people put money in, and one randomly-chosen person decides. Another is the EA funds, where lots of people put in money, and a few experts decide. This is ... like a donor democracy, where many people pool their money, and then there's a collective decision-making process? In which case, I'm curious for details on how the decision-making process works.

I'm reminded of this recent popular post The EA community does not own its donors' money. I imagine that, if people don't like where the DAO ends up donating, they'll simply stop giving their money to it. So the DAO would end up functioning much like an EA fund, where people give to it in the expectation they know where their money will go and are happy with that outcome.

Which raises the question: would a better solution be to set up more and/or differently run funds? 

Its more like lots of people put in money and few experts decide. 

Actually There will be a dedicated Team in the DAO for grantmaking and monitoring funded projects. This team will comprise of experts and other interested or knowledgeable parties. All from the DAO. This team suggests or receives and analyzes funding proposals and then puts them up for general discussion and debates and final voting by all members. More details on this process will be given in my next update. 

Ah, but then in what ways is this different from EA funds? (No need to reply to this now, happy to see something in the next update; just raising it's still a concern).

I think one critical difference is that EA funds is not subject to approval, control or oversight of the "EA Community", In other words, it is not the EA Community's funds. Anyway I'm sure things will become clearer with the next update. 

Hi MichaelPlant I just posted the second update with some more detailed explanations. Hope you can find the time to go through (its quite lengthy) and hope it makes things clearer. Here's the link

In as much as you'd like to interface with the legal system of a country (probably useful for you, so you are not fully liable), you'll need to incorporate a paired LLC/LTD. Who will be the director and have control over this entity? How will you make sure this entity also makes decisions in a  decentralised way?
Will you also make sure only accredited investors are buying your tokens/NFTS? If not, will you also register your offering with the SEC so that retail investors can rest assured they are not part of an unregistered offering they might be sued for later on?

I've not seen any 'DAO' coherently answer this questions, in as much I see DAOs failing under their own terms and have a hard time taking these ideas seriously.

These are very important questions and this exactly why I need people in on this with me because I really do not have all the answers but I have many ideas and I need other ideas and points of view while setting it all up. 

But hopefully my next update will  provide answers and shed more light on how it is meant to work.

The fact that there are roadblocks shouldn't be a reason to not try at all.

Many DAOs have failed in one way or the other but there have also been some spectacular successes and the space is evolving rapidly, it all boils down to the execution and handling. It wont be an easy task but it is definitely not impossible.

PS - you mentioned you wanted to raise your own funds as well - is this for this idea?

https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/jczTo4zp7voarkRHC/seeking-funding-for-a-question-and-answer-website-for-ea

If so - I think the idea is interesting, but I agree with some of the commenters there who pointed out that:

  1. existing Q&A setups can be adapted for new websites so it is not necessary to build something from scratch
  2. existing websites and the current forum can be used to address issues
  3. it is difficult to justify a new platform in light of the community costs in setting up a new one
  4. it is important to try simple prototypes first to gauge interest.

The idea you are proposing in this post is different, but you would need to explain why the funding model should change. Just because getting funding is hard does not mean it should be easy! For example, for the project above, there seem to be good reasons why it would not be funded, even though it is an interesting idea.

That's one of the ideas we tried raising funds for but its not the only idea. 

The core mission of the organization I'm building (my personal organization, not this DAO) is to come up with ideas which we think might be worthwhile. The idea in that post is one of the ideas we came up with. This DAO idea is another. There are a number of others. It is this organization that I am wanting to fundraise for.

Regarding your linked post and whether that idea should be funded or not, I'm of the opinion that there are equally good arguments as to why it should be funded but the debate on that post was unfortunately not robust enough to uncover all nuances of the argument.

My issues with DAOs are that the tokens are sometimes securities in the US. And that I never understand why they need to be on the Blockchain. I might buy some tokens, not sure I would advise others to.

I guess if we ever got near 1bn ft wilds be because some people thought the price would rise. That sounds scammy.

Thanks. Actually there wont be cryptocurrency tokens,  just NFTs. Only NFTs. Membership NFTs. One NFT = 1 membership pass = 1 vote. Ideally should be 1 NFT per member. I purposely avoided using regular (fungible) crypto tokens because of the securities thing. So NFTs as membership passes don't really count as securities. The 1 bn is for issue as grants, not exactly to increase the worth of the project or tokens per se.  Hopefully my next update will make things clearer

Sure and again, why does this need to be on the blockchain? Why not just have a website people can be members of? But I'm personally curious. 

The main upside of a DAO is that the storage of funds and each grant distribution is protected by the algorithm that has been embedded in the smart contract, instead of being trusted to some entity (e.g. bank or crypto trading firm). The movement of funds is also maximally transparent for any person on the internet. I think it is a big benefit in some cases (although, not in every case)

To be clear, I'm don't support of the actual proposal that the author have laid out int his next post, but I support the idea of experimenting with DAOs for EA and certain it would happen at some point

It is possible to use  a website but Blockchain has some features built in that make some critical aspects easier.

Blockchain here mainly helps with automating membership tracking and portability accross apps / ecosystems. They are also important for the transparency and voting aspects. Will also help in funds security, access and control.

But everything will not be built on/around the blockchain. In fact, most of the co-ordination will be on regular websites / platforms like slack (a slack clone, actually), Discord, etc. There would even be a closed forum for DAO members only. 

All of these are similar to what you are suggesting. But the NFT/blockchain aspect is like the critical thread that ties everything together.

This post is an interesting case study of how important branding and idea presentation are if you want EAs to buy into your ideas. I proposed something vaguely similar but called it a "giving circle" and got a bunch of upvotes; this post's score is currently negative. If I was the post author, I think I would probably feel a bit annoyed by this -- props to him for responding with good cheer.

I admire the audacity and vision of someone who learned about EA 5 months ago and now has the ambition of affecting $1 billion in EA funds. But realistically, this is an incredibly ambitious goal and you shouldn't take it personally if you fail!

To maximize your chances of success, you might try taking more of a consensus-building approach: reach out to people like ConcernedEAs, try to get on a video call with one of them, pitch your idea, listen and respond to objections (including improving your idea based on their input). Once you've done enough calls like this, you'll understand the most common objections -- and if you've found convincing responses to those objections, you can build your next post around those responses, and try to gather advisors and team members.

To be honest, anything from an anonymous poster involving selling NFTs to fund some fairly untested crypto idea is likely to get a downvote from me.

Thanks a lot for your kind words and your suggestions. I really appreciate!

I do have it in mind to reach out to various people and see what they have to say but I just wanted to "officially" get the word out first.

I actually read your "Giving circle" comment while researching for the project and made a mental note of how the DAO is kind of similar to a scaled up version of your "Giving circle" idea .

About the ambitious vision, I'm actually not scared of failing, it will only ginger me to try harder. I decided to use such a massive sounding number so that the DAO will be challenged. 

Afterall, if only one person (SBF) donated $1B, how difficult can it really be? I'm sure there are people around EA who can actually muster such amount in one go, all they really need is to key into the DAO's vision, that's where the branding thing comes into play. 

That being said, I agree that it may almost be too ambitious but someone once said (forgotten who) “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.

I believe deep down that most of the pushback is mainly because many people don't fully understand the technology. People who understand NFTs and DAOs will immediately see the merit in this. 

Once again I really appreciate your positive comment among a sea of pushbacks and negativity. 

Even though the downvotes are a bit discouraging, they were not totally unexpected and it serves to challenge me to do better and I like it. 

Plus I do eat downvotes for lunch!

P.S: Even if you don't join the DAO, I would really love to rub minds with you sometime on these matters, maybe munch some cool ideas from your brain  [insert zombie-eating-brain emoji]

Hmmm. This looks promising and if it actually works out it I think might actually fix many of the EA criticisms.

I've been trudging through the criticism posts and comments of late, interesting no one else seems to have mentioned a DAO as a possible solution even though it appears to be the perfect solution. Guess it could be worth a try. Waiting for your next update...

Thanks, I'll be posting that soon, hopefully

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