How to build a self-sustaining web3 community - Part 1 |TheInternetOfValue - 11
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January 21st, 2022

A well-being identity built on top of a decentralized platform that optimizes for the individual’s well-being by encouraging them to be part of multiple communities is what we proposed at a macro level in yesterday's post.

In this post, we unpack how one such community can be built sustainably. But before we do, let us set a definition for “community” - the #microeconomics

Merriam Webster defines community as a unified body of individuals, such as:

a) the people with common interests living in a particular area broadly

b) a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society

But from an economic perspective, we have defined community as a microcosm of an economy. This means all three factors of output are built-in within a community. viz, capital, labor and productivity (wellbeing)

So, a community is a group of like-minded people ( skill, language, space, interest ) who come together through processes and incentives. Remember, we are proposing a skill-based community system. This image pretty much sums up our thought; take a look.

Community Building Block 1 - People

Let us start with the first (and primary ) component - People ( or labor ). People are at the core of the community. A community takes in people at multiple skill levels after a baseline test set by the community and evolving, based on the community’s up-leveling system

initially, these are set by the founding members, along with checks and balances required to upskill an individual. The skill level could be tied to a role, for example, within the community— #ProgressiveDecentralisation in #DAOs vocabulary.

An ideal community would have systems to tie these levels (and roles ) to the market demand, and irrespective of which level a person joins, a community should have a “path” for them to be able to skill up. A community offers a space for lifelong learning through structured and unstructured paths to move from traditional learning modes to collaborative learning

Community Building Block 2 - Capital

The second component is Incentive / Demand / Capital. It is creating a demand for the skills being taught within a community to bring capital into the community. This is the bloodline of the community.

Lifelong earning opportunities bring people together as a community and eventually stick and grow together. A simple way to look at this is to consider the demand side as a talent agency for the community. If the community is teaching growth skills then growth as a service is the demand side value proposition that is market-facing. All creations within a community can be positioned to the market: these can be courses, creations and proof of concepts. Once the demand side closes a project, it is split and fed back to the supply as apprenticeships and gigs, thus completing the loop between the supply and demand of skills within the community.

Community Building Block 3 - Productivity

The third component is productivity. The significant part of making these communities sustain and scale is by having processes, frameworks, and systems defined as a baseline and with provision for improvement.

This includes materials for organizing workshops, setting up fellowship pipelines, processes for organizing learning circles and challenges, on-boarding facilitators, and all kinds of templates and forms for sign-up events, social media, etc.

We recommend @RoamResearch for setting up these processes leveraging #RoamTemplates, and we will share a video on how on shared graph of Roam can be used to manage a community, end-to-end.

Equitable Distribution

Once the productive systems are set, the skilling and demand sides are up. The next step is to start thinking about the equitable distribution of wealth without penalizing the effectual workers / being lenient on the non-performers. Also, to ensure no capital accumulation, we look at multiple existing modes available in the current system and a cooperative system and arrive at a balanced framework - Enterprise Cooperatives.

Co-operative enterprises are unique business models which fit uncomfortably into existing organizational paradigms. This is due to their dual function or ‘symbiosis’ in which they simultaneously serve both an economic and a social purpose (Fairbairn'94).

Cooperative enterprise differs from an investor-owned firm (IOF) in at least five significant ways (Van Sickle and Ladd 1983):

i) The customers/suppliers are also the owners/shareholders;

ii) The price of the co-op’s share capital is generally fixed by its articles of incorporation and are not openly traded

iii) Coop can offer members deferred patronage refunds, essentially returning them the cost of their transactions with the co-op (post expenses)

iv) Coops can enjoy tax exemptions and may pay no tax or a single tax on income; and

v) Coops exist for the sole purpose of delivering value to their members

We will go into further details in a later thread; for now, let us look at the value proposition of a community.

For an individual, it offers the lifelong opportunity to

  • Meet
  • Learn
  • Earn

with people of similar skills

Community validates their work & stores it on a decentralized network, and incentivizes their growth within the community. It also opens up the possibility of a new credit system, opening up a stream of financial services not usually accessible to a gig worker otherwise. The up-leveling system takes care of the lack of career track for #freelancers. Being part of the community reduces loneliness and the social reclusion of freelancers. It also greatly reduces the anxiety of searching for the next project.

To businesses, the community offers a pool of talent, whose work is recorded, verified, and validated, accessible for them to pick, and essentially frees them to focus on the business.

Scaling

For communities to scale, we must understand this cycle that starts with few facilitators and people eager to learn from them, following personal or collaborative learning methods. Once they start creating value ( courses, products, services, etc.), it can be positioned to the market, leading to more facilitation and members. 11:28 At some point, we think smaller communities will spin out from these larger communities with a broader niche of skills, which brings more people to the network. #community #flywheel

Summary
A #microeconomic view of a self-sustaining community

The three components

  • Supply Side - New Age #EdTech
  • Demand Side - Talent Agency / #Gig / Project Platform
  • Productivity - Templates

In the next post, we will explore how the individual’s well-being score can be a replacement to the traditional credit scores - the final piece of this puzzle.

This is chapter 11 in the ongoing series about the thought experiment on building a better economic system - TheInternetOfValue.

The Part2 of this “how to build a self-sustaining web3 community” will be on the incentive structuring/token system /token economics. Say Tuned!

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