[PASSED] BIP-6: Education DAO

This is directed to power as well:

I do sympathize that reading through these boards can be time-intensive, especially when entering a discussion with previously established dialogue. However, if you must speak disparagingly about a proposal, please ensure that you’re directing criticism in a way that’s fair and constructive; one cannot be certain that this is the case without having first considered what has previously been said.

Please consider these excerpts from prior posts above:

Jimme vocalized a concern that, " … (a)n Education DAO should provide equal funding opportunities to institutions worldwide instead of being limited to US-based."

To which JonAllen replied (emphasis added by me), “I am currently in talks with almost a dozen people from four different countries who would like to be involved in the EduDAO steering committee. Feel free to fill out the form in the proposal if you’re interested, we welcome participation from everyone! This EduDAO will then allocate funding to University Group DAO’s and University Centers around the world.”

The strength of a DAO’s community is partially derived from the quality of the discussion that occurs between community members. Though your desire to contribute is appreciated, please refrain from ad hominem attacks. The suggestion of solutions is preferred. If a comment serves no point but to disparage, it perpetuates nothing but more negativity.

9 Likes

Ratan & Darya here, Co-Presidents of Blockchain at Berkeley.

We’re extremely excited to be a part of the proposed Education DAO initiative, from expanding the Berkeley and broader Bay Area blockchain ecosystem to providing grants to the next generation of researchers and startup founders. For a bit of context on our organization—Blockchain at Berkeley has been running since late 2016 drawing its roots from the early cypherpunks and members of Bitcoin Association at Berkeley in late 2013. We’re currently ~90 members strong, split across education, research, and consulting and have ~250 alumni. Our members have gone on to found organizations such as she256 (which helps women and non-binary folks get access to the blockchain industry) SF Blockchain Week (an open blockchain conference with 5000+ attendees), and a wide array of startups (Opyn, Evmos, Osmosis, & more).

We would like to provide our input on a few concerns we’ve seen from the community:

  1. Blockchain at Berkeley serves the broader global community of students: Many have raised the concern that Education DAO is targeted at “old money” and U.S. universities. As students at a large, well-established university, we recognize, acknowledge, and remain conscious of the financial privilege our group holds. However, funding our organization directly uplifts students outside of Berkeley in two ways: (a) First, we plan to fund groundbreaking student projects and initiatives. Blockchain at Berkeley’s usage of funds will be leveraged to uplift less established entities (i.e. first round of funding/grants) who would vastly benefit from our resources, funding, guidance, and support. (b) Second, much of our resources are directed into creating educational content that is leveraged on the international scale. We teach an edX that has taught over 200,000 students around the globe in 193 different countries as well as a Blockchain for Developers course and a Blockchain Fundamentals course, both of which are freely available on our YouTube channel. In fact, many universities across the world such as those in the US, Europe and Asia with less established programs utilize and benefit from our educational content. As such, resources that go to Blockchain at Berkeley effectively serve the university blockchain ecosystem at large. Put succinctly, students are served best by students. We echo @JonAllen’s point that the future of the EducationDAO should include directly supporting smaller scale, globally dispersed institutions. When it comes to the first iteration of EduDAO that is limited to only a few entities, the most utilitarian approach is to fund groups like Blockchain at Berkeley which uniquely maintain the network, infrastructure, and bandwidth to redirect the output and impact of our funding to students around the globe and provide a model to build upon in the future.

  2. Berkeley students are ideologically driven: Eric Hughes, the author of the Cypherpunk Manifesto, was a Berkeley alum and we consistently place the ideological underpinnings of blockchain’s history within our organization and educational content. While our members are spread across various niches in the space (from our Governance initiatives to consensus protocols to smart contract security to social impact), we encourage each of our members to have a reason—a vision—for precisely why they do what they do. Ideology is at the heart of our daily work and we pride ourselves on contributing to core values established by cypherpunks and cryptoanarchists years ago.

We plan to release more details on Blockchain at Berkeley’s plans for Education DAO over the coming weeks, providing more specificity on how we plan to award grants, support the next generation of founders & students and bring blockchain technology into the hands of students around the world. Thank you to @JonAllen & everyone else who made this proposal possible—we’re extremely excited to get this initiative off the ground, and we can’t wait to see what EducationDAO can accomplish together!

6 Likes

Thanks so much for your comments! Taking the time to engage here means a lot.

The first time I read Hughes manifesto, it had a huge impact; it was this piece (along with Conway’s Game of Life!) that largely inspired me to go back to school to get a degree in comp. sci.

I feel very strongly that, along with being one of the most valuable subcultures to come out of the US, student clubs, hackerspaces, and makerspaces often seem like one of the few community outlets that are able to retain ideological sovereignty; something about binary and objectivity, I guess.

The best response I can think of to those vocalizing concerns over funding students who may come from upper-class families; I would invite you to read about Aaron Schwartz. Here’s a young altruist who was from a wealthy part of the world, but chose to go out of his way (literally) to benefit those around him. The video of him that’s included on his Wiki page where he’s speaking about decentralization is most definitely worth the watch. 2007!

2 Likes

Wow! Invoking Aaron Schwartz’s name… to advocate a proposal that gives money to MIT… That’s not an advisable topic of discussion in this forum. I would suggest you do a little reading of your own about Aaron Schwartz. Wow! And how his friends and family now feel about MIT after watching them push the case to prosecute him. You know, because this is not a strong counterargument to any of my points. It’s just in poor taste to even bring it up in this context. Let’s just leave it there.

Apologies if you feel that my comment was in bad taste- I was choosing to focus on Aaron’s altruism as someone who actively participated in collaborative student-driven spaces. These spaces served to positively influence and support so many; not to mention help form the internet’s core values. I see them as being very similar in spirit to the nature of how DAOs are structured- everyone in it for the same reason. :slight_smile:

I really do feel it’s worth extending compassion to all those who were close to this tragedy; all statements from the MIT community that I’m aware of have demonstrated a genuine sense of sorrow, and a deep desire to critically reflect on what occurred. Universities are communities reliant on the decisions of many- not monolithic entities who act autonomously. Personally, I look towards his father’s choice to continue working with MIT’s Media Lab as something worth considering.

That said, and with total respect to Aaron’s memory, this was a bit of a digression, and we should certainly get back to discussing the proposal; history shows that Ratan & Darya’s description of Berkeley as an ideologically driven institute is not without merit, with the school having built a reputation for the level of sovereignty these groups retain.

When I consider those facets of North American history that I feel are worthy of pride, they almost exclusively derive from our post-secondary institutes. This sovereignty is essential, and financial support only enhances this. The cultural significance of student-led initiatives should not be underestimated, and it does not take look very far back in recent history to find clear occurrences of societies being actively defended by these very student groups.

Also, just as a quick side-note, Prof_Fanatickus; you may have missed it (there’s a lot of engagement on this post!) but JonAllen wrote a direct reply to your earlier comments, and I’d hate to see it go unnoticed because of a comment I made.

Cheers!

3 Likes

@JonAllen interesting proposal :+1:

Clarifying question: is the primary intent for EducationDAO social good, or directly economic?

Without expectation of revenue generation (i.e. purpose of social good), then adding the expectation of any output produced being open (source, publishing or patents) and free for the general public would be ideal, aligning actions with intent.

With expectations of revenue generation (i.e. directly economic purpose), then any mandating of openness would reduce the potential business models for that revenue generation. Discretion would be best left to those directly involved.

3 Likes

In the “What” section, it discusses funding granted to “University Ecosystems”:

“Grants will be given to university DAO’s to use as they best see fit as long as they participate in governance votes ( >75%), help with testing DAO tools, and propose at least one BitDAO Contribution every six months.”

As well as discussing funding for “University Projects”:

“Awards of up to $25k ( the intention is for it to be relatively small amounts but the amounts can be adjusted) can be granted in exchange for a percentage of ownership interest in University-Based Projects. Students or university-centric funds (such as the House Fund in Berkeley) will be elected by University Group DAO’s to allocate this capital, and it is up to the relevant University Group to choose how University-Based Projects will be selected for funding.”

I hope this clarifies things a little monkey_scratch_head, but I’m sure JonAllen would be able to elaborate.

2 Likes

[reposting with a more formal name]

Hello, this is Jun and Bryan from Penn Blockchain at the University of Pennsylvania. After thoroughly reading through this proposal thread on the EducationDAO, we wanted to contribute to the discussion of EducationDAO’s merits and potential shortcomings.

Penn Blockchain is excited about the EducationDAO for three reasons,

  1. It is a way for Penn as a university to give back to the community

    The conversations in this thread about the egalitarian nature of DAOs have motivated us to be more outward facing in our approach. With funding from EduDAO as well as from Penn Alumni, we will propose treasury proposals focused on giving back to local nonprofits and relief organizations outside the university bubble that the DAO considers most crucial to the community.

  2. Penn, as a large university, can help expand the crypto community to other local universities.

    Some have questioned the validity of giving the funds to the most well established universities. Although it is true the Penn has larger endowments compared to other universities, the most effective way of reaching smaller student communities around Philadelphia would also be testing a robust proof of concept at a university with an existing crypto community and then using the PennDAO to help establish organizations similar to Penn Blockchain across other universities. Going through the process of establishing PennDAO will serve as a helpful framework that can be extended to other surrounding universities.

  3. It can bolster student-focused initiatives in and out of our university

    The Cypher accelerator is one example where the PennDAO can directly support the crypto community without geographical restrictions. The Cypher Accelerator is an initiative at Penn that is open to crypto projects from all over the world. Despite the scale, the monetary funding is underwhelming at a few thousand dollars. PennDAO, though its governance, can provide grants to these projects to foster its growth, while giving students the opportunity to think critically about supporting diverse kinds of projects.

    We hope this response communicates a clearer vision of PennBlockchain’s vision for the PennDAO. Perhaps what’s great about the EduDAO initiative is that every student body is free to morph the DAO into whatever they seem best fit for their own communities. We expect our UniDAO formation to be an iterative process, one where we will encounter many faults before a robust system is built. So we appreciate all of the dear criticism given in the thread, and we are very excited to be a part of this greater network of crypto inspired students.

Thank you so much!

5 Likes

A quick update, we have added Tsinghua University Students Blockchain Association to the phase 1 university group! As the blockchain club representing the #1 university in China, we are honored to have them on board. They are extremely excited by this initiative and will help to expand EduDAO globally into phase two with their numerous connections to other international universities.

On the advice of several groups we are talking with to help set up and maintain this entity, we have added $1M per year to the EduDAO budget to ensure that legal fees, accounting, compliance, payroll, and any other associated expenses can be paid rather than relying on excess budget from University Groups and Centers. Since most of the legal fees will be front loaded, accounting will take place to adjust this amount for subsequent funding top-ups based on need.

3 Likes

That really is an honour. These types of collaborations have so much potential, and I’m really excited to see funding extended to this group of students. I think the cost-benefit of funding these groups will be very clear when subsequent requests are made.

3 Likes

I sincerely hope that everyone in the community that has the capacity to vote in this proposal has done so!

As it stands, I’ve seen tremendous support from the community for this proposal. So many of us wanted to vote in this proposal- but, unfortunately, gas costs are currently highly restrictive.

Myself, along with a number of community members, are working towards a solution. We’ve formed an aligned entity, Æmbassy. I’m huge appreciative of the reception and support we’re getting from the community as a whole. If anyone is interested in collaborating, come link up with us in the BitDAO Discord channel!

1 Like

Great work team , we will rock :metal:

1 Like

Would love to explore overlap/partnership opportunities with Invisible College.

Join Discord: Invisible College
tayken#0458

2 Likes

BIP-6 has been approved!

EduDAO is set to be the world’s first student-led multi-university DAO organization that will lead the charge in bringing the next generation of Web3 thinkers from 0 to 1. Learn more at edudao.io

2 Likes

Theres no shortcutting web3 adoption around the world, it starts and ends with education

1 Like

Creating opportunities in Web3 for university students resonates extremely with me as that is the only way I see getting the next generation involved and to adopt crypto from an early age.

1 Like

Education has always been the most important aspect of Web3. Amazing proposal.

1 Like

@JonAllen It’s great to know (a little) about you, through your personal anecdotes :pray:

Also appreciate this proposal. It’s really intense.

Would you please help me with clarifications for the following.

For Year 1, BitDAO will have a 75% ownership interest and 25% voting stake in Education DAO since it will provide the vast majority of funding. University DAO’s will maintain 100% ownership and voting Year 1 (from the proposal doc)
It’s not clear, how these ownership & voting % are adding up. BitDAO’s 75%+ University DAOs’ 100% (175%?!?!) BitDAO’s 25%+ University DAO’s 100% (125%!!!)

Is it possible to share details of the progress, as well as the University DAOs’ participation in Governance etc, in the last two quarters, with BitDAO community?

Presume, it’s ok to share the next set of University/Groups, as in the pipeline, for the next phase! My question would be: only steering committee recommends these, or BitDAO members may suggest some qualified entity names, from around the world, as per the set criteria?

Thanks in anticipation. Really appreciate your time.

1 Like