Web3 and the behavior of frontiers
After years of navigating a social sector averse to risk-taking, I found myself intrigued by a space experimenting and building at a new frontier: web3. I am no web3 expert, but I love exploring frontiers, and the driving question guiding my curiosity was: “How can web3 create a more just and equitable world?”
I wrote a White Paper earlier this year researching the intersection of web3 and impact as a way for me to try to answer this question (next white paper coming soon), and I continued this exploration by teaming with Kila Englebrook and Kyle Westaway to organize an in-person event in Austin, Texas earlier this month: The Web3 Impact Summit. We convened a range of speakers who were shifting the power dynamics in philanthropy through DAOs, bringing carbon credits onto the blockchain, and infusing principles of equity and inclusion into the metaverse. Five hundred people applied to attend our 100-person event, and we were humbled by the momentum and curiosity of people asking similar questions.
Nothing animates the enthusiasts and skeptics quite like something still in its infancy. This is to be expected at any frontier: the thing that’s emerging hasn’t yet fully come into view. We’re pressured to take sides too early, which leads to sweeping opinions propelled forward by our confirmation biases. At such a frontier, I believe the appropriate response is a commitment to reasoning by first principles and the intellectual humility to acknowledge how much we still don’t know. For more on the intersection of web3 and impact, Kyle Westaway and I are highlighting articles and journalism in a monthly newsletter.