DAO Learning Journey // Documentation of Sept. 5th, 2019

DAO Learning Journey // Documentation of Sept. 5th, 2019

Documentation of a DAO Learning Journey at SUPERMARKT Berlin

Disclaimer: Ela Kagel & Andreas Arnold from SUPERMARKT Berlin have organized a DAO Learning Journey on September 5th. The aim of this event was to create a prototype for a DAO learning journey, which would enable participants to build meaningful connections and to establish structures for mutual learning and knowledge transfer.

Metrics of success have been accomplished due to +25 participants from non-crypto / blockchain space, 5 relevant speakers from the DAO space, 2 interesting use cases for DAO exploration, positive and constructive feedback from participants via email. The creation of a blueprint for future DAO introductory workshops usable by other DAO builders and communities will soon follow as a future iteration.

The event was specifically designed for bridging the world of DAO pioneers with the realm of community builders from all walks of culture, social entrepreneurship and organizational design. This workshop aimed at opening up the DAO model for a non-Blockchain audience, in order to facilitate knowledge transfer on both sides. The goal of the learning journey was to create a deeper understanding of DAO business cases for leaders in the DAO space, while community builders were introduced to DAOs as an opportunity to expand their existing organizations or start building a DAO from scratch.

The general assumption of the event initiators was that curating a diverse audience and working on two concrete business cases would inspire participants to review each other’s work and provide solid feedback on business models, governance and organizational design – probably better than any external consultant could do, as both the DAO experts and the workshops participants are community builders – however working on separate ends.

Apart from the more structural and tangible outcomes, this event also aimed at opening a space for reflection and sharing of aspects that are usually not considered in a business environment: How to maintain health and well-being within the community, how to incentivize participation and sharing of responsibility and how to deal with systemic blind spots or frustrations.

Why do we need a DAO learning journey in the first place?

A learning journey is based on the assumption that peer review and collective learning provide the most sustainable results. Learning journeys are a strategic development approach, primarily designed for enabling change and development both within individuals or groups.

Ideally intended for groups, or communities of leaders, a learning journey takes place over time. It incorporates multiple formal and informal development components into a unique design, which optimizes training and maximizes learning to change behaviors and help transform group dynamics.
A learning journey is tailored around the specific needs of any given organization’s leadership style and culture.

Facilitation formats

The DAO Learning Journey started off with a general introduction of each of the participants, followed by a more formal impulse talk block. Andreas Arnold (SUPERMARKT), Patrick Rawson (DAOstack), Felipe Duarte (DAOfest), Beth McCarthy (DAOincubator) and Daniel Shavit (Aragon Black) provided introductions to their current work and the platforms they use. The following slot was used for clarification of questions from the participants.

The second half of the workshop was designed as a practical, hands-on workshop on two dedicated business cases. Chris Schappeit introduced the urban food production startup farmlyplace, and Manuela Bosch shared the findings of her community project Collaboration Incubator. The learning journey participants broke into two groups, one group gathered around farmlyplace, the other was willing to tackle the Collaboration Incubator as a business case.

The Collaboration Incubator group was facilitated by Beth McCarthy and Daniel Shavit, who used the Chaosmos Canvas: A Minimum Viable Prototype Guide for DAO Design, created by Beth McCarthy, as a model.

The farmlyplace group was led by Felipe Duarte and Patrick Rawson, who used the DAO design canvas, created by Felipe Duarte, as a guideline for the workshop.

Both groups worked for 2,5 hours along the DAO canvases. The learning journey was concluded by an open feedback round in the end.

Takeaways from the DAO Learning Journey

The feedback from the group and our own critical reflection might help to improve the organisation of future DAO events and hopefully create a understanding of all stakeholders involved:

  • DAOs have to be actively explored, therefore it is essential to have already participated in various experiences as a workshop host (e.g. launch and feedback of a DAO LJ proposal). Second hand-knowledge around DAOs or merely theoretical accounts are not very helpful in creating a learning experience for others.
  • Give participants room and opportunity to be themselves, react flexibly and improvise, because this type of facilitation reflects the nature of a DAO and highly nurtures the active role of participants (background: in the workshop people wanted to sit on the ground instead of chairs, also we had a person playing music during the practical part.
  • The heterogeneous audience often understands only a fraction of the technical components of DAOs and the language used to explain them → Pictures like “Blockchain = Magic Pen” are very helpful.
  • Contextualisation of DAOs are important as participants might ask why their previous organisation practices should no longer work. It is therefore important to have some interesting stories and narratives at hand that make people understand why for instance social coordination is different on a DAO than in traditional enterprises.
  • Use Cases are a suitable format to present and try out different DAO canvases, because they practically educate on the different stages and challenges within DAO creation.
  • The use case part needs experienced facilitators, because often only a small part of the group is familiar with the in-depth content of the case and outsiders often “drift off” into other or abstract thoughts. So it’s all about engaging people!

Next steps

Just a few days after the actual DAO learning journey people from both workshop groups continued to meet outside of SUPERMARKT to keep working on their project and spend time together. Apart from that, there are two more collaborations in the making, also a direct result of the shared experience people had during the learning journey. This is what we consider the most valuable outcome of this event: having been able to facilitate encounters that might grow into meaningful relations, so people can start tackling complex projects beyond professional silos.

This has encouraged us to work on another proposal, which will focus on creating a handbook for DAO business development. Stay tuned!
Many thanks to the Genesis Alpha Community for supporting our proposal. Also many thanks to Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie for their contribution!

DAO Learning Journey // Documentation of Sept. 5th, 2019
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