Note — Jan 23, 2022

AAs, Co-Ops, and DAOs

My friend Simon might have preferred I wait for his complete essay but I’m linking anyway to his excellent Twitter thread because it’s already worth a read. He’s been exploring the history of the governance of Alcoholics Anonymous and how it could inform social contracts in DAOs. Good stuff! His conclusions so far also parallels, in my mind, Morozov’s above. I.e. that Web3 and DAOs are still too focused (sometimes exclusively) on the tools and not enough on needs, purpose, or mission.

He mentions this article a couple of times: What co-ops and DAOs can learn from each other and it’s definitely a great companion piece with some solid thinking. It reminded me of Jay’s Discord, DAOs and the Dweb : Three Areas to Explore in 2021 which I linked to in my own Thoughts on Web3.

Differences aside, there is a growing overlap in the idea spaces that DAOs and platform co-ops inhabit. Both forms seek to expand collective ownership and governance of digital infrastructure. Both have a culture that prioritizes collective control and the creation of shared goods. […]

At the end of the day, the best framework for an organization may not be a choice between a cooperative or DAO model, but a blend of both. Incorporating cooperative values into crypto networks could take the form of a traditional cooperative that bootstraps its network through on-chain tokenized contributions. Alternatively, a DAO could decide to adopt cooperative one-vote governance in some instances.