Funding proposal: Partial funding for University DAO course content development

This proposal is to partially fund the development (and open sourcing) of course material for a University Level course: “An Introduction to Blockchains and Decentralised Autonomous Organisations”. We believe the first of its kind in the world and could be an important step in moving DAOs into mainstream adoption.

We will be apply for funding of 14 ETH each from 3 groups: Aragon, DAOStack and Metacartel. If we get approved from at least 2 then we will proceed. If only approved by one group then the proposal won’t go ahead and funds will be returned to that group.

The key objective is to grow the community by:

  1. Educating/inspiring a class of people new to this space
  2. Helping to create/grow a community of educators around the world
  3. Creating positive news headlines that help to make DAOs better known

The first course is now confirmed at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand and will begin in 11th November 2019, see course details. We are in discussion with Auckland University and will approach other Universities in Australia. Note that currently it wouldn’t be offered online / distance learning, one of our objectives is to encourage localised communities to flourish.

The course would be a 6 week module consisting of 30 hrs of “face to face” lectures/tutorials/workshops and 200 hours of student time. We are hoping that the group will build relationships and work together / support each other after the course.

This course is designed for non technical people as an introduction to the Blockchain and Decentralised Autonomous Organisations. It will include some hands-on programming (but no prior programming experience needed) and hands-on creating a real-life DAO’s on the Aragon and DAOStack platforms. Areas covered will include (subject to change as the technology evolves):

  1. History/Background
  • The evolution from Decentralised to Centralised
  • Cyberpunks and The Crypto Anarchist whitepaper
  • The Bitcoin whitepaper
  • Ethereum and the smart contract platforms
  • An introduction to decentralised data
  • Hands on guide to wallets and token trading
  1. Ethereum and Smart Contracts
  • Smart Contracts 101
  • Hands on coding smart contracts
  • Building Decentralised Applications (dApps)
  1. Reinventing projects and organisations
  • New emergent decentralised social organisation models
  • Agile & Open source
  • Teal and Holacracy
  1. Introducing DAOs
  • Concepts/philosophies/History
  • Design principles
  • Current landscape
  • A look at the top 10 global DAO’s
  • Introduction to the DAO platforms (Aragon, DAOstack, Colony, EOSDAC, Metacartel)
  1. Hands-on Aragon, DAOStack, Metacartel
  • History/philosophy
  • Creating a DAO
  • Lessons learned from DAO communities
  1. The future of organisations, work and society
  • Using token economics and DAO theory for a startup
  • Using token economics and DAO theory for an existing organisation
  • Liquid democracy and society reimagined
  • Preparing for a decentralised future

Deliverables will be:

Deliverables (under open source licence and freely available for others to use) consist of the following:

  • 2+ promotional activities within New Zealand (e.g. media or guest intro presentations). Notified to Telegram group. It is hoped that media activities get international attention.
  • Google slides (or PPT) for each of the above course sections
  • A “Coogle” mind map outlining the course structure and notes
  • A Google doc descripting 5-10 “homework” / group exercises / including set up notes and success criteria

The course will be given by Mark Pascall. Mark (https://www.linkedin.com/in/markpascall/) is passionate about all things decentralised and blockchain. He is the founder of TheDAO.agency (a global team based out of New Zealand providing a range of services in the blockchain and Decentralised Autonomous Organisation space). He has also been an active contributor to the DAOStack Genesis DAO, was Executive Director of BlockchainNZ, co-founded Blockchainlabs.nz, founded 3months.com and has presented at over 30 conferences on blockchain related topics around the world over the last few years. He has been a Blockchain trainer at Tech Futures Lab and was part of the SingularityU New Zealand local faculty training. He was featured in https://daostack.io/ebook.

His recent blogs include:

Hi, I’ve had the proposal passed in Genesis Daostack for partial funding for 14 Eth (see https://alchemy.daostack.io/dao/0x294f999356ed03347c7a23bcbcf8d33fa41dc830/proposal/0x2d81d72a5d73681855c57ca7f3613a305c28a6fd5c483f50d4c7c99f6a8cb4f3) . It doesn’t look like I will get funding from Metacartel. So if I can get this Aragon proposal passed then I can go ahead and and jointly fund the development and open sourcing of the course material which I believe will greatly contribute to the growth of the DAO ecosystem. The publicity about this course has already been positive and I am starting to collaborate with other universities around the world.

I’m generally supportive of educational proposals like this. Getting this technology into the hands of people outside of the cryptospace is important.

I do have a few issues with this though. The course is not free, I see the UNI will charge $1161.2 NZD to New Zealand residences $5206.6 NZD to foreign students. That is very expensive!

I’m not sure why you need the money. Further to this, there are no online materials so no one from the community will be able to benefit.

I would be more inclined to vote for this if the lectures were recorded and made freely available

Hi Aaron. Fair comments, however just to give you a bit of context. I believe there is huge benefits in getting a University level course out there and the material shared with other University level educational providers around the world (i.e. to encourage other providers to run similar courses). The only way I could get this accepted at Victoria University was to develop the material myself (and be paid standard lecturer fees for the delivery). The costs are the standard university costs that I can’t influence unfortunately.
Cheers Mark

So do I. But if we are funding it, it should be open-sourced and accessible. Not to mention we need to know how effective it is.

Like I said I’m generally in favour, just don’t think it’s right to expect us to pay for educational materials we cannot access

Just to be clear the funding is to develop and open source the course material. This course isn’t however designed to be an online/distance learning course. But of course nothing to stop others taking that material and making one. For this course it will be very interactive and I want to use it to start to build “real/physical” communities of people around the world. My hope is that this material (which will be shared between the Aragon/DAOstack and University network that I’m building up) will encourage others to do the same and grow the community.