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DAOs as Future Educational Institutions ❤️ 🧠 💪

Scott David Meyer
Scott David Meyer
Hello from snowy Denver ❄️!
I’m discussing ed3 at ETHDenver. Now I have even more ideas to explore and share!
Today, I wanted to add more context around DAOs. The last issue was an in-the-weeds look at DAO frameworks. But what exactly is a DAO and what would DAOs look like as educational institutions?
To answer these questions, I teamed up with Vriti Saraf to share a primer on DAOs and imagine the future of You can read the full article here or enjoy a little preview below. - The Future of Decentralized Learning - The Future of Decentralized Learning
DAOs have the heart of a non-profit, the brain of a co-op, and the body of a C-corp. ❤️ 🧠 💪
Simply put: a DAO is a community with a shared treasury. One might consider them an evolved co-op.
While DAOs and co-ops both strive to bring value to, and empower their community, there are 4️⃣ characteristics that make DAOs unique:
1️⃣ DAOs run on the blockchain ⛓
This means that voting, treasury allocations, etc. are “trustless”. 
The automation set by a charter and coded rules allow the DAO to run efficiently and without the need to trust any one party.
Because the blockchain is trackable, current and future members can see the validity and reliability of all transactions of the DAO. 
This is very different than any organization… that has ever existed.
2️⃣ DAO ownership is broad 💼
Traditional co-ops limit activities based on legal status. Most DAOs are on an evolving trajectory, providing education, funding, talent connection, community, and more.
3️⃣ DAOs can vary in governance structures 🏛
DAOs choose the governance best for them. It could be tradition 1 person = 1 vote or more complex, technical options like quadratic voting. 
DAOs can also change that structure as they grow instead of being stuck by legacy systems.
4️⃣ DAOs leverage tokenomics 🪙
DAOs can reward intangible behavior with tangible value with tokens. These tokens reward members for being a part of the community, so both the DAO and the members benefit from its success.
The Web 3 playbook: using token incentives to bootstrap new networks. 🧵
DAOs as a New Model of Education
As we noted in From Web3 to Ed3, DAOs will provide the vital infrastructure for decentralized educational experiences.
There are 3️⃣ ways DAOs could improve or reinvent education:
  1. DAOs as Niche Colleges
  2. DAOs as Meta Universities
  3. DAOs as Social Hubs
Let’s take a look at each of these models.
1️⃣ DAOs as Niche Colleges
DAOs can niche further and deeper than a typical college.
Want to learn about ancient Moroccan architecture? A DAO could connect expert instructors with interested students.
DAOs can bring (and pay) the best person with the best instruction to share for a specific moment.
This provides a unique advantage over existing colleges which are typically limited by:
🌎 geographic knowledge (teachers who will move there)
👨‍🎓 students who are enrolled to the university (again, students who live close to that specific place or pay for that specific university)
The same concept could be applied to K-12 education. 
DAOs could act as micro schools with students from anywhere in the world.
This is a powerful addition for students without access to education or who don’t have programs or classes in their school that interest them.
2️⃣ DAOs as Meta Universities
Alternatively, DAOs could aggregate knowledge from across topic areas.
With DAO partnerships or subDAOs, a variety of topics can be added to a learning pathway.
DAOs would quickly have greater breadth and depth in any area a student might be interested in studying.
Smart contracts means DAOs can hire talent globally for tasks as atomized as a lecture. 
Likewise, students have the flexibility to pay based on single lectures, classes, or entire programs.
This is what’s known as straddling the Smiling Dao Curve as discussed in Strategic DAO Frameworks:
Strategic DAO Frameworks: The Meyer Matrix and Smiling Dao Curve — Scott David Meyer
3️⃣ DAOs as Social Hubs
DAOs offer a way to connect and make friends with people around the world.
We may remember our friends more than what we learned at college. How could a DAO replace this?
Well, students today feel more like themselves online than offline.
Bhaumik 🍎
I don’t know what the metaverse is but this is the bull argument for it
DAOs are a perfect fit for these students. 
They can be themselves, connect with students with similar passions, and learn from peers around the world. 
As @kassenq notes, DAOs could provide a social hub for students both during AND after graduation.
DAOs as University Replacements: A Thought Experiment
DAOs could even facilitate dating.
Imagine matchmaking tools for DAO members and rewards for successful matches.
Hear me out

Matchmaker DAO, a social club where members get tokens for successfully matching single friends together
DAOs Will Democratize Education and Social Experience
Most of us will say DAOs and online experience are no replacements for an “actual” college experience.
The truth is, an “actual” experience is out of reach for the majority of the planet. Only 7% of the world has a higher education degree, and the majority of those students today are non-traditional students…mostly online!
DAOs and ed3 are a way to democratize - and maybe improve - social experiences and education.
As Tim O'Reilly notes, “Technological change often happens gradually, then suddenly.”
Today, we are gradually seeing the tools and experience being developed to run effective DAOs. As these organizations slowly evolve, we will suddenly be looking at the new model of education.
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Thanks as always for reading!
If you’re in Denver, say hi. If you have thoughts or feedback or ideas on how to help build ed3, please reach out.
If someone forwarded this to you, I hope you’ll subscribe and join us for our frequent dives into the future of ed3.
Be well!
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Scott David Meyer
Scott David Meyer @MrScottMeyer

Ed3 is about scaling education, especially at the intersection of web3 + education 📈

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Scott Meyer, Fargo, ND 58103, USA