Blog

CityDAO Community Roundup vol.22

By
Community
Dec 5, 2023

The year 2023 is about to come to an end. The world had recovered from the plague. Events around the world continue on, and CityDAO continues to build. You can find information about our general progress in the newspapers that are being published here on the City blog. That said, while project’s progress is good, if one put too much of their focus into a specific direction, they might lose their way. It is important to occasionally pause for a brief moment to take a look at the big picture and think about why we’re here, and where we want to go. In today’s community roundup, we have two topics to cover: voices from the community, and community brainstorm. We hope that you will be able to see more of our project’s big picture after giving them a read.

Voices from the Community

Are you a citizen of CityDAO? Whether you’ve been a citizen since the beginning, or you joined somewhere along the way, there must be a reason why you’re here. For some, that reason is deeper than others. Needless to say, we appreciate every one of you who are here with us. However, we do want to learn more about those of you who are here for a specific purpose. We offered a task for selected contributors of the CityDAO community to talk about why they decided to join CityDAO and their experience with the project in a short essay, and we’ve chosen the best entry to feature here in the article. We hope that you’ll find it interesting to learn about the passion that another citizen has for CityDAO. Perhaps it might even ignite your own passion to start contributing to CityDAO if you haven’t had the chance to.

Voice from a citizen: Melinda

I joined CityDAO because I resonated with the people I met there on the level of shared values. Before deciding to become a citizen, I joined the Discord forum and met with community members on other platforms. I discovered academics, artists, developers, and many others who shared a forward-thinking mindset. I believe that the only way we will exist in a hundred years (that doesn’t look like a “Mad-Max”-like dystopia) is to actually build the future we want. I also believe that tapping into online communities is an important key to collaboration and making what we build sustainable. CityDAO is an amazing example of how NFTs and other Web 3.0 tools can play a very important role in these endeavors, from fundraising, to mobiling projects, to joining like-minded people together. 

Web 3.0 projects like CityDAO can be considered an opportunity to “get rich quick” through cryptocurrency speculation or as a means of “finding your tribe.”  I prefer the latter approach. It’s true that a successful NFT fundraiser will attract a lot of individuals who are there simply for the potential payout. CityDAO is no different. However, CityDAO’s credentials, based in Wyoming law, and its unique mission-driven focus on putting city governance in the hands of locals also attracted a concentration of highly skilled entrepreneurs and creatives. Personally, locally-based governance and/or economic efforts are very important because I can contribute to projects aligned with my values. 

I first got in contact with CityDAO in March of 2022, drawn to the idea of transforming cities using blockchain technologies, and I wanted practical experience in a Web 3.0. organization. As stated by the CityDAO Academic conference description, “CityDAO seeks to create a modern city where information is decentralized, transparent, immutable, and permissionless.” I was intrigued by these ideas and enthusiastic to talk about this mission and its implications. Furthermore, experiencing CityDAO first hand seemed like the best way to learn about how blockchain technologies and the online communities powered by them might be impacting us now and in the future. 

As soon as I introduced myself to the CityDAO community on Discord I received a personal invitation to the education and research guild. I was delighted to discover a newly-formed group of individuals who, like me, desired regular conversations about topics that I find endlessly engaging: the future of education, especially higher education; democratic governance and how technologies might usher in an era of effective accountability and representation; decentralization writ large, in organizations like CityDAO, and much-anticipated decentralization of science research; and many others. Our weekly conversations generated exciting ideas and by the time six months passed we had realized a number of academic achievements, including a conference, research articles, professional development, opportunities, and chances to improve teaching skills. You can find a selection of them here.

The conference we organized included the same topics and we enjoyed participation and feedback from individuals across the Web 3.0 spectrum, including other DAOs and educational organizations defining movements, decentralization, philosophies, and means of governance, and much more. See the video here.

What’s really exciting is that I was able to lead one of these collaborations with regard to educating a group of young people about how Web3 works, how to code, and how to “hack” academics to be successful in university and in life. We called it the Web 3.0 Accelerator and it was an immersion meeting program where students spent time studying proposals by CityDAO citizens learning about the mission. What citizenship means to our organization. See more about it here.

The Accelerator was taught by myself and my colleague, Tippi Fifestarr, another CityDAO citizen, and sponsored by one of the founding members of CityDAO Blackacre. It was exciting to produce a wonderful program and see how it transformed young people well, while also experiencing the power of web 3.0 ourselves, and how we might produce many more educational experiences in the future. This is my hope for CityDAO that one day, though, they’ll be a self-sustaining economy of lucrative activities within CityDAO, diverse industries, and an educational system. I hope to connect with CityDAO communities in Turkey and China, and perhaps to plant seeds for new communities in India. Most of our participants for the Accelerator were located in India or in the gulf. There are so many possibilities and I look forward to collaborating again with my friends at CityDAO.

The collaborations I mentioned were labors of love for me but they also caused me to become proficient in Discord, Dework, Metamask, and other prominent Web 3.0 platforms. This meant I was learning how to utilize these technologies and how online community building works through experience, as I had hoped I would.  For this reason alone I value my CityDAO experience.  But there are many other motivations for me. For example, I’m proud that CityDAO sent earthquake victims in Turkey funds within a week after the first of two devastating earthquakes hit earlier this year. I am motivated and energized to continue impacting young people’s lives through experiences like the Web 3.0 Accelerator.

Community Brainstorm

For those of you who are well familiar with our CityDAO project, or those of you who only heard about our name and what our general vision is, what do you think would bloom out of us in the years to come? A fully functional town with the CityDAO citizenship properly integrated into it? A huge multi-purpose complex for citizen use that is also open to the public for rent via NFTs? Or perhaps some of you are expecting us to end up as a network state with our identity existing mostly online? The future is uncertain. And due to the nature of a DAO, anything could happen. Let’s take a look at some of the opinions from the community regarding this matter.

A few months ago, we held a brainstorming contest where we challenged anyone who knows about our project to write us some ideas about what they want to see happen at CityDAO. We received a number of entries, some of which were quite interesting. Ultimately, the three winners were chosen by votes from the judges and the citizens. We’ll run through each idea and analyse them one by one.

Idea 1: CityDAO-owned multi-purpose arena.

The idea is to acquire an arena, brand it under CityDAO, and use it to host large-scale events, while allowing other organisations to rent the arena for their own use. Profit from events and rent will go to the CityDAO treasury.

This idea received an overwhelming amount of votes from the community, and the appeal of it is certainly apparent. You know how some stadiums or arenas are named after famous brands? Like the T-Mobile Park in Seattle, or the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. A multi-purpose venue that is named after us, something like “CityDAO Arena”, would be quite a sight to behold. And we wouldn’t just have the naming rights; we would actually own it and manage it in a decentralised manner. Obviously, there is one big catch about this idea: the cost. The amount of money that it would take to build and maintain a sizable venue would go way above and beyond the roof, and we definitely won’t be capable of affording such a project any time in the near future. Even relatively big corporations would struggle with such a project. That said, it is interesting to know that this is something that the community wants to see.

Idea 2: decentralised cloud service.

For this idea, we would acquire a physical space and turn it into a decentralised data centre, offering cloud service to DAOs/web3 organisations and running validator nodes, earning income to CityDAO treasury and allowing web3 orgs to have their infrastructure hosted on a decentralised cloud.

This is another really interesting idea. Currently, most web3 infrastructures are hosted by a non-decentralised service. You might ask, why is this a problem? The issue is that your data is handled by the cloud provider, and they often analyse it to improve their product and services, but sometimes they also take advantage of it to tailor advertisements for you, something that is undesired by many. But disregarding that, there’s a much more serious concern: data breaches. There have been too many news about data breaches on cloud storages, and that is due to the fact that most web2 data centres have many potential SPOF (single point of failure), making them vulnerable to attacks. A decentralised, blockchain-leveraged cloud service would greatly improve the security in this regard.

Now, while this might sound like a good idea—and it is in fact actually a really good idea—there are many other organisations who are much more capable than CityDAO in handling a project like this, and some of them have already caught on to the idea and made their move, such as the Eternity Cloud, a cloud computing service by Ethereum that claims to be the world’s most secure data protection service (which could very well be true). By the time CityDAO gets to the point where we have enough resources to handle it, the market might already be quite saturated. Nevertheless, it’s great to see that there is a citizen who were able to single out an often overlooked problem and correctly pointed out a solution for it.

Idea 3: citizen directory.

This idea is to create a citizen directory that keeps records of citizens’ skillset and background, allowing ease of networking between the citizens. At a later stage, a platform with an interactive map would be created, allowing citizens to interact and create events around the world.

A simpler idea than the previous two, as this idea can be done entirely online. Currently, the way that citizens network with each other in our CityDAO community is through our CityDAO Discord server. We have an intro channel where server members (whether citizens or not) can introduce themselves to the community using the introduction guideline, and any interested party can seek out any individuals that have a specific skill set using this channel. A dedicated citizen directory platform could improve on this area since we would put each citizen into different groups according to their origins, skill set, etc., making it easier to find suitable people that anyone might be looking for. While this is certainly an interesting idea, the issue with the idea is that it could only provide so much supplementation to the currently existing social network sites, which are already more than capable of providing many networking opportunities. Still, as our community develops and citizen activity increases around the world, a networking platform dedicated only for CityDAO citizens could be something that would prove to be useful.

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As you can see, in the ideal world, our project has various possible intriguing projects to pursue, some of which would really push our name out there for the whole web3 community to look up to. But in reality, we have limited resources to work with, and we have to decide how to utilise them efficiently and effectively. Will we ever reach one of those big dreams that some of our citizens visualised for us? Time will tell. We’re here to make sure that the possibility of our success is as high as possible. And for that, we need your cooperation. Even if you don’t actively contribute in some of our big projects, just being a citizen who exercises your rights and put your trust in us is already a huge support. Stick with us, citizens, for one day our dreams might come true.

The original artwork featured on the article banner was an oil painting titled “Seashore with Fishermen” by Thomas Gainsborough from the year 1782.

For previous Community Roundups (vol.1-21), you can find them on our mirror page.

Snapshots this Week