One thing is clear. The time is now. The collective “we” have had enough.
We realize that being the change we want to see in the world, is more than a famous Ghandi quote. It is an instruction for how to stand up for what’s right. For how to live, learn, and show others the way. For how to engage in civil discourse. And for how to BE in the world.
With Web 3 today, I’m seeing more interest in building a better world through innovative technology than at any other time in my life. And I’ve seen a lot in nearly 28 years as a bootstrapping Internet entrepreneur and community builder.
Earlier today I serendipitously stumbled into a Twitter Space on Identity, Reputation, and Moderation hosted by Blue Sky. They were literally addressing the same concerns that have been keeping me up at night. The same desire for gathering together to envision, build, and serve our greater interests, together, through new technologies, new mindsets, and new heartsets – seeing the potential of what could be, not the chains of what has been. They’ve also started working in this direction envisioned by Web 3.1.
The past few weeks, my Web 3.1 co-host and dear friend Tina Hui has been speaking to a lot of her friends and colleagues around the crypto and broader Web 3 space. She’s been hearing a lot of the same.
It’s time to have the talk.
The talk about what we want Web 3 to be when it grows up. The talk about what our design intentions and patterns should be. The talk about how we make it work for more people, not just a privileged elite. To serve society and not just a powerful few.
It’s time to look back to our recent history and the insights from conversations from revolutions in years gone by, through the lenses of our modern, post-digital world. To extract the wisdom of the ages, of our mentors, and of those who have come before us, so that the path for those who come after us is well lit.
In short, we’ve heard again and again over the past few weeks that the time to have the conversation about what we want next and how we will build it is now. That we need to look more closely at what decentralization really means and where it matters most. That we need to really consider environmental impacts and energy consumption. That we need to address barriers preventing participation, including exclusionary language, complicated processes, and unnecessary costs.
It’s time to address ethics, inclusiveness, and integrity. It’s time to address industry self regulation before stifling regulation is thrust upon us, and entrenched powers rush to defend the status quo. We need to figure out what sort of practices are acceptable and which standards we want to support. We need to figure out what’s not working.
That Twitter Space with folks from Bluesky, Matrix, Mastodon, 150, and so many other social entrepreneurs today revealed the more significant transformational opportunities of Web 3, not only of our commons, but of our organizations and each of our lives. The sorts of innovations and advancements that should be lighting up headlines instead of all the coverage of which celebrity bought which rights to a given collection of pixels.
Personally, I am so grateful to see how wide and deep interest is in the industry to do more than make a shit ton of money and collect collections of pixels. There are so many others like us who see the real potential of the world that lies beyond Web 3. The sort of utility and impact it will produce for each of us.
Yes, We’re Going to Make It. #WGMI
Or as I’ve been saying #WINWINWIN, or maybe it should be #WIN3
Web 3.1 Leadership Summit (February 28)
Another important thing to come from these conversations is a better sense of what is happening now and what issues we need to address. So I want to take this opportunity to share a bit more about our conference theme, the tracks we will be hosting, and the topics we will address, together.
“What will it take to deliver on the promise of Web 3?”
This is the core focal point for us. It may be hard to believe that this question structure is the secret that releases us from our self limiting beliefs, but it’s true. One of my mentors, the author of Mastering Your Balance, Bill Leider, discovered this powerful technique as he developed exponential growth strategies for large technology companies.
We will use this question to explore the possibilities, the challenges, and the realities of our world today. Web 3 is barely a twinkle in our eyes, and yet we are already talking about Web 3.1? Unabashedly, yes. As another famous quote goes, “you need to skate to where the puck is going to be.”
Pre-Conference Track 1: The Promise of Web 3
An exploration of the possibilities for society and our economy. The freedom and responsibilities that come with decentralization. We will discuss how this meets the reality of human behaviors and what incentives or organizational structures might motivate people to rise above and go beyond their constraints.
A few big issues we will be addressing include: The Problems With Web 3, The Co-Ownership Economy, Decentralized Leadership (aka self-management), Waymaking in the Age of Wicked Complexity, Enterprise 3.0, Aligned and Ready Organization/Community Cultures, Privacy: Identity and Anonymity, Non-Fungible Rights, and Regulation.
Pre-Conference Track 2: The Co-Creator Economy
There is much more here than meets the eye. Indeed, the creativity and warmth of our humanity will not be easily replicated or replaced by technology. It is who we are, inventive, imaginative, dreamers who see how things could be instead of how they are. Indeed, as I learned in Australia, the Creative Enterprises have long been the pursuits of artists. In the past decade it has become a space for so much more, including ‘performative wisdom’ in the form of workshops, e-learning, events such as this and coaching.
It is also shifting from the creator economy to the co-creator economy with DAO’s, chained payments for licensing, NFT’s, and new media distribution pathways where revenue sharing is becoming the norm. Where people become coders in exchange for a fair share of future income, removing the cost barriers for learning and earning. A world where we will find a resurgence in podcasting and media creation, for fun, impact, and income.
Pre-Conference Track 3: The Technology & Standards
We need to define, design, and develop a set of core open standards upon which we can build a “big tent” ecosystem that is more inclusive, more equitable, and more fair. We need to build an ecosystem where trust and mutuality can flourish, where bad actors are not able to harm others. As I discussed earlier today, the best way to ensure that good wins out is to design the technology such that society and humanity is at the very core, in the standards for our data, for our vocabularies, and for our interoperability most importantly of all.
We will have more specific sessions as well as all the speakers to be announced over the coming weeks, as we all come together, with the first formal announcements and tickets going on sale next week.
Web 3.1 Unconference
While I am a huge fan of traditional Unconference as an Open Space, I am more of a fan of facilitating different kinds of interactions that put the power in the hands of the participants. So this event will be a different kind of experience, weaving presentations, conversessions, networking, and workshops. I am really excited to what we will be doing with Lawrence Coburn’s Twine, a fantastic community collaboration tool that facilitates one on one, as well as small group discussions. We will be using it to revive our BrainJam Cooperations and a World Cafe or two.
At the moment we are lining up leaders for different tracks/rooms for the day, addressing a number of important topics/issues. Some of the issues we have identified and where we are securing Track Leaders include leadership, innovation, human capital, startup ecosystems, city DAO’s, collectives, Enterprise 3.0, marketing And Web 3, professional service networks, It’s not easy being green, the future of arts and music, regulation, reaching the next billion users, Improving the Wallet UX, developing a common language, Utility and Value Exchanges, The Commons, collective coalitions, the future of learning and perhaps more.
Or perhaps less. What it is and what it will be is not up to me alone, but us. For that is the beauty of the unconference, the chance for you to make it what you need it to be. To come with your insights, your project ideas, your company mission, and your need to find others who share your passion, energy, and interest in building a better world through the emerging technology of Web 3.
What we also heard in speaking with others from many different perspectives and walks of life was that we need to do more than talk. We need to build. So there will be a few opportunities to do that together as well.
So we will facilitate our first community design project, our effort to design a collaborative, shared resource and learning library in the spirit of the guild to help more people learn about Web 3, how it works, and what they can do with it. A space where those pursuing mastery teach, collaborate and learn with one another. Where those with passion, integrity, and the willingness to participate actively have the opportunity to achieve unimaginable things while living an epic life. We’ve already recruited a few college and grad students to work on the project with us as paid interns.
More than anything, what I heard earlier today was such a great excitement I had to comment on it. Of course, we’ve seen this sort of Cambrian explosion before, it’s why I started diving deeper finally a few months ago. It’s why I was so excited to see the things we’ve been talking about for over 30 years coming back to the forefront as a challenge for technologists and humanists to solve, together.
What I heard today and what we’ve been hearing the last several weeks is that there is so much more we can be doing, so much more we should be doing, and we just need to better coordinate our development of open standards, of design patterns, and of policies that support a more fair, more inclusive, and more equitable society.
We are literally at a moment in our history where we are embarking upon a redesign of the foundations of our socioeconomic systems.
Isn’t that the promise of crypto and defi? Isn’t that the promise of decentralization? Isn’t that the promise of Web 3?
Be the change we want to see in the world.
There is so much more we need to do this year. This pre-conference and unconference are just the beginning.
I really want to know what you think of this as we are putting together these conversations and presentations and workshops over the coming weeks. Please comment below or reach out to me on the Web 3.1 Discord.