With New Zealand is entering its 3rd consecutive week with no reported Corona-19 cases, conversations around the island nation are rising about how to use this time as a spring-board into a better and more just society.
Since April 15, young local councillors Tamatha Paul (Wellington City Councillor) and Thomas Nash (Greater Wellington
Region Councillor) have been convening panel discussions with some of New Zealand leading researchers, thinkers and politicians covering a range of topics, which all have Ti Tiriti o Waitangi* at its heart, (*the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding
As the Covid-19 lockdown closed everything in NZ down, the inspiring meetings and conversations that Tamatha and Thomas were having in real
life ground to halt. They decided to regenerate those conversations in the digital world, creating a weekly panel called “The Aotearoa Town Hall”.
“Being on council means that you hear from awesome people all the time, locals with deep knowledge, high-level experts, people working hard
in the community. We wanted everyone to be able to access the korero” says Tamatha.
“We know there can be no change without constitutional transformation, and this only comes from spreading the knowledge and having conversations”.
Conscious that only a certain type of people engage with the current political system, they wanted to find other ways to share about how change can come through leveraging off Ti Tiriti o Waitangi, as it is the foundational document that NZ laws can give effect through.
Some panel topics have covered Economics (with guest Kate Raworth author of Doughnut Economics), Universal Education and Income, Public Health,
Whanau (Family) Focussed Responses, Climate Justice and Transportation and Urban Design.
“These conversations show how Ti Tiriti o Waitangi is relevant across all different topics and spaces, and the Town Halls show an alternative
reality if it underpinned everything. These conversations are keeping people motivated and pushing for change”.
Aragon is a powerful tool for creating digital organizations. The flexibility provided by the underlying aragonOS smart contract system means that nearly any organization model or governance rules that can be conceived of can be implemented in code and built into an Aragon organization.
In this tutorial I will show how you can use Aragon to create a multistakeholder organization that is governed by its members. A multistakeholder organization is an organization governed by stakeholders from “different social, political, or economic groups”. For example, a neighborhood that wants to unite to solve problems or provide benefits to the local community could create a multistakeholder organization made up of neighborhood residents, business owners, workers, and civil society groups to propose and vote on different activities to focus resources towards.
In this tutorial we will create a multistakeholder organization that is starting off with three stakeholder groups: a local business, an institutional nonprofit, and a grassroots community organization. Each stakeholder group will have an internal process for nominating a representative who will be responsible for relaying information about proposals back and forth from the multistakeholder organization, as well as voting on proposals in the multistakeholder organization. This keeps the multistakeholder organization nimble and allows most members of the stakeholder groups to focus on their normal jobs rather than being constantly distracted by what’s happening in the multistakeholder organization. If at any time a stakeholder group feels that their representative is no longer the best fit for the job, they can swap them out for a new representative.
Note: It is possible for a stakeholder group to vote on proposals in the multistakeholder organization using direct democracy or any other governance model, but for this example we will use a representative model.
Step 0. Prerequisites
Make sure you have all of the prerequisites necessary to start using Aragon. Namely, for this tutorial you will need an Ethereum provider and at least 0.5 Rinkeby test ETH.
Part 1. Create your stakeholder organizations
As mentioned before, our multistakeholder organization is going to start off with three stakeholder groups: a local business, an institutional nonprofit, and a grassroots community organization. Each of these groups is going to have its own Aragon organization so that they can, at a minimum, nominate a representative who will act on their behalf in the multistakeholder organization.
Each stakeholder organization is going to be configured the same way, so we will perform this step three times, once for each stakeholder organization.
We’ll create our organizations on the Rinkeby test network for now. This way if we make any mistakes, it won’t cost us real money and we can easily start over if needed.
1.2 Click the “Connect account” button
Connect your Ethereum account to the Aragon client. A popup may appear asking for your approval. Approve the connection to continue.
1.3 Click “Create an organization”
We’re going to set up each of our stakeholder organizations using the Membership template. With this template, each member of the organization will receive one non-transferable token that represents their membership and provides them with voting rights in the organization. Each member can only hold at most one token. This creates a “one-member-one-vote” governance model for the organization.
1.4 Install optional Agent app
For this setup, we want to make sure that we install the Agent app on each stakeholder organization. The Agent app is an Aragon app that enables Aragon organizations to interact directly with any other smart contract on Ethereum, including other Aragon organizations. This is what will enable each stakeholder organization to act independently inside of the multistakeholder organization.
Click the toggle to enable the Agent app installation then click the “Use this template” button to proceed.
1.5 Complete the setup flow
There are five steps to completing the setup flow for each stakeholder organization.
We have to select the parameters we want to use for the Voting app that will be installed on each organization. I’m going to set both the Support % and Minimum Approval % parameters to 50%, which means that more than half of the organization members must vote YES for a proposal to be approved. I’m also going to set the vote duration to 10 minutes. Since this is just a demo organization we want the votes to go quickly.
1.5.3 Select Tokens app parameters
We have to set the parameters for the Tokens app. I’m going to make the token name for each organization VOTE TOKEN and make the token symbol VOTE. In the Token Holders field I’m going to paste my own Ethereum address. I could click the “Add more” button to add the Ethereum addresses of other members of the organization, but for simplicity I’ll leave it with just my address for now.
1.5.4 Review setup settings
We have an opportunity to review all of the settings we just entered for our organization. Everything looks good so I’m going to click “Launch your organization”.
1.5.5 Launch the organization
We have to sign and broadcast the transaction to create the organization. If you decide to add multiple tokenholders to the organization on the Tokens app section of the setup flow, you may have to sign and broadcast more than one transaction.
Now we’re ready to go! Click “Get started” to go to the organization you just created.
After repeating these steps three times – once for each stakeholder organization – we will have each of the organizations that will make up the multistakeholder organization and we can move on to the next part of the tutorial.
Part 2. Create the multistakeholder organization
The steps completed to create the multistakeholder organization are going to be almost exactly the same as creating each individual stakeholder organization. The only differences will be the ENS name and the initial tokenholders that I select.
When it’s time to add the initial set of tokenholders on the Tokens app section of the setup flow (Step 1.5.3 above) we are going to enter the Agent address of each stakeholder organization, for a total of three initial tokenholders.
To find the address of the Agent app for each stakeholder organization, navigate to the organization in the Aragon client then go to “Organization” under the “System” section of the sidebar in the Aragon client.
Click on the Agent app address then copy and paste it into the Token Holders field on the Tokens app settings page when setting up the multistakeholder organization. Click “Add more” to add the Agent addresses of each other stakeholder organization.
Review and confirm the details, then launch the multistakeholder organization. Since there are three initial tokenholders, we must sign and broadcast two transactions to complete the setup.
And now we have our multistakeholder organization.
Part 3. Nominate stakeholder representatives
In this part we will nominate a representative in each stakeholder organization. As mentioned before, this representative will be responsible for taking proposals from their organization to the multistakeholder organization, relaying information between the multistakeholder organization and their own stakeholder organization, and voting on proposals in the multistakeholder organization on behalf of their stakeholder organization.
This part is optional; a multistakeholder organization could decide that all of the members of the stakeholder organizations should be fully involved in the governance process, and so participation is based on a direct voting model rather than a representative model. There are many ways this could be set up. But for this example, we’ll use a representative model.
We will complete this part of the tutorial for each stakeholder organization.
3.1 Propose a representative
To propose a representative, we’re going to create a proposal that gives the representative’s Ethereum address permission to execute actions using the Agent app of the representative’s organization.
Note: The permission to execute actions using the Agent app can be a powerful permission that would, for example, give permission to the representative to unilaterally transfer any assets managed by the Agent app, if it manages any assets at all. This permission is best granted only in an organization where the Agent app is not used to manage assets, and is only used to vote in a multistakeholder organization as in this tutorial. If an organization wants to participate in a multistakeholder organization this way and manage assets using the Agent app, it’s best to set up a separate organization specifically for this purpose.
3.1.1 Go to the Permissions app of the stakeholder organization
Click “Permissions” under the System section of the sidebar in the Aragon client to open the Permissions app.
3.1.2 Click “New permission” and configure new permission
On app “Agent” assign to entity “Custom address” “(paste address of the representative)” permission to perform action “Execute actions”. Click “Add permission” then sign and broadcast the transaction.
3.2 Approve proposal to give the representative the necessary permission
After you sign and broadcast the transaction to create the new permission giving the representative the ability to execute actions using the Agent app, a proposal will be created in the Voting app. Based on the parameters we set for the Voting app in each stakeholder organization, over half of the members must vote YES for the proposal to be approved. Go to the Voting app and vote YES on the proposal. If there are other members, have them vote YES as well.
Now the representative has the permission to execute actions on behalf of the organization using the Agent app.
Part 4. Set up Frame + Agent
The representative now has to set up their Ethereum provider so that they can interact with the multistakeholder organization using their stakeholder organization’s Agent app. Currently Frame is the only Ethereum provider that has native support for interacting on behalf of an Aragon organization using the Agent app.
1. Install Frame
Visit https://frame.sh/ and install the Frame desktop app. You can also install the Frame browser extension if you want to be able to use Frame with other Ethereum applications.
2. Add your Ethereum wallet to Frame
Start the Frame desktop application. Click the arrows at the top of Frame to change to the Settings menu. Next to “Connection” change “Mainnet” to “Rinkeby”. Click the arrows at the top again to go back to the main page. Click the “+” button and add your Ethereum account to Frame. This should be the same Ethereum account that has the address nominated as the stakeholder representative. You can select from multiple options to add your account depending on how you are storing your account.
3. Add the stakeholder organization’s Agent
Once you (the representative) have added your personal Ethereum account to Frame, click the “+” button in Frame again to add another account. Scroll down to where it says “Smart accounts” and click “Add Aragon account”. Type the name of your organization (the stakeholder organization the representative is acting on behalf of) then click “Next”.
Select the Ethereum account that holds your stakeholder organization token, then select the specific address holding the token (the same Ethereum address selected to be the representative).
Frame will show a success message, then you will be taken back to the main account selection screen in Frame where you can select the Aragon account to act with.
4. Create and vote on proposals in the multistakeholder organization
Using Frame + Agent and acting as their stakeholder organization, representatives can now create and vote on proposals in the multistakeholder organization. The proposals can do almost anything a proposal in any other Aragon organization can do: add or remove tokenholders, withdraw funds, change permissions, install or upgrade apps, etc.
Note: Due to a software limitation that prevents acting as an organization within another organization, the only type of proposal not currently directly supported in a multistakeholder organization like this are Agent app proposals. One way that you can work around this limitation is to give representatives the “Create new vote” permission on the Voting app in the multistakeholder organization. Then, representatives can create new votes on behalf of the multistakeholder organization using the multistakeholder organization’s Agent app, as described above using Agent + Frame except acting as the multistakeholder organization instead of the representative’s stakeholder organization. Once the vote is created, the members of the multistakeholder organization can cast their votes on the Agent proposal. If one of the stakeholder organizations ever changes its representative, then the “Create new vote” permission can be revoked from the old representative and assigned to the new one.
Once a proposal is created, the representative can use Frame + Agent to cast a vote on behalf of their stakeholder organization using the multistakeholder organization’s Voting app.
We are now done setting up a multistakeholder organization using Aragon!
You can learn more about how to use Aragon for your organization at the Aragon Help Desk.
If you have any questions or feedback you are invited to start a thread in the Aragon Forum or join the Aragon community chat on Discord.
A lack of frameworks for coordinating across national borders. Struggles for resources between departments. Money missing from the cash box.
These are issues faced by all types of organizations, from startups and grassroots community groups to multinational companies and NGOs. The issues stem from people problems first, but are made worse by outdated technology.
The balkanization of financial systems means collaboration between people of different nationalities can be difficult or prevented altogether.
Departments competing for resources lack visibility into what the needs are of each other and the rest of the organization.
Multiple people need to pull money from the cash box to pay the group’s expenses, so it’s hard to control access and hold everyone to account.
We have been able to accomplish a lot with the tools still relied on by many organizations to govern and allocate resources. But it’s also clear that there is room for improvement.
An introduction to Aragon
Aragon is software that brings shared control, flexible permissions, and internet-wide access to money, domain names, video game items, financial assets – digital resources of all types, even organization governance itself.
Shared control means that it’s no longer necessary to entrust control of vital resources to a single person. Whereas traditional software requires giving at least one person “Admin” control over an organization’s digital resources, Aragon provides the ability to decentralize control among multiple people, even entire communities. In this way, administration powers are truly shared rather than concentrated in one person.
Flexible permissions mean that if the existing governance rules aren’t working, they can quickly be changed to better suit the organization’s needs. Not only is control over the organization’s resources shared, but control over the governance rules is also shared. Since the rules are written in computer code, changing the rules can be as easy as voting to approve an app update.
Internet-wide access means that slow or inflexible control of money and other digital resources due to balkanized legal and financial systems is a thing of the past. Just as chat apps make it easy for people all over the world to send each other messages and collaborate over the internet in an instant, Aragon makes it easy for individuals and organizations across the globe to use the internet to share ownership of resources and make decisions together.
We have seen in the examples at the beginning of this post what can go wrong when technology limits the ways that organizations can self-govern. What might an improvement over the old ways of doing things look like?
Whereas older “Web 2.0” applications such as Twitter and YouTube are run by central companies who have full control over the application and its users, newer Web3 applications can be built so that users remain in control of their data and their financial assets. These new capabilities offered by Web3 protocols are what enable Aragon users to share control over their organization’s resources.
With Aragon, users can create a digital representation of their organization complete with tools for managing membership and resources in the organization, as well as a system for managing who has permission to perform various actions, such as spending funds or adding new members.
Aragon organizations can expand their capabilities using software extensions called “Aragon apps”. Aragon apps provide users the ability to easily manage different aspects of the organization, from adding and removing members, to spending funds, to voting on proposals, and more.
A special app called the Agent app enables an Aragon organization to interact directly with any other Ethereum application, so the organization itself can be treated as a first-class citizen of Ethereum. This means that the organization can take out a loan, register a domain name, stream salaries to workers by the second, even own land in virtual reality, all under the shared control of the organization’s members. Nearly everything about an organization can now be governed directly by its members, no matter where they might physically be in the world – just add internet!
Newfound trust and capabilities
With the new technology pioneered by Aragon and the broader Web3 community, organizations can transcend previous limitations and operate both more securely and with greater freedom than ever before. Where organizations used to have to trust an individual to responsibly manage the finances, now everyone in an organization can be given the opportunity to review expenditures and vote on whether or not to approve a transfer. In larger organizations, responsibility can be delegated to a specific team or small working group. Controversial decisions can be arbitrated by an Aragon-native dispute resolution system if needed, saving time and money over traditional courts and offering a solution for cross-border disputes.
Since all of the actions that can be performed in an Aragon organization are recorded on the Ethereum public ledger, Aragon organizations are transparent by default. Every vote, every payment, every membership or permission change are all publicly visible and verifiable. This makes Aragon particularly well suited for any organization that has transparency and accountability as core values, such as nonprofits and public communities.
It is even possible for Aragon organizations to come together to form a new entity – a multistakeholder group, industry association, coalition, or similar organization of organizations. This enables organizations to pool their resources and tackle common challenges with minimal bureaucracy and legal overhead, even unlocking new opportunities in situations where barriers in the traditional legal or financial systems might have prevented collaboration.
For example, a grassroots civic community in Africa can partner with an NGO in Europe and a church group from Australia to pool funds for a clean water project, and each organization can have direct input and oversight in how the funds are spent. The lack of financial infrastructure or the presence of legal complexity need no longer be barriers to getting things done and fulfilling important missions. Aragon can help organizations route around these problems by providing alternative finance and governance infrastructure.
LEDGER is a European project financed by the European Commission. They are looking for 32 Minimum Viable Products and Services, in order to achieve new models that preserve citizens’ digital sovereignty, where data is a common good owned by citizens and wealth created by data-driven platforms is equally distributed.
Based upon our last ten years of research and development, Bloom Network’s proposal for this program is to build open source peer-to-peer economic modules using smart organization tools to support the emerging market of regenerative enterprise.
Specific to this moment of collapse, Bloom is connected with groups working around the world on a) open source supply chains, b) regional food resilience, and c) mutual aid societies. All of these groups are using Google Sheets + Facebook, and none are connected to each other. We want to support them with distributed ledger tools and use this opportunity to switch to more data sovereign and open collaboration systems.
On a technical level, these are some of the modules we will create, using established P2P governance software including Aragon and Autark’s Open Enterprise suite:
Local budgeting: the ability of local chapters to automatically receive a percentage of membership dues
Participatory budgeting among members of the cooperative
Cross-sector finance: bridging the funding gap to the grassroots sector which is inherently decentralized, by using decentralized project management software to empower efficient mobilization across organizational boundaries
These are some of the needs we’ve identified that we plan to address during the program:
The ability to collaborate across different movements and industries, without the intermediation of centralized corporations, and with data sovereignty
Greater visibility of regenerative initiatives, including peer-to-peer technologies, to the general public
Restorative justice governance: improving the ability of historically marginalized groups to have power and voice in decisions about where funding is allocated and what programs are developed
The modules we create will be both technical using existing decentralized governance and project management software, and also social, documenting the social processes and leadership methods that Bloom Network has found effective over the past ten years across our 100+ local chapter networks.
Our goal is to set up and test digital infrastructure for an international distributed cooperative that can be used and adapted by other networks. Through the Ledger program, we would receive support in selecting existing P2P privacy-protecting technologies to utilize, as well as business support to actualize the research and development we’ve done in the emerging market of regenerative enterprise, to support equitable post-pandemic economies.
A crucial tool in developing regenerative culture is enabling clear and collective communication between people. A high level of innovation is coming out of the COVID-19 crisis, as we quickly transfer to a collective working from home.
It’s not just workplaces that have had to switch, but all
kinds of community groups. I help lead a cub scout pack (26 cubs, 8-11 year olds,
boys:girls – 4:1). After an action-packed summer of hands-on camping activities,
the shift to weekly Zoom calls was a tricky one.
In the last three weeks we’ve managed to develop a flow that I think will be helpful to anyone trying to engage with many children online at once. You can still play games! See a list of games below, and tips for making video call work. Any guidance we can share on this topic is helpful, because as we innovate we need to remember to include children in everything we do, including developing regenerative cultures.
Tips for working with children on video calls
Where possible, people should be using a laptop or device that allows for a panel view.
Log in 15 minutes early. It is good to give freedom to say hello to each other before the official meeting starts.
“Mute all” will become your favourite tool. 20 kids talking at once will hurt your eardrums. Click the option that stops people unmuting themselves. Be aware, this master button mutes everybody, and you need to unmute the leaders again before proceeding with talking.
The use of “thumbs up” “thumbs down” is very helpful for a quick collective response without unmuting everyone. Ask lots of “yes” or “no” questions.
Have at least two people guiding the call.
Structure your call with specific sections (eg: opening, introductions, game, personal badge reports, game, project for homework, game, close, free-time).
Give everyone a chance to speak and talk about their week.
Play games in between talking sections (see list below).
Keep things short and interesting.
Prep 4 people to prepare something extra to talk about (beyond their introduction), rotating this every week so people get more opportunities to be involved in a meaningful way (such as progress on personal badges).
Have hands on activities they can do online together.
Allow time at the end to let them be silly together.
Games to Play on Zoom
It’s amazing how the human brain has the capacity to innovate and adapt quickly. Here are 15 classic games that work in a Zoom situation with children:
Say an object, and everyone draws it at once. For added fun, draw it with the paper on your head (see feature picture).
Do a crazy squiggle on your page -> now make a picture out of it
Pictionary: someone draws a picture and everyone guesses (send ideas privately
Kim’s memory game: A tray of 30 small objects is presented to the call.
Participants look at it for 2 minutes. Then take the tray and participants write
or draw as many objects they can remember.
Hangman: One person choses a word, shows the number of letters and then the kids guess what letters are in it. hands up for saying letters. Draw the hangman in a program like Paint in real time and screen share.
Power of the group: Present an object (cork, paper clip, fork, etc) and get participants to write/draw as many imagined uses out of it as they can in 5 minutes (e.g. cork could be a stamp, doorstop, fire starter). Go through everyone’s at the end and see how many different ideas have been invented. Remind them that with collective thinking more ideas are revealed than if you just do it by yourself.
Fictionary: Find an obscure word in the dictionary and everyone writes down a
definition of what they think it means. Definitions are read out and people
vote as to which is the most realistic.
Time Capsule: Discuss what participants want to remember (good and bad) about this
time of lockdown. Record them in a time capsule to open together later.
Simon Says: “Simon Says point to your (or show us your)”: head, eye, ear, elbow, right hand, armpit, toes etc.
Charades: Message via Zoom privately what they have to act out
Magic Play: Prepare 3 cups by labelling them 1, 2, 3. Hide a coin under one of
the cups and shuffle them, get the kids to guess which one by holding up 1 2 or
Treasure Hunt: One person shows the call an object. Then they turn
off their screen and hide the object (still within sight) somewhere in the
screen shot. Turn the screen on again and people have to find it. Thumbs up
when they have found it.
Scavenger Hunt: Go and find something of: *colour, *beginning with letter *cub scarf.
Scattergories: Have a list of things (link), choose a letter and get the cubs to write down answers they come up with. Points are only scored if answers are unique to the group.
Wink Murder: Message in private to the person who will be the murderer. That person winks intermittently at their camera and people fake die until everyone is dead.
This is just the beginning of a comprehensive list I’m sure.
If anyone has games to add, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will
add them to the list.
A big thanks to the leaders of Kamo Brownies who has been
sharing their experiences of zoom calls with me. Together we are creating a wonderful
world for children to continue their clubs together from their own homes.
In a space of a few months the entire world is experiencing something strangely uniting, grinding life as we know it to a halt, and locking us into small (physical) bubbles.
Fortunately the Bloom Bubble is alive and people dialed in from 6 different countries this week to share their experiences and their hopes for the future, with our first Covid Catch-up.
Costa Rica, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, USA and Brazil were represented and our experiences of lockdown are the same but different. In the nuances, there is a shared hope that this experience could be a turning point for humans and the way we dwell on the planet in the future.
One participant reflected that her usually disparate social streams were also all suddenly talking about the same thing. From their different perspectives of the world, they too all want to use this opportunity to create a better world.
With a reminder that “none of the problems we had before this have gone away” and questioning “do we really want to go back to the system that was?” there was a general optimism about the work and opportunity we have before us.
“This is a moment, we should all just take it,” said journalist Susan Florries.
People shared the projects they are inspired to keep working on, such as an EU based Collaboratory, with rapid learning, rapid sense-making tools and protocol to make sense of the patterns. Giveth, a block-chain invention that supports social impact projects, and an alternative community currency in Brazil that will be able to leverage this time of economic upheaval.
The chat was valuable for all involved, and definitely looking forward to the next one.
WRITING INVITATION for all Bloom Followers Write 400 words to capture the visions and best pathways that you personally can see for the future. We want to capture people’s visions in this time. These visions will be posted on a special Visions page shared via Bloom Network. Send to email@example.com
Stockholm, Sweden. Not as strict as most EU countries. Tertiary education closed, other schools are open. Public gathering is set at 50 people. Tourist area shops closed, but desperate restaurants selling food cheaply. Things still open in other parts of Stockholm. Good stimulus packages offered. Government politicians are working together across partisanship, agreeing swiftly.
Zurich, Switzerland. Schools and shops closed, very quiet, not stressy lockdown.
Eden Rose, Costa Rica. Been in 14 day self-quarantine, the local area has a lockdown curfew. Many businesses are closed.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Voluntary lockdown, stores closed, people trying to stay home. Some people not respecting. Power cuts sometimes, schools closed. Politics are mixed. Might have more lockdown. 2nd week that schools and are closed.
Whangarei, New Zealand. Whole country has been in full lockdown for 6 of 28 days, essential services open only. Lockdown came just at the right time, not too much community transmission yet. Huge concern over the closure of fruit & vegetable shops and farmers markets, which have been closed, with 30% of the country’s produce locked out of the ‘essential services’ and huge potential food wastage.
Santa Barbara, California. Lockdown experience very strange, more reason for gratitude, living in a nice area. Realise how much we take for granted, connected with the encroachment into the forests. Everything can have an impact
Columbia, Missori. Mandatory city lockdown for a week. Many people believe it’s a hoax, though haven’t left the house for weeks. Down to 50% of personal workload at work, large scale businesses are closing down and so do their software service providers. All humans in various stages of dealing with what is to come.
Manchester, New Hampshire. Still a fair bit of road traffic, though not as much as normal, all restaurants and bars are closed. Doctors are not taking patients in person at the moment.
Musical Inspiration, Bob Dylan’s new song – Murder Most Foul