What is a DAO?

What is a DAO?

cover image by flyerdiaries.com

DAO stands for decentralized autonomous organization. It’s a new kind of organization that is native to the internet. DAO’s make it easier to run companies that don’t necessarily have hierarchies of power, or they can have more diverse and subtle power relationships. They decentralize power – meaning that decisions and resource allocation can happen among customizable sets of people, peer-to-peer, without having to funnel decisions and money up a hierarchy of people that make more money or otherwise extract value. DAO’s can also be called “smart organizations”.

The technology that powers DAO’s – blockchains – also make it possible to do things like “liquid democracy“, which theoretically can achieve more deeply informed and equitably distributed decision making. Peer-to-peer democracy is possible now! Think about that. Soon you’ll be able to do it through Bloom Network.

Anyone can start a DAO, and with a platform like Aragon or other DAO applications, it literally takes 30 seconds, compared to weeks or months if one sets up an organization through their state. Yes, today there are applications on the internet that allow you to instantly start an organization to collaborate with people locally or internationally. We need those! Now.

Bloom Network is really excited about DAO’s because they make it possible for us to run our collective as an international cooperative, that is truly owned by all our members and can freely self organize, without risking the kinds of power abuse and siphoning of value that are endemic to most of our older paradigm institutions. Bloom Network is a strange beast in that we are actually more like a connective tissue for many companies to collaborate through – DAO’s provide more flexibility to have collaborative business models. We are doing a governance hackathon now and at our conference, Pollination this August to set it all up and work through the intricacies. Please join us! Or keep reading to learn more about DAO’s and digital currency.

One of the technologies behind DAO’s is called smart contracts. Those can be coded so that, for example, in an activist organization, three of five people have to sign off on a transaction in order to issue funds to a specific person or for a specific project. DAO’s eliminate some of the administrative load of running an organization. Once a vote passes that approves, say $30,000 being allocated to an organization to build an urban food forest, that money is automatically issued to the organization and no human has to administer paperwork for that to happen. This all also puts in place some safeguards for collaborating with people you might not have yet established deep trust with – this will soon be important with more large-scale disaster response efforts.

Another thing DAO’s make it easier to do is work as an international organization. Instead of paying for currency exchange and wire fees, and waiting several days for transactions to clear, DAO’s run on the blockchain and cryptocurrency. You can nearly instantly send money from one country to another, in pure math, and not have to run the transaction through the third party of a bank with all its overhead costs and siphoning of some value. This isn’t just exciting for some “buck the system” reason; it is absolutely essential for the large-scale mobilizations that will need to happen increasingly often in the coming years due to climate change, migration, and large-scale demand for decentralized, localized autonomy. The reason local autonomy is important, is that part of resilience to weather anomalies, and part of restabilizing our planet’s carbon cycle, AND having less extreme inequality, is making local changes to the ways we do transportation, watershed repair, community forestry and agriculture. DAO’s make the legal landscape of this much more streamlined, fluid and fast. We think it’s also going to make it easier for large-scale finance institutions to work with these smaller fast-moving community groups. Our Bloom Network crew wants to help people get familiar with and orient to this new governance operating system that is better designed to handle the 21st century’s challenges.

Cryptocurrency software is built out enough now that an average person can use it easily enough. We’re hosting an introduction to getting started with cryptocurrency this Monday U.S.-time if you’d like to get a walk through. It’s much easier if someone shows you step by step and you do it with them. There are more and more services built on the blockchain so you can use cryptocurrency to purchase things and otherwise transact, without having to exchange the money back into your country’s currency. We could go farther down the rabbit hole with you, but we’ll stop here for now. Stay tuned for more updates and opportunities to participate.

Learn How to Use Cryptocurrency

Bloom Podcast: Consciousness Hacking with Joshua Fields

Bloom Podcast: Consciousness Hacking with Joshua Fields

In this episode we interview Joshua Fields about Consciousness Hacking’s upcoming conference: Awakened Futures Summit, May 18-19 2019 in San Francisco. It addresses the intersection of psychedelics, technology and meditation.

Bloom Network is a community partner for this conference, and we’d love to learn with you there! Tickets and full speakers lineup are here. It’s going to be fascinating.

Bio: Joshua is a graduate student in Philosophy and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and in a previous life, an Oxford economist, Morgan Stanley analyst and Scottish amateur boxer. After a series of transformational personal events, he turned his focus away from finance and has since dedicated his life to understanding the ideas and techniques that lead to human flourishing.


Lastly, as this interview gets into the heavy topic of the collapse of civilization, we recommend listeners also tune into America Adapts, a podcast all about the kinds of adaption different communities are doing to deal with climate change and its interconnected pressures and causes. This episode gives an introduction to several related podcasts anchored in different countries.

Love this podcast? Drop us a donation or an email and let us know what else you’d like to hear. Bloom on bright ones!

Regenerative Culture Podcasts

Regenerative Culture Podcasts

Here are several podcasts where you can learn about regenerative culture practices. We are looking to add podcasts to this list that are in other languages and not centered in the U.S. Please get in touch if you have recommendations.

All My Relations: Hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation). “A podcast to discuss our relationships as Native peoples—to land, ancestors, and to each other.”

America Adapts with Doug Parsons. Particularly check out the episode called “Climate Change Podcasters Unite!”, which introduces several other climate change adapatation podcasts (practical solutions people are implementing as we face more storms and displacement, etc).

How to Survive the End of the World: Join Autumn Brown and adrienne maree brown, two sisters who share many identities, as writers, activists, facilitators, and inheritors of multiracial diasporic lineages, as well as a particular interest in the question of survival, as we embark on a podcast that delves into the practices we need as a community, to move through endings and to come out whole on the other side, whatever that might be.

The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann: A podcast dedicated to Permaculture education, sustainability, gardening, organic food, and resiliency.

Upstream: Unlearning everything you thought you knew about economics. Radical ideas and inspiring stories for a just transition to a more beautiful and equitable world

The Next System Project: an initiative of The Democracy Collaborative aimed at bold thinking and action to address the systemic challenges the United States faces now and in coming decades. Deep crises of economic inequality, racial injustice and climate change—to name but three—are upon us, and systemic problems require systemic solutions.

Forthcoming: Indigenous Regenerative Economy, co-hosted by David Karabelnikoff with support from the Healing and Reconciliation Institute.

Investing in Regenerative Agriculture features leaders in the regenerative food and agriculture space, to learn how to put our money to work to regenerate soil, people, local communities and ecosystems while making an appropriate and fair return.

ReportBack: Decentralized Web Summit 2018

ReportBack: Decentralized Web Summit 2018

By Magenta Ceiba, executive director, Bloom Network

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Decentralized Web Summit, which gathered something like 600 people to collaborate, communicate and engage communities about the decentralized protocols and apps that are being developed for a peer-to-peer internet.

You can watch the livestreams of many of the talks on the Internet Archive’s Youtube page.

What is the decentralized web?

Wired has you covered: https://www.wired.com/story/the-decentralized-internet-is-here-with-some-glitches/

Why did I go?

I view Bloom Network as a DAO, but a physical community of people. We work on IRL decentralization and global decentralization of power and resources. Local Bloom leaders have their ears on the ground connected with multiple different movements and community needs. They help guide the direction of our global community – where we allocate resources, how we develop our website and communication channels, and how we govern ourselves as a collective.

Bloom Network founders initially found each other through an online social network that dissolved. We’ve known people are developing the kinds of web tools we need to facilitate communication and resource-sharing, so we’ve been waiting until they’re done rather than try to build them in house. So I was at the Summit to learn what tools exist now and where they’re at in terms of usability. To my great heartwarming surprise… I discovered that the community around them is ahmazing!!!

What did I learn?

One of the sessions I attended was a panel on decentralized governance, with representatives from Aragon, Protocol Labs, and COALA. One of the concepts Matt Zumwalt from Protocol Labs discussed was how to dampen information without censoring people. For example, on Twitter sometimes women coders are using block lists, where there are known harassers. Instead of kicking someone off a platform, that’s one decentralized way to dampen signal flows. Aragon will be working on testing/researching best practices for making different governance bodies audible to each other in a decentralized network, so information and decisions get to where they need to.

The opening night had a talk with Cory Doctorow interviewing Mike Judge, the creator of HBO’s Silicon Valley, Beavis and Butt-Head, Office Space, and King of the Hill. It was a joy to hear Mike talk, definitely the creator of Beavis and Butt-Head.

I learned that an exciting thing about blockchain technologies is that they’re open, meaning anyone can fork a tool and build off what’s already been created, rather than creating competing proprietary gardens. This, combined with the huge amount of capital that is flowing in the space, makes for rapid iterations of the technologies.

One thing I appreciated about networking and talking with people in this community was how open and generous people were about sharing information and tools. There’s a general spirit of open collaboration and deep curiosity. It *is* a decentralized collaborative ecosystem and it’s endlessly fascinating. I’m eager to wade in deeper!

I spoke with a woman from Omisego, which is an organization working on providing banking services to the unbanked through decentralized exchange of cryptocurrencies and fiat. Many countries don’t have banks, so sending money from another country to family back home in that country tends to be very expensive. It’s also hard to get loans from a normal bank if for example a farmer doesn’t have a title to the land they live on. That issue often comes up at regenerative agriculture meetups I’ve attended over the years. This is one example of where connecting one decentralization movement with another can create positive, symbiotic impact.

At an afterparty I met a woman named Anushah Hossain who is studying how marginalized communities use information technologies. She described that people in India don’t see some Pakistani content, and similarly other countries will selectively block data. She spoke at the conference on her research.

​Lastly, I emcee’d a set of Lightning Talks, recorded here

Why is the decentralized web relevant to regenerative culture?

It’s people working on liberation and equitable access to resources, information, and power.

What about the energy use of Bitcoin?

My perspective is that solutions to the computing power will come through. 

So what tools are Bloom interested in using?

Generally we have an interest in helping to mainstream awareness that these approaches to building internet technologies exist, and in boosting adoption. It looks likely that we’ll set up a Bloom organization on Aragon, since it has a great simple dashboard for proposals, discussions, and voting. I’ll be proposing decentralized tech tool alternatives over time to our team. We’ll likely report on technology development in this space, interview makers etc. For example, Decentralized Autonomous Dataset (DAD) is a decentralized dataset solution, which could help communities access more robust datasets and balance the huge aggregation of power that is happening where companies like Amazon and Google have disproportionate access to AI.

My overall impression of this community was that it’s full of incredibly smart, creative, caring, passionate people. The density of brilliance with using cryptography tools for collective well-being was really fascinating. Many of my closest friends are herbalists and healers, and I don’t have a lot of people close to me to relate with about technology development. It was a huge relief to be able to talk with creative developers who are focused on building technology for more equitable distribution of power, more free access to information (rather than gatekeeping, walled gardens, censorship, and monopoly).

The conference helped me wade deeper into the world of the peer-to-peer web. I look forward to watching the recordings of more of the talks, and continuing to learn more.

Other blogs and media about the event:
Internet Archive Twitter: https://twitter.com/internetarchive
Internet Archive Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFa_X02QhJnP0FNpFAKyRRg

Photos: by the Internet Archive unless otherwise labeled.

Bloom Baltimore: Mushroom City Art Festival 2017

Bloom Baltimore: Mushroom City Art Festival 2017


Every year Bloom organizer Robin Gunkel in Baltimore, Maryland produces a festival all about mushrooms. Thanks to support from Free Fall Baltimore and the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks.

With both a focus on personal and planetary healing, Mushroom City Art Festival is an informative and interactive exploration of mushrooms with foraging, identification, cultivation, and psilocybin research all part of the event. Sculptures and paintings inspired by this mysterious, mycelial life form are featured alongside hands on workshops and educational discussions revealing the many real world applications for mushroom cultivation in contemporary urban life.

You can get involved through these platforms: Mushroom City’s Website :: Facebook

Here’s what Robin had to say after the event: Mushroom City went really well yesterday, and I am so excited for the conversations and connections. I feel like I’m just starting to see what a Bloom Network vision can look like. This needs servant leaders working to empower others, and I am perceiving how community can form around regenerative culture through cultivating fungi and beginning to address local ecological challenges. Wouldn’t it be amazing to start a mycoremediation collective that works on the pollution of the Jones Falls? In a discussion on regenerative culture yesterday after my talk, I was so blown away by people’s visions for bioremediation but also sharing themselves and their spiritual connection to nature. It was amazing, and I heard in what folks were sharing, their own overcoming of fear for the projects that they wish to take on, which resonated so deeply. I’m rocking up to similar place in myself in overcoming fear, where former perceptions of who I am and what I am good at must transform. It’s time to develop a deeper knowledge and relationship with fungi. Mycoremediation (using fungi for environmental clean up) I believe is the right relationship to grow right now. The environmental crisis and atomization of our communities is rooted in a breakdown of relationships. The step forward is in rebuilding relationships with each other but also with the natural world and the powerful allies and elders of the natural world. This is a lot to encapsulate in a post, but I am feeling inspired and seeing new connections, new projects, new relationships, new paths forward and a wide and connected network!

Photos from this year’s festival

The Workshops

Family Fun

Music and Art

Local Makers

What People Have to Say About
Mushroom City Art Festival

“Just wanted to say how much fun I had at Mushroom City. Robin Gunkel you are really creating something magical and important for ecological awareness, education and so much more. I really had a blast jamming near the tea fire. Everything in the chapel was amazing. The nature walk with Eric Joseph Lewis I learned so much. I was a little proud of myself for spotting the lions mane we already knew was there. Folks who were there for the walk I know you feel me when I say BASSWOOD!!!! It was my first time seeing Darsombra but not the last. Thank you to everyone.”
-Ian Hesford

“I absolutely loved Mushroom City this year, and every year for that matter, and this experience is the same experience I want for Figment Baltimore! Would anyone/everyone that contribute to the awesomeness of Mushroom City be willing to replicate that awesomeness (if at all possible) at Figment Baltimore next summer?”
– Steph Comp

“Thanks so much to Robin for such a lovely, informative, entertaining and fun-filled event! I enjoyed the opportunity to layer some psychedelic sounds into the ambiance and also to see so many great friends!! ^_^” 
– Woody Lissauer

“Many thanks to everyone who came out and contributed. Shout out to Michael Weese for spotting that globifomes graveolens, Rimas Cikotas for guiding us out to the lions mane, Alex Dorr for sharing the mycophilosophy and remediation inspiration, and to William Padilla-Brown for giving us the download on cordyceps. It was quite a pleasure to share a plant walk and connect with good family new and old. To anyone who enjoyed the yoga of plants feel free to add me and keep in touch. Mush love family.”
Eric Joseph Lewis

“Thank you everyone for a wonderful day yesterday. Between hearing the talks, seeing the log workshop in action, feeling the vibes by the gazebo and vendors that felt like a village, it was true magic! Dan’s fire and shiitake tea, Stevie’s stitching station, the collaborative mycelial pyramid, and Ryan and Justin’s seesaw embraced by the children all added an integral piece to this co-created space! Tom’s igloo at the bottom of the field was a destination of stillness and reflection, and the art trail and forays took us deeper into nature. Thank you all who came to the festival yesterday!! We’re so happy for how it turned out and to host all of you! <3”
-Robin Gunkel

“Thank you all again for a great festival last weekend, and I would like to invite anyone who is interested in helping to organize next year’s festival to reach out to mushroomcityartfestival@gmail.com I always emphasize the we because the festival could never be done without everyone’s involvement. At the same time, the festival has been primarily organized by 1 person, me (and also Ryan Smith coordinating music). With now a new job and a research course that I will be taking for my PhD program next fall, in order for Mushroom City to happen next year, there needs to be more organizers 🙂 So, if you’re interested in coordinating vendors, curating art, publicity, organizing volunteers etc. please get in touch, so Mushroom City can make the next level up into a community organized festival!!”
-Robin Gunkel

Bloom Boulder Intro to Crypto Technology

Monday, Nov 27
Vali Soul Sanctuary
6717 Valmont Rd, Boulder, Colorado 80301

Join Bloom Boulder the local chapter of the Bloom network, https://www.bloomnetwork.org/, for an evening of introductory education about crypto technology. We will cover how to purchase cryptocurrency and how to instal encrypted messaging apps that provide a safe secure way to communicate for activists and conscious explorers. Come get your questions anwsered about this important and game changing technology.

This evening will be led by Sovereign Starseed “Helping Earth reclaim her sovereignty”

Sovereign Starseed is an alchemical transformation training program. It is meant to help the earth remember their divine power through the use of esoteric wisdom and economics. “Silky” Seth Petrouske-Paris of Sovereign Starseed is one of many experts in the fields of sovereignty and cryptocurrency. He has been trading and studying cryptocurrencies since 2010.

Cover for this event will be $15.00