Democratic Autonomous Organizations

A lot of people like the idea of democratic autonomous organizations, so do I. With internet and decentralized technologies there are great opportunities to build tools to make this happen.

Remember: This was said in the early days of the internet, too. So far, there have been a lot of changes in the way we communicate, search things, listen to music, read news, buy products and so on. But after all the “chain of control” did not change. Countries, large cooperations and social media platforms kind of run big parts of the internet. Anyway, there have been great changes and improvements based on internet connected devices and services.

But there are use cases that could and should be different. Let me ask a few questions:

  1. Does it make sense to send a private electronic message to my neighbour through half of the internet using a global platform or a centralized server farm?
  2. Why pay a “funny” high fee whenever I do not use my bank’s cash machine or pay for credit card services that keep track of my purchases?
  3. Should Amazon, Facebook or Google decide what is important information to me and keep a permanent record of it?

In order to change things or at least offer an alternative way in doing things (without going offline) here are possible answers:

  1. Use regional or private hubs for communication
  2. Use digital currencies
  3. Establish decentrialised social networks and market places

In order to achieve the above it takes man and machine. The latter is kind of the easy part, because we see great technology on the horizon and the tricky bit is wether it can be used the right way by people. On the technical side decentralization and privacy come together. One approach is the so called blockchain which also runs the largest digital currency (Bitcoin) today. But blockchains are frameworks for many more concepts and applications. A good example is the Ethereum project, which enables decentralization:

When it comes to organizing issues without a clear hierachy or structure, chaos is around the corner. People cannot just make things better. They need easy to unterstand and easy to handle tools to do so. And even then not any community can improve to the greater good easily.

The big question is how a soft transformation can take place to achieve more privacy, security, democracy and usability in a digital future.

A very exciting project is the DAO:

A large crowdfunding concept to enable helpful ideas and tools for the future. Great initiative! But the current security issue caused uncertainty and mabye financial loss for the supporters. To me the ongoing discussions mean the following:

  1. Keep going, it is the right direction. Of course, it is always try and error if you want to influence the future.
  2. It is hard to manage many different stakeholders and they will not manage themselves easily. Smaller groups with known representatives should help to organize proposals and voting on important matters.
  3. Change takes time and requires many iterations.

Rome was not built in a day…