An Academic Analysis of Prominent Commons-Based DLT Projects

This piece introduces a new academic paper that discusses the technological affordances of leading commons-based DLT projects and their potential to address Ostrom’s 6 challenges to scaling the global commons, as introduced in her paper Revisiting the Commons: Local Lessons, Global Challenges. This paper was a collaboration between Commons Stack, Holochain’s Commons Engine, the Economic Space Agency, the P2P Foundation, and dedicated academic researchers on the commons.

The full paper can be found at 🎉

Paper Abstract

The re-emergence of commoning over the last decades is not incidental, but rather indicative of a large-scale transition to a more “generative” organization of society that is oriented toward the planet’s global carrying…

See if You Can Save the Future with cadCAD, RadicalxChange & the Commons Stack

TL;DR: Why did we do this?

  1. To introduce the audience to the importance of the commons and the inspiring RadicalxChange movement in bringing about more equitable futures.
  2. To demonstrate how to parameterize and model a Cyber-Physical Commons in an entertaining and gamified medium, using art and storytelling.
  3. An experiment in front-end UI to simplify & contextualize simulation results from cadCAD.
  4. To continue to build tools for a future of governance that will be computer-aided. Data-driven decision making models should be Open Source, transparent, and easy to understand.

We’d like to thank the tireless contributions of our decentralized Dev team & the support of all the Simulator…

Announcing the Conviction Voting cadCAD Model Release

This article is announcing the release of the Conviction Voting cadCAD model, a digital twin of the Conviction Voting ecosystem currently deployed at The content below is pulled primarily from the readme file of the model notebook. This initial model was a collaboration between Aragon, 1Hive, BlockScience and the Commons Stack, and if you’d like to support further feature development on the CV model, you can contribute via this Gitcoin grant.

Open source innovation networks FTW!

The Problem: Why Rethink Governance?

Traditional, time-boxed voting processes have shown their limited effectiveness in distributed communities, with early experiments in the blockchain space showing ample room for improvement. Direct democracy via token…

An Evolution From DAOs to Commons Ecosystems

This article is part of a series on cyber-physical commons. If you would like more background on the importance of the commons and the definition of cyber-physical systems, check out our first article here. Continue reading if you are interested in how these technologically augmented community structures challenge and augment traditional for- & non-profit modes of value creation, and present a new approach to scalable human collaboration.

As decentralized technology spreads globally, we are witnessing a collective re-examination of traditional organizational structures. The dominant approach to human coordination (i.e. …

Designing Cyber-Physical Commons to be ‘Ostrom Compliant’

This article is part of a series explaining the cyber-physical commons architecture that is being built out by the Commons Stack.

Few people have contributed as much to our knowledge of the sustainable management of the commons as Elinor Ostrom. Winning the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics for her work, Ostrom’s 8 principles for commons stewardship have set a standard for community management of shared resources. These principles, collected over a lifetime of research into effective commons worldwide, are a fantastic look at large scale human collaboration outside of the corporation and the nation state. Although applying these rules at…

Open Sourcing cadCAD as a Cornerstone of Permissionless Public Infrastructure

Our purpose in launching the Commons Stack is to build an open-source, token engineered component library that people around the world can use to assemble their own highly customized, simulated & tested DAO ecosystems. This engineering infrastructure will underpin the stability of our cryptoeconomic networks of the future, a key piece of complex system design that is absent in the blockchain space today. In Iteration 0 of the Commons Stack, our focus is on staging the cultural and technical initialization components required to make these systems succeed, which includes (1) the launch of the Trusted Seed community, and (2) the…

Establishing Healthy Initialization Conditions for DAO Ecosystems

Co-authored by Griff Green, edited by Kris Decoodt

Note: This article was originally published on the Giveth blog on August 7 ’19, you can find this here.

Update: This legacy article reflects the base nutrients upon which we have grown our Trusted Seed. To visualize how its branches are fully extending, you may refer to our newer article on Activating the Trusted Seed.


To get involved, all you need to do is apply to join the Trusted Seed. 🌱 In the near term, you can earn reputation in the Trusted Seed by contributing time or funds to the build of…

The Future of DAO Governance Support via the Commons Stack

A Commons Stack article, co-authored with Michael Zargham

Note: this article was originally published on the BlockScience blog on August 7 ’19, you can find this here.

As you may have already noticed, we at the Commons Stack are truly excited about the potential of computer-aided design tools when building crypto networks. Using cadCAD to simulate, test and validate our design decisions before launching code introduces a critical engineering iteration loop that is lacking in the blockchain space today. This evolution towards the adoption of a standard token engineering practice is a sign of a maturing industry, and will no…

A Commons Stack Component Explainer

This article is one of a series of component explainers for the Commons Stack infrastructure. One of the least understood yet most talked about pieces of the Commons Stack is the Conviction Voting (CV) governance module. We’ll take a closer look at this decision making mechanism, discussing why we need it, how it works, and where it fits into our tech stack for scalable commons stewardship.

The ultimate governance question: how do we make good decisions as a collective?

Conviction Voting — Why Do We Need It?

As we move into a future of automation, we want to ensure that human needs remain a key input of the socio-technical systems we are creating.

As we explored in our introduction to the…

Addressing the World’s Biggest Challenges with Cyber-Physical Commons Management

Note: This story was originally published on the Giveth blog on May 23, 2019. You can find it here.

Giveth and BlockScience are teaming up to build the Commons Stack, with the goal of forwarding the discipline of token engineering and creating a digital infrastructure for commons-based peer production. This project is born out of the research done by Dr. Michael Zargham on alternative funding and governance mechanisms, with POCs being built at ETHDenver, ETHParis, and the Odyssey hackathon through the spring of 2019. We aim to address the world’s biggest problems by building continuously funded digital economies based around…

Jeff Emmett

All Things Decent/ralised. Researching the biggest ideas that will move the needle on human progress. The @CommonsStack, UBI & mindfulness are some faves.

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