Web3 Summit: A Recap

Community Event

With all the announcements, workshops, and ad-hoc meetups coming out of Web3 Summit, it would be impossible to write an official, all-encompassing recap. This event was created by the community, for the community. We’ll use this space to reinforce the ethos of this gathering and share some videos and photographs that can help you form your own insights. First, let’s recap the communities take-aways:

Inspiration for W3S

At the Web3 Foundation, our goal is to help build a better framework for how we organize ourselves, our companies, our governments, our economies, and our societies. We care about building technologies that enable a radical redistribution of power that empowers communities to better organize themselves. Suffice to say (and as evidenced by the growing conversations around governance) it’s no easy challenge and requires rethinking the status quo to find a better way.

So when we thought about organizing the Web3 Summit, the last thing we wanted to do was follow the status quo of blockchain conferences. We asked ourselves a few questions: 1) how do we create a platform that empowers the community to create their own experiences? 2) how do we make it so attendees feel energized and inspired when they leave? 3) how do we create a higher signal to noise ratio than the usual 3-day blockchain event.

These questions led us to a few conclusions. We decided on a sponsorship-free event with the intention of creating an environment where attendees could easily explore ideas and projects that interested them, without feeling inundated by ads, logos, and sponsored content. We also decided to rent tons of extra, free space where the community could create their own experiences at Web3 Summit, hosting pop-up meetups, workshops, and talks.

Web3 Summit v1.0 begins

The Summit kicked off with invigorating talks on the vision of Web 3.0 and how work together to not repeat the mistakes of previous iterations of the Web. Here are a few of our highlights:

Defining Web 3.0 with Juan Benet

With Juan Benet, we defined Web 3.0 and compared it the earlier iterations of the web. One definition stood out, a quote from Web 3.0’s early advocate Gavin Wood: “Consider Web 3.0 to be an executable Magna Carta — ‘the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot.’” Juan went on: “The goals of Web 3.0 include (a) trustless infrastructure; (b) removing intermediaries; and © giving users power and ownership over their data, identity, security, and transactions.”

Making Web 3.0 usable with Patrick Nielsen

Clovyr’s Patrick Nielsen highlighted the opportunity we have today: it’s different this time around, and we have a chance to use these tools in a way that empowers and protects people.” However, blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and decentralized systems as a whole currently have a dearth of users, and notoriously lack a killer app. Patrick used the remainder of his time to focus on how to make Web 3.0 usable. Underlying the point that “it won’t build itself, and just because the tools exist does not mean it’s going to get used.”

After additional discussions on where the original web failed, from Inria’s Harry Halpin and Vlad Zamfir, the Summit shifted gears to focusing on the technology. There were a number of impressive announcements, including Substrate, Edgeware, and HTC Exodus. Gavin Wood live launched a blockchain in minutes, instead of days or weeks, on-stage for the audience.

Gavin Wood live launching a blockchain using Substrate

One of the more anticipated talks was the governance panel, with Gavin Wood (Polkadot), Arthur Breitman (Tezos), Vlad Zamfir (Ethereum), with Adrian Brink (formerly Tendermint, now W3F) moderating. We appreciate whichever individual who was thoughtful(/trollish) enough to bring enough popcorn to feed the packed room.

The Summit closed with a reminder for why we all gathered here: a discussion between Amir Taki and Ashley Tyson on the origin of Bitcoin, a view towards post-maximalism, and how we can utilize this technology to empower human freedom.

Amir Taaki & Ashley Tyson close out Web3 Summit

The Hackerspace

While the main stage presentations shared incredible insights and inspiration, it was important to create a space where the community could come together to collaborate and build.

The community powered hackerspace was the heart of the Web3 Summit. This experimental area was available for anyone to self-organize their own workshops, small talks, whiteboard sessions, working groups, or social spaces. There were pop-up nodes and meeting spaces where anyone could sign up to host an activity. From UX and design workshops, to security focused discussions (and lock-picking classes!), to helping facilitate sovereign natural environments (Nature 2.0) — the hackerspace provided a space to create and choose your own adventure.

Thank you to everyone that stepped forward to fill this empty space with ideas and life. And a special thanks to all the node organizers who spent countless hours building and sharing, by creating spaces where anyone could feel free to drop by, ask questions, and contribute.

Looking to the future

We envision a Web3 Summit with no attendees — where everyone is a participant. Web3 Summit v2.0 will build upon this ethos of community and freedom. We will continue our commitment to prioritizing self organization by creating a permissionless space where you can feel empowered to bring your own ideas and your own contributions — no matter how far fetched or obscure they may seem!

Join us in planning the next Web3 Summit! Send us your ideas and suggestions and let’s build this together!

Twitter: twitter.com/web3foundation

Riot: riot.im/app/#/room/#web3summit:matrix.org

Email: contact@web3summit.com