#20: Impact DAOs

This week's briefing explores the fast-growing movement of ImpactDAOs and how these are creating economic opportunities for ecological regeneration and sustainable human development.

2 years ago   •   14 min read

By ixo

ImpactDAOs create net positive externalities in their surrounding ecosystems.

Our guest curator this week is Ale Borda, who researched and co-authored a newly published book that documents the rising phenomenon and potential of ImpactDAOs.

Ale believes that technology unlocks the potential for us to break our dependencies on extractive systems and to change the narrative of what we want, and what is possible.

Digital currencies are a disruptive technology that enables us to choose how transfer value, based on conditions that we choose. Finance can serve to enrich human flourishing or cripple it. We should be conscious of the role we play in shaping this technology for positive impact because what we build will shape the future of the society we live in. We can embed our values into digital currencies, explore a plurality of ways to transact and share value, align individuals with collective incentives, and unlock the freedom to dedicate our time to meaningful work.

Source: ImpactDAOs book

In this week's feature article Ale explores the growing realisation that we can consciously design our external reality with coordination mechanisms that can direct our society towards a more desirable future state of the world. We now have an open design space that can include everyone by design to ensure that the health of our planet and people is at the core of our economic systems.

Impact DAO-ism
The big ideas and practical implementations of ImpactDAOs that are developing new patterns for scaling human and capital coordination.

DAOs in the Global South

Simon Luling of Ekonavi writes that ImpactDAOs in the Global South could have incredible potential to shape the direction of emerging economies in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Impact DAOs in the Global South
Purpose-driven initiatives in the Global South can now enable all their stakeholders to become empowered participants in Impact DAOs, with shared ownership and governance rights.

Earth State Markets

Here's the latest intelligence on the tokens and markets that are contributing to growth of the Tokenised Earth Economy.

The week went from extreme bullishness to extreme bearishness. All eyes were on the FOMC meeting, which announced interest rate hikes. The market had already priced-in a 50bps hike, which is exactly what happened. Jerome Powell also confirmed that a 75bps hike was probably not on the table. Markets soared on the news, and we had a great green day. Thursday came, and people had more time to digest the news, with hope fading. There won’t be much relief from the Feds. Tightening will continue, and interest rates will have to continue rising. The US economy will definitely slow down. The markets turned red, and crypto followed.

Adding to the bearish sentiment from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is famous for hating crypto, declaring that she will actively try prevent Fidelity from allowing people to allocate Bitcoin to their 401k.

Down to Earth

The stock market plunge, in technology stocks in particular, is spurring soul searching in venture markets. Valuations are dropping. Layoffs are mounting. Expectations, at least for the moment, are resetting. "Growth at any cost is DEAD," tweeted former Softbank investor Marcelo Claure. "It's time to build real companies, with real technologies, to solve real problems," added Lux Capital's Bilal Zuberi.

📈Reference Markets over the past week


The OG of cryptos



Bitcoin is halfway to the next halving, estimated to take place on the 27th of April 2024. Currently, miners earn 6.25BTC per block with 105000 to go until the halving where rewards drop to 3.125 BTC.


The king of Alts



ETH fees spiked to 2.6 ETH per transaction during the Othersides by Yuga Labs metaverse land sale. That's $7400 a transaction! A scaling solution is clearly needed!


Interoperable Blockchain Chain



There’s drama in the Cosmos as prop 69 has stirred a lot of controversy. See Jae Kwon's letter to the core contributors here. An airdrop is offered to those who vote No.


Yield Farming on cosmos



Osmosis adds extra functionality to their dashboard. Calculate expected returns, download a csv of your staking rewards and more. 





After community backlash, CEO Kris Marszalek said the firm has restarted staking rewards, with rewards of as much as 8% to be offered to its card users.


Smart-contracts on IBC



Juno validators make a costly mistake as $37 million was sent to a wrong wallet address due to a typo. The whale saga continues.


Liquid Staking, synthetics and NFT’s



The Injective Bridge is now connected to Persistence One via IBC and the $XPRT spot market is now on Injective Pro.


Terra ecosystem



The Luna Foundation acquires another $1.5 billion worth of BTC to guard its peg.

📊Impact Markets over the past week


Ecological State Ledger



Catch up on their Twitter Space on Validator Ecosystem Resilience. What do validators do? How do they participate in chain governance?


Internet of Impact



Seen at the ReFi Unconference in Austria, follow their Twitter for some live updates of this week!


Energy Web Token



ENGIE Energy Access Crowdfund for Solar platform on the Energy Web Chain was 100% filled within 7 hours. Staked $EWT will be providing energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Toucan Protocol: Base Carbon Tonnes



In episode 4 of the ReFi Podcast, the team speaks to Vivek and Andy from KERNEL about community.


Seigniorage stablecoins collateralised by crypto and natural assets.



A new social token is set to launch soon. Check out $BYEBYE, courtesy of Bye Bye Plastic Foundation


Connecting crypto users with inspiring farm projects across the planet. Moving carbon from the sky into the soil.



How to buy and stake $DOV: Check out this video. DOVU staking is still in the beta phase, but public access is set to go live in Q2!

📉DAO Shares over the past week

ℹ️ Remember that DAO’s with a rebase mechanism should be valued on their treasuries, and market cap increases are a more important metric than token prices, as high yields try to outpace price fluctuations.


Carbon Credits as its treasury




17,799252 TONNES CO2

The otherdeed NFT mind has a carbon footprint of 3879 tonnes! See what Klima is doing to offset NFT emissions here.

Olympus DAO

The largest DAO built on Ethereum




$294 million

OHM is now trading incredibly close to its treasury value, most of which is risk free. Is OHM in the buy range?

Gitcoin DAO

GTC - Platform to find meaningful open-source work



The GitcoinDAO anniversary is almost here! They have begun putting “a year in review” piece together and would love to get input on what to include. Go have a look here.

Ocean Protocol DAO

Ocean Protocol 



One week after the H20 launch, the data is sitting at +$1 million. You can check out the staking vaults in the app.

Popcorn DAO



A number of new features are coming to the ecosystem, including increased capital efficiency with Uniswap and Gelato Network and a new $POP donation flow.

What are the Impact DAOs and Tokens you want to see included in the Earth State Market tracker? Get in touch to let us know!

Market Opportunities

  • Learn how the Optimism team and Vitalik structured their Retroactive Public Goods Funding here.
  • Stake: Eth/JEth on jonesDAO and earn over 100% APY
  • Read: The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organisations.
  • Farm: Compare the best yields across multiple protocols using coindix!
  • Get Credentials: Earthly certifies progressive leaders and businesses who remove at least 10% more than their Carbon footprint, with tokenised offsets from high-quality nature based Carbon projects, verified by Carbon Action as meeting the ISO standard 14064-1:2018.

Token Analysis

My Neighbor Alice $ALICE is inviting new players into Web3 with easy onboarding. This week we continue to question if the intersection of #GameFi meta-verses and #ReFi eco-verses could help build and engage crypto communities who will grow the movement to create the real world we want.

Or are the stereotype White farmers of Alice-land  just another distraction from doing what matters?

$ALICE Technical Analysis
My Neighbor Alice shows how to invite new players into Web3 and grow citizen participation in building a possible future world, at the intersection of gaming metaverses and regenerative ecoverses.


  • The Impact NFT Alliance is on a mission to use NFTs for funding positive social, cultural, sustainable development or environmental impact. These digital assets record and value impact actions in the physical world. Their platform enables you to learn about the Alliance partners and explore Impact NFT collections, such as NFT 4 Ukraine and AfricaRare.

Earth State How

Last year, we began exploring all things DAO for Earth, with articles such as Nested DAOs and Financial Protocol DAOs as decentralised development banks. The explosion of DAOs over recent months has been phenomenal. Are you ready to join a DAO, or even launch your own Impact DAO?

How to DAO

If you are thinking of joining or creating an Impact DAO, here are some points to consider:

  • Purpose: which must align your own personal beliefs and passions. For inspiration explore DAOlist or DeepDAO.
  • Strategy: What are the DAO's goals and objectives, structure and governance, and how Impact is being measured and verified. There are different types of DAOs, including NFT DAOs, Grants DAOs and Service DAOs.
  • Community: this is where you’ll get a good sense of a DAO's culture - by participating in the community. Discord groups are the go-to communications hub for DAOs, and will generally be organised into multiple working groups. DAOs have socio-economic and socio-political elements, and have become an effective way to coordinate resources with other like-minded people.
Image via pet3rpan
  • Onboarding: Ask the members what the steps are. DAOs have different requirements, so make sure you find out the correct details before you commit. Each DAO has its own way of operating. So familiarise yourself with the particular community's flow.
  • Engagement: If you have a skillset that you could offer, find out where and how you can contribute. Often, this is attached to incentive within the structure of the DAO.
  • Risks! DAOs have a multitude of benefits and appeals, but there are risks involved.
The Risks of a DAO
Some of the brightest minds in the blockchain space are working on the challenges and risks of creating, governing and managing DAOs. Are you ready To DAO, or Not To DAO, given the known and unknown risks?
Image via Aragon
  • Coordinate decision-making. Voting tools help individuals voice their opinions, fund initiatives you care about and empower representatives you trust to execute in ways that align with your views.
ImpactDAOs are the atomic building blocks of regenerative cryptoeconomics – ImpactDAO book
  • The proof is in the impact. As an ImpactDAO, you will become a building block of the Regenerative Cryptoeconomic movement. An antifragile regenerative system builds capacity sustainably, while being resilient to shocks.
  • It's not only about Financial Resources. Gregory Landua and AppleSeed Permaculture published this resource on the 8 different types of capital, with financial capital being only one of them:
Source: ImpactDAO book

The Health of DAO Treasuries

Like startups, most DAOs continue to be fluid entities. As such, they should have a balanced approach to treasury management — in particular those DAOs that oversee a sizeable treasury. Last year, the number of DAOs and capital in DAO treasuries increased significantly. Since then, projects have taken different approaches to managing their assets; let's take a look into how these treasuries are composed today. – Messari

Governance Vulnerabilities - The Lido DAO case study

BlockScience recently published their governance assessment of Lido DAO, to understand the vulnerabilities of DAO governance, and identify opportunities to strengthen DAO governance mechanisms.

Vulnerabilities typically emerge internally to a system rather than externally and thus can be managed in many cases once identified. Identifying vulnerabilities can produce opportunities to improve adaptive capacity, resilience, and growth. This is essential for DAOs that aim to be decentralized and autonomous (meaning independent from external direction).

Earth States-Person

Ale Borda, our guest curator for this week, is originally from Peru and is highly passionate about impact. She has developed the strategic growth and operations of Enseñame Voluntariado, providing online classes to over 2000 kids in public schools across 21 regions in Peru who would have not otherwise had access to education. She recently co-authored Impact DAOs, alongside Kevin Owocki from Gitcoin.

She currently works for Fifty Years, an early-stage VC firm based in San Francisco that is backed by 44 founders of tech companies valued between $1B and $100B –a.k.a. the League of Giants, who want to help the next generation of great scientists become great entrepreneurs.

Earth State Change

  • How DAOs are evolving through networked cooperation. All DAOs want their tokens to increase in value. PrimeDAO sees a future in which DAOs create abundance through an exchange, and with Prime Deal, DAOs now have a way to facilitate, ratify and archive their DAO-to-DAO (D2D) deals.
The Next Stage of DAO Evolution: Networked Cooperation, Powered by Prime Deals
The next stage of DAO2DAO coordination is here: Prime Deals enables DAOs to execute token swaps, joint ventures, and more with tools for DAO2DAO networked cooperation.
New DAOs are coming online at an incredibly fast pace, across Solana, Ethereum, Celo, Gnosis, Cosmos and more. These organisations are rapidly pushing the boundaries of coordination, contribution, verification, and what it means to be in community on the internet. In addition, many of these nascent crypto-networks aim to broadly finance ecosystem growth through their own protocol-level DAO treasuries.

Earth State Culture

After GreenPilled, we now get ImpactDAOs, co-authored by Kevin Owocki and Ale Borda, which explores the defining features of Impact DAOs, with a map of the  current ImpactDAO landscape. Another must read!

Here we simply acted as cartographers to lay out the current state of ImpactDAOs hopefully to serve as another effort for more people to use web3 to better the world. We are most excited to see more and more examples come up or for talent to join or collaborate across existing ImpactDAOs. - Ale Borda

Earth State Tweet of the Week

Earth News

  • The XPRIZE for Carbon Removal has awarded 15 competing projects $1M each, funded by the Musk Foundation, as a milestone recognition of their efforts and to support ongoing work. There's no clear winner (yet).
  • Carbon Chains. KlimaDAO reported on a study comparing the suitability of the Polygon and Chia blockchains as base layer infrastructure for on-chain carbon markets. There are many more contenders, and any chain that is not already provably carbon-neutral (or negative) won't stand a chance.
Comparing the Polygon and Chia blockchains
A comparative study on the suitability of the Polygon and Chia blockchains to serve as the base layer for the on-chain carbon market.
  • Simple but wrong. Complex but right. En-Roads has released simulation software to explore the impacts of how we choose to tackle Climate, including through nature-based solutions.
En-ROADS Climate Scenario
Interact with this global scenario of climate action

Earth Gatherings

  • ReFi Spring Portugal is coming up in a few weeks, including 4 days of visiting the Traditional Dream Factory in Abela to learn about IRL Regeneration with Open Forest Protocol, Toucan, Ethic Hub and more TBA. Be sure to check out their side event happening in Lisbon.
ReFi Spring Portugal
Bringing regenerative finance and land stewardship together 🌈 26th to 29th of May we will visit the Traditional Dream Factory in Abela and learn about IRL Regeneration. Traditional Dream Factory has partnered with Open Forest Protocol, Toucan, Ethic Hub and some more TBA to build bridges between t…
  • Get your Early Bird Tickets for Cosmoverse Conference in Medellin, Colombia in September! The first Cosmoverse was held in Lisbon last year, and after a massive success, they are heading up another event this year.
Join Us
WELCOME TO Cosmoverse Conference The First Cosmoverse was held in Lisbon, Portugal on November 5th & 6th, 2021. The Second CoSmoverse will be held in Medellín, Colombia On September 27 & 28, 2022. There were speakers from the Cosmos Ecosystem such as Cosmos Core Builders, Osmosis, Keplr, and…

Earth State Actions

  • Catch Up on a recent Twitter Space held by Gitcoin on why Public Goods are Good.
  • Read how DAOs can revolutionise social impact, one of the ways being that they have the ability to create new models and processes of accountability.
Five ways DAOs will revolutionize social impact — Crypto Altruism
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are one of the most exciting developments to come out of the crypto world in recent years and have experienced rapid growth towards becoming a vital part of the blockchain and crypto ecosystem.
  • Watch Kevin Owocki and Ale Borda’s talk at Schelling Point on how Impact DAOs are the building blocks of Regen Web3.
  • View this list that Toucan put together of projects building with on-chain carbon - with BCT, NCT or TCO2s. See where and how you can use your carbon reference tokens to generate yield, trade or borrow against!
  • Dive into this BlockScience piece regarding applying Stafford Beer's Viable System Model to a DAO.
Stafford Beer articulated the “Viable System Model” (VSM) in his 1972 book ‘Brain of the Firm’ as a management tool to determine the viability of an organization. Applying the VSM is about structuring resilience in an organization — to adapt to changes in environment (variety) and survive, in line with its purpose.
  • Learn about why you should be paying attention to DAOs and web3 as ways to tackle the climate crisis.

🌍 For the Earth!

So now you know about ImpactDAO-ism, take the plunge to learn more and contribute towards shaping this movement – go join an ImpactDAO!

Join the weekly Earth State Twitter Space every Tuesday at 15:00 UTC, where we discuss what's moving in ReFi and the Tokenised Earth Economy.

This article is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. For tax advice talk to your accountant. DYOR – Do your own research.

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