In this tutorial, we will explore the concept of Socioecological Systems (SES) design in the context of Web3. We will discuss why SES is important for Web3 and delve into the design patterns emerging in the Web3 space. Additionally, we will touch upon the future implications of SES design. This tutorial will cover the following topics:
- What is SES?
- Importance of SES in Web3
- Design Patterns in Web3
- Creating Ecological Capitals in Web3
- Advantages of Web3 for SES Design
- Approaches to SES Design in Web3
- Future of SES Design in Web3
A Socioecological System (SES) comprises a biogeophysical unit along with its associated social factors and institutions. The institutional aspect of SES is particularly revolutionary in the context of Web3 due to the advent of programmable institutions, also known as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). SES can be understood as a system of stewardship of shared resources, incorporating elements such as social institutions, values, individual and collective choices, policies, and interventions.
Web3 introduces a new wave of programmable institutions, such as DAOs and crypto networks, which plan to use programmable finance to intervene in the material reality. In the current neoliberal capitalist paradigm, it becomes necessary to create ecological capitals or natural capitals to align with this system. Understanding the historical efforts and mechanism design of these new capitals is crucial for effective SES design.
In Web3, design patterns for SES are emerging, bridging the gap between global abstractions and contextualized local ecosystems. The open-source ethos of Web3 fosters collaboration and addresses the existential crisis that threatens our future. Adaptive governance, a concept within SES, is particularly relevant in achieving effective SES design. It mediates between the global and the local, utilizing price theory and ecological economics to create more effective financial instruments.
Web3 enables the creation of crypto ecological assets through the measurement and tokenization of underlying material reality, particularly in the context of land and sea territories. These assets represent the ecological state of a specific territory and form a vital addition to Web3. By leveraging liquidity, transparent data ecology, and programmable institutions, Web3 can facilitate the creation of more impactful ecological assets.
Web3 brings several advantages to SES design, including easier access to liquidity through 24/7 crypto markets that are resistant to manipulation by centralized actors. Transparent and interoperable data ecology allows for a deeper understanding of on-the-ground realities. Web3 also enables the creation of more effective financial instruments, leveraging programmable institutions and an open-source ethos to address the global challenges we face.
In Web3, several projects are leading the way in SES design. Trees AI, Regen Network, and Open Forest Protocol are examples of projects exploring data monetization, tokenization, and governance of ecological assets. These projects utilize DAO governance, oracles for data validation, and ecological contracts to create financialized tokens that represent the value of measured ecological assets.
Looking ahead, there is a need for broader experimentation beyond ecological state design. It is essential to explore and incentivize regeneration, conservation, and reduced consumption to tackle the challenges of SES effectively. Additionally, more practice with DAO tooling in real-world contexts is required to refine and optimize SES design. The wide range of problems and opportunities in this space provides ample room for innovation and collaboration.