Decoding Impact DAOs (Part 2) - Blockchain for Public Goods

In the first part of this article, we reviewed the challenges in creating and sustaining public goods. In this follow-up, we would like to showcase how coordination mechanisms can create public goods, reward contributors, and empower communities with tools for sustainable shared management of resources.

An equitable future enabled at the "edges"

The General Magic team that came out of the Giveth Galaxy believes that communities with a strong purpose who are close to the issue at hand are in the best place to competently manage shared resources.

"There is no reason to believe that bureaucrats and politicians, no matter how well meaning, are better at solving problems than the people on the spot, who have the strongest incentive to get the solution right." - Elinor Ostrom 

For centuries, we have been designing our social, industrial, and political institutions with a "control-first" mindset. This leads to disenfranchisement at the edges where there is the most potential to deliver the greatest impact. The fundamental change to empower those who can solve problems on the spot needs to start with the dissipation of power from the center to these edges.

The decentralized structures designed with careful deliberation can unlock this by dissipating the power to decide how to extract value and where relevant, automating the ability to extract it, thus drastically reducing historically prevalent sources of information asymmetry, corruption, and ineffectiveness.

How can blockchain help with any of this?

We believe we are on the brink of a new period of large-scale human collaboration that can bring about a range of novel organizational frameworks, each with its own purpose-made governance and financial sustainability solutions.

"With programable money, we can program our values into our money" - Greenpilled

Web3 allows the ability to program our values into our money. Blockchain can codify incentive design that encourages action towards socially beneficial outcomes at scale. These incentives drive collective action to overcome common failures of coordination. The atomic unit of this transformation is an Impact DAO - a collective action that has a net positive impact on building and sustaining public goods. Related Impact DAOs stack over each other to replace existing centers of power and build transparent systems of tomorrow.

These structures focus on outcomes that:

  • cultivate regenerative versus extractive economy

  • drive sustainable longitudinal transformation versus short-term wins

  • are designed for shock resilience┬á

Case in point

To illustrate how Impact DAOs take advantage of blockchain as the "trust anchor" and programmable money to play economic games that benefit everyone, here's a quick overview of how Giveth is revolutionizing the way we finance public goods.

The road ahead

Now that we have ways to embed transparency and automation with greater finesse, what do we do about it?

At a minimum, an Impact DAO will need to crack the trifecta of:

  • building a sustainable community invested for reasons beyond economics┬á

  • using a harmonious blend of culture, organizational design, and decentralized tech

  • to create a regenerative micro-economy┬á

Founded by a couple of folks from Giveth in 2020, General Magic supports the design, development, parameterization & communications efforts of Impact DAO's ranging from Giveth, Commons Stack, the Token Engineering Commons, and more so that those orgs can focus on their collective missions together. General Magic was born out of the Giveth Galaxy, immersed in a culture of Blockchain Philanthropy, we have the knowledge and insights to build a better future for the Decentralized Web. To explore who we are and our work, visit us at

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