Transforming the Workforce: The Evolving Role of DAOs in Shaping the Future of Work
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Transforming the Workforce: The Evolving Role of DAOs in Shaping the Future of Work

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5 months ago

Op-Ed: If the future of work is to be on-chain, we need to address how DAOs can better maintain governance, keep contributors actively engaged, and ensure proper compensation of all members.

Transforming the Workforce: The Evolving Role of DAOs in Shaping the Future of Work

There has never been a more opportune moment to establish a DAO. Remote work is still on the ascent, displaying no signs of slowing down, and the gig and creator economies are also scaling up. The future will be defined by on-chain communities, where progress is driven not solely by individuals but by collectives.

To get there, DAOs need to level up their approaches to governance, contributor engagement and retention, and improve compensation processes and methods.

Here’s how we can move closer to that point.

Move away from one token, one vote

Judging on a per wallet basis, there are only approximately 2.5 million eligible voters in today’s DAOs. With roughly 676 DAOs in formally recorded existence and 330 of those averaging under 1000 token holders, the DAO space would appear to favor a select few. This is far from the ideal state of shifting the power of the firm and every community in existence back to the people that truly make them run.

So what can be done?

DAOs need to move away from the pay to play model and onto distributing voting power and ownership more equitably. One example would be a quadratic voting-inspired model where the square root of token weight (tokens owned) is taken to determine voting power, with another being a “DAO-based democracy,” where the whole DAO elects a certain number of officials to vote for it on all issues.

Since most DAOs are still one token, one vote, it’s early, but organizations like Gitcoin and the work done by RadicalxChange point the way towards a better future.

Truly put crypto on the back-end

Still, improving the governance structures behind DAOs is only a fraction of the battle. What about uncovering their greater potential to the world beyond the crypto-sphere?

In order for us to even get close to that point, we need, as Jon Hillis from Cabin puts it, for “the infrastructure to be invisible.” Not everyone needs to know how to purchase a token from Uniswap. Tokens aren’t even always needed for DAOs to run.
Consider Ukraine DAO. They’ve never had a token and they continue to scale membership, mostly from individuals who have little to no crypto knowledge and do not need to have said knowledge.

How do they do it?

They make it as easy as possible to both onboard and stay meaningfully involved, pushing the DAO’s mission forward. All DAOs could stand to learn from Ukraine DAO’s example and put crypto on the back-end as much as possible.

The easier we make it for anyone to experience the future of coordination and work, the more people will realize that the future can be more distributive than extractive.

Introduce credentialing where necessary

Decentralized doesn’t always mean fully permissionless in every way. Yes, it could be said to be a hot take.

Still, some DAOs need gated workstreams.

Consider, for example, a group that wants to decentralize the research and development of medicines and other treatments. VitaDAO does this in the arena of longevity research, splitting interested individuals by their backgrounds, including only letting academics in the field of longevity science be involved in sourcing projects for prospective funding by the DAO. Boys Club requires an invite from an existing member who assures the rest of the community that you are a creative that aligns with the community’s mission. Ukraine DAO ensures that all operational decisions are made by Ukrainians. Bankless DAO relies on guilds, through which existing members vet that prospective members are cut out for the tasks involved, such as legal, writing, or project management, and more.

No matter the type of DAO, some degree of credentialing is needed. For some, that means every working group. For others, that means only circles such as legal that require highly specialized skills need to be gated.

Judge what to do with your particular DAO based on first, what its mission is, and second, what working groups need to exist to bring it to fruition.

Start with what’s needed, pay contributors well

Not everything can be bounty-based or highly free-form.

Certain positions and certain DAOs need to be equivalent to salaried jobs. The individuals who hold these posts, however, should be both those who have the backgrounds that are most needed to drive the DAO forward and the drive to actually do so. Take VitaDAO, for example.

Longevity researchers, scientists, and funding experts should qualify as core contributors. Others can fall along different tiers, still compensated for what they do to further the DAO’s mission.

The reason why is simple.

VitaDAO exists to tackle “aging with the power of a global community.” Who better to drive that effort than experts in the field?

Others like Bankless DAO can be more distributed in their approach to who qualifies as core contributors, by design. Onboarding the next 1 billion people to crypto is an effort that just about anyone in the space can equally contribute to.

In the end, there’s no one size fits all mold for DAO compensation but we can take pieces from our compatriots' approaches and apply them to what we do now and in the future. Moreover, we can develop better structures together.

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Samudai, a DAO project management platform that enables collaboration and bounty management for admins, project managers, and contributors, is the hub for all on-chain work and collaboration, dedicated to spearheading the future of work. Samudai helps streamline DAO transparency and organizational structure including full automation of investment flow, job boards for the ecosystem, facilitation of payments to contributors, workflow management, collaboration between on-chain orgs, and more. The platform is backed by leading investors including Sino Global Capital, Coinbase Ventures, A&T Capital and Lunar Ventures.

Kushagra is the Co-Founder of Samudai, a DAO project management platform that enables collaboration and bounty management for admins, project managers, and contributors. In addition, Kushagra serves as a Kernel Block III Member at Gitcoin, where he successfully created a tokenization platform that enables content creators to conveniently generate and distribute social tokens to their dedicated community members. Since 2019, Kushagra has actively driven innovation in social platforms using blockchain technology, aiming to support the creator economy with enhanced community participation and engagement. Kushagra was previously part of IBM's Digital Transformation Labs where he developed an eLearning portal that allowed B2B clients to collect valuable analytical insights for effective marketing strategies. Kushagra holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science from Vellore Institute of Technology.

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