Inclusion in Web3 & the Future of Work
The ‘powered by the people’ attribute of Web3 makes it not just a technology, but also a social movement.
What we're here to talk about today
Today, we join Cabin DAO in a conversation about Inclusion and Equity in the Web3 space and its implications for the Future of Work. Questions covered during the conversation include:
How do we make web3 more accessible and increase diversity in the space, especially for folks who are not very familiar with technology?
How do we identify our marginalized communities and their needs
How do we build intentionally by being mindful of the challenges and differences faced by different communities?
What systems of engagement and incentives will create and allow for a deep sense of belonging?
How to “screen” people and foster trust in remote environments and enhance collaboration, especially when they’re anonymous
Identified equities inherent in Web3
No clear path on how Web3 makes your life better, there needs to be an active effort to explain and encourage underserved groups to join the movement.
DAOs are voluntary workforce; volunteering is something that underprivileged groups often don’t have the luxury to afford.
The digital divide and lack of physical infrastructure that exists does not allow everyone to participate.
Accessibility in web3 (for the disabled) still has a long way to go.
Personal wealth acts as a Gatekeeper in particular technologies and DAOs.
Lack of financial literacy in marginalized communities
General pressure to get a return on investment and growth from VCs and other investors in the space, it’s not completely altruistic at this point.
Opportunities to increase diversity, inclusion, and equity in Web3
As mentioned in the session, DAOs within web3 have the chance to offer a vehicle to actualize a modern-day holacracy. DAOs offer the opportunity to create workspaces with decentralized management and organizational governance that aims to distribute authority and decision-making through self-organizing teams. We can continue to promote a Future of Work that works for all by:
Intentionality of spreading DAOs to diverse communities, rather than just involving your friends.
As the founders and early contributors of DAOs, we can be intentional about the culture that is developed and instilled across the community.
Develop and deploy DEI templates that create a framework for DAOs to develop strategies around that innately incorporate DEI at its inception.
Web3 & the Future of Work
Let’s assume that DAOs are essentially the platform that enables the future of work that serves humanity. “Work” becomes an avenue that allows everyone to be compensated and contribute to projects that they have interest and care about. In this future, everyone has value to add, despite what capitalism regularly deems as valuable. In this world, “work” is based on passions and impact.
Culture in Web3 Environments
Culture in decentralized organization can be a challenging endeavor, but is necessary to consider if we want to build a future of web3 that is equitable, kind, and effective, and doing so intentionally is imperative. The use of the metaverse will be necessary to further bridge any culture gap. When considering culture a couple good rules of thumb that can be translated from centralized to decentralized entities include:
Using a common language
Set a language around how culture is described and driven. The common language around the organization's purpose, mission, values drives a cohesiveness of feelings, beliefs, and behaviors across regions.
Setting clear expectations
Clear expectations that are well-defined and steadfast are promoters towards a coherent culture. Clear expectations allow all people to know they are a part of something bigger than their personal experience and that they are headed in the same direction as their peers. If a common language gives culture a voice, then setting clear expectations gives culture sight.
Encouraging consistent measurements
Measuring everyone’s contribution to culture with consistent measurements validates the common language and clear expectations have been set and that the culture established is living and breathing. This is also a stopgap to ensure accountability in behaviors and norms set by the community.
Compensation & the Ownership Economy
The future of income will also become decentralized, independent of intermediaries, more user-centric, and loaded with opportunities to earn income without actually working in the traditional sense. DAOs will enable a future that makes it possible for people to earn income in non-traditional ways. The shift away from traditional methods of earning incoming to the emerging ‘x-to-earn’ models (i.e., play to earn, create to earn, learn to earn and work to earn) give a preview of what the future of income will look like.
Additionally, with the use of blockchain technology and smart contracts, individuals retain ownership for anything they produce. This ownership economy, made possible by these technologies, will drastically change the dynamics of work relations by putting everyone on equal footing rather than stratified hierarchies.
Finally, as hypothesized, we may even see “promotions” and metric increases that unlock further benefits, or rewards, from the community through membership participation, alcolade, tenure, etc. that promote retention in these communities. These unlocked benefits could provide resources such as housing, healthcare, workspace, and more. The possibilities become endless, and in fact, diverse participation rather than “loyalty” to a singular organization or source of income.
The Future of the “Workforce”
While web3 will revolutionize the way we work, we still need to keep in mind fundamental stages in “workforce” development and engagement: attract, onboard, develop, engage, retatin, and offboard.
The major challenges when developing strategies around these stages of the “employee lifecycle” include:
The rotational nature of participants on projects and DAOs
The need to have community-wide adoption of standards, procedures, and best practices
The need for documentation (which could be incentivized through tokens)
Acknowledgements and recognition for impact and contributions
A “workforce” that is there because of passion and purpose (passion economy)
The need to digitize social spaces for work (perhaps through the metaverse)
The need for tools and systems that enable folks to translate behaviors and tasks from one DAO to another; a mental model to show up and effectively contribute
Best practices & actionable steps
You cannot change what you do not measure. Attempt to collect data regularly from your community. Being transparent about the purpose and outcome for collecting this information will increase engagement.
Get to know your marginalized groups.
Demographic categories (self-ID) to consider:
When in doubt, build for the most marginalized.
If you don't know your community, always make policies and systems for the most marginalized. Keep the needs and systemic barriers for those communities in mind when setting any infrastructure, developing strategies around building and retaining community, as well as ensuring psychological safety in your virtual (and physical) spaces.
Always consider commonly known disabilities.
Start off on the right foot by building with commonly known disabilities in mind (e.g., use closed captioning on video content, create image descriptions for the visually impared, reduce movement and consider colors used for photosensitivity, create multi-modal knowledge sharing for all learning styles, etc.). Additional training and resources can be found here.
When in doubt, find community and ask others.
At the end of the day, all of this is new. We’re experimenting and innovating, so crowdsource information when possible. Find or build a community of other DAOs to share knowledge and best practices with one another.
Further Reading on Web3 & The Future of Work
2022 Prediction: The Influence Of Web3 On The Future Of Work (Forbes)
What web3 means for the future of work (Fast Company)
Web3's potential for the future of work (Charter Works)
The Internet Of The Future: Here Are Best Examples Of Web3 In Practice (Forbes)
The Future of Work in the Web3 Era (Wow Labs)
Top 5 Ways Web3 is Redefining the Future of Work (Identity Review)
Layer3: The Future Of Work In Web3 (Shift Beehive)
Heristic is a talent management consulting firm for growth-stage organizations. We guide our clients in building scalable and sustainable talent acquisition and talent management strategies through a lens of Action, Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (ABIDE). In practice, this looks like working with growth stage organizations of all types to develop custom solutions for People Operations, Talent Acquisition and Onboarding, and Diversity, Equity and Belonging (DEI) initiatives and strategic planning. Heristic is dedicated to planting seeds of inclusion to dismantle systems of bias across the employee lifecycle.
Today, we join Cabin DAO in a conversation about Inclusion and Equity in the Web3 space and its implications for the Future of Work. We chose to participate in this week’s Residency Program because our core values bring us here.
Be Curious. We are novices in the space, but what better room to be in to learn about how to promote inclusion & participation in a novel space that may uplift traditional disenfranchised folks? Empowerment & economic opportunity.
We’re here to ask questions and guide a conversation around an inclusive path forward into this future.
Be Future-Forward. We realized that there are so many unknowns that still exist in this space and that it’ll just take time in order for regulations and standards to be decided upon. This puts us in a unique circumstance to experiment and push the envelope about what is possible in this space and how these technologies can shape the future of what and how work gets done.
Be Intentional. There are many opportunities for impact as DEI consultants invest in the development of web3. We are intentionally plugging into many communities that value our input and expertise, despite being novices in the space. Further, there are, arguably more, opportunities to progress equity and inclusion work within DAOs due to the communities not being bogged down by endless conversations and lack of accountability and performative action.
Be Generous. In the spirit of working and learning together, we want to provide insights and experiences from our work so that you all can go off to do more. Pay-it-forward.