I hosted an interactive town hall for Consensus this afternoon. The topic was the path forward for building communities online, offline and IRL with cryptocurrency, decentralized autonomous organizations and maybe even network states.
I’ve been working on this town hall for several months. I worked with Marc Hochstein to refine the thesis question, build the flow and topics, bring together speakers from unique ecosystems and projects, and horse trade the various bit of social capital required to get interesting content out the door. I worked hard on it. I felt I was one of the owners of the panel.
Builders of new types of communities – online, IRL, and hybrids – roll up their sleeves and discuss how they’ve addressed challenges from 60,000-foot strategy to immediate on-the-ground tactics in a zero-trust world with high trust expectations. Topics include: governance and accountability; organic scaling through consensus (who and what decides on whether it is achieved); the architecture of sustaining and driving loyalty; navigating regulatory hurdles; uncertainty around novel governance structures; and managing information and workflows around who and what is trusted.
I was proud of my first question as I felt qualified to ask having once been the founder and leader of an organization. Conway’s Law is a familiar adage in software design. Simply put, what we build is a reflection of who we are and how we communicate with each other. So I opened the town hall with this as the thirty thousand foot view.
If what we build is a reflection of the organizations that build it, then crypto is a reflection of this room. Assuming you believe our goal is to economic and monetary solutions for everyone willing to align with our reformation, are we living up to this ambition?
We had a lot of ground to cover. Issues of institutional distrust, transparency, governance, and decentralization’s promises for inclusion. But reactivity means we go to base emotions. An older woman asked the panel (not me though) why there weren’t more women on the panel. Needlessly to say I took that personally. Ain’t I a panelist?
I just brought the hammer down on this poor woman who wanted to call my panel a “manel” because lady it’s fucking erasure I worked for months to bring this group together, I’m on the stage as an expert, and you think don’t I count?
She said I was the moderator. Which like yeah it’s my fucking show because I have the expertise to bring the leaders together as I’m a peer. I shut it down as we had deeper questions on what inclusion than Boomer feminism or Girlbossing woke-ism can manage.
The beauty of Bitcoin and Ethereum and the ecosystem of L2s like Stacks is any of us can validate what’s going on. There is no “man” or patriarchy or systemic oppression keeping you out of learning and using the tools. Maybe they reflect their builders who haven’t always been inclusive but now all of us together can earn and build like anyone else. We can make our tools reflect us by insisting on being seen.
I regularly have my background and expertise and existence questioned by everyone. And I just keep showing up. So I’d like to say sticking a girl on a panel does nothing for inclusion. But being a woman who organized a serious (ly) weird town hall on community should also mean my experience counts as much as anyone else’s.
I want everyone to count. You count. I count. Your gender or sexual orientation doesn’t discount you unless you discount yourself first. I regularly make sure I’m seen and I want you seen too.
The way to count is by speaking up and making sure that men aren’t the only ones who contribute. Don’t want to make your gender or sex a thing?
Go ignore gender & sex and & identity entirely and be an anon with a Milady pfp. I came to crypto to be a sovereign of my own body and choices. It’s your choice. None of us are victims.
I was amused as dozens of women came up to me after with enthusiasm about how we do inclusion in crypto because we don’t need to be restricted by Girlbossing or Boomer feminism. We include ourselves as the system is inclusive by design.
Decentralized systems include us all. And that’s a future they can’t exclude us from. Do you want to categorize every identity into perfect little corporate identities and slogans. I don’t. We can build a future where we are free to be you and me. Ok Boomer?