Q2 Newsletter: Data Science & Bike-packing in Brazil, Net-Zero Protocols, Ostrom Workshop, AI Research & Earth Commons

Welcome summer! 🌞 In this edition honoring the recent solstice, we invite you to learn about the groundbreaking Windfall Protocol for energy efficiency, read about bioregional financing, ecological institutions, and join our adventurous engineer Danilo Lessa Bernardineli on a data-filled bike-packing journey across Brazil’s Bocaina Massif - including his brush with extreme weather. We also share our explorations in knowledge networks and infrastructure, economic mechanisms, polycentric governance, and AI.

For those on the go, check out our recent podcasts and talks on a range of intriguing topics from Orion Reed on Spatial Canvases, software interfaces, and information substrates to underground journeys with Jeff Emmett and Jessica Zartler as they discuss their new book on mycelial networks and biomimetic economic systems in a new podcast.

Speaking of mushrooms... Did you hear the joke about fungus?🍄
You may not like it at first, but it will definitely grow on you 😂 

BlockScience Course: Quantitative Foundations for Institutional Engineering and Design

Our team is considering offering a course on the application of Model-Based Systems Engineering to Institutional Design to launch later this year. We would love to hear your feedback in a 3-minute survey to gauge your interest in course attendance and/or sponsorship.This course, Quantitative Foundations for Institutional Engineering and Design, would provide the mathematical foundations necessary for applying management science (especially operations research) techniques to the engineering design process for mechanisms, markets, and institutions through the lens of decision-making and decision support systems. You can find more details about the course duration, materials, intended audience, etc., in the survey. We appreciate your feedback!

Net-Zero Protocols, Field Adventures & Data Science

The Windfall Protocol: Blockchain-Based Infrastructure to Accelerate Building Retrofits & Energy Efficiency Initiatives
Our latest report outlines the Windfall Protocol - a new shared layer of coordination using blockchain smart contracts and data privacy to drive energy efficiency in buildings, crucial in reaching #netzero targets. With a planned pilot for 200,000 homes in Canada, it addresses coordination gaps in labeling, auditing, and financing, enhancing community collaboration accelerating energy retrofits, and could become a key protocol in decarbonizing buildings around the world.

BlockScience Chief Engineer Michael Zargham and Jessica Zartler, communications and research, held a fireside chat at Earth Commons San Francisco in April. They discussed the role of mechanisms, markets, institutions, and systems science to better align our digital systems with our living systems for ecological regeneration. 

Exploring MycoFi: Mycelial Design Patterns for Web3 and Beyond
Our team members,  Jeff Emmett and Jessica Zartler, published a new book: “Exploring MycoFi: Mycelial Design Patterns for Web3 and Beyond,” and were featured on The Green Pill Podcast. In the interview, they explore how mycelial networks can inspire new economic models, drawing parallels between mycelium networks and digital ecosystems in Web3.

Explore Brazil’s Bocaina Massif 

Danilo Lessa Bernardineli bike-packing Brazil’s Bocaina Massif in May/June.

Join our intrepid senior research engineer and atmospheric physicist Danilo Lessa Bernardineli on a thrilling four day bike-packing odyssey across Brazil's Bocaina Massif. In the true spirit of scientific exploration, he not only documented his journey but tracked all of his data!  

Rohan Mehta, BlockScience research engineer, volunteered to teach kids in the village of Seem, Uttarakhand in North India how to interact with computers. Rohan shared that the kids really loved playing with network graphs 🥰

Governance & Social Science

BlockScience Senior Researcher and Scholar in Residence at the University of Colorado Boulder's Finance Division, Eric Alston, gave a talk at the Workshop on the Ostrom Workshop (WOW7) in Bloomington, Indiana in June. 

Polycentric Privacy Governance in the Digital Age
Discover how encryption and zero-knowledge proofs can balance privacy rights with institutional enforcement. In a new pre-print from Sofía Cossar and our senior researcher, Eric Alston, they delve into the dynamic interplay of technology, institutions, and private choice in the digital age. 

Defining Web3: A Guide to the New Cultural Economy: Volume 89
In the book Defining Web3: A Guide to the New Cultural Economy, Volume 89 features contributions by Kelsie Nabben and Eric Alston. Nabben's chapter, "Entering the Field of Web3: ‘Infrastructuring’ and How to Do It," introduces Web3 as participatory digital infrastructures offering shared ownership and algorithmic governance. Alston's chapter, "When Digital Carnival? Distributed Control of the Metaverse Asset Layer to Enable Creative Digital Expression to Flourish," explores the role of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized governance in fostering creative expression within the metaverse.

Governance Modules Library GML Project
Thanks to support from the Stellar Community, we are expanding the Governance Modules Library (GML) project with two pioneering governance modules: conviction voting and osmotic governance. These additions aim to revolutionize community decision-making and foster inclusive governance in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). Co-developed with StellarOrg, the GML offers a versatile collection of computational governance tools designed for various applications including power attribution, identity management, and rights governance. 

We extend special thanks to Dani Mimm from Blockful for her invaluable insights on on-chain reputation systems, crucial for addressing plutocracy in DAOs and promoting inclusive governance through Valocarcy (effort-based governance). Stay tuned to learn about upcoming calls and opportunities to participate in shaping the future of governance with GML!

The BlockScience team met with Dr. Stuart Cowan of the Buckminster Fuller Institute and talked systems and BFI’s Regeneration Alliance at Earth Commons in San Francisco in April. From Left to Right: Jessica Zartler, Michael Zargham, Dr. Stuart Cowan, and Jeff Emmett.

Economic Mechanism & Market Design

Subspace x BlockScience: Parameter Selection Workshop
This video showcases a workshop from our recent collaboration with Subspace on their token economics design. It offers a detailed walkthrough of computational models and simulations used to analyze and recommend parameters for Subspace's dynamic token issuance mechanisms. Presenters Peter Hacker, Shawn Anderson, and Danilo Lessa Bernardineli discuss the stock-and-flow model, cadCAD framework, system variables, parameters, and analytical methodologies for mapping goals to quantifiable KPIs and exploring trade-offs between parameter configurations.

Knowledge Networks & AI

LLMs & Data Organization: A Demo from Michael Zargham & Orion Reed
Discover the cutting-edge world of knowledge organization and infrastructure with Michael Zargham and Orion Reed. Their short talk dives into the intricate balance of LLMs and data organization, offering insights on building scalable systems that bridge communities and organizations. Explore how their innovative approach transforms digital governance and sets the stage for future decentralized collaborations.

Spatial Canvases: Towards an Integration Domain for HCI, with Orion Reed
In this presentation Orion Reed explores a vision of seamless integration for user interfaces using spatial canvases. This tooling has huge potential for co-working digitally in real-time and automating work flows. Highlighting the benefits of a foundational spatial canvas, he addresses challenges like nesting and layout, aiming to reimagine windowing systems and enhance user interactions through spatial computing.

A Language for Studying Knowledge Networks: The Ethnography of LLMs
Explore alternative visions of Large Language Models in the latest work of our senior social scientist, Kelsie Nabben. Focusing on knowledge creation, infrastructure, and interoperability, this study outlines a research agenda that prioritizes localized, collaborative networks over monolithic models. 

SEALing Crypto Security: A Web3 Information Sharing & Analysis Center (ISAC)
"What is different about SEAL is their ability to get the right people, in the right place, at the right time." In this article, Kelsie Nabben introduces the SEAL-ISAC initiative aimed at strengthening cybersecurity across the cryptocurrency ecosystem against growing threats. Led by the Security Alliance (SEAL), it consolidates threat intelligence bolstering defenses against evolving cyber threats like exchange hacks and fraud. Members gain from real-time information sharing, incident coordination, and best practice guidelines. With leading industry players like Coinbase and UniSwap involved, SEAL-ISAC pioneers collaborative defense strategies, protecting billions in crypto assets. 

Ecosystem & Partner Publications

Ecological Institutions → Protocols to Grow Autonomous and Convivial Ecological Actors
A rooted research piece on Ecological Institutions by our research colleague Austin Wade Smith of Regen Foundation in collaboration with Earth Law Center. The article explores ecological institutions that integrate humans and non-humans in governance to enhance environmental stewardship. It introduces "convivial ecological institutions," which combine community-driven governance with data and social oracles to create a symbiotic relationship between humans and ecosystems, aiming to foster mutual support and regeneration in socio-ecological systems. Check out the article or listen to Wade Smith’s interview with Ma Earth.

Bioregional Financing and EcoCredit Summit at the Shantigar Foundation in Rowe, Massachusetts including participants from BlockScience, the BioFi project, Indigenous Commons, Regen Network, and Regen Foundation.

Bioregional Financing Facilities
We are excited to share the launch of a transformative book on bioregional finance authored by Samantha Power and Leon Seefeld of Dark Matter Labs, with contributions from Jessica Zartler and insights drawn from the BlockScience team’s research. This publication advocates for a new layer in global finance aimed at regenerating our planet, proposing decentralized resource governance, systemic change projects, and a shift toward a regenerative economy guided by living systems principles and Indigenous wisdom. Accompanying this initiative is The BioFi Project, co-founded with Edward West, which facilitates the implementation of these innovative financial models across bioregions worldwide. Learn more at www.biofi.earth.

Market Layer: Thriving in the Open Liquidity Environment
Fantastic work by our research colleagues at Ecofrontiers. They just released a chapter from their upcoming "Green Crypto Handbook." Authored by Louise Borreani and Pat Rawson, this chapter explores green cryptomarkets within the evolving Web3 landscape. It emphasizes the intersection of green assets with decentralized finance, aiming to enhance the funding and efficacy of sustainable blockchain projects. By analyzing the global financial system and emerging trends, the chapter highlights the potential and challenges of integrating green crypto into mainstream markets. Check out their ReFi research and learn how you can support the mission.

New Research from the Bonding Curve Research Group 
BlockScience is engaged in a research collaboration with the Bonding Curve Research Group, who have made recent contributions to the field of Token Engineering. Explore their latest article on bonding curve parameterization and adaptive token economies, including a new Gitbook library, bonding curve simulator, and model walkthrough summarizing of over a year of bonding curve research.

TheOSSci Open Source Science Initiative: Economic Interest GroupJoin our Chief Engineer, Michael Zargham and Philipp Koellinger of DeSci Foundation and DeSci Labs, along with a panel of experts in economics and open science, for the inaugural event of the The Open Source Science Initiative.  At this event the panel discussed distributed systems, satellite data analysis, and reproducibility challenges. They emphasized the need for standardized technical training and the development of tools to ensure replicable research. The talk highlighted data supply chains, attention economy, and proposals for fostering open-source practices in academia.

KOI-Pond: The creation of a synthetic deme
Knowledge networks that can outcompete large institutions, particularly in fostering innovation, emerge through collaborative coordination among peers. We are grateful to Elinor Rennie and the Metagov Project for their pivotal role in bridging today's technological capabilities with future collaborative methods.

At BlockScience, we are exploring how groups' knowledge, practices, rules, and norms can be activated through LLMs and other technologies. This initiative involves creating synthetic demes that mimic their natural counterparts, in partnership with the Metagov Project. Our goal is to advance the integration of advanced governance systems into real-world applications.

🙏 Thank for your very valuable attention and stay tuned for the next quarterly newsletter… From our team to yours… Have a wonderful summer! 🌞💙

BlockScience® is a complex systems engineering, R&D, and analytics firm. By integrating ethnography, applied mathematics, and computational science, we analyze and design safe and resilient socio-technical systems. With deep expertise in Market Design, Distributed Systems, and AI, we provide engineering, design, and analytics services to a wide range of clients including for-profit, non-profit, academic, and government organizations.

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