Master Thesis, IDP
📌 Key facts
- 💡 Background
- 🦾Who We Are
- 🎯 Goals
- 🧠 Topics of Interest
- 🎓 Profile
- 📚 Further Reading
- Definitions; conceptual foundations, evolutions
- Overviews & guides
- DAO applications: communities, creators, future of work, cities, more
- …plus DAO stories
- How-to’s & getting started with DAOs
- Building & participating in DAOs: mechanics, incentives, governance, legal, more
- 📄 Requirements to any Work
- 📬 How to Apply
DAOs - the end of management structures as we know them? DAOs are very new: Launched in 2016, "The DAO" was the first decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) intended to act as an investor-directed venture capital firm. Lauded as a revolutionary project, The DAO raised $150 million USD worth of ether (ETH) and was one of the earliest crowdfunding efforts and high-profile projects built on the Ethereum blockchain - which at the time was only one year old (find more information here).
Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) which include decentralize autonomous corporations (DACs) are the first step towards truly democratized decentralized networks of companies without a sole beneficiary that provides the network. The core concept of DAOs is that a virtual entity that has a certain set of members or shareholders that have the right to spend the entities funds and modify its code. This allows members to collectively decide the future of the organization and its assets using smart contracts.
DAOs are defined as non-hierarchical organizations that perform and record routine tasks on a peer-to-peer, cryptographically secure, public network, and rely on the voluntary contributions of their internal stakeholders to operate, manage, and evolve the organization through a democratic consultation process.
- A DAO is a blockchain-based system that enables people to coordinate and govern themselves mediated by a set of self-executing rules deployed on a public blockchain, and whose governance is decentralised (i.e., independent from central control).
- DAOs enable people to coordinate and self-govern themselves online. Although no mention is made as to the minimum size of the group, the term “organization” is generally understood to refer to an entity comprising multiple people acting towards a common goal, rather than a legally registered organization.
- A DAO source code is deployed in a blockchain with smart contract capabilities like Ethereum—arguably always a public blockchain.
- A DAO’s smart contract code specifies the rules for interaction among people -although it is unclear to which extent there may be other governance mechanisms that can affect or overrule such code.
- Since these rules are defined using smart contracts, they are self-executed independently of the will of the parties.
- The DAO governance should remain independent from central control: e.g. some definitions specifically refer to self-governed, self-organizing, peer-to-peer and democratic control.
- Since they rely on a blockchain, DAOs inherit some of its properties, such as transparency, cryptographic security, and decentralization
🦾Who We Are
The Chair for Strategy and Organization is focused on research with impact. This means we do not want to repeat old ideas and base our research solely on the research people did 10 years ago. Instead, we currently research topics that will shape the future. Topics such as Agile Organizations and Digital Disruption, Blockchain Technology, Creativity and Innovation, Digital Transformation and Business Model Innovation, Diversity, Education: Education Technology and Performance Management, HRTech, Leadership, and Teams. We are always early in noticing trends, technologies, strategies, and organizations that shape the future, which has its ups and downs.
- RQ1: Which Ethereum Accounts are participating in what DAO?
- RQ2: Which Etheruem Accounts are part of multiple DAOs?
- RQ3: Which Ethereum Accounts are linked to the same Person?
- RQ4: Who are the Persons behind the Ethereum Accounts?
- RQ5: How powerful are these individuals?
- RQ5: To which extend does the participation these individuals influence the success of a DAO?
🧠 Topics of Interest
- Science in all-new areas
- Blockchain technology
- Disruptive business model innovations
- Reliable and self-driven
- Enthusiasm for DAOs / entrepreneurship / venture capital / science / Blockchain
- Ability to do sophisticated internet, desk research, and connect with practitioners
- Passionate to learn more about the future and do research with impact
📚 Further Reading
Definitions; conceptual foundations, evolutions
Why decentralization matters — decentralized networks aren’t a silver bullet, but they offer a much better approach than centralized systemsby Chris Dixonhttps://cdixon.org/2018/02/18/why-decentralization-matters
The meaning of decentralization — one of the most frequently yet most poorly defined words; reasons for; three types ofby Vitalik Buterinhttps://medium.com/@VitalikButerin/the-meaning-of-decentralization-a0c92b76a274
A glossary definition — defining the “decentralized”, the “autonomous”, and “organization”, all enabled by blockchainsby Alex Pruden and Sonal Chokshihttps://a16z.com/2019/11/08/crypto-glossary/
Defining D, A, O — organizations and DAOs as tools for coordinating human activity; going beyond organization to organismby Philippe Honigmanhttps://hackernoon.com/what-is-a-dao-c7e84aa1bd69
D is for…, A is for…, O is for… — what is a DAO?by Aragonhttps://blog.aragon.org/what-is-a-dao/
DAOs defined: the big picture — from traditional organization to internet-native organizationsby Aragonhttps://blog.aragon.org/a-dao-defined-the-big-picture/
‘Scissor labels’ — on narratives, incentives, and how terms can be divisiveby John Palmerhttps://j.mirror.xyz/RUeJfZEZxr-hkuzUCakQyUuf2kOJVMPPiAWBaQFhhqc
Terminology guide — smart contracts, autonomous agents; decentralized applications, decentralized organizations, decentralized corporationsby Vitalik Buterinhttps://blog.ethereum.org/2014/05/06/daos-dacs-das-and-more-an-incomplete-terminology-guide/
Who will control the software that powers the internet? — toward an internet governed by open, community-controlled servicesby Chris Dixonhttps://www.wired.com/story/how-blockchain-can-wrest-the-internet-from-corporations/
DAOs: a new organizational and governance paradigm — a conceptual introductionby Louis Grxhttps://medium.com/@LuigiGrx/2-2-daos-a-new-organizational-and-governance-paradigm-93e889df1b39
The successor of the ‘organization man’? The ‘blockchain man’ — on cooperation, a world without transaction costs, and “protocolism”by Taylor Pearsonhttps://www.ribbonfarm.com/2017/10/10/the-blockchain-man/
On cryptocurrency communities — how company building and cryptocurrency building are differentby Nick Tomainohttps://thecontrol.co/on-cryptocurrency-communities-f592b5ce6b0b
The slow death of the firm — why do firms exist; making decentralized organizations more broadly adoptedby Nick Tomainohttps://thecontrol.co/the-slow-death-of-the-firm-1bd6cc81286b
Bootstrapping a decentralized autonomous corporation — encoding a corporate mission statement into codeby Vitalik Buterinhttps://bitcoinmagazine.com/technical/bootstrapping-a-decentralized-autonomous-corporation-part-i-1379644274
Companies, networks, crowds [a16z podcast] — ‘The DAO’ vs. a DAO; automation, contingencies, smart contracts; will the firm go away?with Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee, Frank Chen, Sonal Chokshihttps://future.a16z.com/podcasts/machine-platform-crowd/
Past, present, future: From co-ops to cryptonetworks — how cooperative governance can be both efficient yet representativeby Jesse Waldenhttps://a16z.com/2019/03/02/cooperatives-cryptonetworks/
On web3 and participatory governance — policy frameworks for the third generation of the internetby a16z Cryptohttps://a16z.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/How-to-Win-the-Future-1.pdf
DAOs and legal questions — on legitimacy, legal ramifications, and morewith Priyanka Desai and Aaron Wrighthttps://modern.finance/episode/flamingo-dao/
The rise of ‘Lex Cryptographia’ — a new subset of law for rules administered through self-executing smart contracts and DAOsby Aaron Wright and Primavera de Filippihttps://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2580664
Overviews & guides
A prehistory of DAOs — defining a chimeric term; layers of; cooperatives, gaming guilds, and the networks to comeby Kei Kreutlerhttps://gnosisguild.mirror.xyz/t4F5rItMw4-mlpLZf5JQhElbDfQ2JRVKAzEpanyxW1Q
A beginner’s guide to DAOs — definitions, mindsets, tools, examplesby Linda Xiehttps://linda.mirror.xyz/Vh8K4leCGEO06_qSGx-vS5lvgUqhqkCz9ut81WwCP2o
The Dao of DAOs — NFTs and DAOs; why DAO, how DAOs can be a source of competitive advantage; types of DAOs today and tomorrow; DAO lego kitsby Packy McCormickhttps://www.notboring.co/p/the-dao-of-daos
DAOs, NFTs, and the new creator economy — a DAO allows its creators, its support, its contributors, and its audience to be owners in the collectiveby Jarrod Dicker, Brian Flynn, Patrick Riverahttps://www.coindesk.com/business/2021/03/04/nfts-daos-and-the-new-creator-economy/
The ABCs of DAOs — internet-native constitutions; how DAOs are automating the corporation, moreby Theodor Marcuhttps://1729.com/daos
DAOs and the future of organizations online — public goods on the internet; governing and funding projectswith Chris Dixon interviewed by Steven Johnsonhttps://adjacentpossible.substack.com/p/lets-run-the-experiment-a-conversation
DAO landscape — different types and use cases of DAOs; how DAOs evolveby Cooper Turleyhttps://coopahtroopa.mirror.xyz/_EDyn4cs9tDoOxNGZLfKL7JjLo5rGkkEfRa_a-6VEWw
Everything you need to know about DAOs — a primer on how DAOs are working to collectively shape the new creative economyby Foundationhttps://foundation.app/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-daos
DAO applications: communities, creators, future of work, cities, more
15 ways the world is being transformed by DAOs — doing for organizations what the internet did for communicationby Aragonhttps://blog.aragon.org/15-ways-the-world-is-being-transformed-by-daos/
Community DAOs — what makes a DAO a DAO; going from group chats to real businessesby Patrick Riverahttps://p.mirror.xyz/cVN3KOss0uqpZwxHQKtC4Syvn1RfXaxofFKHJuKLWS4
Giving communities the power to bid — pooling capital, fractional ownership, morewith John Palmer interviewed by Cooper Turleyhttps://zine.zora.co/party-dao-interview
‘Fantasy Hollywood’: Crypto and community-owned characters — enabling communities to bring new characters and culture to the worldby Cuy Sheffieldhttps://future.a16z.com/fantasy-hollywood-crypto-and-community-owned-characters/
DAOs and the promise of utopia in the music industry — changing the way music and art move through its usual life cyclesby Resident Advisorhttps://ra.co/features/3914
Why DAOs are essential to DeFi — almost all major DeFi applications are now governed by DAOsby James Beck, Mattison Asherhttps://consensys.net/blog/codefi/daos/
Minimum viable participation in crypto — spectrum of participation from capital to earning one’s place at the table to participating in cryptoby Elena Burgerhttps://future.a16z.com/minimum-viable-participation-in-crypto-games-costs-accessibility/
Squad wealth — informal peer-to-peer institutions, role of trust in squad logic; theory of the squad; a new model of group coordination; can squads scale?by Sam Hart, Toby Shorin, Laura Lottihttps://otherinter.net/research/squad-wealth/
The future of work — “you will probably work for a protocol someday”; from create-to-earn to judge-to-earn to participate-to-earnby Stephen McKeonhttps://medium.com/collab-currency/the-future-of-work-5d7b47cff308
…plus DAO stories
From contemptuous to indifferent to curious to pretty damn excited: my journey to web3 — what if NPR Planet Money could have been reinvented with DAOs?by Adam Davidsonhttps://adamd.mirror.xyz/ef3BZjrJGk7bb1ElhVdz5AMWxEAN7GIOQhsXMKTmOWY
ConstitutionDAO — the great decentralized blockchain experimentby Kate Irwinhttps://decrypt.co/86359/constitutiondao-hits-30m-ethereum-raised-one-day-before-sothebys-auction
Examples of DAOs for economic empowerment — more easily organizing human and financial capital to invest in projects and people, enabled at scaleby SyndicateDAOhttps://syndicate.mirror.xyz/xeRR8PJUnGr-mUlwLJppFHe65WPpyyULFBiz89K1qfI
What is it like to join a DAO? — experiences of the first four weeks of joining a DAOby Shawn Cubbedgehttps://blog.aragon.org/what-is-it-like-to-join-a-dao/
Life of a ‘protocol politician’ — overseeing governance, making proposals, voting, moreby Cooper Turleyhttps://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/the-life-of-a-protocol-politician
How-to’s & getting started with DAOs
DAOs and creators — resources to get started today from 101 to much moreby Kinjal Shahhttps://kinjal.mirror.xyz/eD3-Sgv2h50j-kwjHQCOnwqMKqSLTfnrqrtNypU-P5k
How to DAO — basics & answers for beginnersfrom Aragonhttps://blog.aragon.org/how-to-dao-answers-for-beginners/
How to join a DAO — why join, identifying goals, getting startedby William Peasterhttps://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/how-to-join-a-dao
How to build a DAO in three days — the DAO stack and components, case study of ConstitutionDAOby Packy McCormickhttps://www.notboring.co/p/lets-buy-the-us-constitution
How to DAO from day one to deeper levels — from vibe check to creating value to making a commitment to doing it full-timeby Jack Fancyhttps://forefront.market/learn/guides-tutorials/how-to-dao
Building & participating in DAOs: mechanics, incentives, governance, legal, more
Progressive decentralization: A playbook for building — product-market fit, community participation, ownership; how to avoid getting stuckby Jesse Waldenhttps://a16z.com/2020/01/09/progressive-decentralization-crypto-product-management/
Come for the creator, stay for the economy — go to market strategy and the three phases of creator mode, org mode, protocol economyby Patrick Riverahttps://p.mirror.xyz/1EpvJwUpx_KlRcHOKLNqADEkwHL_Z1ZYKobF2uLwgBg
How to get paid by DAOs — different ways to contribute to DAOsby Lucas Campbellhttps://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/how-to-get-paid-by-daos
Creator DAOs, web3, and incentives — intertwining social and financial, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, from badging to tokensby Jarrod Dicker, Jonathan Glick, Tal Sacharhttps://darkstar.mirror.xyz/Tf9IS6yNxtPXwC5mmfi_UISe8v6BOfef2bDmQSxoJao
Building and running a DAO: Why governance matters — development of financial incentives, how the mechanics matter, practical challengesby Tarun Chitrahttps://future.a16z.com/building-and-running-a-dao-why-governance-matters/
Moving beyond coin governance — from Defi to ‘DeGov’, exploring the design space for governance; solutions to keeping voting and DAOs safeby Vitalik Buterinhttps://vitalik.ca/general/2021/08/16/voting3.html
How DAOs could approach treasury management — functions to manage treasuries from spending and asset allocation to borrowing and reportingby Shreyas Hariharanhttps://newsletter.banklesshq.com/p/how-daos-should-approach-treasury
Organization legos: The state of DAO tooling — DeFi’s “money legos” have seen a Cambrian explosion, but “organization legos” are still in their infancyby Nichanan Kesonpathttps://medium.com/1kxnetwork/organization-legos-the-state-of-dao-tooling-866b6879e93e
How to grow decentralized communities: community building for token networks — funnels that lead discoverers to being participatorsby Peter Yuan Pan (pet3rpan)https://medium.com/1kxnetwork/how-to-grow-decentralized-communities-1bf1044924f8
How to assess new community building hires for token networks — what matters, what doesn’t; questions to ask candidates; assessing track recordsby Peter Yuan Pan (pet3rpan)https://medium.com/1kxnetwork/how-to-assess-new-community-building-hires-for-token-networks-a2672c07dd58
On-chain vote buying and ‘dark DAOs’ — security for blockchain voting; how to avoid decentralized cartels, opaque vote buying, moreby Phil Daian, Tyler Kell, Ian Miers, and Ari Juelshttps://hackingdistributed.com/2018/07/02/on-chain-vote-buying/
Voting, security, and governance in blockchains [a16z Podcast] — voting in social systems (blockchains, boardrooms, elections); gaming mechanismswith Phil Daian and Ali Yahyahttps://a16z.com/2019/02/09/voting-blockchains-governance-security-cryptoeconomics/
A legal framework for DAOs — on taxation, entity formation, and operational issues pertaining to decentralized autonomous organizationsby David Kerr and Miles Jenningshttps://a16z.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/DAO-Legal-Framework-Jennings-Kerr10.19.21-Final.pdf
📄 Requirements to any Work
We do not want your research to gather dust in some corner of bookshelf but make it accessible to the world. Thus, we warmly encourage you to create some or all of the following:
- Infograph - visually represent some of your work (find examples here)
- Slide Deck - summarize your research and possibly present it
- Extract most important sequences from podcasts, videos, and other media
- 3-4 Tweets about the most important findings and summarizing the topic
- optional: Medium Article - let people outside the university know about your research and start your personal brand
📬 How to Apply
If you are interested, please contact Christian Ziegler (e-mail below) by submitting your CV and grade report. Please also briefly outline your tentative research idea (research question, data and methods, possible outcomes with a tentative outline all in word as *.docx)
We're greatly looking forward to hearing more about you!