ReFi Roundup #22: MRV Day, ReFi on TEDX, The Future of Corporations & ReFi NYC!
Happy Friday—I mean MRV Day! 🎉
Lots going on today with both ReFi NYC and a couple online MRV events on the same day. We're having so much fun in ReFi, it's sometimes easy to forget that the planet is on fire and governments are doing squat about it.
But then you start digging into the relationship between on-chain transactions and on-the-ground regeneration and you realize the world is in a bad place—even when you're working from home. Our oceans are filled with plastic, our forests are being destroyed, and our surface temperature is rising at an alarming rate.
Fortunately, there's a whole host of brilliant people who have devoted their lives to scaling climate action using scientifically proven methodologies with publicly verifiable evidence. Thank goodness. I was about to lose hope.
MRV & A Regenerative Economy
MRV is the primary mechanism by which a new kind of economic system is emerging that incentivizes actors around the world to perform planet positive behaviors that wouldn’t otherwise be economically feasible. There are dozens of different methods, but the primary actions can grouped into a few simple categories:
- Using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels
- Reforesting degraded land
- Preventing deforestation
- Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
Pick any of these categories and you’ll find a collection of specific behaviors people do that supposedly have a positive impact. MRV is the system of tools and processes that attempts to reward:
- People that actually do this target behavior
- Target behaviors that actually have a positive impact
Making sense of MRV
Anyone who is in the space has heard the phrase "MRV" which stands for "Measurement, Reporting and Verification". But what does it actually mean? How does it actually work?
There is a process that occurs to ensure that a buyer of a particular asset is getting what the seller has promised to them. In most cases, they're buying climate action and PR to make up for destroying the planet in some form or another. This action usually is encapsulated in a carbon credit.
Given carbon credits are entirely made-up commodities (no one can deliver carbon to your door, it's just a fictional asset constructed by lawyers, a buyer and a seller), we need systems in place in order to justify the expense of buying something that is very abstract and sometimes intangible.
These systems are currently fulfilled by organizations like Verra and Gold Standard who have worked tirelessly for decades before carbon was cool. The current models rely on a small amount of people flying around the world with a checklist and a measuring tape stretched around the diameter of trees.
This obviously doesn't scale, and time is running out. So technologists are looking at using a variety of technologies to enable large-scale regeneration to take place with verifiable proof. That way big corporates who have made audacious net zero commitments can pave the way to realize their goals. As any project developer knows, buyers want evidence to justify these costs.
Sampling, remote sensors, drones and satellites
Given people flying around the world isn't a scalable solution to verify planetary regeneration, technologists have brought a host of tools to enable a new generation of MRV that stacks layers of data to make an informed view on whether key behaviors are occurring.
Come join us in the MRV Museum to dig into how this works, who is doing what where and what newcomers are entering the space. We'll host guided tours from today at 10.30 PST to June 26th, then will publish a series of content to help other people make sense of what we learned.
If you miss the live guided tours, you can also wander around the Museum on your own after the opening day.
The best of ReFi Twitter and beyond...
ReFi comes to TEDx Bristol
Check out our friend Monty's amazing TEDx talk taking ReFi to the masses...
ReFi NYC frens enjoying the rooftops
I hope I'm not the only one WFH today feeling serious FOMO. But seriously, have fun everyone and enjoy the in-person time. It's sacred!
ReFi NYC sold out in a few hours I hear, so better keep your eyes peeled on https://refispring.com/ as apparently there's 25 events around the world about to be announced. 😱
No shortages of local ReFi parties to attend. Cycle if you can. Take the trains. Offset your flights if you have to ✈️.
Are DAOs the future of business?
A preprint paper has been published by a handful of lawyers from around the globe diving into the legal considerations for DAOs and corporate governance. It's worth a read if you're looking at creating a DAO or want to scratch your curiosities.
Looking Back at the ReFi Unconference
Jeremy Agnew interviewed Felix and Giulio from the Crypto Commons Hub in Austria to learn about their experience hosting a ReFi Unconference in May. It was quite the event and people enjoyed themselves so much they hosted another hackathon already and are hosting another event in October called SolarPunk WOW.
“We covered a lot of topics and projects during a week of event! Zooming in on participants' efforts, ReFi projects, networks, tools, approaches, and zooming out on the broader geopolitical and ecological global context, policies, historical trends. We think these events are fundamental to put all the pieces together, to avoid over focusing on our own disciplinary perspective/practice (being too detached from the real world, or too immersed into practice), and to reconsider what we are doing at a fundamental level, to do it better!”
Among all the excellent contributions to the discussion, of highlight were Jeff Emmett and Jessica Zartler's take on the design and governance of the Commons. Their incredible experience crossing all the major crypto commons projects (Commons Stack, Token Engineering, BlockScience) is so valuable to our ecosystem and embody the ReFi movement greatly. The Holochain co-founders, Art Brock and Eric Harris-Braun, brought al the participants into a deep dive on “flows logic”; the art of designing and building systems suitable to the new societal and economic paradigm made of networks and complex flows.
The importance of local communities for ReFi
Nena Jain from Regen Foundation - as well as many other participants - were very vocal about the importance of including local communities in the governance and design of ReFi protocols, and Felix Fritsch, co-founder at CCA thinks this is the crucial takeaway:
“We are hopeful that the ReFi movement can have a huge positive impact on stabilising the climate, as long as communities on the ground are given an adequate voice. The risk of ReFi being co-opted by Venture Capitalists and greedy green washy TradFi is very real, as are the continuation of exploitation under Green Capitalism and Green Colonialism at large. In reaction, we propose a vigilant and uneasy truce with big capital mainly in order to retain access to funding that accelerates the transition, without forgetting who should be in charge - sovereign local communities and their Commons.”
Is it ReFi Summer already?
Celo used the solstice as an excuse to kick off ReFi Summer—which is a great meme and something we're very much looking forward to... but is it ReFi Summer already?
Our take is that scaleable dMRV needs to be in place in order for us to see a proper bull run across ReFi that takes regenerative cryptoeconomic systems into the mainstream. But kudos to the Celo team for the marketing campaign and the effort to get ReFi and it's values further afield.
We're big fans of Celo and every other technology provider who is getting behind the ReFi movement, we need as many people as we possibly can working at the intersection of climate and crypto with values and integrity.
Shoutout to the OGs: Regen and Nori
Crypto seems to gravitate towards hype circles, which is why it's important to recognize actors who have dug deep for a long time to build the foundations of this movement.
Specifically, wanted to highlight the amazing work being done by Regen Network and Nori—both doing great work in the space.
If you haven't taken the time to read their white papers, please do! It's crucial we use the bear to dig beneath the hype and look at the underlying theories of change of established actors who have raised funds and are doing the hard work of regeneration.
I know taking out an hour to read a single document is hard when there's so much fun stuff on Twitter, but I've personally learned the most from doing deep dives.
Cancel culture has no place in ReFi
You know that thing where people on social media suddenly get cancelled out by a community for saying or doing something?
... how people seem to be incapable of digging beneath the surface and challenging their ideologies when posed with opposing ideas`/
I would propose that the ReFi movement specifically cultivates a set of values that doesn't foster cancel culture.
If someone says something you don't agree with, respectfully engage and share your reasoning and evidence.
If someone has done something that doesn't resonate with you, assume the best intentions and work from your common ground to navigate through differences.
This is as much of a message to myself as anyone else as I can get triggered and defensive in light of aggression—that's why I'm asking all of you reading to help hold me accountable and create a community of care that can take this movement forward.
Let's do this together!
We need as many brilliant builders, storytellers and operators in ReFi as we can get. That's why we're stoked to get behind what the folks at Longtail Financial are doing in their free 8-week ReFi bootcamp.
Stay tuned as they announce openings for the first co-hort. We'll do our best to keep people in the loop.
The best jobs at leading ReFi ventures...
Return Protocol is hiring!
This is an amazing company with a crystal clear vision. If you're a product design leader, get involved. No question one of the best ReFi opportunities around.
Regen Network continues to grow
Onboarding the best talent into top ReFi ventures
We've got some brilliant people coming into the talent. Apply to join our talent collective and we can make intros to any of the people below.
If you're looking for a job..
We hand select each drop of the talent collective, apply below.
That's a wrap!
Be sure to checkout Alex Filotimo's https://web3climate.substack.com/ if you're interested in investing in ReFi, his newsletter is a bi-weekly favorite!