Democracy Earth Foundation
Student Ambassador Program
Democracy Earth Foundation is building a global movement for blockchain-based liquid democracy. Through the response we have received since the launch of our global Ambassadors Program in 2017, it is readily apparent that students at universities around the world are willing and ready to start becoming activists for liquid democracy and blockchain voting.
This has spurred us to extend our Ambassadors program to the college campuses, and launch a targeted initiative designed for and by students: the Democracy.Earth Student Ambassador program. Globally and throughout time, universities have proven a natural testing ground for democratic innovation. College campuses are rich with micro-activism and decision-making scenarios of all-types, presenting what is often an ideal, potentially high-impact environment for new governance experiments.
During the Summer of 2018, Democracy Earth Foundation will hold an 8-week peer-learning program with students from all over the globe. This training curriculum is part of the onboarding processs for future Student Ambassadors and will focus on fundamental 'learning building blocks' of blockchain technology and liquid democracy in the global crypto-political landscape. After completing the program, Student Ambassadors will have the tools to begin implementing liquid democracy governance pilots within their universities, and beyond.
Our chosen educational format - a peer-to-peer learning program - is designed to ensure student ambassadors can leverage the expertise of a global network of democracy activist peers. The program will consist of weekly online meetings covering a range of topics, including: the history of citizen participation technology (democracy tech), the basics of blockchain technology, applications for smart contracts in governance, the tools and tactics of liquid democracy, the case for global governance and cryptographically distributed universal basic income (UBI), the emerging dynamics of cryptopolitics beyond nation-state borders, the technical challenges of decentralized IDs and Sybil Attacks, aspects of governance on blockchain networks, and more.
Our goal is to help students start a conversation about/experimentation in liquid democracy at their universities - to engage their peers, student organizations and student government bodies on the Democracy.Earth Sovereign platform vote.democracy.earth.
Through forming a local team, identifying a faculty sponsor, publishing content, hosting MeetUps and related activism, Student Ambassadors will kickstart a movement within their communities for an incorruptible, transparent and more representative form of democracy, i.e. blockchain-enabled liquid democracy.
The Blockchain Governance Basics curriculum was created in collaboration with a team of pioneer Student Ambassadors: Robel Mulugueta (Yale University), Travis Bell (UC Berkeley), Samuel Eisner (UC Berkeley), Charles Thompson (Cornell University), Avital Balwit (University of Virginia), and Robinson Markus (Northwestern University), with major support from Janine Gölz
May 31. Application period opens
June 25. Application period closes
July 2. Announcement of Ambassadors
July 7. Inaugural Online Ambassador Meeting
July 9-13. Week 1 - Background July 16-20. Week 2 - Blockchain Basics July 23-27. Week 3 - Smart Contracts & Liquid Democracy July 30 - Aug 3. Week 4 - Global Governance & Universal Basic Income Aug 6-10. Week 5 - Crypto Politics Aug 13-17. Week 6 - Decentralized ID & Sybil Attacks Aug 20-24. Week 7 - Governance Aug 28 - Sep 1. Week 8 - Networked Approach
note: this online curriculum can be adapted for individual student availability as needed
Week 1 | Background
We start by providing a brief history of citizen-participation technology (democracy tech, or #demtech) and how that history informs the vision for our work at Democracy.Earth. We explore what it means to build a values-based software, what is open source, why it matters and how it works.
Week 2 | Blockchain
Solid introductory knowledge of the mechanics behind blockchains. Every Ambassador will own the basic "blockchain vocabulary". [public/private keys, the double-spend problem, protocol, hash, timestamps and proof of work].
Week 3 | Smart contracts & Liquid democracy
Introductory knowledge of smart contracts and their application for transparency, accountability, governance and participatory budgeting plus an in-depth dissection of the tools and tactics of liquid democracy.
Week 4 | Global Governance
We will explore the challenges that our globalized economy and interconnected ecology present for nationally based governments (nation-states). Here we share Democracy.Earth's vision - and implementation strategy for - an inclusive global governance system that can be enacted "bottoms up", from the individual level, and the role the foundation aims to play through the development of blockchain-based, sovereign identity-enabled tokenized gpvernance software.
Week 5 | Crypto politics
Introduction to the geopolitical role of Bitcoin and the emerging dynamics of crypto politics.
Week 6 | Decentralized ID
Introduction to the main challenge of the crypto ecossystem: building a truly decentralized sovereign identity system. We also share Democracy.Earth views along with parallel developments among partners and other organizations.
Week 7 | Blockchain governance
Deepening the concepts of incorruptibility, increased participation and represenation behind the technology mechanics learned during Week 2, with an overview of current governance issues on the Land and in the Cloud.
Week 8 | Operating in a network
Orientation for how to create, join and participate in the network, how to keep the Foundation updated on events and how to ask for help.