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Blockchains, DAOs, and fractal governance: a preliminary overview

In the last few years, blockchain technologies have fuelled the emergence of DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations) as socio-technical systems pursuing a variety of goals: decentralise finances, raise funds, create guilds, promote cultural and artistic initiatives, etc. Developments in this space have also gone hand in with innovations in governance technologies (on-chain and off-chain voting systems, legal smart contracts, coordination tools, etc.). This presentation will provide a preliminary overview of how DAOs have are deploying governance mechanisms aiming at progressive decentralization and autonomy, while also considering the limitations and challenges that these systems are grappling with as they claim their space in the Web 3.

Marta Poblet Balcell is a Professor at RMIT University’s Graduate School of Business and Law. She is one of the co-founders of the Institute of Law and Technology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a former researcher at ICREA (Catalonia). Marta holds a JSD in law (Stanford University 2002) and a Master in International Legal Studies (Stanford University 2000). Her research interests cut across many disciplines, including political science, law, technology and sociology. She is also interested in the connections between technology developments (AI, blockchain, human computer interaction) and different theories of democracy and citizenship. Her particular area of interest is in how technologies can provide outcomes for citizens in the areas of justice, security, privacy, disaster relief, or emergency management.