H.E.R. DAO: Collective WomXn Developers
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H.E.R. DAO: Collective WomXn Developers

H.E.R DAO is a women-centered developer DAO that includes self-identifying women, trans women and non-binary audiences. To reflect inclusiveness, H.E.R. shall use the term “womxn” to represent the collective audience. Our goal is to sustainably diversify the blockchain ecosystem, leading to more versatile, holistic innovations and increased revenue potential. In other words: we want to build great products that generate revenue and increase equity for everyone!

By Tracey Bowen

Problem to be solved

Despite initial inclusion efforts in blockchain and tech at large, womxn are still under represented. Cultural and social barriers still result in too few womxn applying for and receiving funding. The overall participation of womxn in the blockchain ecosystem, the construction of its infrastructure and culture remains inadequate.

This lack of diversity has implications beyond a basic sense of fairness. As blockchain defines new economic systems, uniformity among its creators has led to biased products which reinforce the already existing inequities and disadvantages for womxn.

Lack of diversity not only leads to undesirable consequences, but it also has negative effects for commerce. A survey of 22,000 organizations (conducted by the Peterson Institute) found that organizations with fewer than 30% of womxn in influential roles have up to 15% lower profitability, compared to those with a healthy balance. The data is clear – diversity improves the bottom line.

Furthermore, The Wall Street Journal’s first corporate ranking examined diversity and inclusion among S&P 500 companies and summarised that “diverse and inclusive cultures are providing companies with a competitive edge over their peers.”

Mandates

To address these challenges, H.E.R DAO aims to pave the way for womxn’s access to the Harmony ecosystem, improving diversity among its members. Furthermore, H.E.R. supports womxn on their way to bring forth new innovations and to set them on a commercially successful path.

The 3 mandates are:

  1. INCLUSION: Expanding the inclusion of womxn
  2. INNOVATION: Increasing innovative developments by womxn
  3. GENERATING REVENUE: Improving the potential for economic success for womxn and increasing overall revenue in the blockchain ecosystem.

Implementation

To implement these goals, H.E.R is planning hands-on activities concerning onboarding and community building, as well as educational and development training for womxn.

The measures in detail are:

  1. HACKER HOUSES Hacker houses will act as central hubs for womxn during prominent ETH conferences. They provide opportunities for community building and culture development, offering an informal setting for womxn with different professional backgrounds to network with, educate and support each other. Thus, these houses lay the foundation for project ideation and validation, as well as potential team building. Hacker houses are also intended to provide a safe, spontaneous drop-in locations that offers ‘refuge’ to those unable to attend over-subscribed blockchain events (as experienced during Blockchain Week Lisbon). This will enable us to organise and host both scheduled, as well as spontaneous events based on womxn’s needs (e.g., pitch sessions, workshops, and matchmaking events).
  2. MEETUPS While hacker houses are effective on a case-by-case basis, meetups provide a regular setting for womxn to network and up-skill each other. Content ranges from onboarding formats to research-oriented and technical deep-dives to open pitch and matchmaking sessions.
  3. HACKATHONS In-house Hackathons will provide an opportunity for early career and experienced womxn to hack together, creating an informal mentoring system to nurture talent. H.E.R DAO will work closely with Harmony to develop hacking contests that reflect the current objectives of the Harmony ecosystem. Initially, there will be 2 smaller in-house hackathons that will serve primarily as pilots and lay the groundwork to propose larger scale formats at a later stage.
  4. CONFERENCE PARTICIPATION The presence of H.E.R. at conferences is fundamental to achieving ecosystem impact. Be it for generating attention, new investor relations or cooperation partners, as well as growing social relationships, which are invaluable for everything from emotional support to future opportunities. This activity will be crucial to the growth of H.E.R members, the DAO and Harmony at large. H.E.R also plans to work with Harmony to deliver scholarships for the conference attendance program.

Marketing

For the development of our audience and developer community H.E.R will embark on a comprehensive program of global outreach which will include networking, conferences and community events, collaborating with other high-profile DAO’s and partnering with large financial institutions such as MasterCard. H.E.R. also have contacts in the local and national government spanning Europe, Asia and North America.

To spread the word, H.E.R leverages Harmony-internal collaborations (e.g., with Africa DAO and Incubator DAO) while building on existing relationships with women’s groups (e.g., WiB Berlin).

On this basis, new channels are opened in the snowball principle. Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful instruments within marginalized groups due to the importance of trust/social credit. The news of H.E.R is expected to travel fast.

Setting up and participating in distribution channels such as Telegram, Discord and Twitter help to generate further attention and to facilitate respective brand-building. Promotional media (visuals) and activity-based campaigns (e.g. NFTs as proof of participation) are further instruments to gain traction and collectivization.

Vision

Long term, H.E.R. aims to become the leading launchpad for women-led blockchain ventures. The following list gives an insight into approaches and considerations for future developments:

  • DEFI / INFRASTRUCTURE = A ‘Coinlist’ for women led ventures: IDO platform + index
  • VENTURE / DAO = Pooling and distributing funds for womxn-owned businesses
  • NFT / IMPACT = NFT platform for social impact
  • P2E / GAMEFI = Gamified blockchain/crypto education
  • SOCIAL MEDIA / DEFI = Decentralized ‘Discord’ + crypto rewards
  • DEFI / ECO = Carbon Neutralizer Data union. A public good which helps the environment and particularly people from emerging economies earn and offset carbon usage
  • DEFI / IMPACT = Crypto Staking facility for social impact
  • INFRASTRUCTURE / IMPACT = Connectivity with Harmony - 3.7bn people are still disconnected from the internet. This project would provide decentralized internet infrastructure and hardware preloaded with Harmony dapps
  • IMPACT / DAO = An impact fund similar to ‘Givewell’ where H.E.R research, connect and build relationships with projects that require funding for developing public goods
  • DAO = Regional Sub DAO’s - a H.E.R DAO in every continent

After the initial setup funding for the 1st year, H.E.R. aims for a sustainable monetization strategy utilizing funding via DAO tokenization, partnering with women-focused venture DAOs and acquisition of third-party funding. Further, education and empowerment of womxn are leveraged to promote overall societal change and increase womxn’s economic access far beyond the blockchain ecosystem.

Progress in 2021

H.E.R. has made initial progress onboarding women on Telegram to gauge the need for an initiative such as this. The Telegram group now consists of 55 women and aims for 150 members on Telegram by Q1 and 1000+ on Twitter, Discord and our DAO Forum by the end of 2022.

Our initial purpose was to help facilitate the scholarship grants for female devs to attend ETH DENVER. After contacting other women-led developer projects, industry leaders and VC’s it was clear initiatives which address equity and inclusion in the blockchain ecosystem are very much welcomed. For VC’s and institutions, it meets their ESG requirements and for other women-led projects, the DAO would serve as a potential ecosystem partner. The need for a women-centered DAO is validated and in addition to the high rate of interest, it became evident that a structured approach is needed to award and further facilitate support for womxn in the blockchain ecosystem.

H.E.R. has already identified our first women-led project from Europe which will be on-boarded by H.E.R. DAO and are in the process of partnering with a female led dev training project in Nigeria. First prototypes of DAO branding 3 and design are also underway.

Funding Proposal

H.E.R is asking for $248,640 for 1 year of governance, onboarding, marketing, in-house hackathons, meetups, staffing, travel, and token engineering.

For a detailed overview of the use of funds please see: HER DAO budget review.xlsx 7

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Success Metrics

H.E.R.'s definition of success as an organization is consistent with the defined overall objectives and mandates. It is important to note that the respective key performance indicators (KPIs) listed below are constantly in flux and evolve with the organization.

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Milestones

The following milestones are targeted in the 1st year after launch:

Q1

  • 150 women to ETH Denver
  • 1k followers on Twitter
  • NFT / POAP Launch
  • Front End development of IDO platform
  • Pop up Hacker House / ETH DENVER

Q2

  • Support Minimum of 50 women to ETH Barcelona and ETH Paris
  • 100k views on YouTube
  • 10k followers on twitter
  • 1k on Discord
  • Hackathon – focused on NFT/ IDENTITY/ DATA
  • Final draft of Token engineering

Q3

  • Completion of full feature prototype IDO project on Harmony
  • Launch beta IDO platform
  • Testing review
  • DAO Token Launch / Presale

Q4

  • Full release IDO platform
  • Hackathon - Including focus on Climate Change, DEFI and Social Impact
  • Pop Up Hacker House / ETH LISBON
  • 1st draft proposal for permanent womxn Hacker Houses in Africa & Lisbon – location TBD
  • 5 womxn led projects onboarded and launched on Harmony
  • DAO Token / Public Sale

Human Resources

H.E.R. can access most of the required competencies within its initial setup, such as smart contract development, token engineering, front end development, NFT development, ecosystem strategy and community management. Other desirable resources would be defi strategists, game developers, specialized launch marketers, experienced investors, leading incubators, and legal counsel.

The Governors

Tracey Bowen - FOUNDER, DEVELOPER, LEGAL & DATA / AI RESEARCH

Tracey has been in the blockchain and crypto space for 8+ years. She is a civic tech entrepreneur, law graduate and Data/AI researcher who advocates for equitable futures for all. In her former career she was an award-winning musician, artist and creative technologist. Currently undertaking the Consensys Blockchain Developer Boot Camp.

Founder, Black Tech Task Force / Founder, Controlr / Founder, SonR / Data Research Fellow, South West Creative Technology Network / Mozilla Creative Media Award Winner / Radical xChange Fellow / Mercury Music Prize Winner

Kathleen Olstedt - ECOSYSTEM MANAGER

Kathleen is a Berlin & Lisbon-based business building professional with 15+ years of experience in emerging tech. Previous roles ranged from Future Research and Investment Management to hands-on project implementation. Amongst others she led the IoT European Platforms Initiative - a €50 million collaborative project that brought together more than 120 IoT development departments. She also worked as Ecosystem Manager for Daimler Fleetboard, piloting a decentralized supply chain data exchange protocol involving some of Europe’s largest logistics and insurance companies, including Imperial Logistics & Allianz ESA. Fueled by her ecosystem thinking and constant drive to improve collaborative business models, Kathleen eventually found a home with Web3, where she currently supports early-stage projects and companies.

Shannon Ewing - ETH DENVER ORGANISER & COMMUNITY BUILDER

After spending a decade in the field implementing International Development and Humanitarian Aid projects, Shannon entered the blockchain space seeking ways the technology can be employed to create resources in developing regions.

She now travels the globe helping build cohesion, community, and to catalyze the decentralist movement. She is dedicated to leveraging peer-to-peer, decentralized systems to create a freer, more globally connected future.

Shaunai De La Cruz Doyle - CREATIVE TECH PRODUCER

A talented producer, Shaunai has produced creative technology events including AI and AR experiences. She has been interested in the crypto and blockchain space since 2017 and is excited to utilize her skills in project management, marketing and community management, focused on building H.E.R. activities and presence in Europe.

Marlene Alimarz - BLOCKCHAIN / DLT RESEARCH, MARKETING & CONTENT CREATION

Marlene is from Germany, currently studying a masters in Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology; also undertaking an internship at the German Central Bank in Frankfurt. Before that, she studied sociology and worked for a marketing agency and a local newspaper. Her skills will be useful in sales, community management, writing copy and creating social media content.

Thuy Tien Nguyen - BLOCKCHAIN RESEARCH & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Thuy is currently undertaking an M.Sc. in Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Technologies at Mittweida University of Applied Sciences. She has also completed a B.Sc. in International Logistics Management and an M.Sc. in International Business Administration, Focus Information & Operations Management submitting a Master’s thesis on the ‘Impacts and Adoption of Blockchain Technology in Supply Chain Management’. Thuy also has experience in business development and project support.

Alexandra is currently working with her co-founder on how to protect human wearable data with web3 technologies to ensure this data is privacy preserving. Alexandra is also a member of Kernel (part of Gitcoin) Block III, and a guide in Block IV. Earlier this year she worked with Opscientia - an open science DAO - as an interim co-founder and consultant. Prior to web3, she was a software and data engineer for a management consultancy working with both large banks and start-ups. Also, currently completing an MSc in Computer Science at the University of Bath and the Consensys Blockchain Bootcamp.

Susan Doyle - ADMINISTRATOR & EVENT ORGANISER

Susan is an experienced administrator and event organiser starting her career working for the private sector, she transitioned to local government before changing career to become a private event organiser. Susan recently co-organised an emerging tech installation funded by Mozilla. Her skills will be useful in establishing administrative and accounting systems, as well as fostering a vibrant community culture.

Melissa Henderson - HEAD OF COMMUNITY, NFT ADVISOR & CRYPTO JOURNALIST

Melissa is a prolific lifestyle writer 1 and digital media executive with past roots at The Huffington Post, Elle, and Ebony, among other mainstream outlets. Her speciality is creative storytelling mixed with an international tech lifestyle approach.

In 2016, she began her journey into digital rights by publishing essays and re. raising awareness about the dangers of revenge porn and online bullying. By 2017, she discovered blockchain and fell down the crypto rabbit hole. Currently, she is creating content in futuristic formats through her brand Violet Summer®️, where readers can experience her zine in VR and as NFTs at https://violetsummerzine.com. Melissa keeps her audience updated on the latest crypto trends, insights and with her weekly newsletter Crypto in The City. She is an NFT advisor for Des Femmes DAO and is excited to join a web3 infrastructure startup ApeWorX as their Head of Community. Her mission and priority are to document and bring together the spirit and personality of urban culture.

‘H.E.R. DAO is a concept - not a barrier. Non-binary, self-identifying people and people who identify as men are welcome. Our harmonizing issue is that we positively affect the lives of the marginalized, and elevate each other to participate in co-creating ethical futures for all’

H.E.R. = HOLISTIC. EMANCIPATION. RESOURCE.