There is a lack of philosophical discussion at community level about Cardano, so an opportunity to engage people is being missed.
Work with an established UK community philosophy network, to build a philosophy-based Hub and develop philosophy discussion within Catalyst.
This is the total amount allocated to Liverpool Cardano Philosophy Hub
Philosophy In Pubs, or PIPs https://philosophyinpubs.co.uk is a network of groups of ordinary citizens who meet regularly to engage in the practice of philosophic dialogue. The groups are influenced by "community of inquiry" principles (https://coi.athabascau.ca/coi-model), and aim to be critical, caring, creative and collaborative. The groups - particularly the original one, in Liverpool, England - attract many working-class, autodidact people who are interested in grass-roots philosophy outside of academia.
This proposal will work with members of the Liverpool branch of PIPs, and philosophy students at the University of Liverpool (PIPs has strong links with the University philosophy department, and has previous experience of working with it to deliver sessions) to build knowledge of the philosophy behind Cardano, and to create a virtual Philosophy Hub bringing PIPs and Catalyst members together.
The stages of building our "Minimum Viable Hub" are:
1) Philosophy learning sessions for 15 people
We will devise a series of 10 sessions exploring the philosophical implications of blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, Cardano, and Catalyst. We will facilitate these sessions to the Liverpool PIPs group of 10 people, plus 5 University students. The sessions will inform participants about the philosophical background to blockchain in general and Cardano in particular; and will invite them to discuss the philosophical implications of things such as DID and self-sovereign identity; decentralisation, distributed governance and voting; contribution, reward, and the ethics of participation; antifragility; and more. The PIPs group are accomplished and experienced at co-devising sessions, so as their knowledge of blockchain issues grows, the aim will be for individual members to take responsibility for co-delivering sessions, and/or adding their own input to the session plans.
2) PIPs Engaging with Catalyst
Additionally, as the project progresses, we will gradually invite participants to engage with the Catalyst community, via things such as attending After Town Halls; contributing to QA-DAO’s Ekphrasis GitBook (https://quality-assurance-dao.gitbook.io/ekphrasis), where philosophical and academic material related to Cardano is collated; engaging in philosophical discussion in Catalyst social media channels such as Discord; and eventually, planning and leading at least one After Town Hall session on a philosophy theme. This might be at “original” Town Hall, and/or at another Town Hall in another part of the world.
3) After-Townhalls and cross-community collaboration
The approach to leading an After Town Hall will be for the group to choose a provocation or discussion-point to use as the theme of a breakout room. (Note that PIPs members are already comfortable with meeting and leading philosophical discussion via Zoom, as they have been meeting this way throughout the pandemic.) PIPs will facilitate the breakout session with the Catalyst community; and will follow up by posting discussion points from the breakout room in Catalyst social media platforms (for example, a "What do you think about...?" post, in an existing Catalyst Discord server, or creating a "Philosophy of Blockchain" Telegram group, etc). The PIPs members who attended the Town Hall will then bring back some of the discourse from this into their next group session. This process will produce a dialogue and a cross-pollination of ideas between PIPs and Catalyst, create a space for the discussion of philosophy within Catalyst, and onboard PIPs members into Catalyst via something they already feel confident with (the discussion of philosophy).
4) A list of resources for wider outreach
During the project, participants and facilitators will maintain, on the Ekphrasis Gitbook, a list of resources that we have found useful (a reading list, relevant links, talking points and questions we have discussed, Miro boards, etc). This will be shared via the wider PIPS network of around 20 groups all over the UK; and via the U3A (University of the Third Age) network, an organisation in the UK for older people's continuing education, which PIPs has strong links with https://www.u3a.org.uk/ )
5) Maintaining Ekphrasis GitBook
After the sessions finish, the project aims for one member of Liverpool PIPs (or several members sharing the task) to take on the running of Ekphrasis GitBook https://quality-assurance-dao.gitbook.io/ekphrasis for a period of 3 months - collating philosophical content relevant to Cardano, and leading and stimulating philosophical discussion and enquiry within Catalyst via Discord, further After TownHall breakout rooms, etc.
This proposal addresses the challenge by "meeting people where they are", and engaging them with Cardano through what they are already interested in - in this case, philosophy. It engages primarily working-class people, who would not otherwise be likely to get the opportunity to engage with the issues around Cardano.
It will engage at a local level in Liverpool, with facilitators who know the Liverpool PIPS community well, and will use Liverpool PIPs as a starting point for a "minimum viable Hub". It will establish cross-community engagement between PIPs and Catalyst through the fact that PIPs members are already confident at engaging online with philosophical ideas, and will simply need to build their knowledge of blockchain-related issues. Engaging people with Cardano through something they are already passionate about, so that they are not passive “newbies” but are able to bring something of value, is likely to lead to better onboarding for the participants; and having a group of new people onboarded who are inspired by philosophical enquiry and keen to engage, will stimulate the growth of philosophical enquiry and discussion within Catalyst. The “MVH” outcome of an embryonic Hub with roots in both the Catalyst community and in the grassroots community of PIPs, makes use of the existing resources and infrastructure of both communities, and will be stronger and more diverse than trying to build a hub based in just one of them.
Note 1: Scaling Down The original (Fund7) version of this proposal (https://cardano.ideascale.com/c/idea/383504) suggested creating and designing a learning resource or playbook to engage community philosophy groups across the UK. But in the light of the new approach for this challenge setting, and the need to “scale down”, we have decided it is best to focus this proposal on simply initiating the Philosophy Hub, and creating a space for it to grow organically. Our initial research showed there is demand for a learning resource/playbook; creating one could perhaps be a focus for a future funding proposal led by PIPs themselves, which would have the additional positive effect of onboarding them as proposers.
Note 2: Minimum Viable Hub and Cost-To-Launch Ratio In line with this Challenge Setting's ideal that proposals should only aim for a "Minimum Viable Hub", this project's budget is roughly one-fifth of the costs we envisage to launch and fully establish a philosophy-focused Hub that can fully engage long-term with developments in the philosophy of blockchain. The "Minimum Viable Hub" prioritises community philosophy, but with potential to develop in the future towards academia as well, thanks to PIPs' organisational links with University philosophy departments in various universities.
Our projected costs to full launch are:
This Minimum Viable Hub ($18.6k); co-writing, producing and promoting a self-guide learning resource/playbook on Cardano and philosophy ($10k); translating the resource into 2 languages to engage community philosophy networks in other countries ($4k); ongoing engagement and onboarding activities with c. 10 community philosophy groups worldwide ($18k); developing the Ekphrasis GitBook in the longer term: using it to research, document and disseminate new research in the philosophy of blockchain, and establishing it as a trusted resource in both the academic and community philosophy worlds ($18k); remunerating facilitators to research, devise, lead and document regular engagement sessions in Catalyst about the philosophy behind Cardano, including new and ongoing research underpinning the key Catalyst governance changes that will be forthcoming in 2022 and 2023 ($22k)
Total c. $90.6k; so this proposal, at $18.6k, is approximately one-fifth of the total cost to establish a solid, thriving Cardano Philosophy Hub that fully engages Catalyst, academia, and community philosophy networks worldwide.
Vanessa Cardui (@CallyFromAuron) is a skilled peer facilitator and community engagement manager. She has over 20 years' experience of participatory work with communities, including writing learning resources for adults, and has led a range of groundbreaking publicly-funded community engagement projects in the UK with working-class urban communities. (see for example Creation of a Community, a community archiving project on a working-class estate in Cheshire, England, exploring class, race and Carnival Queens! https://creationofacommunity.wordpress.com ) She is currently leading on a Fund 6 funded proposal, Homeless Hub (https://cardano.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Homeless-Hub/367891-48088 ). She is from a working-class Liverpool background and is an ex-member of Liverpool PIPs, so has a solid understanding of both the PIPs community, and the wider working-class Liverpool community that it is rooted in. She is also active in Catalyst, and has a good understanding of what support and information newcomers to the community might need.
Stephen Whitenstall (@swhitenstall) https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-whitenstall-166727210 is an experienced peer facilitator with 30 years experience in business, community and academic projects. Stephen has a First Class Honours degree in philosophy and was drawn to Cardano by an academic interest in distributed governance . He has documented the philosophical underpinning of Cardano in an Ekphrasis GitBook (https://quality-assurance-dao.gitbook.io/ekphrasis/ ) and has led several philosophy-related After Town hall sessions, such as https://quality-assurance-dao.gitbook.io/ekphrasis/february-2022/blockchain-governance-principles and https://quality-assurance-dao.gitbook.io/ekphrasis/december-2021/antifragile-success-criteria . An active former member of PIPs, he can combine knowledge of the local Liverpool community with current activity in Catalyst.
Liverpool Cardano Philosophy Hub is a project of QA-DAO (https://quality-assurance-dao.github.io), an ongoing open source project that provides support for the Cardano Project Catalyst Community. Liverpool Philosophy Hub's project documentation will follow QA-DAO ideals of open-source transparency and auditability.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1MomJFNfeo&t=46shttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_HCsy3fhrk
We will measure:
Success would mean:
It is based on the Fund 7 unfunded proposal https://cardano.ideascale.com/c/idea/383504 “Penny Lane”, which in was highly rated by CAs with a score of 4.83, but just missed out on funding.
The Fund 7 version was a bigger project, which aimed to reach the whole UK network of PIPs groups with a learning resource/playbook that they could use to self-lead their own courses on Cardano and philosophy. This time, though, we are aiming to deliver a more focused version, with a smaller budget and a closer focus on initiating a philosophy hub through building links between Liverpool PIPs and the Catalyst community.
If this proposal is successful, PIPs members might go on to apply in a future Fund to further build the Philosophy Hub. This would have the additional positive effect of onboarding Liverpool PIPs members into being proposers.
Also, please see https://cardano.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Ekphrasis-Gitbook/382334-48088 for QA-DAO's successful Fund 7 proposal, which is currently resourcing the Ekphrasis GitBook until the end of April 2022.
Vanessa Cardui and Stephen Whitenstall of QA-DAO are skilled community facilitators; ex-members of Liverpool PIPs; and active within Catalyst.
Liverpool PIPs has been catalysing working-class engagement with philosophy for over 20 years.