Venn diagram of CommonsDAO = Cultural Frameworks + Library of Tools + Economics co-design

The CommonsDAO

We think of a CommonsDAO as a "warm DAO," providing inclusive cultural practices, embracing polycentric governance, and catering to the diverse needs of the community. It goes beyond providing mere financial functionalities. Our commons designs consist of the technical and cultural protocols that reinforce commons-based governance, and a radically collaborative methodology to collectively design the parameters of a token economy. 

How a DAO is deployed is as important as what is being deployed. Our deployment protocols incorporate Ostrom’s principles for governing a commons and reinforce collaborative decision making, what we call “economics co-design”. This unique combination of conditions creates the possibility for a sustainable and regenerative community-supported mission.


Our technical toolkit features tools we’ve both built and developed with partners in our ecosystem in our journey to deploy a CommonsDAO. They are all open source and customizable and provide the building blocks for any community to establish a governance system aligned with the project’s mission.

Augmented Bonding Curve (ABC)

The Augmented Bonding Curve (ABC) is a customized token bonding curve, co-created with Block Science. A bonding curve is a smart contract that mints and burns tokens on demand according to a predetermined price curve. It establishes a mathematically defined relationship between price and supply, helping maintain a predictable price and enabling token holders to enter and exit on demand.

The ABC is a modified bonding curve with additional features such as an allowlist with a “trust score” and a common pool treasury that is continually fed by entry and exit tributes, facilitating incentive models around community contributions. The community stewards that treasury to benefit their mission.

Bootstrapping the creation of a commons, the ABC establishes a circular microeconomy. It allows communities to create their own token ecosystems backed by stable reserve assets, providing a mechanism for dynamic token supply that rewards early contributors. The ABC improves economic stability in token ecosystems by dampening price volatility, providing continuous funding for communities, and guaranteeing liquidity for a community’s token. 

Conviction Voting

Conviction Voting presents an innovative approach to collective decision-making. Proposals pass simply when they receive enough support, as opposed to at the end of a voting period. Voters stake and unstake their tokens behind proposals whenever they want. The longer the voters’ tokens are staked behind a particular proposal, the more the conviction grows for that proposal. 

Contributors signal their conviction continuously instead of making a one-time choice in a time-boxed session. Instead, voting on a proposal is continuous until it receives the required support to pass. Over time, small token holders can grow proposal conviction to reach the same voting power as the large token holders.

Conviction voting encourages community loyalty by representing all token holders more fairly and solves problems related to governance attacks, low voter participation and traditional large stakeholder power imbalances.


The Hatch smart contract is designed to provide specific initialization conditions for the two-phase process of launching a CommonsDAO.

The community supplies the smart contract with a list of value-aligned individuals and groups (called the trusted seed), a list of those to be rewarded for non-capital contributions such as labor and expertise, and the parameters for the HatchDAO. The smart contract allows exclusively those on these two lists to participate in the community fundraise and co-design the parameters of the CommonsDAO. If the minimum raise set by the parameters is not met, all funds are returned. When the minimum raise is met, reward tokens are minted and distributed, and an Aragon DAO is formed.

The end result is a HatchDAO, composed of a value-aligned community ready to co-design the CommonsDAO economy.


Praise is a community intelligence system that rewards contributions that are subjective and otherwise difficult to measure. Praise reinforces peer-to-peer positive feedback leading to increased intrinsic motivation among contributors. 

Praise functions in 4 steps: acknowledgement, quantification, analysis, and reward distribution. Contributors praise each other on a Discord channel. That data is quantified by community members and given a score, which is rewarded with tokens, reputation or monetary.

By surfacing unseen work, Praise maps seemingly invisible value flows, tokenizes them, and brings them into the visible. To be given Praise means to be recognized for your contributions, giving rise to a sense of inclusion and incentive to continue meaningful work as well as the desire to reciprocate the gesture. 

Open source, Praise was first developed among Commons Stack, the TEC and Giveth and is now being further developed by General Magic.


Tokenlog is a token-weighted governance tool for Github backlogs. It enables token holders to signal which features form the backlog they want prioritized, giving the dev team direction on what to work on next. We use Tokenlog as part of our deployment of a CommonsDAO in order to community crowdsource proposals for the parameters of their economy and governance system.

Each proposal is submitted as a Github issue. Community members are encouraged to examine and fork issues in order to build upon existing strategic thinking and rationale, developing proposals that integrate and elaborate upon each other’s ideas. A voting period is set, and the result is a shortlist of 3 proposals emerging from a collaborative effort to define the community’s parameters. A final vote decides which parameters to implement.

Tokenlog V1 and V2 are OSS developed by Wesley Van Heije that is now being maintained by General Magic.

Quadratic Rank Choice Voting (QRCV)

More info about QRCV coming soon.

Commons Simulator

You are the futuristic, solarpunk character in this adventure. You are given the chance to correct the course of history. Your mission is to travel back in time, with cadCAD at your fingertips, and save the planet by teaching communities how to create regenerative CommonsDAOs. 

A CommonsDAO is a well-engineered, community-focused economy that rewards value creation. The CommonsDAO emerges out of the relationship between three main components: the community, its shared resources, and the protocols they use to make decisions and reward continued value creation.

Designing the CommonsDAO can only be done by the community that is intimately connected to the shared resource. Your task is to guide them down that path.

Embark on a mission of epic proportions with "The Commons Simulator," an innovative edutainment game that combines simulation and dystopian sci-fi.

Illustration of green and purple flower mandala made of lines and circles.


Blockchain technologies permit trustless resource sharing and interaction, but the cultural foundation of the communities that use that technology are built on human trust and cooperation. Even if smart contracts can effectively execute novel decentralized operations, humans must still coordinate on those processes. Effective decision-making requires collective coordination and clear guidelines. Our cultural frameworks incorporate tools and processes, based on Ostrom’s 8 principles for governing a commons, that allow purpose-driven communities to effectively govern themselves and their shared resources.

The principle of collective choice arrangements, for example, asserts that those affected by the rules of a system should actively be part of creating or modifying those rules, thereby building trust, cooperation and community values resulting in better and lasting outcomes. Some of the other principles include having clearly defined boundaries, mutual monitoring, conflict resolution, and graduated sanctions.

Our application of these principles guide a community to pursue its mission from a bottom-up approach that favors participatory, polycentric governance.


Traditional voting systems present a limited choice of options, where voters choose only from among the proposals selected for them, which invariably excludes voices and perspectives. 

Co-design fosters inclusion, transparency, and active involvement whereby voters are guided to develop proposals themselves. It allows space for diverse perspectives, enabling innovative and practical solutions to flourish.

We use a simple yet effective 3-step process: educate, propose, and vote. Communities collectively develop solutions in an equitable and democratic manner that address their needs.

Illustration of green and purple flower mandala made of lines and circles.
Icon: Educate


The community creates materials for its contributors to understand what is being decided, such as parameters of the economy itself. Everyone has the power to understand, devise and decide within the community.

Icon: Propose


Anyone can submit or “fork” a proposal for a vote. This bottom-up approach gives everyone equal opportunity to create voting proposals and also to build on each other’s work. It makes space for unexpected ideas from the community and taps into the collective intelligence.

Icon: Vote


The voting space is now filled with ideas that have come from everyone in the community. It is no longer limited and voting can take place in multiple rounds to first filter the top voted proposals amongst many, and then to select the winning proposal from those filtered.

Illustration of green and purple laboratory test tubes and plants among lines and circles.


Maintaining a mission globally while not becoming a centralized entity is a challenge faced by cause-based movements, and facilitating the creation of bottom-up local nodes can help solve this problem. We developed the Commons Incubator to fast-track the deployment of CommonsDAOs. It is designed to facilitate the launch of nodes sharing the same cause or on the same chain by providing them with the structure to allow them to move forward on their mission.

The Commons Incubator lays the groundwork for projects that come through the program to successfully launch in 3 months. If done on their own, it would take around 8 months. The incubator guides them through every step of launching a CommonsDAO. The Incubator program will consist of workshops, educational resources and guest speakers focused on the management of shared resources, including policy design, web3 governance and token engineering. 

Our roadmap

<- Slide sideways ->

ABC deploy wizard
  • MVP
  • Secure funding to deploy to new chains
  • V1 (UX, new features)
  • Deploy to 5 new chains
  • V2 (ABC swap-page)
  • Deploy to 5 new chains
Commons Incubator & CommonsDAO toolkit
  • Deploy to chain aligned with our mission
  • Launch 1st cohort of the program
  • Graduate 1st cohort
  • Launch 2nd cohort of the program
  • Graduate 2nd cohort
CS Dashboard
  • MVP (Pilot Economics co-design project)
  • V1 (Modules for Hatch and MVV)
  • V2 (Modules for ABC, Voting methods)
  • V3 (Self-deployable CommonsDAOs)