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Social investment funds & the blockchain

“I need help figuring out how #blockchain can work re. social investment fund. Anyone out there? #socinv

Lets start unpacking.

Ben can you outline the social investment fund?

Sure - in a nutshell I have the task of developing a social investment fund that invests small amounts (£5,000 - £100,000) into social enterprises, mainly in the UK. To reduce transaction costs (sourcing, due diligence, IC, support, etc), which in the social investment workd make small deals prohibitively expensive, I would like to develop distributed strucutres to provide these functions. My hypothesis is that these structures need to be build on relationship and trust and that A blockchain could act to hold it all together. It clearly also needs to be simple and accessible (which may point away from Blockchain).

Some outline thoughts from a hack afternoon I ran in November are here:

That’s the sum of it - I have a stack of other narrative around the fund and can circulate if that’s any use…



Thanks @benmetz

Before I forget, you should come and introduce yourself here:

So… a good place to start with the aspects of blockchains which could be helpful in laying the foundations of a system such as that you have begun to describe:

Broadly RH is looking to develop exactly a platform that could be used to build a social investment fund which we briefly go into here:

Ok - time scarce right now, but thought I would pull together those few resources as a start…

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@benmetz Have some more time now… so lets have another crack.

You are certainly onto something here. In a very basic way, RHC ‘externalizes’ the costs of sourcing, DD etc of the commons expanding projects we support by trusting that our members will only be proposing worthy projects. It would be much simpler to keep a larger slice of profits by just keep them within the profit share option, then trying to game the system.

To expand upon this, into the realms and scales you are talking about requires automation. IMHO this is the primary aid.

An example of this might be:

This simple system helps to automate the process of setting up an organisation.

What blockchains theoretically can help with is the stitching together of a series of automated systems in a way that is audit-able by stakeholders (interested third parties etc).

A good example of such experiments can be found within the D-CENT project:

Quite erratic thinking here - but bounce some questions / reflections and we can keep going with the explorations…

Agreed that the structures must be build on relationships and trust. @matslats has been working on such systems for the last 10 years and is very sharp in actually implementing alternative currency tools which are actually used by communities…

He is also very good at reminding us that focusing too much on blockchains can be a distraction to the social relational aspects of the job we are trying to do…

Is also another good starting place - the focus being on what is possible in supporting existing attempts at forming new value systems… blockchains in these instances are very useful due to their robust nature (p2p so diffciult to take offline or tamper with)… but in terms of the functions - they are aiding already existing tools and practices…

This is also quite a key point… tbh, most people won’t even know (or need to know) what the data storage / technology stack underneath the useful appliances they are using (an example being these forums… the underlying technologies stitched together to make it work don’t need to be seen - though they could be if someone were very interested as discourse is Open Source)…

Lots to think about here - thanks Daniel,

Right now I am pulling away from diving in with Blockchain - which for now I think is exactly right. I need to establish the intention and systems for operation before thinking about the back end / data storage.

Some historical thinking about Trust Networks - (google jimmy wales trust networks)

And the whole thing about getting the intrinsic motivation properly baked in first seems to be the right focus for no - classic RSA Animate from Dan Pink - and an article I wrote ages ago about the underlying neuroscience are what’s shaping the ofrumulation and expression of the underlying intent -

So any thoughts from anyone about harnessing intrinsic motivation - creating trust gorups - baking in the common bond, etc all very welcome :slight_smile:

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