The Early Years of the Climate Society

A retrospective view on a decentralized movement for climate action

The Climate Society by Daveed Benjamin and Midjourney.com. Inspired by Ignite by Tatiana Speed.

The Climate Society is a social collaboration layer over the web for people concerned about climate change, mitigation and adaptation. This retrospective look examines their first several years. They launched in 2023.

Several years ago, the Climate Society started as a landing page. The Climate Society is a non-hierarchical, purpose-aligned community formed around climate action. Their vision is unfolding; a regenerative economy, vibrant ecosystems that support life, and locally focused democratic human settlements in thriving bioregions.

Their aspiration was to grow their community to a worldwide movement that eventually gets Network State status. But it started as a Digital nation, i.e., a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) with its own layer over the webpage. More precisely, for blockheads and DAOzrs, it’s a DAL or Decentralized Autonomous Layer over the web.

Ironically, most “so-called” digital nations and DAOs don’t have a game plan for the Web. Yes, they will decide as a community. But where is the shared view? Do they make sense together? Where is the data from? How can they build knowledge together? Can they succeed as another silo? How do they know who to trust? How do we know who’s not a bot? These are questions that the Climate Society thought the Overweb was a future home and the Presence browser was how they would access it.

Ignite by Daveed Benjamin and Midjourney.com. Inspired by Ignite by Tatiana Speed.

The Climate Society’s mission was to IGNITE a decentralized movement that catalyzes the Great Collaboration. That’s the name they called the larger movement to regenerate the planet catalyzed by the new coordination and collaboration capacities afforded by the space above the web page. People worldwide began thinking, learning, and building knowledge, together, at scale. They formed channels locally and topically, and went into action, armed with the best information and access to experts and access to funds.

Most people first engaged in the Overweb during a visit to the Climate Society site or the half dozen other sites with a Canopi in the climate space. The Overweb Foundation co-hosted some Canopi events on the Climate Society and other sites over the first several months. The events steadily grew in attendance as more people got involved and more partner sites installed their own Canopis.

The movement mushroomed. Climate was on many minds, as evidenced by conversations online and our inboxes. The Climate Society started with scientists, researchers, news junkies, policy wonks, and climate activists building the genesis constellation for the climate information ecosystem. They connected information as deep, precise links called bridges which self-assemble into a decentralized knowledge graph. The Universal Content Graph anchors the Overweb, providing data for navigation, search, and shared contextual views.

The climate relevant graph was a robust information ecology for climate and related topics. Everyone was looking at the same information ecology. When anyone interacted, the entire system updated. For any claim, you can see a 360 degree context of all the relevant information in the information ecology. Not only contradictory and supporting informations, but notes, conversations and polls, meetings and events, lists, and metadata classifications. All directed related to what you are focusing your energy on.

Climate Society by Daveed Benjamin and Midjourney.com.

Next came early adopters — young people activated by community groups, schools, and social media, news consumers, environmentalists, business people, original peoples, and NGOs. The experience delighted them. They felt secure because they knew everyone cared about the climate. What a relief, not having to worry about trolls, scammers, or predators. They loved meeting like-minded people on webpages of their common interest.

People were connecting regularly. With people they knew, it helped them know when to reconnect; “Well, we’re on the same page” became a popular refrain. They also met new people. These were completely unexpected. It shocked people to meet others who wanted to be climate active locally. There were many collaborations, projects, and businesses formed; friends made; students, mentors, and even an engagement in the first six months.

Climate Rappers by Daveed Benjamin and Midjourney.com.

This was really a turning point for the effort. Being in the Climate Society was cool, with its various NFTs, conscious musicians, and hot kids. The rewards for voting and enthusiasm kept the energy and vibe stay lit. People were learning together and applying it locally. People were seeing the difference where they lived. There was no more talk about the Civil War in the US except for clout chasers.

Local people inspired the local businesses to become more regenerative. In many natural places, they worked together on complementary currencies and impact monetization for their ecosystems

Mom Watching Son in the Garden by Daveed Benjamin and Midjourney.com.

And people were stacking chips, getting paid for their contributions. Especially with bridging, once the leaderboards and the competitions started. Some bridgers were earning a living wage; for others, an enjoyable side hustle. More people were signing up and also engaging with the society’s Systems and Design Thinking courses and the society’s AI chat bot, Klima. Klima can tell you far more about climate action than Google or any person on the planet. She’s trained on overweb data. The people who opted-in are earning income for their anonymized activity data through a data cooperative.

The future looks bright for the Climate Society. They are thinking about Metaverses to establish their virtual capital. Soon, they’re crowdfunding natural lands to preserve and monetize their carbon sequestration and ecosystem impact value. The climate information ecology is growing fast and revenues from subscriptions are growing 10–20% per month. That’s all good news for people in the NFTs drops, participants in the DAO, and the pre-sale token buyers.

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