Sky, clouds, mountains, cliffs, grass and forrest
eben / 16.04.2022

The DAO of Zen

Unicorn paper pre alfa

Buy and tokenise the best real estate on earth, from the prospective of forecasted climate change. Then build sustainable communities there.

The Dao of Zen is a community that seeks to acquire and use real estate to build the best environments for living in as our world moves into a time of increasing instability. What is a DAO? Read about it here and or watch a video here.

This DAO falls into the category of #ReFi Regenerative Finance. Have a look on Twitter or Reddit at this hashtag if your unfamiliar with ReFi or want to see what's happening in the space, maybe start here. Hint, it's growing! KlimaDAO has a market cap of $96 million at the time of writing and Energy Web is a full layer one solution for distributed power. is a tokenised carbon credit system (and there are many many more examples).

Its predicted that we have around 8 years left to solve climate change and the odds of doing so are becoming increasingly bleak.

We can see from the above video, the problem is complicated. We also know that humans in groups are not good at taking preemptive actions, but are good at responding to a crisis that is already happening. I have written about a possible climate change scenario based on this presumption in: 'Climate Catastrophe the COVID Response'. Also the wonderful book: 'Ministry For The Future' describes a similar event. A similar thing happened with COVID over the past few years, we can see people were reluctant to react to it until they could see for themselves that it had arrived.

We also know that the impact of climate change is not going to be felt equally. We can see this happening now, small island nations and countries in the global-south nearest the equator are already suffering. Where as countries in northern latitudes further from the equator are feeling less affected.

The DAO of Zen (DZ) will first collect information to build up a list of key real estate features to look out for. Here is an example list (in no particular order):

  • 100m above sea level
  • Surrounded by natural wind brakes buffer zones (Mountains and forests)
  • Highly unlikely to reach a wet bulb temperature above 30˚c
  • In a country with a stable government and society
  • Has water supply
  • Not at risk of flooding
  • Not at risk of land slides
  • Not at risk of large earthquakes
  • Not at risk of volcanoes
  • Has good soil or good soil can be built on-site.

These categories can be refined, researched and voted on by dao participants.

Once agreed on the DAO can setup a legal entity governed by the DAO to purchase real estate. The DAO can then vote on geographic locations to focus on, and send out researchers in the chosen areas to look for and report on suitable real estate based on the list.
Once land has been acquired it can be tokenised into NFT's and sold to DAO members who buy the NFT's with the DAO's token, the used tokens are then burned, but the NFT retains the same voting rights as the burned token plus real world ownership of the land plot.
The aim here is that DAO members then start to form and build real world intentional communities. This is the most difficult step, but also the most powerful one. It will be important to think about and research how and why intentional communities fail, provide ways for people to leave as well as join and make the communities decentralised and spacious (large land plots with few people on each). Giving space and privacy as well as community, catering for the inevitable growth and change of people over time.

Structuring the DAO

Dao of Zen v1

There will be a core team of about 5 at the start, these people will be public figures (not anons). They will first start the DAO, built on a multi sig wallet like: Gnosis Safe. Then build a website and community forum (Discord, Matrix). The DAO can use pre-mined tokens and the founders can have a percentage, but their tokens will be locked  for 5 years to demonstrate commitment to the project.

Anyone can buy tokens using coins the DAO agrees on like ETH and stable coins. Token holders gain voting power in the DAO. One must also become a token holder if they wish to buy the tokenised land NFT's.
Ones land is brought the tokens used are burned; however the NFT still holds the same voting power on the DAO as the original tokens they used, plus the land, and the legal ownership papers.

The DAO must run on a public blockchain that dose not use proof-of-work (POF) consensus, think power consumption. There are lots of tools now to make building Dao's much easier and their are lots of functioning dao's that can be studied to pick the right tools and structure for this project. Here is a good read on the subject:
The DAO will control a Limited Liability Company LLC or similar entity that can buy land on behalf of the DAO. The LLC can also employ required staff that, for example can't be paid in Crypto when necessary. Both the LLC and the DAO's finances will be made available to the community. The DAO may use a CEX like FTX to move value from the DAO to the LLC to buy land, pay fees, tax's and staff.

Land plots could be on large peaces of land, subdivided and sold as NFT's with the expectation that many of the new owners will move there and start building a community. The DAO may also elect to buy small plots that are spread out and then tokenise them. The DAO may elect to keep parts of land for community projects, forestations and other mutually beneficial usage.

Buyers on the same site and or in a local geographic area are recommended to form their own sub groups that could also be DAO's or have other governance structures for community organising.

It maybe a good idea to explore other DAO structures instead of 1 token 1 vote, for example:
"1) on-chain quadratic voting (i.e., degrees not just directions of preferences) 2) conviction voting (i.e., staking voting power on proposals), and 3) nontransferable reputation/contribution tokens (i.e., voting power to active contributors)". Source

However DAO's are little understood and making things more complicated maybe counter productive, more research required.
It would also be good to research possible integrations with the DeFi and ReFi spaces. Could our DAO reward our members for locking carbon in Toucan's BCT? Could our communities get Carbon credits for locking up carbon on the DAO's and communities land? I'm sure there are many possibility's here.