Metagovernance Project

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= "an interdisciplinary research collective. We build standards and infrastructure for digital self-governance".



"Online governance is evolving. Competition, ideology, and technological advances have created the conditions for a new generation of games (e.g. Minecraft, Seed), social networks (e.g. Mastodon, Vingle), and collaborative platforms (e.g. Aragon, Colony). This new generation of online communities is changing the rules of online governance. In these worlds, users have the right to self-governance—the right to come together and organize their own social and political institutions. Our goal is to describe, support, and expand that right.

But on the internet, the right to self-governance is not a natural right; it is enabled and circumscribed by the architecture of the platform on which people interact. That same architecture also governs the interaction between separate user-generated institutions. Metagovernance describes these two related roles: (1) enabling and constraining users’ ability to create their own institutions, and (2) governing the interaction between separate institutions, whether they be small groups, large communities, or formal institutional structures."



"Our collaborations include:

  1. Metagov, a unified API and architecture for governance services (docs, slides, video)
  2. Modular Politics, a working paper outlining a governance layer for the internet
  3. Agreement Engine, a tool for building contract systems on the internet
  4. Govbase, an open database of projects and tools in online governance
  5. Metaeth, a Discord bot for ethical, responsive digital ethnography
  6. Composing games into complex institutions, a research paper that uses game theory to design complex institutions
  7. The Metagovernance Seminar, a weekly seminar