Announcing LabWeek Public Goods in April 2024 

Protocol Labs
Protocol Labs
Announcing LabWeek Public Goods in April 2024

Our current economic systems are inadequate for solving the global challenges we have today. These include climate change urgencies, underfunded early scientific research, and insufficient funding of open source initiatives that benefit the public. Web3 addresses the limitations and inefficiencies of traditional economic and governance models. Potential exists for solutions via new funding mechanisms to support public goods, sustainability measures that promote a greener future, and decentralized science dedicated to open access and funding for research. We need to actively create better coordination mechanisms to help navigate the world’s most pressing problems.

Protocol Labs has been a pioneer in this space since its earliest days, with public goods development at the core of our vision to help create better solutions. We created Funding the Commons (opens new window) in 2021 to further innovate in the field. This is part of PL’s vision for the future, built on three core focus areas (opens new window) that strive to harness humanity’s potential for good and navigate potential pitfalls.

In 2024, we are launching LabWeek Public Goods (opens new window), a decentralized conference held in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, from April 11-16, 2024, designed to engage in deep conversations and make connections to drive real progress.

In economics, incentives play a pivotal role in shaping human behavior, resource allocation and societal welfare. Goods have inherent incentive structures built into them that influence their consumption patterns, market dynamics and management strategies. Understanding these distinctions is fundamental to navigating economic systems, including pricing and availability. Public goods are those goods and services that are non-excludable and non-rivalrous, meaning that they are available to everyone, and one person's use of the good does not diminish its availability to others. Public goods are typically under-funded to social optimum, usually due to lack of a profit motive, free-rider problem of those who use the good and assume others have paid for it, and difficulty in quantifying benefits.

Examples of public goods include clean air and public parks. In the digital world, public goods also include open source code, impact DAOs and blockchain protocol. Public goods funding involves channeling resources into initiatives that benefit society, spanning scientific research, education, environmental conservation and community development.

# Public Goods Funding

Public goods, such as open source code, are very important to blockchain communities, factoring heavily in Protocol Labs' vision for the future. There have been great strides recently in the public goods funding space. Optimism (opens new window) distributed over $100 million in RetroPGF to 501 contributors in January 2024, while Filecoin's FIL-RetroPGF- (opens new window) allocated 200,000 FIL tokens to support ecosystem essentials.

→ Join us to discuss these advancements and address challenges at Funding the Commons (opens new window) alongside members of PL’s ecosystem in this space, including Drips (opens new window), OS Observer (opens new window), Optimism (opens new window), Hypercerts (opens new window), Gitcoin (opens new window), CryptoEconLab (opens new window) and more.

# Sustainability

Climate change is difficult to solve due to global coordination challenges. With improved incentives and mechanism designs, we can build a more sustainable future. PL teams have been active in this area, with the likes of Glow Labs (opens new window) redesigning the carbon credit economy to enhance stability, and Nova Energy (opens new window)’s launch of EVP (opens new window), a framework that promotes a greener digital landscape.

→ Join us at Earth Commons (opens new window), an event designed to build bridges between climate entrepreneurs, academics, technologists, funders, NGOs, and international public institutions to explore the funding and governance of nature’s commons. Network with PL teams including Glow Labs (opens new window), Nova Energy (opens new window), Operad.AI (opens new window) and much more.

# Decentralized Science

Decentralized science (DeSci) offers an alternative to traditional scientific funding by promoting open access to research findings, distributed funding that reduces reliance on government grants, and blockchain technology that enables secure and transparent transaction recording. Excitement in this space is translating into action; for example, VitaDAO (opens new window)'s token sale in 2023 that was 1700% oversubscribed, with $620,000 in bids, highlighting public eagerness to participate in scientific funding. Similarly, PL team Molecule funded autophagy research (opens new window) at the University of Newcastle via an IP-NFT.

→ Register for LabWeek Public Goods (opens new window) to explore advancements in DeSci driven by PL teams, including VitaDAO (opens new window), DeSci Labs (opens new window), DeSci Foundation (opens new window), Molecule (opens new window), IPFS (opens new window), (opens new window) and more.

# What’s Next: LabWeek Public Goods

With LabWeek Public Goods (opens new window), PL continues to lead and push progress around public goods funding, sustainability and decentralized science. Many of the current active projects in the public goods space started at events or conversations within the PL ecosystem. Experimentation with network funding structures and impact certificates is crucial to evolve these concepts into practical, efficient tools for public goods funding and better, more efficient coordination. Protocol Labs plans to integrate these innovations into their grant programs and impact evaluation structures. LabWeek Public Goods will include curated events, research-oriented seminars, engineering workshops, summits, unconferences, happy hours, and more.

We hope to see you there!

Stay up to date by subscribing to our LabWeek Public Goods newsletter (opens new window).