socio-technical systems

The Ethnography of a ‘Decentralized Autonomous Organization’ (DAO): De-mystifying Algorithmic Systems

Slide from presentation: A cartoonish drawing of a dumpster in an alley with eyes and a smile, half open, with flames coming out of the open side. Label underneath dumpster sayd "Governance". Slide title is "The Field Site: 'Decentralized Autonomous Organization' (DAO)... A.k.a:"
KELSIE NABBEN RMIT University, Centre for Automated Decision Making & Society / BlockScience MICHAEL ZARGHAM WU Vienna / BlockScience This paper details ethnographic methods, experiences, and insights from an ethnographer and an industry engaged complex systems engineer in how to study resilience in blockchain-based DAOs as a novel field site. Amidst digitization of numerous elements of government, work, and everyday life, ‘Decentralized Autonomous Organizations’ (DAOs) provide a field site for the generation of ethnographic insights into opportunities and limitations in organizational resilience in human-machine assemblages. As a broad organizational form, DAOs aim to enable people to coordinate and govern themselves through automated rules deployed on a public blockchain (Hassan & Di Filippi, 2021). DAOs are an experiment in ‘computer aided governance’. These adaptive, socio-technical infrastructures are envisioned as capable of restructuring the foundations of governance in human societies (Merkle, 2016;...