Web3 and the Trap of ‘For Good’

Because decentralization doesn’t necessarily mean redistributing power, Web3 must make values integral to the architecture.

The application of a “for good” framework to Web3 brings its own complications. “X for Good” projects within the tech and social impact sectors are essentially built on the theory that the right tool applied to the right problem will result in large-scale social benefits. The “X” in these projects has historically involved tools such as artificial intelligence, data, virtual reality, or games, or social media and communications platforms, among others. At its best, the “X for Good” framework allows for community-led development of appropriate tools that help create positive social impact in areas such as poverty alleviation or social justice movements. Too often, however, it results in tech solutionism and the imposition of tools on a community, neither designed with nor by communities. As Mark Latonero says, “​​The deeper issue is that no massive social problem can be reduced to the solution offered by the smartest corporate technologists partnering with the most venerable international organizations.” Read more