What’s Next for Schelling Point?
You’ve probably heard - Gitcoin is evolving. Looking to the future also means re-examining the initiatives that have brought us to where we are today, including Schelling Point.
This post explains how some of us are thinking about the future of Schelling Point, the strategic marketing role it serves for Gitcoin and our products, plus its role in the broader ecosystem.
Questions we explore:
- What is Schelling Point - how did it start and where is it today
- Why this matters + why is Schelling Point important to our evolution and therefore worth investing in
- A culture of public goods + why this is important
- How we move forward - how does Schelling Point evolve with Gitcoin
Actions for you:
- Share your thoughts on Schelling Point - feel free to detail your past experiences and where you’d like to see it go
- Specific feedback on decentralizing it further - if we should or shouldn’t and if so, how?
What Is Schelling Point
What began as a single conference where impact, sustainability and technology converged is quickly becoming a beacon for the culture of public goods, where technology meets art, science, education and more.
Schelling Point has created a new category - a coming together of believers. It is our vision and values brought to life in a physical or virtual event space. It is a manifestation of our movement.
If Gitcoin is a steward of ideas worth spreading, Schelling Point is where we spread them. Schelling Point events are where the community comes together for creativity, conversation and connection.
Why This Matters
As we enter this next chapter for Gitcoin and strive to position it as a tech-first organization, Schelling Point is our opportunity for placemaking around our larger vision for community-led positive change - or, a place where a culture of public goods can be seen, heard and felt.
As it stands, Schelling Point already helps with the following:
- Placemaking: A physical space where our community can come to connect and collaborate
- Competitive Advantage & Ownership of Public Goods: SP signals our leadership in public goods space and meme
- Product Interest/Adoption: Is a place where our products can be seeded, discussed, collaborated on
- Credibility: It establishes our unprecedented understanding of web3, it’s ethos and where it’s going
- Build Trust: It is an event that people come to expect, count on and look forward to
But what people come to Schelling Point for - and love about it - are the vibes.
Schelling Point is about building and celebrating a culture of public goods.
This is the place where customs, arts, institutions, and achievements of public goods maxis - those who believe in the possibility of community-led positive change - are on display.
As holders of the brand, MMM believes that Schelling Point should continue to explore and deepen its engagement with this narrative. Schelling Point can become a space in which attendees get green-pilled, and even further, “public goods-pilled”. We can be boundary-pushers in redefining and owning the term “public goods” and export groundbreaking ideas on how crypto economics can be used for good in real communities.
Why Culture and Public Goods
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the crucial role of culture in uplifting communities while fostering resilience and social cohesion, thus, underlining its nature as a global public good which should be upheld and promoted for a comprehensive, sustainable, and human-centered development. - MONDIACULT 2022 | Culture as a global public good: a human-centered agenda for cultural policies, UNESCO
The UNESCO body of the UN has recognized the importance of culture as a public good since the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which has now been ratified by 150 countries and the European Union. Since 2015, UNESCO has been monitoring its progress with their annual Reshaping Policies for Creativity, the most recent which can be found here
Why This is Relevant to Gitcoin
- Culture is a critical public good - and a critical tool for onboarding the next billion users into crypto/web3
- Culture is a tool for building culture - therefore, the idea of art, music, dance, media as a public good can help green pill people on the concept of public goods
- Culture forward communities already think of their work as a public good - and are in search of funding - making them a great fit for Gitcoin and our products
- Culture - and subcultures - are cool, so by partnering with more culture, we align ourselves to groundbreaking projects, innovators in the space and vibes
- Culture makes for more divergent opinions - which we know can contribute to richer conversations, stronger ideas and ultimately better outcomes
- Culture can be hyperlocal - making it an ideal format and vehicle for decentralization and therefore maximum impact for the public, turning Schelling Point into a public good much like our protocols
How We Get There
Despite the amazing benefits of Schelling Point, this event only happens twice a year - what if we could capitalize on these benefits more often? We believe we have room to further build out Schelling Point programming and the cadencing.
- Clearly Defined Parameters: We currently have a loose sense of what Schelling Point is (personally, it took being there for me to finally get it); there’s an opportunity to more closely define what Schelling Point is/is not, and our collective mission/vision in order for people to feel aligned, engaged and excited
- New Formats: The current Schelling Point is costly - now that the name and brand is established, we might be able to get similar ROI from smaller activations.
- More Frequent Cadencing: Schelling Point has usually only happened 1-2 times per year, meaning we’re missing out on potential community members who were unable to attend the conferences we chose. We’re proposing using smaller formats as a way to facilitate more regular micro Schelling Points,
- Expanded Programming Tracks: Expand programming to include more cuture-forward projects - projects that so many Gitcoin donors and Schelling Point community members also support - creating a “culture” track, and inviting these communities and organizations to participate in defining why culture as a public good is important.
- Headless Brand Toolkit: Create a new brand for Schelling Point that has super-strong specific cues but still leaves room for local adaptation (like a TED:TEDx model, or similar to what Green Pill is doing); this would be a gradual evolution towards something headless over time, and we recognize that initially we will need to continue shepherding SP events and the brand
- Mixed Funding Mechanisms for Max Sustainability: A defined set of partnership/sponsorship tiers with sponsored content being a major opportunity - PLUS the opportunity for SP to generate its own funding through tiered ticket sales (with a sell one, give one approach) as well as a potential for SP to be part of OR lead its own round on Grants Stack, dogfooding our products and protocols
By further decentralizing Schelling Point - and passing ownership to the community that governs it - we will be able to broaden our reach and galvanize the community around our mission in a more meaningful way - and continue to build a culture of public goods across communities around the world.
We’d like to explore different formats of Schelling Point and work with the community to identify opportunities for community led meetups, very similar to what is happening with Green Pill and their local chapters.
We of course recognize this won’t happen over night, and that because the bar for Schelling Point is so high, and the brand is so valued, we will want to protect that by creating initial guidelines then testing things out.
As a next step, we’ll pilot a new format of Schelling Point at EthCC - a Schelling Point “House” from July 17-21. This activation will be a critical driver of Gitcoin’s shared objectives around fostering a culture of public goods plus simultaneous driving of awareness, interest and adoption of our products (Allo, Grants Stack and Passport)
Each day will have a programming “theme,” with 2 planned sessions book-ended by a morning wellness ritual and an evening social activity. Programming will be relevant to Allo, Grants Stack and Passport, Allo being the primary priority.
- Morning: Short wellness activity
- Day: Mix of fireside chats, roundtable discussions and ideation sessions.
- Evening: Social activity
- Podcasting equipment will be available onsite
Event types will include:
- deconstructed panels/roundtable discussions with 1-2 thought leaders facilitating
- brainstorming sessions/mastermind groups
- morning/evening social activations
- All day coworking/meeting availability
Topics will range from regen to culture to economics to identity - encompassing all of Gitcoin’s products and creating an inviting space for new types of communities to participate in Schelling Point conversations. All topics will tie to funding and how Allo can potentially be a solution.
You can read the WIP brief here, where we’ve been working with partners across the DAO to flesh out a robust concept for us to test and learn from in July.
ETHCC Goals & Objectives
- BUILD EQUITY & AUTHORITY: Build on our existing equity and further cement our authority in the Public Goods space by positioning Schelling Point as the de-facto convergence of thought leaders in this space
- STOKE A MOVEMENT: Seed the concept then deliver a set of tools and resources for communities to steward localized micro Schelling Points that evoke the spirit of the original enabling deeper community engagement and decentralized ownership
- DRIVE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Create space for nurturing relationships with past, present and future funding partners.
- GROW PRODUCT INTEREST: Drive awareness and interest in Gitcoin products.
More details about programming will be shared soon - but the idea is we will invite key partners (either already or intending to build on Allo) to co-lead these sessions so they dont feel to sales-y or marketing-y and instead feel more like live discussion of shared problems that Allo could potentially play a role in solving.
We are actively soliciting community input in the hopes of gathering more meaningful feedback that can be incorporated into future planning around new Schelling Point formats. Currently, we are planning to host a Community Call in June to stoke conversation and solicit new ideas.
Additionally, we are speaking with Gitcoin and Schelling Point community members interested in spearheading these local, micro-formats so that we can continue to make community-driven decisions based on their feedback.
As crucial members of our community, we would love you to share in the comments:
- Your thoughts on Schelling Point - feel free to detail your past experiences and where you’d like to see it go
- Specific feedback on decentralizing it further - if we should or shouldn’t and if so, how?