Exploration Group: Reversing Inequality for Shared Prosperity

  1. Starting Point - what tension, question or inquiry started this EG?
    SEEDS is designed in a way that it reverses inequality and creates equity. That is something we might all have heard from someone. Nevertheless this has far from happened and much of the design is actually inequitable by design. So how equitable is SEEDS and what tools and protocols can we use to make it as equitable as we want it to be?

  2. Discoveries Summary - what has the EG discovered so far?
    See introduction story on the bottom of this post.

  3. Impact on:

  • SEEDS and the World - how is SEEDS, it’s community and the world impacted?
    See introduction story on the bottom of this post
  • the Game Guide - what sections of the Game Guide are being impacted?
    Besides some potentially entirely new sections, section 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.8, 2.2, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3 could be impacted by the developments of this exploration group. This includes several proposals on creating an equitable ecosystem in a more upgraded way than it is created and conceptualized today
  • Tech - what pieces of software are impacted?
    When proposals make it through and changes get made, the Passport, Light Wallet and several Smart Contracts will be impacted with new protocols and changes in existing protocols. Also new Smart Contracts that are part of new protocols will have to be made.
  1. Explorers - who is dedicated to this EG? Who is taking the lead in facilitating this EG and following through until either a Proposal is reached or a lack thereof (explained and recorded in an open document)?
    I myself am dedicated to this group and taking all these responsibilities. As soon as more people show up, a distribution of responsibilities can be talked about, but is not necessary. My ambitions in this exploration group are clarified in the introduction story below.

Reversing inequality has became a more alive subject within the SEEDS ecosystem, as it is a topical necessity to make our societies thrive. I feel strongly connected to the need of this conversation and the desire to build on solutions for an equitable society.

SEEDS today is not designed as an equitable ecosystem. Besides topics covering inequitability that have been discussed, like the high enumeration of Hypha members against the low or absent enumeration of many active SEEDS users, SEEDS is also inequitable by design. Why? Because wealth is rewarded.

There is a reason why wealth is rewarded. The reason is that we are building a bridge from the old system to the new and we depend on this old system. Incoming wealth from the old system makes SEEDS more financially sustainable because we bring value into the ecosystem (although I would say it is a weakness in the long term because we are enabling inequality in the form of inequitability to shift from the old system into SEEDS and therefore we are weakening its ideals).

Besides the interest rates for planting Seeds that seems to be planned for the longer term, in the short term Seeds is also growing in value, which also makes people with more Seeds benefit more.

What I sense here, is that

  • We could further change our focus from trying to get money in, to an even bigger focus to try to get more people and organizations in. If we have enough people and organizations involved they will bring forward the same and more value than these few rich ones that we might trigger with the rewarding of wealth. Also not triggering the wealthy to join in AND being successful will devaluate the value of the currencies that the wealthy are holding.
  • We could grow the value of the SEEDS ecosystem with our cooperative activity in the new society we have built and distribute this value in a fully equal way, while rewards for ones activities become the only thing that differentiate how much someone has available to spend. For that principle we just need people with a purpose, the value of their activities and the ecosystem as a whole will come with that.
  • We could focus on designing the ecosystem in a way that it can pull itself loose from the old system without complicating it for people from the traditional system to join. Value can be brought in in a different way than to move the wealth from an individual from the traditional system to the individual’s SEEDS account. Rather we could focus on making the value brought in from the traditional system equitably distributed over the SEEDS ecosystem.

This means to go even more out of the box and to change big things.

SEEDS is a bridge that everyone can take. There is not quite a way to get to the other side or the bridge yet because the actual options you have in SEEDS are limited. You have to keep going back from the side where you entered the bridge from to get some of your bare necessities. This is the stage we are in right now and still for a while. People are waiting while building the bridge to a still unknown destination. The project is mostly a promise and to build the bridge we need some tools from the place where we started building the bridge from. As soon as possible, we want to get to the other side of the bridge. When designing SEEDS, it is important to design it in a way that we manage to build the bridge, but also that we prepare us to be independent from where we came from once the bridge has been build and that the place we build there looks in the way we envision.

This brings me to the following questions

  • Why do we have a planted SEEDS score and why are we giving people that have more planted SEEDS more harvest? That means making the rich even more rich.

  • Why do we an amount of voting points that depends on a contribution score that is linked to wealth with both Planted Seeds Score and Transaction Score? This means our democratic system gives wealthier people more voting power.

  • Why are we currently considering (I don’t know if the vote went through or not) to give a 30% interest on the amount of SEEDS one has planted? Wealthier people will be able to plant more SEEDS and become even more rich comparing to their less wealthy human fellows. As I understood from the proposal, this 30% interest is only going to be given out because once it was said this would happen and that the reason to have this already doesn’t exist anymore.

  • Why do we have to stake SEEDS to put a proposal? This means putting proposals is a power that is connected to wealth. People with fewer Seeds can request funding, but still they depend on wealth coming from an external source while wealthier people don’t. Wealthier people therefore have an easier job to give guidance to projects and with that comes an easier position to get recognized and rewarded.

If we want to be equitable, why are we rewarding those with more SEEDS for the fact that they have more SEEDS?

We could limit the wealthy to become wealthier because of their wealth by:

  • Removing the benefits for planting a higher amount of Seeds. Keep benefits for the fact you planted Seeds.

  • Removing the planted Seeds score and integrating this count in a from wealth disconnected way into transaction- or reputation score.

  • And more

I am aware that SEEDS needs the planted SEEDS to have better-than-free transactions and to have additional SEEDS that are not in circulation for a more stable economy and that the scores are limited to 0-100 to disable the very rich to have a lot more rights than the little-less-rich. But I believe for the wealthy to become wealthier with their wealth is something that shouldn’t be possible in the SEEDS ecosystem and that there are other ways to design the ecosystem in which this would not be promoted.

There is something else complicated about this, because what space does SEEDS have for the wealthy if the traditional system rewards them more? That’s why I would love the focus to get removed from the wealthy and brought specifically to the conscious and those excluded from wealth. This is a path SEEDS is already aiming to go towards in several ways. I can sense the importance people feel to reverse inequality and to be serious about equitability.

I opened this topic to bring up the issues that I sense and to start co-creating towards solutions. To bring protocols that reverse inequality and to bring equitability.

In this topic, in the following days and weeks, I also want to post several opportunities on

  1. how to grow equitability in the ecosystem
    and
  2. how to keep the ecosystem economically strong in the meantime.

My goal for these opportunities would be to gather feedback, to start co-creating and to turn them into proposals that afterwards can get implemented into the SEEDS ecosystem.

I would love some opinions on the in my feeling inequality-promoting-SEEDS-protocols I have mentioned above.

Proposals that were inspired from the process in this Exploration Group:

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A first opportunity I have worked out and evolved into a proposal is a SEEDS Basic Income. A Basic Income that is designed economically sustainable, that reverses inequality and that motivates both regenerative individuals and regenerative organizations to join SEEDS.

To see what I have written about the proposal of the Basic Income, you can check out this separate topic I have made for the SEEDS Basic Income Proposal through the link below.

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The Planted Seeds score (and all of the scores for that matter) are designed and implemented as percentiles, so there is less dynamic range among all the people in the community. Someone with 1m Seeds planted might be in the 99th percentile, while only 25k Seeds planted might land you in the 98th percentile. So, there is no really meaningful direct benefit to planting 1m Seeds as compared with 25k Seeds in that example.

The referendum on the topic of the 30% one-time bonus for planted Seeds passed, so this bonus will only be applicable to Seeds planted prior to the upcoming Equinox. And it requires the Seeds to stay planted to GoLive (unknown how far in the future). There have been some good discussions regarding the implementation of this one-time bonus, but I don’t know if they are completed. This bonus was a historic design prior to the Harvest Protocol, and it’s no longer serving the purpose. So, it’s ending.

I love all your questions, and I hope we get to chat on zoom one of these days. Don’t have more time right now for further thoughts. :slight_smile:

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Great questions, Bart!

Just a short collection of thoughts while reading:

The metaphor of a bridge between worlds …
In another circle is another metaphor used: the two canoes - feet in both canoes is very destabilizing …

wealth ever is connected to power
Wealth is a kind of hoarding the frozen life energy of other people (my thoughts after having read the books of the late Bernard Lietaer) …

decoupling from the problem of wealth without pitchforks & guillotines :wink: leads me to a book written by Giles Ducommun, who was cofounder of the Integral Party in Switzerland:
“Nach dem Kapitalismus”.

There he did lay out a transformational process of about 50 years with the real statistic numbers of Switzerland to get to a more equally distributed financial situation of the swiss citizens.
Unfortunately it’s in german language only. I could translate parts of it? If interest & need be.
Bildschirmfoto Gil Ducommun vom 2021-08-18 09-08-26

The book outlines the foundations of an integral society that strives for more realisation for all people and more respect for nature. It explores the question: What does an economic order after capitalism look like, based on a rational-spiritual worldview?

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I’m so glad that there is a discussion here about how to integrate a universal basic income protocol into SEEDS, as I see that as crucial to the eventual success of SEEDS not only in the global South, but also to the success of SEEDS globally, as many of the most exciting and innovative regenerative projects are in the global South and therefore a rich source of learning and regenerative resources for the whole SEEDS community. I find it curious that there’s a tension within SEEDS between a basic income and an earned income, as just being human involves work of some kind, and especially a human trying to be a citizen of a community. Even voting is work, and valuable work in a democratic community too (ancient Athens paid its citizens to vote, otherwise it would never had had a high enough quorum within its polis to make its democracy work). But you can’t do any meaningful kind of community work if your basic needs can’t be met first and especially if you don’t have enough money for food. So, for me, a Universal Basic Income is the same in effect as a Universal Earned Income. The only issue is how to design that Universal Basic/Earned Income so that all SEEDS citizens can have enough regular income coming in to meet at least enough of their basic needs to ensure that they can sustain meaningful contributions towards the development of the SEEDS ecosystem, especially where they live. The best model I’ve found so far for using cryptocurrency and blockchain tech to transfer wealth from the global North to the global South in a way that uses low-level mobile phone tech is the impactMarket model. Could we not use that model, or some aspects of it to build a similar protocol within SEEDS or at least partner up with one or more of the organisations behind impactMarket to use their protocol as an add-on to SEEDS? Some global South communities, especially in places like Africa, are going to need regular injections of financial capital from the global North if their regenerative SEEDS projects are ever to take off at scale, so if some in SEEDS don’t want Seeds to be sold for fiat currency in those communities to meet basic needs or basic start-up costs, then some alternative to that has to be offered to those communities if the inequality issue within SEEDS is to be truly reduced over time. Some sort of SEEDS Basic Income is that answer, in my view.

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@Fabi and @Melanie have you seen this conversation here? 🧚‍♀️

@Bart I was wondering if you feel comfortable merging this exploration group thread with the one on SEEDS Basic Income? No worries if not; they just felt very overlapping/interconnected to me.

@Kath.PlanetHive they are very interconnected. My thinking was that separating them and linking them together would be better to keep more of an overview. That is why I ended the post I started this topic with like this:

I feel like if I start all conversations about these opportunities and proposals I am preparing inside this topic it is going to become harder to follow and less accessible to step in. I feel like the way it is set up now simplifies to go more in depth.

I’ll put some more effort on making clear links from the one topic to the other :slight_smile: I think that would be a valuable way to keep them as interconnected as possible while being seperate.

What do you think?

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Hi Bart, I’m so glad I suggested you do a presentation on the last call! I just had an intuitive hit we were in alignment and really wanted to understand more in depth details on your design.
This is just plain synchronistic, I’ve had a concept on how to onboard a specific demographic (will give detail later on later when more formed) a week or so ago. Since then I’ve reached out to others I thought may carry the same kind of vision, to connect and co-create it. They are up for it and we are beginning! It is very much inline with the topic you touched on above:
“We could further change our focus from trying to get money in, to an even bigger focus to try to get more people and organizations in. If we have enough people and organizations involved they will bring forward the same and more value”.
This proposal/campaign?? (not sure what its category in) we would be bringing, in its early stage would be for the individual. And it may be that the model could also work for the organization.
Did you watch the video Irina just shared? You may want to watch it soon. In it he’s saying a lot, but one of the things that comes to mind with where all this is at present is, that you have to take action and do it! It won’t be perfect and it will change, so not to try and make that happen beforehand. The bottom line is, what’s in place now isn’t working and you can’t continue to build on something that does not work.
What your proposing is truly needed and I’m holding that it will be accepted and move forward quickly! All the best Support for you and this. And what I can contribute I will certainly help with. Thank You!

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@markflowfarm and I have set up a Zoom to talk about what is being discussed in this topic on Wednesday 2021-08-25T16:00:00Z2021-08-25T16:40:00Z

@DayaJ @reyna @Kath.PlanetHive @andythegreenie. Do you know anyone else who could be interested?

Zoom link:

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Yes! I’ll let others know and also here’s a link we may want to revisit or have to refer to.
https://seedslibrary.com/decentralized-governance-and-regeneration-evolving-democracy-to-better-serve-people-and-our-planet/

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Hi @Bart @markflowfarm May I ask if I can be included in future meetings?
Would love to join. I will try to be at the meeting on Wed but may be only for 30 min.

I was in a small group with @Bart for Ambassador in Action where we supported @Bart with proposing his UBI concept. Our small group really saw its potential and love to continue to be part of its journey, wherever it takes us.

Thank you too @DayaJ for informing me of this meeting. Much gratitude.

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The Planted Seeds score. Planted Seeds is the easiest way to earn a return on Seeds that you’re not spending, and also the way to get “free” transactions. (Quoted from the Passport app)

I other words. Who owns more Seeds than others (which is possible by being wealthier than others), earns a higher return and has cheaper transactions, meaning that the wealthy get wealthier with their wealth.

Any form where wealth makes one wealthier, inequality grows. Any place where inequality grows, hierarchic relationships become more present and communities get more pulled apart, while the community as a whole becomes less productive. Resource has shown how both the wealthy minority and the excluded majority consciously suffer from this situation (especially mentally), while they as individuals are often unable to fix the systemic issue that caused the inequality.

In the current design of the Seeds token, the Planted Seeds and its protocol to incentivize planting are important for the health of the system. Suggesting to fix the inequality issue in a way where a redesign of the Seeds token is not necessary, the following question rises up in my mind:

How can we stimulate a maximum amount of Seeds to be planted without giving better/more rewards to those that have access to a higher amount of Seeds?

Something we could do is to determine the Planted Seeds score based on the percentage of the total Seeds the account holds. So:

A has a total of 15.000 Seeds, of which 1.200 Planted Seeds. A has 8% of Seeds planted.
B has a total of 190 Seeds, of which 100 Planted Seeds. B has 52,63% of Seeds planted.
A has many more Seeds planted, but yet B has a higher Planted Seeds score.

Now we would like to see that people that have a high Planted Seeds score also use Seeds a lot to trade goods and services with. For this purpose the Transaction Score and the Planted Seeds score could be interdependent (I’d suggest to merge them into 1 score).

With this protocol the people with more limited access to high amounts of Seeds can gain a Planted Seeds Score that is pretty much as high as the Planted Seeds Score of the wealthiest people in the ecosystem. Another interesting incentive here, is that where in the current protocol it doesn’t matter if you just nearly make it to a Planted Seeds Score of 99 or if you are millions of Seeds over. With this protocol it does make a difference to plant these extra millions of Seeds to bring up your Planted Seeds score. Here is left out that I think it would be preferable to avoid people to hoard Seeds beyond their needs, but that is another subject than how to make the Planted Seeds functional in a more equitable way :slight_smile:


Now that the Planted Seeds Score and the Transaction Score would become interdependent, it makes sense to also look at the inequality stimulation way the Transaction Score is designed. It seems again very simple; the higher a transaction, the more value it holds to ones transaction score.

Ideally we don’t want people to spend a lot of Seeds. We just want people to get what they need and use Seeds to get it. What it is that people need is up to them and there shouldn’t be a stimulation for anyone to spend more than what they need. Yet it is valuable and worth supporting that people use Seeds to get their goods and services. Tracking if people actually make transactions is a great way to verify if they are actually using Seeds to get their goods and services.

That ideal situation doesn’t even highlight that it is easier for wealthier people to get a higher Transaction Score. This raises the question:

How can we stimulate a maximum amount of Seeds to be transacted without giving better/more rewards to those that have access to a higher amount of Seeds?

The outcome here that makes sense from a utopian standpoint is to just base the Transaction Score on the amount of transactions someone does, thus leaving out the amount that gets transacted.
Another option could be to again create a formula based on the total amount of Seeds the transacting/receiving account is holding. I wouldn’t support this when measuring from the transacting account, because it incentivizes bigger consuming with no meaningful purpose other than having higher transactions. From the receiving account this situation doesn’t apply, so it could be considered to work only for the receiving account.

How important is it to have high amounts of bigger transactions anyways? Some specification here would be appreciated.


Now the Planted Seeds Score and the Transaction Score could merge into 1 Seeds Score in an equitable, economically sustainable way.

I would love to co-create to get this theory a bit more backed by showing the actual numbers and to bring this as a proposal for consent in next week’s Outer Space session.


@Rieki this is a written down variant of something you told me you would like to see written out when I brought it up in an Outer Space session some weeks ago.

@DayaJ @markflowfarm @julioholon @Samara_StartupShaman @DaYa

Any thoughts?

Is this CET @Bart? Or UTC?

Everyone sees the time in their own timezone. So it is 5:00 PM UK time. 18:00 CET.

Bart - thanks good to know . See you tomorrow …

Is there a follow-up call on this EG? @Bart

Today there is a call about the SEEDS Basic Income proposal at 15:00 CET - SEEDS Basic Income - #30 by Bart

This call is somewhat related but involves many more aspects than just reversing inequality.

After the previous call, there was a Discord focus group created on this topic. You can let me know if you want to be part of this focus group.

No one has scheduled a follow-up call yet, but it will be planned shortly.

With the Reversing Inequality for Shared Prosperity Exploration Group my vision is to:

  • Create a Seeds Gini Coefficient and other measurements to better map how equitable the SEEDS ecosystem actually is
  • Tweak some protocols that are currently into place to fully remove the benefits of financial wealth in SEEDS other than having more to spend. E.g. on the contribution score.
  • Investigate what new-paradigm protocols can support that inequality gets reversed and that it doesn’t happen again (with potentially different and unknown causes). Exploration in the field of demurring and expiring tokenizing and projects like a UBI are part of this development. (The SEEDS Basic Income proposal and the development of this is separated from this Exploration Group because it involves a much broader scope than just reversing inequality (I saw you are present next week in the session about this))
  • Invite others to propose other insights and to invite people to work on these insights

That is now the basis of how to move forward.

I would like to propose the tweaks I envision to the Contribution Score as a Consent in an Outer Space call. Before that, I would like to collect feedback, thoughts and ideas. All is highly appreciated.

The proposal is not finished and I am grateful for anyone who feels called to co-create with me.