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Introducing... ORGO!

Today’s essay features a new app to regenerate the planet by gamifying land stewardship and enabling decentralized governance of community assets by a runner-up team from SNI’s Winter 2022 Hackathon Challenge… Enjoy! — SNI

O.R.G.O. - Organize. Restore. Govern. Outlast.

The ORGO app has a clear mission: to regenerate the planet by gamifying land stewardship and enabling decentralized governance of community assets. The team behind this initiative truly believes humans can become a force for good.
By providing easy access to environmental conservation tasks in need of completion, ORGO allows volunteers, visitors, and community residents to quickly find and complete pending ‘assignments’ within the app. Volunteers who maintain local ecosystems’ well-being with the ORGO app are incentivized to continue active participation through earning rewards, points, and badges based on completion of work. Such engagement through gamification enables greater social responsibility and civic action.

With ORGO, nature’s sovereignty is achieved by directing individuals to take controllable steps that express nature’s will and prioritize land preservation and maintenance tasks. A core app feature provides nature a ‘voice’ by using Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs). DIDs allow nature to essentially ‘vote’ for itself by granting the most active and highest-ranked app users to vote on nature’s behalf.

The ORGO team is taking a holistic approach by focusing on a combination of the following three areas: 1) active individual participation in the maintenance of the land, 2) generating community interaction and collaboration, and 3) education through hands-on learning.

When thinking of today’s communities and environment, there are two key issues that ORGO is working to address. The first issue is the disconnect between what humans want and what nature needs. The second issue is a separation of responsibility between passive and active community members that are directly responsible for maintaining their local land. In addition to these core issues, there is a distinct lack of knowledge and understanding of local ecosystems and the gravity of human impact. Humans must acknowledge that their daily decisions affect the community and the environment positively and negatively.

While community volunteers and local workers can be valuable assets in solving these problems, we believe there is a more sustainable and regenerative approach to pursue.

Learning by doing

From ORGO’s perspective, community visitors and volunteers will gain invaluable experience through task completion via the app and learn the correct procedures and achieve a richer understanding of why these tasks are important to complete in the first place. ORGO users will learn about the carbon cycle, phytoremediation, and their local environments on a broader scope. As users develop open-source task methodologies and best practices, their experience and procedural knowledge can be shared with other individuals who can use the observations to benefit their communities. Scientists can benefit as well. Experts can use the app to evaluate each task's social and environmental impact and set biocompatible design standards from their research.

Building community 

ORGO’s goal is to scale greater engagement across global communities. Networking with volunteers will occur organically through social networks and the ORGO Earth Points (EP) leaderboard. Traveling users will be able to find more communities to volunteer with through ORGO’s global opportunities feature. These features will facilitate team building and the creation of an ecosystem of conservation teams dedicated to regenerating nature’s health and well-being globally.

How the ORGO app works - rewards and credentials

Rewards on the ORGO app consist of benefits provided to humans and environmental entities upon completing a task, such as soil sampling, phytoremediation, hosting educational tours, pruning, and litter pickup. Currently, users receive three main types of rewards: ORGO EP, governance tokens, and NFTs, in addition to one essential credential.

First, completed tasks are recorded on KILT Protocol’s blockchain in the form of a credential. Users sign up for a task listed on the active tasks list, perform the work, and submit evidence of completion. Evidence may be textual, photographic, or reputation-based. Dedicated community managers verify credentials. Through KILT, the ORGO app user is the ‘claimer’ who receives the attestor's non-transferable credential. 

The credentials created by the ORGO app will become a source for data collection and will function as a hub for monitoring and reporting the data. Metadata can identify volunteers in the community and maintain an ongoing ledger of tasks in need of completion across different locations.

ORGO Earth Points are a flat reward given to each user based on the complexity and time required to complete a task. This is a simple reward structure that does not have any monetary value. ORGO EP is how users build their rank on the app’s leaderboard and allows users to share their progress and dedication on social media.

Next, when incorporating the ORGO app into any community, the community itself will initialize a governance token. The governance token is primarily used for voting power within the community and may or may not have a monetary value. Distributing this token as a task reward ensures that the community governance is worker-owned, and both users and environmental entities are increasing their voice over time. The governance token reward can dynamically adjust to prioritize tasks most needed by the community and nature.

An NFT (Non-Fungible Token) digital twin of the credential allows investors to contribute to specific projects and tasks. For example, a grant sponsor that wishes to study phytoremediation results over three years can pre-purchase the associated NFTs for the tasks required. Users can then receive payments for the tasks they complete. NFTs can showcase philanthropists’ investments as an art collection.

ORGO’s next steps

ORGO is currently building a prototype of the ORGO app for trial testing at SNI’s first-ever public Experimental Zone Event on May 21 at the De Ceuvel space in Amsterdam. The team has secured developers for the buildout of the minimum viable product and plans to launch it for De Ceuvel’s community. Ahead of the Experimental Zone Event, ORGO has been conducting survey interviews with community leaders, volunteers, and data collectors to gather feedback on the user experience and improve the app’s functionality. 

Strong partnerships with third-party verifiers and data collection agencies are key for ORGO to bring long-term value to the environment and growth to more communities. Access to grants and funding is crucial to sustaining their business model. Investors and sponsors who share in ORGO’s mission are welcome to build a partnership with the team to meet their own goals.

Long-term, ORGO will reinvent the social construct between nature and humans to create a lasting, positive impact on the planet. To date, Earth has been hurt by human hands. The team believes that humans taking collective action can be profoundly regenerative, just as it has previously been destructive. This idea is powered by a group of passionate individuals who want to bring regenerative change to the world by infusing the existing task-reward model to benefit the current ecosystem while setting up a successful structure for future generations.

Interpreting nature’s sovereignty

To the ORGO team, ‘sovereign nature’ means giving environmental entities a seat at the table, paying them for their work, the value they have created, and listening to their ongoing ecological and conservation needs.  

A combination of steward volunteers, community leaders, stakeholders, and scientists can collectively ‘listen’ to nature and imagine her will. Humans are needed to perform tasks that nature cannot do herself. Governance tokens can be used to indicate the community vision, and ORGO’s rewards platform can dynamically adjust financial incentives to prioritize tasks that nature and the community desire.

The team behind ORGO

The ORGO team comprises individuals from diverse backgrounds in landscape architecture, city planning, real estate, project management, and corporate banking. They are currently looking for developers to join the team as they build out the application. Apply to work on ORGO here.

Special thank you to team members Joe Nisbett, Jolly Patel, Katie Kazmi, Chris Fernandez, Erin England, Alex Anderson, Tim Herring, and Brandi Beverage for the development of this blog. Learn more about the ORGO app by visiting their website, Linktree, and following them on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, in addition to joining their Discord channel.