45 - Investing for systemic change in a world of Web3


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In an era already notable for remarkable technological innovation, we are approaching a precipice that could potentially make the last 30 years of progress seem quaint by comparison. The dawn and convergence of artificial intelligence, genome sequencing, robotics, energy storage, and the blockchain threaten to fundamentally disrupt the status quo as we know it.

The advent of the blockchain, for instance, has led to a paradigm shift - known as Web3. This paradigm shift is seeing a move away from the closed protocol that has dominated software development over the past 20 years — where the Twitter's, Facebook's, and Google's of the world own their user data and collect the lion's share of the economic value — and moving to a world of open sourced development where creators and communities share the economics and users own their data.

Already terms like DeFi (Decentralized Finance), DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations), and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are entering the common vernacular, even if many of us still don't quite understand them. At their best, innovations like this are allowing people to work collaboratively in ways that allow communities to form, share ownership, establish good governance, and operate transparently. But already there are those who worry that the potential of web3 is being co-opted by big business.

Enter today's guest, Michael Lewkowitz, Co-Founder and General Partner at Possibilian Ventures; a pre-seed / seed investor in companies building a better future across the transition and cooperation economies. What makes Possibilian particularly interesting is that it is focused on supporting founders who are leveraging these converging technological breakthroughs to unlock true systems change to address the two biggest existential threats we face: climate change and inequality.

During the episode, Michael and I discuss Possibilian's unique thesis, five areas of transition we're currently experiencing, the definition of terms like Web3, DeFi, NFTs, and DAOs, why Web3 could massively disrupt the status quo, and examples of investments Possibilian is making in companies leveraging these technologies for systemic change. And be sure to stay tuned to the very end where Michael shares his outlook for what possibilities these new technologies could enable over the next decade.

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