DWeb Camp 2022: A Grounded Convening of Those Building a Decentralized, Values-Driven Web

Much has changed since 2016, when the Internet Archive held the first Decentralized Web Summit. Scrappy teams with lean funding have grown into formidable organizations with budgets in the millions. Niche technologies and far-fetched debates from a few years ago have dominated headlines and are shaping entire harvest.

Each of the DWeb events reflected a moment in a quickly shifting landscape of protocols, institutions, and ideologies. In the three years since DWeb Camp in 2019, some major trends have transformed people’s thinking. The explosion of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into the mainstream. The renaissance of projects centered on shared ownership and governance of assets. The reckoning with the power and potential of decentralized technologies: to either further entrench existing social inequities and exacerbate ecological harm, or radically reconstruct the ways in which individuals and communities can meaningfully address these and other crises of our time.

As organizers of this community, the defining change was the development of the DWeb Principles. The Principles help us to define what we stand for, instead of simply what we stand against. They emerged out of discussions and alignment between many members of the DWeb community, and are just one part of a growing awareness of the ethics and beneficiaries of decentralized digital ecosystems.

DWeb Camp 2022 will be held from August 24-28 at Camp Navarro, California. As the programming takes shape, the themes, spaces, and participants of this year’s event clearly reflect where we are in this still nascent movement. At DWeb Camp, we’ll be hacking and live testing cutting edge decentralized protocols, platforms, and hardware. We’ll tackle thorny topics about who these tools serve and how to govern and steward them sustainably. We’ll confront questions about power, marginalization, community, identity, ecology, and human rights.

With all the DWeb events, we aim to create spaces for people to share their ideas, projects, and research among warm, supportive peers who believe in a plurality of approaches and solutions to build a decentralized values-driven web. By meeting in-person, outdoors among towering redwood trees, DWeb Camp is about manifesting that ethos as we invite all those participating to bring their full selves. We’re designing this event to be a place for us to be curious and humble. Not to come with all the answers but to be open to having your mind and heart changed.

Below are some of the Spaces, or thematic sessions, that will be held throughout the five-day event. In addition to the Spaces described below, we will build a local Mesh Network Across the campground for participants to share locally-hosted materials, test hardware, and experience a community network first-hand.

Spaces

  • Hackers Hall – Tech projects, Science Fair, and User testing
  • Healing Waters in Cambium Pavillion Conversations, music, tea, and storytelling
  • People-2-People Tent – Exploration of emergent wisdom through play
  • Open Source Library – Storytelling, books and games
  • Redwood Parliament Pavilion – Imagine and co-inspire a governance layer for the DWeb
  • Filecoin Foundation Forest Hang Out – Connect with new friends while lying in hammocks
  • Redwood Cathedral – Wellness, meditation, and conversation
  • Universal Access Amphitheater – Talks and breakout discussions
  • Be Water Waystation Art and hands-on programs for children
  • Thunder Salon – Lightning talks

We’re lucky to have an incredible group of people stewarding the programming in each space, ensuring that the sessions invite collective practice in discussion, imagination, and play. Continue reading below for more detailed descriptions of some of the Spaces, written by the stewards. An online schedule of all the sessions in each space will become available the week of the event.

Hackers Hall

The Hacker’s Hall is the place for people of technical and non-technical backgrounds to meet each other at all hours of the day and night. We will have Wi-Fi, couchs, whiteboards, and tables. It will be the Mesh Network Hub of the Camp. Come to the Science Fair on Thursday, where everyone can try interactive demos of existing decentralization projects and meet the people who are building them. Then on Friday, come to “Dogfooding Decentralization,” a User Testing Lab for DWeb project. Each team will have office hours where you can come deep dive with them.

Come build on and improve projects, test software, be a user tester, meet developers and designers, ask questions, and learn new things about the decentralization all around us!

Healing Waters in Cambium Pavilion

Oceans and creeks, rivers and lakes, from the clouds in the sky to the pipes in our homes, water connects us all. This is the focus of Healing Waters at DWeb camp, an Indigenous-led, multi-modal celebration of this precious substance that supports all life on Earth. By the meeting place of the Navarro River and the Pacific Ocean, Healing Waters invites DWeb campers to explore their relationship to water and what it means to be fluid, literally and metaphorically. Our programming navigates the currents leading from Indigenous technologies and storytelling to hyper-modern science and cartography, with ports of call in art, music, politics, poetry, history, and mythology.

Programming Highlights:

  • A conversation led by Haudenosaunee artists Asha Veeraswamy and Amelia Winger-Bearskin about the parallels between open-source technology, decentralization, and the consensus-building practices that led to the formation of the Iroquois Confederacy, and deeply influenced the US Constitution
  • Data visualization workshop using real water data from the US Geological Survey led by data manager/designer Martha Bearskin
  • Real-time data-driven VJ session featuring artist/technologist Devin Ronneberg
  • Morning communal singing rituals led by artist and opera singer Amelia Winger-Bearskin
  • Musical performances and night raves in the majestic redwood forest
  • Sound baths (meditative experiences in which the audience is “bathed” in immersive spatialized audio)
  • Martial arts instruction, guiding students to access the deep aquifer of intuition that flows just below the conscious mind

People-2-People Tent

Let’s myceliate!

Let’s root and spread our hyphae through the ground: tree-to-tree, person-to-person, peer-to-peer, and node-to-node.

Let’s relieve networks of the extractive transactional usage and explore in earnest what it’s like to design, form, and experience networks the way fungi do. The way the complex systems of our bodies do. The way humans do when we weave our relational webs. Our webs have connections, overlapping points, tensions, resistances, and anchors.

Let’s weave, let’s twine, let’s interwingle. Let’s use our technologies of language, of frames, of digital media to better see and play with these patterns of relating in real time, in real life, with each other.

Those working on peer-to-peer (P2P) projects are invited to do a Kindergarten Lightning Talk to share their technologies using crayons and paper and pipe cleaners. We’ll have interactive sessions from different P2P projects like Scuttlebutt, Holochain, and Fluence. There will be a full on battle session (playful, of course) between blockchain folks and fully distributed folks over what the “D” in DWeb stands for. Think arts and crafts and workshops meet P2P technology!

Filecoin Foundation Forest Hang Out

Our Venue Sponsor, Filecoin Foundation, invites you to hang out in the trees and meet Foundation leaders. This is the place to come to chill, meet new friends, and enjoy late night pizza cooked to order in a wood-fired oven on Wednesday and a Silent Disco on Friday.

Open Source Library

Looking for a place of quiet contemplation? Come to the Open Source Library to peruse some favorite books of your fellow campers. We’ll ask each person to bring a few meaningful books to give away. Authors’ talks and storytelling, game nights and children’s films will all take place in the Library.

Redwood Parliament Pavilion

Imagine an Internet where democracy is at least as available as autocracy.

The decentralized Internet is a complex network of technical and social interdependencies; a mix of protocols and the communities that thrive in and across the network. However, the Internet as it currently exists has been flattened and consolidated to render these socio-technical complexities into top-down, autocratic defaults for social organization. And yet, these interdependencies continue to grow, challenging and proving the current form of the Internet socially unsustainable; calling us instead to develop more collective means and intuitions for how we govern our commons.

Redwood Parliament is a collection of events at DWeb Camp that will address these interdependencies in all of their complexity and practice alternatives to autocracy.

The track will bring practitioners together, researchers, artists, builders, and dreamers to imagine and co-inspire a governance layer for the decentralized Internet. Over four days, campers will have the opportunity to participate in a collection of distributed activities, workshops, and discussions designed to give us the conceptual and experiential tools and frameworks that we can take with us to help us do this work.

Together, we will:

  • explore ways of flexibly composing and experimenting with different decision making structures through workshops and hands on engagement with new digital-native tools;
  • Immerse ourselves in a black-box modular governance Live Action Role Play (LARP);
  • Collectively develop a map of governance practices and protocols existing across the decentralized Internet;
  • Read, annotate, and be guided through various constitutions forming around the decentralized Internet;
  • Design ecological patterns, protocols, and mechanisms, guided by the ethos of the DWeb, to shape and inform the inter-relationship between our physical and economic environments; and
  • Engage in speculative writing and world building exercises focused on imagining approaches to governance past, present, and future;

These activities and happening will complement and inform a series of meta-level discussions around that the organizers of the Redwood Parliament have been on this topic of a governance layer for the decentralized Internet.

Redwood Parliament is a joint collaboration between Metagov, the Internet Archive, and RadicalxChange, with support from the Unfinished Network and the National Science Foundation.

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