A Decentralized Right to Breathe?

Daniela Gandorfer, Zulaikha Ayub

"A Decentralized Right to Breathe," explores the potential for web3 and SocialTech to empower marginalized communities suffering from breathing injustices. By creating community-based financial ecosystems and a network of activists, LoPh aims to build a decentralized future of rights that breaks away from hyper-capitalist modes of extraction.

The future of law and governance is being designed right now - not in parliaments, courts, or law schools, but in web3. Indeed, one of the most-heralded promises web3 holds is decentralization and thus, per the claim, democratization through the elimination of intermediaries and centralized powers. Blockchain-based community DAOs and smart cities, startup societies, and network states are increasingly considered as viable alternatives to traditional entities, both public and private. While such models are presented as carrying the potential of distributing value differently, ideally more equally and democratically, they are also big business, yet again running the risk of re-centralizing wealth and property. In addition, what is absent from developments within web3 is the question of civil and human rights, a realm historically a prerogative of the centralized state.

LoPh’s “Decentralized Right to Breathe” addresses this gap by actively working on the increasingly digitalized future of rights, no less in the face of climate change, hyper-financialization, and political conflict. Rather than dictating abstract norms “from above,” we leverage the potential of web3 and SocialTech to empower disadvantaged communities suffering from breathing injustices, by building self-determining financial ecosystems and creating a decentralized network of activists for the future.

The questions we address at the dawn of web3 are: Can justice and breathable atmospheres be incentives for private and public stakeholders? If so, can we break from hyper-capitalist modes of extraction by community-based practices of value creation and distribution? Can practices of commoning – the sharing of resources and modes of living – create the social-material fabric of a decentralized right to breathe? At Re:publica, we wish to share with the audience real-world approaches towards these questions, and invite all to participate in our shared responsibility towards a breathable future.

Color photograph of Daniela Gandorfer against a grey background.
Co-founder and Co-Director
Black & white photograph of Zulaikha Ayub from mid-torso upwards
Co-founder and Co-Director