Open Collective
Open Collective
September 16th Update (Let's Get Organized)
Published on September 16, 2022 by Rudy Fraser

Hello Community 🌱,

As we approach nearly 100 community members and Papertree's 3rd month of operation, I wanted to take a moment to reset and reintroduce Papertree to you all. Whether you've been here from day 1 or just tapped in this week, by the end of this update you'll hopefully understand:
  • What exactly is Papertree (the problem + how I'm approaching things)
  • The big ambitious idea Papertree is chasing
  • The milestones needed to get there and how you can help
This is a long one, so buckle up! But before getting into that, a couple shoutouts...

Papertree is only as impactful and effective as its community. I'd like to recognize a couple folks on behalf of the broader community:
  • @Robin Laster thank you for answering last week's call-to-action!! Your contribution helped cover a Brooklyn Packers grocery order from one of our neighbors. Many thanks to you for tuning in and supporting.
  • @Dennis Irizarry -- if you haven't seen here, here, or here Dennis is the recipient of Papertree's first ever issued HyperCertificate. Each HyperCert represents 1 months worth of food & groceries contributed to the community. In Dennis's own words, "Bedstuy was [his] home for a few years and [he's] so happy to give back". More details on HyperCerts are later on in this update.

Congrats again Dennis!

So, what is Papertree?

Papertree's mission is to make it mutually beneficial to fund hyperlocal social impact efforts.

Let's break that down:
  • Mutually Beneficial (aka positive-sum aka win-win): Many of us are familiar with zero-sum scenarios -- situations where more for you is less for me. A key goal for Papertree is to create scenarios where more for you can also be more for me. For example, with Papertree you can contribute $100 one week, then use $100 the next week. That's not possible with traditional charitable organizations.
  • Hyperlocal Funding: The nonprofit industrial complex has plenty of avenues for funding already, but hyperlocal, unincorporated, grassroots organizations do not. Without a consistent stream of funds, it's difficult for these groups to sustain themselves and many are short lived efforts. A key next step for Papertree is to drive sustainable funding to groups making measurable local impact like We The People NYC or Bed Stuy Strong.
  • Social Impact Efforts: I am personally very passionate about food justice and food sovereignty, but as many of you have pointed out, it's all connected. Star Route for example is a farm with a social justice mission that inherently cuts across issues like climate change, health, and food insecurity. The tools I'm building with Papertree can easily be applied to other domains beyond food justice.
Beyond the mission, Papertree is at its core a technology project. What makes Papertree different from the groups mentioned above is that the plan is to scale primarily using software instead of volunteers.

Putting it all together -- what are you building?

Figure: Possible dynamics between participants in a hypercerts ecosystem, from Protocol Labs

Let's talk through what's been built so far which has laid the groundwork for where we're heading:
  • v1 Papertree is a site where you can contribute funds to a shared, transparent wallet and anyone else in your neighborhood can use those funds to buy food and groceries. Over $2.1K worth of groceries was contributed by the Papertree community with close to no human hours required!
  • v2 Papertree works just like with v1 except that contributions are made with ETH instead of USD. Whereas v1 required Papertree to be incorporated, have a bank account, set up stripe, pay for website hosting, etc. -- v2 handled all of that in 70 lines of code.
  • v3 Papertree seeks to make contributions to Papertree and other social impact projects a positive-sum transaction. In recognition of the impact you helped create, contributors will be rewarded with Papertree issued HyperCertificates of Impact, both a commemorative one and an ERC1155 NFT which can be sold and traded on NFT marketplaces like OpenSea.
Which brings us to the next big idea...

Social Impact Scoring

There are many organizations (incorporated or otherwise) who's stakeholders would appreciate a transparent way to evaluate the impact their organization is having on their community and environment. ESG scores exist today but aren't transparent and aren't always measuring impact.

A double benefit of Impact HyperCertificates is they provide an easy way to create one of these transparent impact scores based on the underlying data represented by the certificate (example) while also providing a compelling reason for why an organization may want to buy one of these certs from someone (to increase their score).

The next step for Papertree is to create a general scoring algorithm that can take multiple HyperCerts from any social impact project that issues one in order to come up with an impact score across multiple categories (ex. climate impact, community impact, etc.). After that will come a dedicated marketplace specifically for trading HyperCerts!

Don't worry -- v1 Papertree isn't going anywhere! But these additional efforts will help to keep it sustainable in supporting local neighborhoods.

Wrapping this up + how you can help 

A world where Papertree is maximally successful is a world where:
  • Social Impact Projects like WTP or BSS receive consistent funding to sustain their work
  • Funders are able to mutually benefit off of their contributions such that they're able to continually fund projects (creating consistent funding)
  • Organizations can present their stakeholders with a transparent, verifiable impact score attracting better talent, investment, etc. in return for funding social impact projects
Like I mentioned to Chris W. earlier today, there’s no shortage of help needed at the moment 😅 
Some ways to help are:
  • Continuing to follow, share, and engage with Papertree. New social media pages are up at LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • Help finding a CPA and startup lawyer! Probably the most urgent need right now as tax time can get tricky with the constant transmission of funds via Cash App, Venmo, Paypal, and Zelle
  • Smart Contract Auditing: Contrary to popular belief, NFTs are not just JPEGs -- they're immutable blocks of code behind the scenes and buggy code can be costly. The code I wrote for HyperCertificates is non-trivial and should probably be audited. If you know of anyone in this space, I'd love to connect.
  • Corporate Fundraising: I haven't begun this process yet, but if anyone knows any seed-stage investors that would be aligned with Papertree's mission and values I would love to connect with them
  • Partnerships: If you know of a tech-friendly or web3-curious social impact project anywhere in the US that would be interested in working with Papertree, please feel free to send them my way! Likewise, if you know of any organizations that would be interested in getting an on-chain social impact score I would love to start having those conversations as well!
If you're seeking volunteer opportunities in the next week -- let me know! There's quite a few coming up for BSS, BAM, and WTP including this weekend and next and I can share more details directly.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this and for going on this journey with me. You are appreciated. 🌱

Have a great weekend!