Join Kes in meeting Dame to discuss education, accessibility and inclusion in web3.
Welcome to Protein’s podcast, “Stories of Growth”, a series of conversations with founders and thought leaders doing amazing things around the globe who share their stories of growth and the lessons they've learned along the way. I'm Kes Inkersole, Community Manager of Protein DAO, focusing on events and DEI. I'm also studying an MA in internet equalities at the UAL CCI, and I'm obsessed with people who are dedicating themselves to creating safer digital spaces.
For Season Five, we're moving into the world of web3, and speaking to people who are putting communities first in order to manifest a more equitable, and decentralized future. In this episode, I catch up with Dame, who we think is an absolute icon of education, accessibility and inclusivity in the web3 space. And who describes themselves as a web3 educator and community cultivator. We discussed the opportunities web3 provides to create a better internet, digital activism and the importance of believing in something. This was recorded live in the Protein Discord, so make sure you follow our socials, or visit protein.xyz for all our other upcoming events.
Yes, I'll start by introducing myself and explain why I'm hosting this episode. So my name is Kes, I'm community manager at the Protein DAO, focusing on setting up our events and leading our DEI work, as I'm really passionate about this, and making spaces digital spaces safer, which is why I'm also studying an MA in internet equalities at the UAL CCI. And at Protein, we've been a huge fan of Dames’ for a long time, and all of their important and exciting work surrounding education, inclusivity, and the nurturing of communities online and in web3. We've also just wrapped up our Anecdotal Archive series at Protein with our member baby guava, discussing experiences of belonging in digital spaces. So it feels really relevant to chat to Dame now as a nice way to carry on this conversation and see what else is going on within the space inside web3. So yeah, enough about us and me, it would be great to hear from you, Dame, a bit about yourself, and what you're focusing on at the moment.
Hey, everyone, yeah, thanks so much for having me, I've heard so many great things about Protein, so when you reached out to have me come on, I was very excited. Thanks for having me. So my name is Dame, for those who don't know me, I've been in this web3 sort of ecosystem space for a little over a year now. I think I got sort of into it back in January of 2021…feels like a lot longer than it really is. So I'm definitely not an OG or anything, I actually was very sceptical of cryptocurrency for quite some time and sort of wrote it off. And you know, I sort of did not really see people like me here for a long time. And so just didn't seem like the kind of place for me, but over time, I started actually taking a closer look and seeing if there might actually be something here that is worth paying attention to. And I discovered there was, and that led me down sort of a path of trying out all this technology related to NFT's and blockchain and, very quickly, I sort of fell in love with it and realised that it did have a lot of potential to do some really great things and in in helping make the internet a better place. And I felt like that was a I felt like that was a worthy cause to devote some of my time and energy towards and so I decided to sort of pivot my career from sort of traditional tech startups and doing marketing in those places and, and pivot and sort of enter into the web3 space.
I worked at an Ethereum wallet for quite some time. Initially I've participated in many DAOs and different projects and NFT things in the ecosystem. I think most people probably know me for my work doing education stuff at Rainbow and doing NFT sort of investing and collecting and helping educate artists around how they can get introduced into this ecosystem and navigate it because it can be very overwhelming and challenging, especially if you're not a technical person. I'm very much not a technical person. So my passion has always been sort of helping bridge the gap between normal people and this industry because I do think that there is sort of a knowledge gap a lot of the times, and yeah, I love helping people cross that.
Also I'm non-binary I focus a lot in the space on trying to do whatever I can to make spaces and environments within the web3 ecosystem more diverse and inclusive and welcoming. There's definitely so many places within the ecosystem that are, you know, maybe not as friendly towards people like me. If you look, in certain corners of the crypto Twitter world, there could be lots of people who sort of…it's kind of their personality that they go around and sort of mocking, people who have, you know, pronouns in their bio, these sorts of things. So like anything, you know, there's always going to be a sub segment within an industry or community that is not the greatest and is not the most inclusive. But I finally dove into the world of web3 when I started to see more people like me here. And I wanted to do my best to be able to show people that this space is for them. And there is more here than just what they might see in the media or the headlines. So yeah, that's a little bit about me, Currently I'm honestly taking a break from many things. I still sort of collect NFT's and support artists as I can throughout the space and do some consulting and things on the side of helping people who are attempting to launch NFT collections or start up DAOs and provide them with my perspective and knowledge. I hate to call it expertise, because I've only been here a year, but I have, for whatever reason, I think I've managed to amass a certain set of skills and experience that is helpful to people who are trying to do those things. So yeah, so that is what I'm focused on now. I'm just really focused on continuing educating and helping people learn more about this technology.
Wow, thank you so much for that amazing introduction. I can't believe you’ve only been in the space for a year and you've done all this amazing stuff already. Very excited to see what else you do next. So I wanted to go back to what you said initially about how you came into web3, and the fact that you saw an opportunity to make the internet a better place. I wonder if you could expand on that a little bit? What opportunities did you see for you or your communities?
Totally. Yeah, I think I and many other people over the past like decade have been sort of, you know, acutely aware of both the benefits and the problems with how the Internet currently works. The dominance of certain social media platforms, and even this idea of surveillance capitalism and how data is being used to profit off of people’s sensitive information and intimate lives. Part of my career was in marketing, which, I had sort of a love-hate relationship with marketing, because there are many necessary good things that marketing can do and many beneficial things that can do.
But in how it relates to the internet over the past decade, it really turned into this thing that is very coupled with a lot of the things that make the internet kind of broken right now. Part of that is monopolies, part of it is our advertising-based revenue models and ad targeting. And so I saw a lot of how the ins and outs of all that stuff works in my career as a marketer, and the deeper I got into that career track, the more I saw, like how all this stuff works underneath, and I quickly started realising that I didn't like it, it wasn't something that I really wanted to be a part of. Through becoming more acutely aware of that, there was this moment where I started wondering, like…I deleted my Facebook account, I got off of a lot of different social media sites except for Twitter, and pared down my digital life to being somewhat minimal and just focusing on one platform and having a blog and that was about it. At the time, many people were starting to write books around, you know, there was lots of fear around the idea of screen time and how much time we're living in our digital environments and you had lots of books being written about quitting social media entirely and I started seeing this rise in this narrative and I couldn't help but feel like it was a reaction to something bad that was happening. And I couldn't help but feel like we shouldn't just abandon all this stuff just because something right now is not working and is bad, so it really did set me down a path of investigating and researching how the internet works, how it has been working, its impacts on society and cultures and creators and consumers and really trying to figure out what are the systemic problems that have caused a lot of these things and what might the solutions to those things be? Naturally, I started exploring a lot of emerging ideas and technologies that attempted to solve some of those problems. And one of those definitely was, you know, blockchain technology and web3 and that kind of thing. Honestly it was one of the last things on my list of things to research because I honestly did not believe that it was going to be a viable thing even though I didn't really know much about it. I knew its associations with so many people I didn't like and this bro culture of Bitcoin and this toxic maximalism that Bitcoin communities sometimes are very prevalent about. But I worked my way down this list of things I was researching and I finally came to blockchain technology and started investigating it.
I finally understood what the technology was. I also, at the time - I think this is probably late 2020, so sort of before the NFT boom occurred in March of 2021 - I did start to see some artists that I actually respected and loved, I saw them starting to dabble in this thing called NFT's. And at the time I was very confused by it and didn't really understand why it was something worth paying attention to. But I did continue following those artists and began seeing things, some very powerful things for them. So I think it was January of 2021, that I was like, well, I do feel like there's something here, I feel like there stands a chance of being a way that this technology, while it might not fix all of our problems, it might help us get to a better place. So I think a lot of times when people think about web3, there's a lot of people who I think view it as the be-all end-all, it's the solution to all of our problems, it's going to save us. And I don't really think that's the case. I think that in the same way that web2 was a marginal improvement over Web1, I think that web3 is going to be a marginal improvement over web2, it's definitely not going to fix all her problems and magically save us, and cure everything. But I do think that it stands a decent chance of providing some of the solutions that we need.
And so yeah, so I created my first Ethereum wallet. At the time, like I said, I kind of had written off Bitcoin for whatever reasons, and I was like, okay, there's a lot more to crypto and blockchains than just Bitcoin. So let me take a look and see what other kinds there are out there. And quickly, like, you know, I immediately realized that Ethereum was sort of the number two on the list of most people's lists. And I was like, well, I'll give this a chance. And I just read through the Ethereum Foundation site. I poured through a lot of the documentation and pages. Like I said, I'm not a technical person either. So I didn't really fully grasp a lot of the more math, cryptography sort of stuff. But I did get a sense that the values of the Ethereum community were very different than the values that I saw within the Bitcoin community. And they were values in which I felt like I could meet with and align with more fully. And so that was enough for me to give it a chance. And, yeah, one thing led to another and over the span of several months, I just started dabbling and testing, I made my first NFT, I bought some NFT's from some artists that I liked. And I started hearing more stories of how, especially from creators, who the current version of the web wasn't working for them at all and began seeing how this new version of the web actually was helping them. And so that got the gears turning for me and made me think that of all the possible solutions out there that this is while no means perfect, I think does stand a chance of doing some very, very powerful things for a lot of people.
Amazing. Thanks so much for sharing all of that. It sounds amazing. Your journey has been so interesting and very inspiring. I'm interested that you said even yourself that you felt a bit sceptical and a bit confused about web3 at first, and everything that comes with it like blockchain. And all the work you've done around education has been very inspiring to me… how you make it feel very understandable and very accessible for different kinds of people at different levels. And I wanted to ask you a bit about how you started coming up with those ways of educating and how they've been going in the space?
Yeah, I do think that part of that I think ties back into something that has always been a part of my life. I've always been a writer. From a very young age, I loved writing and communicating via the written word. Over my career as a marketer, I was very heavy into the world of copywriting and telling stories in a compelling way that resonated with people. You know, a lot of the times clients that I worked with, companies that I worked at, they were very close to the the product, or the thing that they had created, whatever it was - or there was a software or a shampoo or whatever - they were very close to this thing that they created. And they wanted people to believe - and they believed - would help people. And what you often see, though, is that the people who make products, they are often are so close to them, that they they can't do a very good job of communicating to outsiders about them, because for a variety reasons: they're very close to them, they have biases, they're just not really fully aware of the fact that they know so much information about it, that it makes it hard for them to know what they should and shouldn't say to outsiders, or new people. And that was true throughout my entire marketing career, no matter what I would sell or what I was trying to pitch to people.
And so the moment that I got into web3, I was sort of slapped in the face with just how poorly so many places were doing in terms of communicating about the technology, about their products, about their services. Oftentimes it would be too technical, or the person who was trying to explain a concept, they didn't think about the fact that there was a prerequisite concept that they needed to explain first before they even explained something else. And so, when I sort of set foot in the web3 ecosystem, I noticed this big need that there was around clearer and more compelling and effective communication when it comes to educating people about blockchains, about Ethereum, about NFT's. But then specifically about products, about DAOs. And so I felt that my experience and my skills communicating compellingly about these things in a way that would resonate with the average consumer, I felt like I had something that that the industry really needed. And I felt like I could step in and do a great job of helping bridge that sort of communication gap. And I was also useful because I was so new at the time that I could more easily resonate with an average normal consumer than I could with these people who have been in the industry for multiple years and have done all these amazing things here. So it was a good pivot. It was a good bridge because I myself, I was sort of on the journey of being a normal person attempting to cross over a bridge to get to web3. And I saw through my own journey that it was a very difficult bridge to gap. I managed to do it and bridge it, but I realised very quickly that I could be part of the solution in terms of helping make that bridge and make that journey, that crossover that people have to make, make that easier for them.
It was also an interesting point in my career, because like I said briefly earlier, I had been sort of in the marketing world, and I overtime was quickly - not quickly, it took many years - but over those years, I was becoming more and more uncomfortable with the industry and its practices. And so I was already at the time, wanting to shift away from being a marketer and become more of an educator and a communicator, because the things I loved marketing were being able to tell stories in a compelling and fun way and being able to deeply understand what a person's problems in their life are and knowing how I can connect a solution to that. And even if someone has a solution to a problem that someone else has, the other person who needs that solution can't always see that clearly. And so I think I saw this as my chance to shift my career more towards education and communicating around those kinds of things, rather than being a marketer who was trying to, like sell people on a product. So that's sort of where I think the focus on education came from, it really was sort of a combination of my passions, my skills and experience, the things that I really love doing. And, you know, in some ways it was a being at the right place at the right time. Like, I think that at the moment that I joined web3, there were not the abundance of educational resources that we now have today. Like, I still think there's many educational gaps and things. But here today, in April 2022, there's so much more resources and education, and coming from many different perspectives than there was back in December of 2020, when I first started investigating it. So I think that that is a huge success and I think that the space can be very proud of that. The fact that it has developed so much education and material over the span of just 12 months to be able to meaningfully make a difference. And in going from a point in which it was not that great to now I think it is good. I think there's still lots of ways we can make it better. But yeah, I think I think we've made a lot of progress over the past 12 months.
Amazing. I'm glad you're feeling optimistic. And I'm kind of feeling the same as well. I also really liked the analogy you said of that you were kind of like building the bridge from web2 to web3 as you were crossing it. And I think that's a really nice human and natural way to do things. I'm wondering how that process might have helped you build a community in terms of thinking around inclusivity as well. I think what you were kind of explaining shows how much web3 provides a space for communities to create our own education in ways that speak to us in the ways that we need. And I'm wondering what you think about the potential web3 has for activism or movements around inclusivity?
Yeah, one of the things I love the most about web3 is people can easily form communities and groups around particular topics. I think that the technology that we have around NFT's, around tokens, around native currencies that communities can create for themselves. Those things I think they can help. They can help bond people together and in a way that web2 technology couldn't as easily bond people together. And so I think that in terms of digital activism and activism worked down on the internet, I think there's long been problems in the sense of… I do think that one of the things that the Internet has not had for the longest time is native economies that are actually relatively easy to use natively on the internet. And I think for a long time, people sort of downplayed the, I guess, the importance of economies within groups of people or communities.
I think that a lot of the times in activism and, even traditional organisations and things like that, the economic component of the work is often either maybe not obscured, but it's not as easily understood, it's not easily visible and transparent sometimes. There’s a lot about going on for a long time about compensation and actually sustaining a lifestyle in activism, because, you know, you need money in order to survive and live. But I think a lot happening now around DAOs creating their own tokens and creating their own little micro economies and people contributing and collectively coming together to get a particular vision and mission accomplished. I think that we've seen that can happen a lot faster, and get rolling a lot faster, with a lot of this web3 technology than sometimes the web2 stuff can. I also think that if there's lots of ways that I think NFT's in particular can help in the realm of identity and group identity. I think one of the interesting things about the profile picture phenomenon that we see in the NFT space is it kind of hits upon a fundamental sort of human need of wanting to be a part of something, but not only wanting to be a part of something, but wanting other people to see that you're a part of something, and easily be able to see other people that are a part of the thing or that align with the thing that you're a part of.
And so I think NFT's are really, really cool, because for the first time, we have these digital objects that can be owned and transferred and collected - for the first time, we have those things. And we can apply that technology to these ideas of identity and social signaling. And then couple that on to activism and figure out how we can mix those three things together to create this really, really, very powerful sort of concoction. I think we have to be very careful too, though, because I think those all those different things combined, they can be very powerful and lead to getting things accomplished. Encouraging people funding… I think there's lots of things that it can do crowdfunding-wise that other other web2 technology can't do. But I think there also is sort of a danger to it as well, like, if we're not careful - this is true of any I think any point in history - technology can be used in ways that are unhealthy and can be co-opted for dangerous things. I guess what I'm saying is just as easily as activism can be spurred on, and organisations can be spurred on, to do amazing and powerful things with all this technology, the same could be true of any kind of any other group, really honestly. I mean, it could be a cult, it could be, you know, a hate group or something like that.
So I think honestly, like what we have to be thinking a lot about is, I don't know, preparing ourselves for both: like the ways in which it’s going to be used to do amazing things, but we also need to be kind of vigilant and understand that it can be used for not great things, too. And we shouldn't be surprised by that. Like we should know that that's coming. So yeah, I think that's an easy thing to lose sight of, I think because right now we're on the tail end of web2, so everyone can sort of see web2’s problems, but they couldn't see those problems in the early days. Because there was so much optimism, there was so much hope. And I think maybe if we had thought more about the potential downsides earlier on in web2, we might have been able to avoid some problems that have occurred. So I hope in web3 more people as they're thinking about activism, as they're thinking about the good that this stuff can do, we'll also make sure to take some healthy time in going to start evaluating it from the perspective of: web3 isn't perfect, it's not going to solve all of our problems. What might this look like 10 years from now? And is there any way we can avoid negative outcomes that could have been prevented? That’s a little bit of my thoughts about it.
Well, thank you so much. I'm always thinking about this a lot of the time as well, like all the positives and like amazing, amazing things that web3 can do. And then, also, the negative things that could be done, or you know, might not be seen yet. And sometimes this plays a lot on my mind, and makes me feel quite stressed. So I'm wondering how the amazing work that you do, how do you keep up the motivation to keep doing these things for communities, and also look after yourself as a leading figure in web3? How do you keep motivated and inspired?
That's a really good question. You know, it's a very new sort of position for me to be in. So I don't really even know if I have a good answer for it. I think, unfortunately, you know, kind of the situation that we're in is a situation in which we're trying to do all this web3 stuff, but we’re, for better or worse, like, a lot of it is being facilitated by web2; this sort of paradigm. So me, as some sort of a figure in this space, the downside to it is the reality that, you know, a lot of the work that I do, and the way we all sort of rally and do things together and listen to one another, a lot of that occurs on Twitter, on these platforms that are very much web2 native. And they are very much succumb to a lot of the problems, just like mental health wise, the toll that it can take on people and, and I think, honestly for me, if I could go back and change something, I think I would have preferred not to have to have grown as quickly as I grew in terms of the amount of attention that was on me, I think. Yeah, I think it was, it was a very weird experience. Like I had been on Twitter for many, many years, just sort of, not not doing anything, not really focusing my time and energy on any one particular topic, just sort of using Twitter as a place to just think out loud. So I spent many years on Twitter with no one really paying attention to my tweets or anything, you know, I might have had a couple thousand followers or something, but then overnight, you know, it went from several thousand followers to now suddenly today, it's almost like 50,000. And that happens so quickly over a short span of time that you don't really know how to quite adapt that kind of a change that quickly. And I think that's kind of indicative of what happens in the web3 space. The space is moving so quickly, and it doesn't really give you much time to rest or take a break or turn off, you know?
And I think that's been my biggest trouble is definitely I think that I've seen that I've been able to have a positive influence in some people's lives based on messages that I receive on a regular basis. I've seen the impact my words have been able to make for people and being able to speak up about things when other people, maybe they couldn't speak up about them. And it honestly, it's a bit of a burden in some ways, because I feel like I've always been of the opinion long before I had any kind of attention on me, I was long of the opinion that people who have attention upon them, or people who have money or attention or any of these things that sort of like give you, you know, power… I have long been of the opinion that the more you know, the more attention you have, the more power you have, all those things, the more responsibility you have to do something good with them. And so for me, it's been a bit difficult to say no at times because I do feel like I have this obligation of like, okay, I have all I have all this attention, and I have the ability to boost a message or something to a large platform of people and potentially influence people. So something happens and I feel like no one else is willing to say something about this particular thing, it puts me in this weird scenario in which I'm like, I might not always want to say it myself, because I know that it might have negative consequences of saying it. And it is kind of a weird situation for me, and because in some ways, I'm like, I might feel guilty if I didn't say anything, because I'm like, okay, I have, I have this attention, I have this platform or whatever, if I'm silent in this moment, and I choose not to use it, like, who does that make me, is that aligned with my values? And I think over time, though, what I'm realising is, the scale at which that attention has evolved to is too big for a normal human person to be able to deal with in the health like… in other words, I can't always say yes to things, because my body just couldn't actually handle it. And that lesson has been very hard to learn. It's been something that’s taken me many, many months to learn. I've learned the hard way at some points.
And it's interesting, I think. I think about my time here, I wonder, have I done enough? Like, should I? Like, yeah, it's always been wondering, like, how much is enough? Is the work that I've done over the past, you know, 12 months, is that enough work where I don't need to do anything else? Or should I take a break for a long time? Or should I.,. Because I don't know, I haven't heard this conversation amongst DAOs too, like okay, we've been going full steam for six or seven months now. We've done a lot of amazing things that have even made headlines, but we're tired, shouldn't we just stop maybe for a season and just reevaluate things when it comes back? That's something that I'm right now I'm acutely thinking, because as I have sort of passed my one year mark of being in this space, I now am thinking, okay, I've done all this work for a year, what is next for me? I don't really know if I know the answer to that yet. I think I'm still trying to figure that out.
But I guess, I would say to anyone who is thinking about doing important work in this space, if you think that the work that you're doing might lead you to have attention on you, and things like that…very early on, I think, just be very…I don't use the word guarded, but be, I think… protect yourself. Like, I do think that you need to protect yourself. I think if I could have done that earlier and sooner, I would have. But again, that's a hard thing to say, because most people probably think to themselves, well, I would never get that. Not that many people would ever put their attention upon me. And I was in that same position. I never would have dreamed that people would be looking to me the way that they look to me now. But yeah, I don't know, I think definitely knowing what your values are early on and committing to those and being willing to do some hard things that align with those values, I think is really key. Because if you don't, I think the attention and influence and all that stuff, it can definitely easily change you. And yes, I think you have to be very intentional about guarding yourself, the people around you, even how it impacts family members… I'm sure many people have seen that, like I, over the span of several months, at times, I've received quite a bit of targeted harassment on Twitter. And that's been, you know, it's been very hard and very, you know, not good for my mental health at times. And yeah, I think the biggest thing I've learned from that is just needing to prioritise taking a break and not feeling like I'm gonna get left behind if I do. Because I just think that that's the tendency in web3 is just again, to move so quickly. And I've done this thing over the past several months, where I've tried taking the weekends off Twitter, I just don't get on Twitter on weekends at all. And even over the span of a weekend, just like two days, I come back on Monday and I feel like everything is a blur, I've missed so much. And so that makes it really hard to think about taking a vacation for multiple weeks. Like, what would happen in two weeks, like, the whole industry could change by then. But anyway, this is a little bit of rambling there, but…
No, I love it. I love it, I think, yeah, it must be so overwhelming to have grown that quickly. But I guess it's a testament to all the amazing things you're doing. And I always think even though web3 moves really quick, if you need a holiday, web3 can wait. But yeah, it definitely is a really overwhelming space, how fast it moves and puts a lot of pressure on all of us, especially if you've become a figure in the space. So yeah, I appreciate everything you do for everyone and how you keep so focused. It's very inspiring. So I wanted to hear a little bit, if you don't mind, a bit about your personal background, and how became to be this person with these missions and these values? I thought maybe, since you're so into education and everything that surrounds it, maybe we can hear a bit about your education?
Oh, yeah, that's a great point. I think there are a couple of things that have sort of led me to the point that I’m at. I grew up in a very religious environment, and I'm not religious anymore. But that experience of growing up in a religious environment…there are both positives and negatives to it. But some of the positives of it were, it really instilled upon me the importance of having beliefs, and having guiding principles, and core values that will help you navigate the world and help you navigate difficult situations. And it also showed me the importance of community because historically, religion has been the way in which many people sort of got community and how they participated in community. And, while I'm not religious anymore, those principles of knowing that you need to understand what you believe, you need to understand the values that drive you, and understand them deeply. I spent many, many years of my life sort of wrestling over what my beliefs were. I had a transitional period where I hinted at the fact that I was very religious, and I grew up in religion, and then over time, I left religion. And so there was a long period of time where I really wrestled and thought long and deep about what I believed and what my values were, and caused me to dive into philosophy and theology and all these different things and sort of understand all the different perspectives and things that might be out there, and which of these things do I want to believe? And so I think wrestling really deeply with those things, has allowed me to have a certain level of conviction about ultimately, like, the beliefs and values that I have chosen, because they are values and beliefs that I chose that they're not…when people grew up in maybe like a religious environment, or whatever you kind of have beliefs and values that you sort of grew up with and develop by sort of osmosis of just being in that context. It's sort of your cultural lens or worldview that you've developed. But because I went through this shift, of leaving a worldview and a culture and a context, to then exploring and trying to figure out what I wanted to actually believe and see and how I wanted to view the world, that definitely gave me a sense of ownership over what I now believe. And so I think that has definitely helped me be able to apply those things. Because I think sometimes if you just have beliefs that you sort of vaguely hold on to, because maybe that's what your parents taught you or whatever, they don't necessarily, all the time feel like your values, and so it's harder to actually apply them and stick up with them. And so that's, that's definitely part of it.
And, you know, the other part is definitely, you know, to the point of like, education and making the space more inclusive and diverse… because of my experience in the religious world, I saw how people like myself who were not within the gender binary, or LGBTQ people, you know, gay people within the church, and the things that they experienced. I saw a lot of not great things. I saw some bad things and the ways in which people were treated. There was a season of my life where I spent a lot of time trying to advocate for change within religion, trying to get the church or various institutions to change their views on gender and all these things that they have so ingrained within them. And, it's already had some of this, you know, notion of a passion and a desire to attempt to make spaces more friendly and inclusive. And so I think I've carried that with me in almost any environment that I've been through whether it was religion, to working in marketing, to working in tech startups. And now getting into web3.
I think with web3, I felt it more acutely, just because it feels like there's a lot more issues in web3 in that sphere. And so it's been one of the things that I've tried to focus on, because I felt like if I was able to make a meaningful impact there… a part of education is, some people will write off web3, and they'll never even get to hear any of the educational material or work that maybe we create here, because they've written it off because they think it's not diverse or inclusive, or all these different things. So I think part of my role, I think part of every educator's role is, helping get an environment to a point in which people can at least be open to education. I think there's so much work you have to do to get people even to that door of wanting to learn. So I think that's part of why I've focused upon that is I knew that the kinds of people that wanted to hear the education part, they wouldn't have even heard it if we didn't fix other issues first. So I always felt it was part of the whole thing.
It's so interesting to hear about your background, thank you for sharing. I feel like I've had a lot of friends who have grown up religious and are not now, and say similar things about how they are thankful for, you know, they don't have that belief anymore. But it's given them a grounding of needing to have some sort of belief and values. Yeah, I always find that really interesting. I think we haven't got too much time left, so I've just checked the chat and see that we've got a question from Furiosa. Sorry if I've pronounced that wrong, very cool name, by the way. So they've asked us a question regarding Twitter. And I know that your Twitter is down at the moment. So feel free to answer this in depth or not, if you want, but yeah, they've asked: “the targeted harassment has been awful. Do you have any thoughts on whether Elon will KYC everyone and filter out bots and harasses?”
Yeah. Oh, man, that's a good question. I don't know. Oh, man. yeah, the Elon Twitter thing is interesting. Twitter holds such a special place in my life. Because I actually met my partner through Twitter. So I believe very deeply in the power of Twitter and how it can do… while it has many problems, it can do many harmful things as well… but I don't know, I'm definitely worried about Twitter, in the sense of the KYC thing. Elon definitely has this belief that he thinks that social media websites would be better if everyone had to use their real name. And if you don't use your real name, you can't be on the platform. And I'm definitely not of that opinion whatsoever. I also think that - I'm by no means an industry insider into the web2 world and know how these things work - but my gut reading on the situation is that I kind of view Elon’s takeover kind of in the way of like, here in the United States, a politician will run for president and then when they get into office, they can't end up actually fulfilling on a lot of the things that they talked about before they became president. So kind of view Elon’s situation the same way and, well, the deal hasn't even officially gone through yet. So there, you know, theoretically, like it could fall through, still. But if it does actually go through, I do very much think that we're not going to see quite as drastic of changes as maybe he had hoped. I don't know. I think that that's maybe that's the hopeful part of me that thinks that… Twitter has been on an interesting path. And I think that within the last 12 months, I feel like they've been doing things to make things a lot better. I'm really hopeful that regardless of what happens, if he comes in, I hope that they're able to continue doing that important work and not get distracted by all the drama and the weirdness that having Elon as the owner might do.
But yeah, I don't know, I do believe that having the ability to be anonymous online or not…not anonymous, but like pseudo-anonymous, you know, being able to maintain an identity that is not fully your legal identity, I think there's obviously some downsides that can come to it. And I myself have been the victim of that, at times, you know, targeted harassment from people who are anonymous online, like, I know what that feels like intimately. But I also don't think that the solution is to sort of swing the pendulum and remove the ability to not be able to have your identity be kind of malleable, and you be in control of your identity. Because I think, for me, personally, my identity is really important to me, and I think a person's ability to disclose what they want about themselves when they want and not be cut off from the rest of the world if they choose not to do that,I think that's very important. And I think that Twitter would not be the same without it. So yeah. That's my take on it.
Yeah. 100%. That's really interesting. I had a class at school today all about anonymity online. And we were discussing it and we were all just saying in our discussion how, you know, identity is not fixed. It's so fluid and it's very limiting and also unsafe for a lot of people to be tied to their real names or their real data. But like you said, it's something that like swings and roundabouts like there are, obviously negative things, but lots of positive things, which I think we've seen from web3, like the positive sides that anonymity can bring, or pseudonymity. I'm just checking if anybody has any last questions. I see some people typing, but if not, I've just seen one come in, actually. Okay, so Jack has a question. So Jack says, “How do you square the wealth gap in the web3 space with the goals of more inclusivity? With the price of engagement so high, it feels like the average person who is trying to keep a roof over their head and keep food on a table is priced out.”
Yeah, yeah, I see. I do think that that is one of our biggest problems, is that particular piece. I think I have two thoughts on this, one of which is, that is a very real problem. And I also don't know if… I'll put it this way, I don't think that we're going to be able to solve that problem to the level or to the degree to which I think you and I would want that problem to be solved. This kind of goes back to my belief about web3, and web2. And I don't think that web3 is going to be this magic thing that is going to suddenly solve all these problems. And I think that, you know, unfortunately, I think that we are going to see some inequalities and things sort of carry… by no means are we going to move into the era of web3 and suddenly being a utopia, where inequalities no longer exist. So my take on it is, I personally want us to do whatever we can and focus as much as we possibly can, on making that inequality, that that wealth gap, shrinking it as much as we possibly can; providing opportunities for people who who need assistance to be able to dabble in this new technology. Because I think, this is sort of a more realist position, but I do think that one of the ways that I think I deal with this problem mentally is I do like to think about the reality that in any era over the internet or technology for thousands of years, like when a new technology emerges and comes around, it often due to, you know, economics and production and scale and all these different things that go into producing a new technology. It has always been sort of the case that the earliest adopters, the earliest you get into a technology, the most expensive it is whether it's books thousands of years ago or whatever… books used to be a luxury item, they were this thing that only wealthy people could afford or much less read…personal computing was the same way in the early 80s, and 90s. Smartphones are the same way. I remember growing up; I grew up on a relatively low income, and I did not get a smartphone, and I didn't even get a cell phone until I was, I think, gosh, like 19 or 20 years old. And smartphones were kind of out of the question at the time, because I couldn't afford them because of how early that still was. And so I kind of watched people with the iPhone in amazement, because I was like, I can't I can't afford an iPhone when the iPhone one came out.
I only bring that up in an attempt to hopefully provide some level of comfort in an unfair unjust world, that we can know that this is not a necessarily unique phenomenon, the fact that the cost of entry is so high. And I think we have solutions coming up that are going to go in to help those problems immensely, like, you know, the layer two stuff, I think that's going to help tremendously. But I also think the people, those of us in this space who do have the money and the power and the connections, to be able to open doors for other people who don't have enough resources or time or whatever. The more that we can exert energy towards doing that, the better. Like, the way I have done that, personally in my life, is trying to give artists the resources they need to mint their own NFT's and then collecting and buying those NFT's from them and supporting them financially so that they can start their web3 NFT art career. I think that is something that you can really liberate for an artist if they can get over that initial gap. So yeah, my focus has definitely often been around the arts and because I love the art so much and trying to help artists bridge that gap. But I think we also see it in all the other niches within the web3 world like DAOs and DeFi, I think we need people in all those spaces, who are willing to use their money, their time, their resources to help bridge those gaps as much as they can.
Amazing. That's a great, great point to end on. Really insightful, insightful thoughts. Thank you so much, Dame. I'm aware that we've gone like four minutes over. So we should preserve everyone's energy, whatever time it is where you are. So yeah, thank you so much, Dame. Or one last question. If people would like to get in touch with you, what's your preferred way for them to get ahold of you?
Oh, yes. Great question. Yeah, for right now you can go… I know my Twitter is down. You'll be able to get back to that somewhat soon. But temporarily, you can definitely go to dame.news or dame.contact. That's my website, you'll be able to get to it from there. Thanks so much for having me. This has been a really great conversation. And it's been a pleasure and an honor to be here in the Protein community.
Thank you so much for coming. It's been a real honour, pleasure and treasure to have you. And yeah, I can't wait to listen back as well. It's been such a great, great conversation. So yeah, thanks so much for your time and your energy and all your amazing thoughts.
Yes, and thanks to you, thank you. Thank you for facilitating it. Some wonderful questions. And yeah, it was just great. Great chatting.