A fork in the road: Perspectives on sustainability and decentralised governance in digital institutions

Lovett, Matthew ORCID: 0000-0003-3599-7886 and Thomas, Lee (2021) A fork in the road: Perspectives on sustainability and decentralised governance in digital institutions. First Monday, 26 (11). doi:10.5210/fm.v26i11.12357

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A digital institution is a set of computer-based rules that perform intermediating roles upon which one or more person’s well-being depends. This article argues that governance, the processes and customs by which rules are agreed, is critical to the sustainability of the digital institution and therefore of society more broadly. The objective of this work was to interrogate whether emerging decentralised architectures (blockchain) can offer new perspectives on digital sustainability in the form of decentralised governance. Firstly, the literature on decentralised modes of governance was synthesised. Then, existing digital institutions were reviewed, categorised and mapped onto a multi-domain layered conceptual framework that draws out three distinct modes for enactment of changes to digital institution rules; direct, integrated, and fork-based. We concluded that the coupling of decentralised governance approaches with fork-based or integrated enactment stands to enhance digital sustainability through increased perception of trustworthiness afforded through independently verifiable and cryptographically secure audit trails.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2021 12:24
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2023 19:02
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/10378

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