Governing democracy, the internet, and boardrooms

Noah FeldmanAndrew HallRobert Hackett

Who gets to decide what, for whom? Governance is one of the trickiest challenges people have faced, from ancient city-states to AI startups. Experts Noah Feldman, constitutional law scholar at Harvard who architected the Meta oversight board and has written multiple books, and Andrew Hall, professor of political science at Stanford and consultant to a16z crypto research, join a16z crypto editor Robert Hackett for a hallway-style conversation touring the field’s big ideas, lessons learned in practice, and the most exciting experiments happening today. They discuss everything from the history of democracy, to the dynamics (and dysfunctions) of corporate and university boards, to the hopes for blockchain-based DAOs, as well as examples of governance from big companies like Meta to startups like Anthropic, and much more.

Welcome to web3 with a16z. I’m Robert Hackett and today we have a special episode about governance in many forms — from nation states to corporate boards to internet services and beyond.

Our special guests are Noah Feldman, constitutional law professor at Harvard who also architected the Meta oversight board (among many other things); he is also the author of several books. And our other special guest is Andy Hall, professor of political science at Stanford who is an advisor of a16z crypto research — and who also co-authored several papers and posts about web3 as a laboratory for designing and testing new political systems, including new work we’ll link to in the shownotes.

Our hallway style conversation covers technologies and approaches to governance, from constitutions to crypto/ blockchains and DAOs. As such we also discuss content moderation and community standards; best practices for citizens assemblies; courts vs. legislatures; and much more where governance comes up. 

Throughout, we reference the history and evolution of democracy — from Ancient Greece to the present day — as well as examples of governance from big companies like Meta, to startups like Anthropic.


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