Blockchain technology spawned the DAO organizational structure, a novel idea that subverts Dunbar's law. A DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) is a transparent organization, controlled by its members and not influenced by a central government. Ultimately, the governance of the DAO is in the hands of the DAO members.

Most of today’s companies are structured in a clear hierarchy. In this model, most participants (employees) are managed and controlled by the CEO position, who is directed by the owners (shareholders) of the company.

In DAOs, participants and owners are commonly the same people, whose goals and incentives are aligned. All members regularly vote on different governance decisions and work together in accordance with the decided decisions. All participants have a say in the governance. Therefore, there are no CEOs or Executives; rather, there is a project leader and others responsible for ensuring that all voices are heard and that DAO decisions are carried out. As such, they can (and sometimes should) be replaced by others who can perform their critical tasks more effectively.

Building the Totem DAO requires the creation of an ecosystem where people from around the world are united around a common cause, striving to reach a single goal, but without being held back by a hierarchical structure.

Since DAOs are a new social invention, we carefully consider our structure. Several DAOs have been formed since 2016, but there is no comprehensive list from which we can learn. As there are no tried and tested "best practices" yet, we must devise our own.

We seek inspiration in historical research, anthropology, and psychoanalysis, to understand how similar social ecosystems evolved and sustained. We follow the thinking of Freud, Levi Strauss, Lacan, and others, who analyzed the evolution of human psychology and the development of communities, from the structure of hunter-gatherers' clans through the agrarian and industrial revolutions, to the sociological possibilities opened up by up-to-date technology.

All of them point towards one thing: trust as the basis of cooperation. The trust we will be able to create between the DAO’s participants and the organization itself will determine its value and its sustained health.

Trust can be formed around shared ethics and values. These include the materialistic, mental, and social benefits that members can harvest through participation in the creation and cultivation of this ecosystem. And the best way to unite people around values is by telling a story.

Totem Game Development Network 2022