Great Debaters DAO
Education fails to equip students with the skills to think critically and solve problems. Globally, students are not developing the skills to be productive, fulfilled, and involved citizens. The effect of a lack of quality education is detrimental to the individual and society.
Skills Gap - A recent survey revealed the soft skills that employees are most lacking are: Critical thinking and problem solving, adaptability and flexibility, communication, leadership, innovation, and Creativity.
Teachers - Lack of training, support, and low pay exacerbate the expanding global shortage of qualified teachers.
Fewer than 1 in 10 teachers exhibit good teaching practices.
We are still using the teacher training methods of yesterday.
Half of teachers reported not receiving support or encouragement.
High teacher turnover creates increased costs.
Covid Learning losses – Lack of engagement has caused students to fall behind in the learning process. The learning losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to have a long-term compounding negative effect on many children’s future well-being. These learning losses could translate into less access to higher education, lower labor market participation, and lower future earnings.
Cost of Ineffective Education - A lack of effective education leads to increased poverty, unemployment, drug abuse, crime, dependence, radicalization, social and racial injustice.
Governments are losing $129B annually due to poor quality primary teaching alone. Moreover, global productivity will be less than half of what it could be if students enjoyed a complete education.
Businesses and corporations spend more than $900 billion to retrain employees in the workforce, even those with college degrees.
Inequity – “Inequitable systems of school finance inflict disproportionate harm on minority and economically disadvantaged students.” - National Academy of Sciences
Students fail to develop 21st Century skills that employers desire most. This results in job dissatisfaction, racial and social inequity, continued cycles of crime and poverty and more than $1M in lower pay.
Civil Discourse - Exploring political questions from multiple perspectives is a cornerstone of democracy. It cultivates civic reasoning and discourse, which embody the skills, understandings, and habits required of democratic citizens. However, in the current climate, the discussion of controversial issues seems more fraught than ever. Lack of communication and exchange of ideas creates tension, lack of cooperation, and in the most extreme cases, violence.
Objectives: Our mandates
Great Debaters DAO aims to pave the way for effective education and promote civil discourse through debate, argumentation, and discussion. The Dao strives to create academic, social, and racial equity by building vital and transferable skills while creating financial opportunities.
- LEARN 2 EARN: Creating an effective K-20 education program through a Debate Across the Curriculum (DAC) model. DAC trains educators to incorporate debate, argumentation, and discussion in the classroom, while rewarding educators and students with cryptocurrency.
- DEBATE 2 EARN/PLAY 2 EARN - DEBATES IN THE METAVERSE: Creating a platform for public debates that promotes the discussion of current topics and issues while creating a crypto and NFT economy for those involved.
- SUPPORTING SPEECH AND DEBATE ORGANISATIONS – Creating and facilitating transformational summer training camps, coach training, scholarships for students, schools, and governing associations.
- SUPPORT AND PROMOTE INNOVATIVE EDUCATION – DAC is the ultimate educational innovation. Great Debaters DAO seeks to support and promote innovative education by creating an innovative education incubator.
- GENERATING REVENUE: Improving the potential for economic success for DAO members and those participating in the expansion and programs of Great Debaters DAO.
Societal Good and Equity – Great Debaters DAO can create equity academically, financially, and racially.
- Educational Equity - As a result of high engagement, research training, the requirement to observe issues through different perspectives, and developing arguments, individuals involved in debates develop valuable academic skills. The implementation of DAC can provide students with transferable skills that are essential for student success. Participants of the Play 2 Earn platform will yield similar benefits, creating academic equity.
- Financial Equity – Great Debaters DAO can financially reward its members. At the same time, DAC can create financial freedom and opportunity for students and teachers. Rewarding students and teachers with cryptocurrency for learning and building skills can close the wealth gap for many minorities living in economically disadvantaged areas. The reward system encourages participation and builds a foundation to break generational economic disparity.
- Racial Equity - In Rwanda, debate is utilized to bridge the divide between the Hutus and the Tutsis. They recognize that the way to avoid repeating the violence of the genocide is through civil discourse and empathy. DAC and the Play 2 Earn platform can foster the skills and the environment necessary to promote true communication and cooperation, healing racial divides.
- Diverse Academic Leaders – Many diverse teachers leave the profession because of institutional support and low salaries. DAC can solve both issues. Providing support from DAC consultants and peer mentoring groups will fill the void for these potential leaders and foster leadership skills development. The added income from the DAC reward program can supplement income, creating a financial bridge for potential leaders to reach their professional goals.
To implement these goals, Great Debaters DAO plans to develop programs and platforms that create engaging and rewarding opportunities to build the vital skills developed by debate, discussion, argumentation.
LEARN 2 EARN - DAC (DEBATE ACROSS THE CURRICULUM)
Great Debaters DAO will develop and support the subscription-based DAC program. DAC is a research-based, professional development, K-20 faculty support program, and reward program. The core of DAC lies in training teachers to utilize elements of debate and discussion for immediate integration into the classroom, supporting educators for program success, and financial rewards for teachers and students. The pedagogical focus of DAC has undergone several pilots. One particular pilot and the quantitative analysis of the results have been published.
Training - Professional development for K-20 educators to use debate and argumentation as a teaching methodology, building transferable student skills. This training provides educators with the knowledge and skills to create an innovative educational environment within their classroom. This educator subscription program will be paid through funds allocated by governments, schools, and school districts.
Support - Ongoing technology-based peer support and consultations are included in various subscription levels. The program will feature an ongoing technology-based peer support and consultation for DAC educators to ensure program success.
Reward - The cryptocurrency “Learn 2 Earn” program rewards DAC teachers and students for training, mentoring, classroom implementation. DAC would utilize 20% of subscription revenue to create a reward fund. Like a 401(k), the fund can be grown through yield farming, DeFi lending, or other investment means.
DEBATE 2 EARN/PLAY 2 EARN – METAVERSE DEBATE
Debate prepares individuals to become “active citizens” and “prominent leaders.” According to John W. Parker (1955), debate served as a laboratory of democratic living, “aiding…in the process of developing scholars and citizens for movement in a democratic society” (p. 146). Debate equips individuals for active participation in society. Competitors develop a deeper understanding and analyze multiple perspectives of critical social issues.
Thus, creating a platform for individuals to participate in debate contests while earning cryptocurrency for winning creates an incentivized high-engagement medium that promotes civil discourse. This platform would be analogous to esports, with debate as the “game” or “contest.” This platform would create an economy that would receive revenue and support debaters, coaches, evidence cutters, evidence validators, financial backers, judges, and others.
In-house Hackathons will provide an opportunity for early career and experienced programmers to hack together, creating an informal mentoring system to nurture talent and build the platforms for the DAO. Great Debaters DAO will develop hacking contests that reflect the current objectives of the Great Debaters DAO.
SPEECH AND DEBATE ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT
Great Debaters DAO seeks to support competitive speech and debate organizations, like the National HBCU Speech and Debate Association. Great Debaters DAO will provide additional support and resources to ensure the growth and stability of these organizations. Programs such as summer coaching, collegiate scholarships, and donations for academic organizations engaged in administering speech and debate competitions.
INNOVATIVE EDUCATION INCUBATOR
Great Debaters DAO is an exemplar of effective and innovative education. Creating an incubator for other organizations engaged in educational innovation will create opportunities for the most effective innovations while creating revenue streams for the DAO.
For the development of our audience and community, Great Debaters DAO will embark on a comprehensive program of global outreach, including networking, conferences, community events, collaboration with high-profile individuals and other DAO’s, and partnering with large financial institutions such as Visa. On this basis, new channels are opened in the snowball principle.
Marketing efforts will consist of the following channels
Social Media - Setting up and participating in distribution channels such as Telegram, Discord, and Twitter help generate attention and facilitate brand-building. Promotional media and activity-based campaigns are instruments to gain traction and collectivization.
Conference Participation - The presence of Great Debaters DAO at conferences is fundamental to achieving ecosystem impact. Be it for generating attention, new investor relations or cooperation partners, and growing social relationships, which are invaluable to future opportunities. In addition to blockchain conferences, Great Debaters DAO will engage in academic scholarship as part of its mission to create and proliferate Learn 2 Earn and DAC programs. Such scholarship will explore the effectiveness of DAC, education-based DAOs, and other related topics. This scholarship creates the opportunity to proliferate these new academic models and interact with institutional decision-makers.
"ESPN" for Speech and Debate – Globally, thousands of students and institutions are engaged in competitive speech and debate within various organizations. However, there is little interaction between organizations, students within the various organizations, or awareness beyond regional or national borders. Thus, creating a streaming show that provides news, information, and awareness of participating students, schools, and organizations, creates recognition and unity. This show may also interview prominent competitors and coaches, competitive alumni, iconic alumni, and feature debates with influencers or prominent figures.
Influencers – Competitive speech and debate has many prominent alumni and supporters. Many speech and debate alumni are celebrities, heads of media, heads of state, and are even in the blockchain and crypto spaces. Many of these individuals may support a program that furthers educational goals, social impact, and brings new network users.
NEWS – Many factors give Great Debaters DAO national and international news opportunities.
- The branding of The Great Debaters
- The studied and proven educational innovation program of DAC
- Tools to combat Covid Learning Loss
- Tools to combat the current and growing teacher shortage
- High profile partnerships and endorsements
NFT LINE – Great Debaters DAO is working to create a line of NFTs as a mechanism of funding and potential utility for entry to Metaverse Debate Tournaments. A series of NFTs that reflect great debaters in history can be branded, sold, and used for future event entry.
Education has underutilized the emerging power of blockchain technology. By utilizing blockchain technology, Great Debaters DAO can achieve sustainability and scalability, which has tangible financial benefits for teachers, students, and DAO members. Great Debaters DAO has several potential revenue sources to contribute to economic sustainability and success.
- $Great token sales - $Great will be the utility token for the DAO, which will be sold to members to provide governance and voting rights.
- Subscription Revenue – The DAC subscription model can provide recurring revenue for the DAO.
- Treasury Yields – The DAO treasury would be invested to create revenue from investment yields. The goal is to mitigate risk and maximize ROI and allow the Dao to function from the treasury investment yields.
- Staking Yields – The reward pool, particularly student rewards, will not be accessed for 1-12 years, depending on the age of the students when they begin the program. This pool can be invested to earn yields split between the DAO and the reward pool.
- Innovative Education Incubator – The incubator would provide early funding and guidance to innovative education startups in exchange for equity within the organization. This program should provide multiple revenue channels.
- Support Programs – Training programs for coaches and students are fee-based and create another revenue opportunity.
- Play2Earn/Metaverse Debates – This platform would create a vibrant economy around public debate competitions. Individuals would pay for NFT competitor entry passes, NFT based evidence, backing debaters, coaching, and other competition-related expenses. Great Debaters Dao would earn a commission for each transaction.
- NFT Line - In collaboration with Snowcrash, the development of an NFT line of Great Debaters will provide funding and pave the way for NFT based entry passes for the Play 2 Earn platform.
Great Debaters DAO has developed a core team of individuals who are resolute in the mission of the DAO. Additionally, the foundation for the DAO has been laid with the development of current and future strategic partnerships, endorsements, and assistance. The following is a list of current and potential supporting individuals and organizations:
- Competitive Speech and Debate Alum – As a result of shared experiences, the competitive speech and debate community is very supportive. There are many high-profile individuals within the speech and debate community, which include Oprah Winfrey, Adam Sandler, Paul Rudd, Arsenio Hall, Jordan Peele, Chadwick Boseman, Jack Dorsey, and Li Jiang of Harmony One
- Partnerships or Collaborations – Several individuals and organizations have committed to the mission of Great Debaters DAO and agreed to some form of partnership or collaboration. These organizations include: Snowcrash (CEO is Jesse Dylan, the son of Bob Dylan), Teach for America Reinvention Labs, The Nate Parker Foundation (who starred in the movie The Great Debaters), bulb Digital, Prairie View A&M University, The Florida Education Foundation, The U.S. Congressional Black Caucus, and The Richmond Foundation. Currently, Great Debaters DAO is seeking the permission of Taylor Ledward (Chadwick Boseman’s wife) to feature Boseman in the NFT line for great debaters.
Great Debaters DAO asks for $404,250 for one year of governance, onboarding, marketing, in-house hackathons, meetups, staffing, travel, and token engineering.
The following milestones are targeted in the 1st year after launch:
- 1k followers on each social media platform (Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
- 200 on Discord
- NFT development
- Front end platform development
- Development tech mapping for DAC support, smart contract, and L2E platform
- Token development
- Development of streaming program
- Hackathon – focused on platform development
- DAC curriculum development
- Outline DAC Onboarding
- 5 News articles published about DAC
- 2 Meetups
- 25k views on YouTube
- 10k followers on each social media platform
- 1k on Discord
- Completion of full feature prototype for DAC platform
- Token Pre-sale/Launch
- NFT launch
- Testing review
- DAC Curriculum finalized
- Define Reward Pool Investment Strategy
- Finalize DAC onboarding procedures
- 2 Meetups
- DAC beta launch
- Draft proposal for P2E platform
- Gather feedback from DAC professional development beta
- 20 schools in beta launch (1,000 teachers and 18,000 students)
- 100K views on YouTube
- Token public sale
- Finalize reward pool structure and investment strategy
- Develop DAO voting Procedures
- 1 Meetup
- Election Nominations
- Full release DAC platform
- 50 School Contracts (2,500 teachers and 45,000 students)
- Finalize proposal for P2E platform
- Hackathon – Focused on P2E platform
- Draft Proposal for Innovative Education Incubator
- 1 Meetup
- Governor elections are held
Christopher “Coach” Medina, Ph.D. - FOUNDER, CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Dr. Medina is the former Director of the Great Debaters. Speech and debate competition saved his life. As a result, he has been involved in speech and debate education and competition for over 34 years. Dr. Medina is the founder of the National HBCU Speech and Debate Association and, a former executive in numerous state and national debate organizations, the founder of the Center for Excellence in Writing and Public Discourse on the campus of Prairie View A&M University. Medina is the first to design, implement, and publish a quantitative analysis of a DAC program. This DAC program occurred over the course of a decade and has won multiple awards. Aside from his academic pursuits, Medina also founded a successful financial services business. Medina holds a Ph.D. in Leadership with a concentration in Business Administration.
Mike Smith – MARKETING, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Michael J. Smith is an innovative communicator and focuses on technology marketing. He has 33 years of experience in P.R., marketing, corporate communications, investor relations, and public affairs. Smith’s specialty is launching and marketing new products or technology, focusing on EdTech. He has helped over 60 technology companies with their go-to-market strategies; three resulted in IPOs. Mike guided an additional 19 CEOs through merger and acquisition strategies. Mike is also a member of the Board of Governors for the National Press Club.
Marlon James, Ph.D. – CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT/BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Dr. James is a professor at Texas A&M University and Associate Director of the Center for Applied Statistics at Prairie View A&M University, and a very accomplished academic. Dr. James also served as the Associate Director of the Center for Urban School Partnerships at Texas A&M. James has extensive experience designing and launching culturally responsive curriculum, which incorporates debate and critical thinking in schools and districts nationally.
Rohan Sharan – BLOCKCHAIN DEVELOPER/INDUSTRIAL SYSTEMS ENGINEER
Rohan graduated from IIT Kharagpur as an Industrial & Systems Engineer. He led a team in developing a blockchain-based photo-sharing application. Sharan was the captain of the software development team at his university. He also won the first position in a technology festival blockchain hackathon, with a prize of 1BTC. Rohan also created a blockchain-based solution to solve scientific research and publishing issues.
Sharan has experience in developing I.T. solutions like blockchain-based certification for universities, remote collaboration tools for developers, and document drafting software for lawyers.
Brian Favors – CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT, PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Favors is the co-founder and program director of the Nate Parker Foundation, which merges film, educational programming, and philanthropy to combat the crisis facing African and African American communities. He is also the co-founder and Director of Sankofa Community Empowerment, Inc. This non-profit organization services urban communities through culturally responsive educational programs in New York and Philadelphia. Mr. Favors taught social studies and special education at Bushwick Community Alternative High School for over a decade and served as an adjunct instructor at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York.
Chike Ukaegbu – Head of Crypto Strategy for Emerging Markets at Visa
Ukaegbu works to leverage the power of Visa to help advance the adoption and utility of Bitcoin, stablecoins, NFTs, DeFi, and public blockchain networks in various countries. Chike was also the founder of New York-based tech accelerator Startup52, which focuses on backing firms that have strong diversity profiles. Ukaegbu ran for president in Nigeria, where he “spearheaded the leanest and first fully digital presidential campaign in Africa,”
Sean Allen – INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN
Sean Allen was the Captain of the Great Debaters for four years. During his tenure as captain, he was part of the Debate Across the Curriculum development committee at Wiley College. After graduating from Wiley, Allen was a coach at Wiley College and served as a Debate Across the Curriculum facilitator. He consulted with faculty on the integration of DAC into classrooms. Sean is currently the Director of Forensics at Tennessee State University and a Board Member of the National HBCU Speech and Debate Association
Ben Stewart – DEBATE TOURNAMENT TECHNOLOGY FOUNDER
Ben Stewart is the founder and owner of SpeechWire. This cloud-based service has been used to run more than 17,000 (1,000+ yearly) high school, college, and middle school speech and debate competitions. SpeechWire has grown to run all sorts of tournaments across the United States and worldwide at the high school and junior high school levels, including speech, debate, congress, and even competitive journalism tournaments.
Robert Litan, J.D., Ph.D. – LEGAL, ADVISORY
Robert Litan is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He previously served as a senior fellow on staff and vice president and Director of Economic Studies. Here, Litan published his 2020 book, “Resolved: Debate Revolutionize Education and Save Our Democracy.” Litan is also a practicing attorney, specializing in complex antitrust and business litigation. He previously was a partner at Korein Tillery, and practiced law with two Washington, D.C. law firms. During the first term of the Clinton administration, Litan served as principal deputy assistant attorney general.