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Web3 101 for Global Impact: Blockchains, DAOs, and NFTs for Preserving Languages :: with Michelle Schubert

In this episode of Ventures, my guest Michelle Schubert (https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-schubert-92b259158/) and I discuss a “Web3 101” from her perspective as a relative newcomer to the space, and we talk about her work with International Literacy and Development (ILAD, https://ilad.ngo/). We learn about her story leading into development work, how her team’s upcoming “Stop the Extinction” NFT campaign is aiming to preserve languages all around the world, advice for those writing about and teaching Web3, and reflections from her attendance of Consensus 2022 in Austin, TX last week.

You can watch this episode below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts (search for “Ventures”).


2:11 - Tee-up for the episode, ILAD, referencing Ep96 and Ep97 w/ Daniel Wilson.

2:28 - Michelle’s introduction and how/why she got involved with ILAD  

3:31 - What strategic and innovative aspects of ILAD were/are so compelling to Michelle?

4:34 - The four core competencies of ILAD: Agricultural development, educational development, business development, and human language technology.

5:42 - Millions of people who speak languages that aren’t even present on the Internet.

6:24 - Human Flourishing - starting new businesses - why there are synergies between Prota Ventures and ILAD.

7:13 - How does ILAD use the academic literature to define Human Flourishing and measure impact? ILAD’s literature review link: https://ilad.ngo/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/ILAD-Literature-Review-Teammate.pdf?x64096

// ILAD’s logic model:


8:24 - ILAD’s tagline: “Local solutions to local problems” - a real-life story about this regarding ILAD’s work. (Well-drilling business).

12:30 - The people doing the training are locals as well. A unique and inspiring model.

13:01 - Michelle’s Web3 journey, entrance into running NFT campaigns.

15:00 - Story from Consensus 2022 in Austin, TX. Saying vs. doing. Launching an NFT campaign for doing practical good in the world.

16:51 - The unbanked don’t speak a language on the Internet. A “Step 1” is needed to develop the language first, and that is what ILAD provides.

17:10 - Web3 101 session - what is Web3?

19:46 - A problem that so much Web3 literature out there is too advanced / jargony. How aggravating is this to Michelle?  (“intimidating” is the word she’d use)

20:58 - So many creators in the Web3 space - where are the users coming from?

21:35 - Web3 101 shotgun round: What are blockchains?

23:03 - Each success block tells a story.  What stories are being told on these blockchains? Overview of Web1/2/3. Different types of “things” that can be owned on blockchains.

24:55 - What is a DAO?

26:26 - What are NFTs?

28:14 - Decentralized Finance / “FUD” / overall promise is exciting / banking the unbanked

29:35 - What are the NFT campaigns that Michelle has planned for ILAD? (Stop the Extinction (of languages - campaign).

32:32 - Where will the money go? (into a DAO that works to preserve languages)

33:28 - What has Michelle’s entrepreneurial journey been like? Where is she on that journey?

34:08 - Fun and creative NFT ideas spawned from ILAD’s work

34:52 - How is Michelle thinking about the marketing strategy for this campaign? Eric Ries - “don’t launch” // http://www.startuplessonslearned.com/2009/03/dont-launch.html 

36:00 - When will there be a website? Where can people go right now to become more aware of it?  Get connected to Michelle and ILAD → https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-schubert-92b259158/ // https://www.instagram.com/the_exploracious/ // https://ilad.ngo/ 

37:06 - What advice does Michelle have for those building, teaching, and writing about Web3?

38:40 - What does the future of ILAD look like? If a ton of money is raised for this NFT campaign, what is ILAD going to be doing with it over time moving forward?

42:55 - Closing thoughts / inspired by ILAD / hoping the Web3 world takes note.