Community Oriented: Building Community-Led Organizations

The value of community-oriented thinking has come to the forefront in the context of Internet Native Organizations (INOs).

INOs are community-oriented, code-driven entities that are governed by a community of stakeholders, and as such, community building and engagement are critical for their success. Community Oriented practices focus on building strong and resilient communities that are able to effectively govern the INO and achieve its goals.

Defining Community Oriented

Community Oriented refers to the set of practices and strategies that aim to build strong and engaged communities within INOs. These include fostering a sense of belonging, encouraging active participation in decisions affecting the community, creating transparency by disclosing information relevant to decision-making processes broadly throughout an organization.

Community Oriented practices are grounded in the principles of decentralization, self-governance, and collective decision-making.

Benefits of Community Oriented

Adopting Community Oriented practices can bring a range of benefits to INOs, including:

  • Increased social capital — Strong communities are built on trust, reciprocity and shared values—and internet native organizations can foster these qualities to build social capital that's essential for achieving their goals.
  • Better community engagement — When stakeholders feel invested and engaged in the INO, they are more likely to participate in decision-making and contribute to the INO's success.
  • Improved quality of INO management — A strong and engaged community can help ensure that the INO is well-run.

Examples of Community Oriented initiatives

There are many successful Community Oriented initiatives that INOs can learn from. Some examples include:

  • The MakerDAO community, which has a strong focus on transparency and accountability. The community regularly holds public meetings and provides detailed updates on the DAO's activities and decision-making processes.
  • The Aragon community, which has a decentralized governance structure that allows stakeholders to participate in decision-making and proposal creation.
  • The Friends With Benefits (FWB) community organizes itself and convenes via their community-built, community-owned social platform. They all hold $FWB tokens as a way to collectively fund and govern the platform, which they co-own.

Implementing Community Oriented practices

Implementing Community Oriented practices requires a deliberate and intentional effort. Some tips and strategies for building strong communities within INOs include:

  • Fostering a sense of belonging — INOs can create a sense of belonging by creating shared values, establishing clear goals, and encouraging participation.
  • Encouraging active participation — INOs can encourage active participation by providing opportunities for stakeholders to contribute, such as through proposal creation and voting.
  • Promoting transparency and accountability — By providing regular updates about its activities and decision-making processes, and by ensuring stakeholders have access to relevant information, an INO can promote transparency.

Challenges and limitations

While Community Oriented practices can bring many benefits, there are also challenges and limitations to consider. Some potential roadblocks include:

  • Lack of participation — Despite efforts to encourage participation, some stakeholders may still be hesitant to get involved in decision-making processes.
  • Communication barriers — An INO's stakeholders may include individuals from different countries, cultures and backgrounds—which can create communication challenges.
  • Power imbalances — Despite the decentralized nature of INOs, power imbalances can still exist, which can undermine the effectiveness of Community Oriented practices.


Community-building is a critical part of establishing and maintaining robust, sustainable INOs. By fostering a sense of belonging, encouraging active participation, and promoting transparency and accountability, INOs can leverage the power of their communities to achieve their goals.

While Community Oriented practices may seem challenging and limiting at first, their potential benefits make them worth the investment for any INO looking to build strong communities.