[DRAFT] Celo Public Goods - The Regen Atlas - Louise Borreani

Link to the proposal as a Google Doc open to comments - entails screenshots of the prototype

Author: Louise Borreani

Aligned Public Goods Bucket: Celo Project Incubation

Funding request: $90,000 cUSD + 30,000 CELO

Summary: The Regen Atlas is a blockchain-enabled platform designed to facilitate displaying, funding, and incubating of natural capital projects through a user-friendly, interactive map interface. This proposal seeks to leverage Celo’s distinct focus on tokenized natural capital, by offering a platform where users can directly browse, purchase, and request funding for a variety of green crypto-assets, thereby broadening Celo’s appeal and utility for environmental projects and investors interested in Regenerative Finance (ReFi).

Over the course of six months, the proposal aims to transform the Regen Atlas into a fully functional beta version with at least 100 active users. The initial phase focuses on:

  1. Establishing strategic partnerships and specifying/implementing user experience (UX/UI) enhancements, setting the groundwork for the platform’s development. Developing blockchain-based transaction capabilities, such as purchasing green crypto-assets directly through the platform.

  2. Marketing the full beta platform to onboard its first cohort of users.

Motivation: Today, the size of the VCM is somewhere between US$1-2b, but is growing fast and projected to surpass $500b by 2050. On Celo, projects producing natural capital assets have exponentially increased in the last few years: FlowCarbon, Moss.earth, and Toucan Protocol’s tokenized carbon assets, or Silvi Protocol’s trees forwards being all examples. This move of environmental assets on-chain is justified by the current inefficiencies in monetizing natural capital, marked by outdated processes and heavy reliance on intermediaries, obstructing liquidity and stifling innovation, leading to the questionable quality of numerous assets in the traditional world.

The Regen Atlas aims to break down these barriers by offering an inclusive, global, and open-source platform where any entity—including individuals, communities, and organizations—can seek support for their environmental initiatives; and/or purchase a wide range of green assets, informed by detailed ratings. The introduction of this application to the Celo ecosystem, necessitated by the growing number of protocols generating green assets, will establish Celo as the premier destination for purchasing and trading tokenized natural capital.

Currently, the ReFi sectors’ predominant focus on carbon offsets has marginalized the funding for other critical environmental assets. The Regen Atlas expands its scope to support a variety of green assets, including biodiversity, water purification, and regenerative agriculture, alongside innovative financial instruments like futures/forwards contracts, bonds, or nature-backed currencies. In this sense, the app is meant to be a viable aggregation layer for the increasing number and diversity of green crypto-assets available on Celo. This feature is particularly beneficial for the community as it attracts a wide range of environmental projects and investors interested in ReFi—even more so as the transition to access Ethereum’s larger user base and liquidity pools is on the horizon.

Moreover, the proposal aims to aggregate Ratings Providers for the green assets listed on the Regen Atlas, adding a layer of transparency and trust to the deriving assets on Celo.

In the longer term and outside the scope of this proposal, the Regen Atlas aims to streamline the direct production of natural capital assets on Celo. While the Climate Collective initially aimed to do this, it was never achieved. The Regen Atlas wishes to take up this workstream by creating a platform that accomplishes its objectives.

Metrics and KPIs: The proposal measures success according to the following KPIs:

  1. Securing five or more new asset provider partnerships within five months after reception of the grant, doubling the number of listed assets available on the Regen Atlas.

  2. Establishment of a credible green asset ratings interface within five months after reception of the grant.

  3. Launch of the redesigned platform with improved UX/UI and blockchain-based transaction capabilities on Celo within six months after reception of the grant.

  4. Achievement of 100 active users within the first three months post-marketing campaign launch.

Specification: The Regen Atlas’ key features will include:

  • Support for Diverse Green Assets: The Regen Atlas accommodates a wide array of green crypto-assets, covering various environmental categories that go beyond carbon. Users can explore and engage with projects related to carbon assets, but also non-carbon ecosystem services (e.g. biodiversity, regenerative agriculture, water purification), green and blue bonds, forwards contracts, and more. The interface will have a filtering feature, enabling hassle-free browsing and funding.

  • Aggregated Ratings Agencies: To provide users with valuable insights, the Regen Atlas aggregates scores from ratings agencies specializing in natural capital. This consolidated resource offers a bird’s eye view of the highest quality initiatives, helping potential funders make informed decisions while building their green portfolio.

  • Top-down Territorial Incentives (longer term, outside the scope of this proposal): The Regen Atlas lets users create incentives in relation to extant territories, helping stimulate natural capital projects in areas where they can have the most significant impact. Users eager to incentivize the production of natural capital assets will be able to pin a location on the map and enter specific tender information—such as the incentive offered, e.g. a carbon credit—before publishing their request for proposals.

  • Support for Existing Green Assets (longer term, outside the scope of this proposal): Many green assets already exist, but lack the global accessibility afforded by public blockchains. The interface will allow users to request these assets as tokens on Celo, partnering with well-regulated, designated custodians who tokenize already existing green assets.

Current status: The project has produced a proof-of-concept (TRL 3):

  • Prototype Completed: The team has achieved a crucial milestone with the completion of a functional map interface prototype. It currently displays a total of 23 natural capital assets, categorized by seven different asset providers and five distinct asset types. Furthermore, the filtering feature has been completed, allowing users to search for assets based on issuer, type, and location. This prototype serves as a tangible representation of the project’s capabilities.

  • Market Testing: The project’s team has begun market testing, focusing on establishing connections with stakeholders to address their pain points while testing business assumptions. This phase involves actively engaging with potential funders (market demand side) and natural capital providers (market supply side) to gather valuable feedback and insights, helping us refine the project and tailor it to their specific needs.

  • Research: The team has thoroughly researched natural assets, resulting in the publication of a report on Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) practices for natural assets, as well as the preparation of a book outlining the process of natural asset production. These research efforts have equipped the project with a comprehensive understanding of the nuances and heterogeneous regulations of the natural capital space.

Timeline and milestones:

Month 1: Planning and Partnership Expansion

  • Key Activities: Initiate discussions with potential asset providers and a reputable ratings agency for partnership. Conduct user research to inform UX/UI design decisions.
  • Expected Outcome: Agreements in principle with at least five new asset providers and a ratings agency. Detailed UX/UI improvement plan based on user research insights.

Month 2: User Experience Design

  • Key Activities: Start the redesign of the map interface, focusing on simplifying navigation and improving the asset search and filter functionalities. Prototype new designs for user testing.
  • Expected Outcome: Completion of UX/UI design prototypes ready for feedback and iteration.

Month 3: Development Phase Initiation

  • Key Activities: Begin coding for direct asset transactions on the Regen Atlas, incorporating secure payment processing and transaction fee mechanisms. Implement UX/UI design enhancements into the development process.
  • Expected Outcome: Development underway for both the transaction system and UX/UI improvements, with initial versions ready for internal testing.

Month 4: Finalize Partnerships and Continue Development

  • Key Activities: Finalize agreements with asset providers and the ratings agency. Integrate the natural capital asset rating system into the platform. Continue development, incorporating user feedback on UX/UI design.
  • Expected Outcome: Official partnerships established and integrated into the platform’s offerings. Continued progress on the transaction system and UX/UI enhancements.

Month 5: Testing and Refinement

  • Key Activities: Conduct comprehensive testing of the transaction system and UX/UI features. Gather user feedback on the updated platform and make necessary adjustments.
  • Expected Outcome: A fully functional and user-friendly transaction system ready for public use. A polished UX/UI that enhances user engagement and satisfaction.

Month 6: Marketing Campaign and User Onboarding

  • Key Activities: Develop and execute targeted marketing campaigns. Monitor user onboarding process and gather initial user feedback for future improvements.
  • Expected Outcome: Successful onboarding of the first 100 users. Increased awareness and interest in the Regen Atlas.

Payment Terms: The receiving address is 0x864f2c20F55d7b6E80e65332C372C855a67be451

Month Necessary support (beyond founding team) Tasks Allocation
Month 1: Planning and partnership expansion UX/UI Researcher Coordinate project kickoff and partnerships
Conduct user research for UX/UI planning
$10,000 cUSD
Month 2: User Experience Design UX/UI Designer Redesign map interface, improve navigation and functionality
Prototype new designs
$15,000 cUSD
Month 3: Development Phase Initiation Blockchain Developer(s) Develop transaction capabilities on Celo
Implement UX/UI enhancements
$20,000 cUSD + 10,000 CELO
Month 4: Finalize Partnerships and Continue Development Blockchain Developer(s) Finalize agreements with asset providers and ratings agency
Integrate rating system, continue platform development
$20,000 cUSD + 10,000 CELO
Month 5: Testing and Refinement QA Engineer
UX/UI Designer
Test transaction system and UX/UI features
Refine based on feedback
$15,000 cUSD + 5000 CELO
Month 6: Marketing Campaign and User Onboarding Community Manager Develop and execute marketing campaigns
Manage user onboarding and feedback collection
$10,000 cUSD + 5,000 CELO

Team: The Regen Atlas is being co-founded by four key persons:

  1. Louise Borreani is leading research for the Atlas. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy from Sciences Po Paris, and over the past three years, she has made significant contributions in ReFi through her in-depth research on the space, digital Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (dMRV), nature-based asset markets and environmental tokenomics. Previously, she has adeptly managed and produced research as well as the technical documentation of the Kolektivo Framework. She coded the first Regen Atlas prototype.

  2. Christoph Wünsche is providing operations and business development support for the Atlas, including formalizing its operational setup and establishing critical legal relationships for its future tokenization of natural capital.

  3. Pawel Janicki is a seasoned full-stack developer with Web3 experience, and has contributed to greenfield projects and MVPs various startups and agencies. Notably, he has contributed to projects such as PrimeDAO, and the Kolektivo Framework.

  4. Pat Rawson is providing a mix of product, strategy, and marketing services for the Atlas. Pat’s proficiency in writing and editing complex whitepapers, essays, and research is essential for communicating the project’s objectives and findings effectively (e.g. Kolektivo Whitepaper). Pat’s prior experience as an award-winning digital marketer with major studios such as Universal, Disney, and Netflix provides insights into marketing strategies for the project and the marketing needs of its constituent stakeholders.

Additional support/resources: See Google Doc link opening this proposal.

Hey Louis, thanks for taking the time to write this proposal!

The Celo Project Incubation budget from CeloPG H1 is already fully spent, so it’s no longer possible to apply for these funds.

I do see value in your proposal and think there are other alternatives in the Celo Ecosystem that can help accelerate the project.

Writing out some options below:
A. Make a direct request to the Celo Community treasury, which is harder as you will need to rally stakeholders to reach the required quorum.
B. Apply for a Prezenti grant between 10-25K - they should open for requests soon.
C. Participate in the upcoming Gitcoin Climate round. Celo is matching with an additional 50k cUSD only for projects that are live or aim to deploy on Celo.
D. Wait for H2, and if another Incubation budget is passed, apply for that.

Hope that helps you forward. Feel free to check CeloPG.eco for more resources!