Intrinsic Motivation

In today’s soft gov sync, we discussed about how to create an environment where reward and punishment mechanisms are part of a secondary incentive system, and intrinsic motivation is the first and biggest drive for collaboration.

Some reflections that came up from @JessicaZartler, @Juankbell, Mateo, @ZeptimusQ, @santigs, Ata, @Griff, @cranders1:

  • Intrinsic motivation comes from care
    We have a natural will to help the people that we love

  • A culture of reciprocity naturally opens our desire to be active. Maintaining a flow between giving and receiving is important.

  • Feeling like you can collaborate and that you are important. When your ideas are valued you feel like collaborating.

  • Gratefulness promotes intrinsic motivation because it creates a bond of trust. ( trust was also pointed to be a pillar for accountability in the Miro board)

  • What is the topic in which you are willing to give more than to take - what’s your passion and your ambition in what you are offering. How interested people are on providing value?

  • Intrinsic motivation has a goal. Like if kids want to play football but they don’t have a field, their motivation will be to find a place to play, so we need to focus on what public goods are and why it is so cool, so we’ll find the means to build it.

  • This urge to explore and discover with a community of people that have that same goals is my motivation. This is fun life experience and it’s s how I like to spend my time. The intellectual stimulus and the discovery keep me going.

  • Doing what you’re passionate about and being recognized by the community.

  • If we give a sense of feet to everyone joining the community, showing them the way, and giving them a sense of recognition we’ll see more collaboration.

  • the sense of empowerment is key- feeling like you can participate and change things and not just observe from a distance.

  • The difficult economic situation of developing countries is also a huge motivation since every crypto income helps so much (intersection of intrinsic and external motivation)

Our community truly has some magic going on, we seem to be cultivating a sense of belonging, trust and recognition, so what is the bridge that has to be made for more engagement to happen on the issues and action items? How does the intrinsic motivation translates to action?

Jess brought a good point that

  • People don’t want to let others down
  • We should encourage people to give and contribute only when they are very motivated.
  • People don’t want to fail
  • Obligation is the pain of any relationship
  • People can do little things

Could this be the key for accountability? having a very easy to jump in an out type of dynamic? We will try to break issues into smaller pieces, and encourage every contribution no matter how big or small it looks.

Mateo added that:

  • Intrinsic motivation has to become value creation.
  • We find a way that all this incentives and proposals would become a flow where everyone will be offering value and receiving (Ecosystem value flows)
  • Game design to keep people interested in generating more value as you advance - Having clear steps of what is to evolve in the system.
  • Onboarding journey

Zeptimus reflected that his experience came to a flow once he removed the fear that everything was too much and just got involved :sunny:

As an action item, Ata and I will think of how all of this points could be translated into metrics of engagement and system design.
Thanks to everyone that attended the call for the amazing reflections! If you read this far, I’m sure you have some comments popping up, please bring them to the discussion :)))


I think intrinsic motivation is what gives sense to what we are doing. If you are not intrinsically motivated by what you do, it’s probably you are passing a difficult time, you’ll have to spend some time with yourself and understand why. It’s easy to fall into confromism, sometimes we do things because of habit, or because others tell us to do, but doing meaningless things we lose our time (the scarce and precious material the life is made of).

Finding a community with whom do something that you feel is important is a life changer. Community culture must be welcoming and inclusive, so people is encouraged to experiment without fear until they find a place from where they can contribute and keep learning.

Community sustainability will mostly depend on that, on how much people care.

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