Building the Oasis Community: An Interview with Mihnea Stefanescu, Community Lead at Oasis

Dive into the initiatives, goals, and growth of the Oasis community with the Oasis Foundation’s Community Lead!

Growing a community is not a quick nor easy task. The Oasis Foundation is honored to give its support to the global community of hundreds of thousands of individuals who support the privacy-focused mission of the Oasis Network. A stronger community leads to a healthier ecosystem, which is why the Oasis Foundation focuses so much on the wellbeing of its community.

Mihnea Stefanescu is the Community Lead at the Oasis Foundation. He explains how the Foundation works tirelessly to support the Network’s global community of creators, developers, researchers, and ambassadors. Mihnea also details what excites him about recent community initiatives and growth to aim to accelerate privacy adoption in Web3.

This post features an abridged transcript from a live event hosted by the Oasis community. Click here to watch a recording of the conversation.

What is your role at Oasis? 

So, my primary focus revolves around fostering a vibrant and engaged community environment. But the answer to this question is not simple. I hold a position that kind of encompasses a wide array of responsibilities and initiatives.

Where our community members feel valued, they feel supported and motivated to actively participate in the growth and in the development of our ecosystem. So, at the core of my role is the management and coordination of everything of all community related activities. This includes orchestrating engaging competitions, facilitating insightful discussions and overseeing the day-to-day operations of our moderator team. Together we constantly work to ensure that our community platform remains a welcoming and inclusive space for all.

We are also spearheading several initiatives that I would say are instrumental in driving community growth and engagement. One such initiative that we did last year was to revamp the ambassador program and with the help of our community who has helped us choose the new name for the Ambassador program, which is the Oasis Sentinels.

I always cared about free educational resources and educating the communities. The Oasis Academy is a very comprehensive educational platform and is designed to basically equip newcomers to the blockchain space and of course Oasis with the knowledge and resources they need to navigate this landscape.

But yeah, overall, my contribution to the team and our organization's goals extends beyond just community management because it lies in creating an environment where our community thrives.

Tell us about your journey through Web3. Why did you join the Oasis team?

I was always passionate about technology, so even growing up I was glued to video games. I had all the consoles possible. I was super passionate about tinkering with hardware and with software. I ran websites and marketplaces. I first heard about Bitcoin back in 2010 because I had a friend who was mining Bitcoin with PlayStation 3s and he tried to get me into it, but it just didn't click for me.

Fast forward to a couple of years later, we started an Ethereum mining operation, which was successful until the market crashed in 2018 and we had to sell everything. But that mining operation really got me passionate about blockchain technology, so I was kind of hooked. I started going deeper down the rabbit hole because it really is a rabbit hole.

And then that's when Oasis caught my attention with privacy and security. It felt like the perfect fit for my passion and skills, so I jumped at the chance to be part of the project.

What’s the greatest barrier for mainstream acceptance of Web3? 

This journey that the whole space is taking is not exactly a walk in the park. Of course, decentralized technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with the digital world. But getting everyone on board? That's a whole different ball game. One of the biggest hurdles that we're facing in the industry is the sheer complexity of it all.

We're talking about the whole new way of doing things. You could call it the paradigm shift. That can be downright daunting for the uninitiated. But complexity isn't the only barrier we're up against.

There's also the issue of scalability. Most blockchains aren't exactly known for their lightning fast transactions. We need a platform that can handle the kind of traffic you'd see on a major social media platform or an e-commerce platform.

And of course, then there is the aspect of privacy. Privacy is a big deal in a world where data breaches and surveillance are all way too common. People want assurances that personal information is safe and secure. And I would say until we can provide this assurance, mainstream addition of Web3 is going to remain an uphill battle. But this is where Oasis comes in.

What inspires you on a daily basis in Web3? What passions do you have?

I'm joking whenever possible and I always try to read good books and do more travel. Romania is a very beautiful country, so there are a lot of amazing places to visit. I'm still a gamer at heart too. So whenever possible, I fire up my PC or PS5 and just game for a couple of hours. I've been passionate about technology ever since I can remember and I love taking things apart and messing with trying to make it more efficient.

And I truly believe that having passions outside of work makes me better at what I do, whether it's learning skills or simply providing a much-needed break for my daily grind, my hobbies, my passions. They keep me grounded.

What is coming up for the Oasis community in the future? 

I'm sure that everyone is aware that the rapid pace that we're growing, and the upcoming months are shaping up to be nothing short of epic for the Oasis community because we'll have new features, new initiatives to engage the community, events, partnerships and more. There is something for everyone on the horizon.

The entire community team is working on kick starting our university program because our technology is truly amazing and we want this many people to benefit from it. We're aiming to create workshops, lectures that can benefit the bright minds of tomorrow, whether it's online classrooms or in person events. We also have big plans for the Oasis Odyssey.

We recently launched a forum on Discord where project owners can create their own threads where they can engage with the community, keep them up to date.

We're also doubling down on our commitment to community engagement, to community empowerment. And as part of this effort, we're thrilled to announce our plans for regional expansion because I want us to onboard dedicated community managers in key regions around the globe.

We're basically working around the clock to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience the power and potential of Oasis.

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