Community-driven DAOs: Proposed Structure for Community Fund DAOs as of Jan 2022

Based on conversations with @jlwaugh, it would be good to have a DAO specifically to Diversity & Inclusion projects (DAOversity?, as he suggested). I’ve just created my DAO (TibiraDAO) and I am missing a vertical that could contemplate all specificities of projects related to the topic – which they pratically sit in the merge of all DAOs listed.

Is it possible to contemplate it in the new structure?

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Thanks @grace for such a detailed explanation. I’m looking fwd to see how these changes would help improving the ecosystem.

  • Council Rotating System

About this: Incubadora submitted a challenge (Brutus) in the previous Metabuidl Hackathon, it might be interesting to implement something similar for Council Rotation.

hey there! I guess Diversity falls into Community, no? But I agree we need to put more eyes on this topic for sure!

Great initiative! I see NF is taking huge steps towards more decentralization as stated before. People out there gotta see this :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Not necessarily. TibiraDAO, for example, falls in Ecosystem, even though is working with the LGBTQIA+ community. It is better to think about diversity cross verticals instead of isolating it in one.

Hello @grace! Awesome to see the community trying new and better forms of governance :slight_smile: . Thank you!

I have some comments on a few of the things I read in this topic.

Hey @Dacha. The issue of impartiality is of extreme importance. I see 3 hurdles to solve.

  • The first is that it’s extremely difficult to find people who don’t have skin in the game willing to do council work and engage with all the guidelines and community strategy. Right now, using the Creatives DAO (of which I am a part of) as an example, it’s common to have DAO (DAO’s under the vertical) members voting on proposals in which they are an interested part. I, for example, vote on proposals from Incubadora DAO and VR DAO, both of which I am a part of. However, there are not much people who are 1) not NF employees and 2) trully independent and engaged.

(so, this makes active DAO members become Vertical Council)

  • The second hurdle is voting onchain vs voting offchain. I feel that, as long as proposals are being voted offchain (forum+TG+astrodao) , they are mainly verbal and demand some kind of consensus from council members. One thing does not derive from the other, i.e people could just vote and that’s it, but since voting happens in a context of traditional ‘power relations’ and ‘trust’, imo it’s problematic to have these Vertical Council Members be part of the DAOs which are being reviewed.

(so, active members become council, because they are the ones pushing the community forward; but then transparency suffers and the community becomes too dependant on their expertise)

  • The third hurdle is time. Proposals should be approved or not approved in a resonable time frame. If there are too many council members, that is difficult to achieve and the system becomes too bureaucratic. If voting happens offchain, this problem will be, imo, aggravated.

(this also relates to the other 2 hurdles, since it obviously pushes for less people to make decisions in order to make them faster, again that being against decentralization).

An extra point on this, before I continue.

I don’t exactly understand what it means to be a ‘believer’. Does it mean that only ‘investers’ can be real NEAR believers? If someone thinks NEAR has a bright future should work for free, even though they can’t invest? So, where would they get NEAR in the meantime? They would not, right? So, I would love for you to explain a bit more your position on this matter. I think I get where you are coming from (people using NEAR to get rich without trully contributing), but I might be wrong, so would love to hear more :wink:

If council members do not get some sort of reward (I am of the opinion that many council positions are overpaid, but that is a slightly different matter), then

  • council work has to be extremely soft, probably no more than half an hour per week,
  • or only people who already have a lot of money and free TIME can be Council members.

The first option I would love to see happen, and it would not be difficult if council were large enough and voting happened onchain, but the second just seems super problematic to me. As someone who is an artist and represents other artists in the community, the idea of working for free, even in something that one ‘believes’ (I have big problems with the concept of believing, but let’s leave that out of the conversation), while at the same time struggling to survive, doest not make sense.

I wrote Brutus right in the beginning, when I joined this community in May, and most of it’s ideas I still think could be useful for DAO governance.

I have some extra comments, based on the stuff I wrote above:

  • I would like to see voting happening 100% onchain, with each council member simply ‘voting’ on astrodao. No place for lobbying.
  • I would like to see a lot of council members for each Vertical. Agree with the proposal of 9 out of 20.
  • Council should rotate every 3 months, as I suggested in Brutus.
  • If timing becomes problematic, why not change funding periods from 1 month to 2 months or 3 months? That way, 2 or 3 weeks of processual timing would not make that much of a difference.

Thanks!

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It is great to see that what was once a vision now becomes true. I think this is the most important step towards a decentralized and most important community-oriented ecosystem. I will eagerly follow the process and looking forward when you open call for candidates. And thank @grace for this great initiative which brings us closer to a decentralized future!

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Thanks to all for your feedback! Its nice to learn different points of view, it reaffirms that we are in this together and we seek the same purpose.

As mentioned. We will hold an AMA on Tuesday, Dec 21st. Here is the event link
Everyone is welcomed to join, share your thoughts or clarify any doubts or concerns you may have.

Hope you see you all there!

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Hey @grace, the link doesn’t work, could you update it please? :pray:

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Had some struggle with the link too. Thanks for so much information and we’re looking forward to being here.

should staking 1K stNEAR in Council Pool DAO(Initiated by NF) as credit

Thank you for pointing it out. It is now added to the near.org events page: Proposed DAO Structure AMA (Community Driven DAOs)

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Agree.

Who will control it?

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If underlying reason for rotating every three months is to provide an opportunity for more members to serve as Council Members, then one could also consider a setup of continuous delegation. Then you could do away with the timeframes and let people serve on the Council for as long as the community deems them worthy to do so - with every person in the community having equal opportunity to become a member of the Council while still reaping the benefits that experience/tenure provide.

Some of the issues I envision with a three month turnover and enforcing three month gaps between serving on other DAOs:

  • it takes people time to get accustomed to a role and become efficient with the work, with three month turnover, you are constantly invoking a state of chaos in the system as transitions occur and new Council members learn how to be Council members;

  • if you don’t do something like stagger the rotations, you may end up with a completely new Council every three months. That could cause large shifts in direction/how things are run with every new Council that will inevitably cause friction in the community; and

  • limited tenures and gaps between eligibility poses risks for participation and community retention. People drawn to leadership/managerial/council positions are the same people who are not necessarily going to wait around for three months or another shot - would suggest there is high potential they will go get involved in something else and you’ll lose their experience.

Potential Recommendation

Consider a system of continuous delegation. For example, if the Council is going to be nine members, then give every member of the community nine votes. Allow them to assign their vote to any nine members from the pool of eligible/identified potential Council members at any time, including switching at will. Automatically designate the nine members with the highest number of delegated votes as the Council members.

The council will change as people delegate their votes to other people (including themselves if they desire). That may better reflect the will of the community and if council members are doing incredible jobs, that will be recognized and they’ll remain council members (why shake it up if it’s working really well?). Likewise if someone isn’t fulfilling the role, no need to wait three months - once the community decides they leave, their vote delegations make it so.

Vetting Candidates

Do think this is a good idea - at very least to determine a minimum level of understanding of the community prior to being involved in decision making for it. Would suggest some of the criteria include:

  • minimum length of time as a member of the community. Whether they participate or not, hopefully they are observing/learning the culture and purpose/values of the community

  • maybe a threshold knowledge quiz that confirms both working of governance mechanisms (Astro/tools used) and understanding of the goals/vision of the community

  • no anonymity - if someone is making decisions for the group, those votes should be public and should be a minimum level of transparency required otherwise probably find little accountability for decisions taken (should be a reputational hit if they do something malicious)

  • good standing reputation in the community (although this is something that vote delegation helps confirm anyways).

Just some thoughts. Hope they’re helpful.

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Thank you Grace for leading such an important discussion! Just wanted to articulate one point below…

This probably wouldn’t work because it’s a significant vulnerability for NF. Let’s imagine someone sends 100 NEAR to a Community DAO with 6 of 9 council members who are not NF employees. They could approve payouts without following the rules, and NF might be responsible. Furthermore, we can’t guarantee our team will ever be removed from the council.

Alternatively, if we start with a majority of council members from NF, then we could let others vote first in order to gauge community approval. Or if it has to be 6 of 9 members from outside NF, we can simply raise the approval threshold to 7 of 9.

Thoughts?

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Thank you to all who participated in today’s AMA on this subject.

Great questions on council composition, responsibility, fund distributions, conflict of interest, etc.

Hope you found it informative, there is still a lot of work to get done but with your feedback we are confident we will get the process started.

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I second this idea. :bulb: :+1:

I agree with you on that. With 6 of 9 The Community DAO has 100% more voting power, and that’s def. an issue and makes the NF vulnerable.

I think the ratio should be more like 5 NF members and 7 Community DAO members, which would give the Community DAO only 30% more voting power over the NF.

Thanks @grace et al for the AMA. Good to discuss/learn from others on these topics. Couple of my thoughts/summarizations based on the conversation:

Separation of Payouts and Governance

Understanding the legal/compliance issues it is a shame to have to move to a system that separates governance from payout disbursements. I would rather see the platform whether it is Astro, Catalyst or any other DAO platform build in processes/tools that enable DAOs to be compliant or help them setup a legal entity and manage KYC either at platform or DAO level. You lose some of the benefits of the DAO/automation when you can’t finalize an action (in this case payout). I think we’ll also probably lose some inter-DAO operability.

I don’t have the legal background necessary to know what all the compliance controls NF must adhere to, but if it is strictly a KYC thing - that is certainly solvable by having DAOs regulate membership to their DAO. If the DAO then went through some kind of vetting/audit process with NF to confirm they are operating within the controls - perhaps NF would be satisfied compliance is being met? (NF acts as a regulator).

The other option is to require DAOs to form legal entities if they intend to disburse funds on behalf of NF. For instance, I’ve incorporated Vital Point AI in Canada. I use a DAO to coordinate work, but it’s up to Vital Point AI to comply/do KYC for payouts. Thus, should not really be an issue with NF transferring funds to Vital Point AI (a legal entity) and then Vital Point AI disburses as part of payout proposals. If I understood correctly, I think this is similar to what Audiato (Alex) from the AMA call has setup.

Councils

Vetting Process - YES. It should set the minimum acceptable standard to be a council member. Community should decide what that minimum acceptable standard looks like, but achieving it needs to be as objective, quantifiable, and automated It should not require any type of community vote or discussion as to whether someone is suitable or you introduce subjectivity and potential nepotism. Getting into the pool of potential candidates should be open and equal access to everyone. Once in the pool, then one can assume any individual in there is capable and thus subjectivity/weight can be thrown behind someone (ideally in form of delegation/election).

Conflict of Interest - serving on a Council anywhere typically comes with responsibilities to remain impartial and objective. I see zero issue with people serving on multiple boards, multiple communities, multiple DAOS/councils, as long as they exercise a degree of integrity and recuse themselves from participating in/influencing any decisions that they may personally benefit from. A system of checks/balances/accountabilities should exist to help those holding power, use it responsibly.

Community Direction - let’s not confuse decentralization and community ownership/governance with complete dissolution of leadership. Communities need leaders and direction and if a community/DAO is setup to achieve NEAR objectives, then it only makes sense to have an adequate level of NF representation on the council to ensure the community stays aligned to purpose - one could argue it should actually be a controlling interest. You can counter this somewhat by putting a community signalling effort (advisory vote that occurs prior to a deciding vote) to at least identify when proposals that might pass due to a NF controlling interest are going against the wishes of the majority of the community.

Composition - need to consider size, composition (NF/community), quorum. However, if the DAO can be compliant on its own, then composition may not even need NF/community split. I’m still a fan of continuous delegation.

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@jlwaugh - please correct me if I’m wrong - believe the issue is that NF requires the controlling vote in any ratio to meet the responsibility requirements. Thus, any ratio where NF falls below community members isn’t going to work in this scenario.

To confirm - in this statement - of the 7 approvals required - would be 4 NF, 3 community correct?

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