This document is a community manifesto that aims to help shape the NEAR Constitution by providing the appropriate guardrails and scope for further advancement of the discussion. The NEAR Constitution shall be true to the spirit of decentralization - being fluid to allow seamless amendments while also defining the basic tenets for a robust ecosystem.
NEAR is a global, decentralized ecosystem made up of contributors from all walks of life, building projects and coordinating programs, on a sustainable and scalable blockchain, ushering in a world where people control their assets, data, and the power of governance.
We want NEAR to inspire a sense of belonging for everyone to be able to find a home in the NEAR ecosystem. In this place, every person gets a chance at upward socio-economic mobility while collaborating with people around the world. Our world is at the cusp of a ‘technical renaissance,’ and we want NEAR to lead the way by delivering cutting-edge solutions to drive mass adoption of the open web by solving real-world problems.
Open-source experiments and public goods form the backbone of the open web economy, where state-of-the-art blockchain technology is accessible to all. The NEAR ecosystem will always remain committed to supporting all positive-sum explorations in this domain.
A truly decentralized and inclusive world can best be built by collaboration between different players, not competition. NEAR embodies collaboration on the protocol, people, projects, and program fronts by coordinating on-chain innovations.
All ecosystem contributors must strive to uphold the NEAR ecosystem values and adhere to the principles derived therefrom. Our ecosystem values are described as follows:
Ecosystem first: We must always put the success of the ecosystem above any individual’s interest. The NEAR ecosystem is a collective; hence it should always be treated as more important than any one person, regardless of their influence.
Openness: We must operate transparently and consistently share knowledge to build open communities. Transparency is the key to establishing trust between all stakeholders, and we must encourage a collaborative approach to drive accountability through transparency.
Pragmatism over perfection: We must find the right solution, not the ideal solution, and beat dogmatism by openly considering all ideas. Decentralization can be very chaotic, and maintaining a high speed of iteration is often challenging - supporting things that have a positive impact and move the discussion forward without getting too caught up in the semantics is extremely important.
Make it feel simple: We must strive to make the complex feel simple, so the technology, platform and ecosystem are accessible to all.
Grow constantly: We must always learn, improve and fail productively so the ecosystem and the community become more effective. We must embody the spirit of “fail faster, build better” and continue experimenting with innovative approaches to solve problems together.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Every contributor in the NEAR ecosystem must abide by the community guidelines under all circumstances and work towards building a safe environment for people from all walks of life. We must always strive for diversity to be represented in our actions, values, discourse, and decisions as an ecosystem.
Zero tolerance for any kind of discrimination or retaliation must be maintained at all times, and any attempt to contravene this collective stance by anyone, will not be tolerated.
Abuse of positions of influence for personal gain or preferential treatment to any person or entity over another violates the code of conduct and values of our community.
Fake entities and identities aimed at deliberate falsification and deception violate the code of conduct and values of our community.
CHARTER OF RESPONSIBILITIES
All NEAR ecosystem participants must strive to continue exploring the most optimal ways to facilitate equitable distribution of resources, opportunities, participation in governance, and decentralized ownership of ecosystem responsibilities. To that objective, every member of the NEAR ecosystem is expected to assume the following individual responsibilities:
Align incentives: Everyone must feel morally invested in the success of the ecosystem and work towards aligning incentives for all stakeholders. Acknowledge, appraise, encourage and reward value.
Always act in good faith: While transparency is one of the most important values for blockchain-based communities, we must always assume good intentions without undue suspicions or preconceived notions towards another participant in the ecosystem. As is popularly said in the Auditing professional circles - let’s be watchdogs, not bloodhounds.
Community members looking to assume leadership positions or influence should disclose all potential conflicts of interest before they arise.
Hold ourselves to high standards: As representatives of the NEAR ecosystem, we must always hold ourselves to the highest standards because our behavior on online platforms and offline social interactions can significantly influence people’s opinions about NEAR. We should refrain from engaging in coin-operated behavior and focus on advocating NEAR’s technology.
Encourage doers: We must always encourage people willing to assume leadership roles to get things done when there is no consensus on how to move forward. It’s easy to get lost in circles discussing the nuances but hard to take ownership and move the needle.
Commitment to open source: All of us shall be committed to advancing altruistic research and innovations that advance the development of open-source and public goods on the NEAR blockchain.
Be welcoming and helpful: We should always be mindful that all of us have received some sort of help while exploring the ecosystem during our first interactions with NEAR, including learning about the technology that drives the blockchain. It is, therefore, the responsibility of every contributor in the ecosystem to have a welcoming attitude and, whenever possible, help the generally curious and new members of the ecosystem learn and grow. Continuing this virtuous cycle is perhaps the best way to demonstrate our commitment to the NEAR ecosystem values.
ALIGNING INCENTIVES AND SCOPE
The NEAR community is expected to play a constant iteration game of setting the scope and incentives for community-driven initiatives while being attentive to whether the trajectory is on par with the ecosystem’s goals and expectations.
Scope defines the conditions and requirements for facilitating an initiative.
Incentives define the speed of development and adoption of ideas.
For any community-driven initiative, the community may, by way of proposing on the NEAR governance forum or any appropriate community channel, start a discussion to present, define, adopt, amend, challenge or repeal aspects of such a governance framework or initiative.
In the event of an amendment proposal being put up for discussion, reasonable time must be stipulated to facilitate discussions on the pros and cons of such a proposal, along with a general announcement on the NEAR governance forum, or any appropriate community channel, to invite all ecosystem stakeholders to share their views on the proposal.
Unless otherwise stated by law, no amendment, on-chain or otherwise, shall be legally binding on another person or entity in the ecosystem. It is upto the sole discretion of individual contributors to participate or abstain from participating in the discussion or decision-making of ecosystem initiatives.
The NEAR Constitution, unless subject to smart-contract-based voting, or necessary legal stipulations, will not be legally binding on any person or entity in the ecosystem. Any and all amendments to the community manifesto and, in effect, the constitution shall be ratified by ecosystem members solely on the grounds of merits and/or substantiated concerns, free from undue influence, personal motivation, unsubstantiated claims, or duress of any kind.