House of Guilds: a new funding mechanism for Guilds

Hey! Great, Community Team should be there, of course,

On the DAO groups, with voting power? Sure.
As advisors? Yes, please.

But not total control of the voting or decision process from a high hierarchy mechanism,

You know, right now is already working that way, with the Community Team as councils on the DAOs, so the transition is not what I see proposed here, it seems just a change of hands from one team to another.

Thank you, I fully agree with you here:

We do need to talk about this further.

Suppose the NF management decides to run this initiative without enough conversation with the Guild Leaders and against the community sentiment. In that case, it will be a colossal mistake that could lead to a break in our community.

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Amazing intervention. Thanks!

Important: Family, we need to start trusting in our community. Let’s decentralize the power.

I need to disagree with you in the followings:

I don’t see anything good in a dictator, it is necessary when a community is not ready to be free but it is indeed not a good thing.

We need leaders, of course, but with the same voting power as the community, the community will listen and then will choose. That is decentralization because leaders are really speakers and advisors, and we all share our part here.

On Communities who enjoy freedom:
Leaders are speakers and advisors, but they have the same voting rights. And they are chosen by the communities

I believe you need to recheck the thread:

  1. The proposal on this thread wants to run a Community DAO too
  2. The proposal on this thread wants to run it with a dictatorship (not inclusive)
  3. A community DAO initiative already exists
  4. The community DAO initiative that already exists is an open and inclusive one where everyone is invited to be part
  5. The community DAO that already exists is being shaped by the whole community (decentralization)

We do want to do things that don’t exist, we want to build the web3, and we want to improve democracy, we are pioNEARs, so we are not afraid that this doesn’t exist, the main goal is to be decentralized and we are going achieve it.

And to do so, we need to invite over the community to discuss further, so the iteration is beneficial.

Finally, I agree that this is not easy, and because of that, I disagree with you on being more agile if we are going to lose decentralization. Why rush over? IT is not going to work with a rush and without inviting others and being inclusive.

If the House of Guilds team really wants to help, they should be joining the Community DAO that already exists, and then… Later, if they like, they can make a proposal for changes or run another initiative from what was learned, inviting everyone.

A draft document is a way to do so… shared with all the Guild Leaders

but why did they decide to not play with the team? to not play with the community? I am sure they want the best, but It really feels that way now, not inviting.

And hey, for sure, when we jump in on our first meeting together, the House of Guilds proposal team with the Guild Leaders, we will sort this out and we will find ways to go further and grow, as I am sure we all want the best for our NEAR Community.

Now, I totally agree with you from here:

About what you share on Guilds and the Guild Program… yeah, there is a need to build a more strategic framework, funding structure could be budget-based, for sure we need a team to audit and review I proposed an evaluation spreadsheet, we could take a look on that again or generate more ideas @jcatnear @Jessica @Jloc @jiten123321 @simeon4real and these ideas could be voted on by the community, not imposed.

About the operations and training that’s a great proposal, Great one! from Guild Ops Team you could take care of, right? Even you could do it together with the Near University @shashi is leading new initiatives there like the NCE. And it could be also an online course with LearnNear.Club with @sasha you guys from Guild Opos should contact the Education Institutions we have and make that happen!

Love the pic you shared :cowboy_hat_face:

Cheers :beers:


Lots of interesting feedback in this whole topic since my last post! tbh some of it is more constructive than others and I want to echo some other community members who have suggested that we should ascribe good intent to everyone and avoid biased takedown posts or rabble rousing because that cheapens the discourse here. I really appreciate the genuine engagement!

As usual, will react in a batch to some of the themes but want to keep moving forward so am not going to address point-by-point or we’ll just end up on an infinite thread with no shipping.

HoG isn’t the only viable proposal

This isn’t some mandated NF official policy, it’s separate. It’s a proposal I’m running with to fix some ongoing problems and fill a gap that’s likely to exist going forward as the NF has to operate at higher levels of abstraction and will be less able to fund specific guilds or other initiatives. It also provides a way to test-drive something new that could be quite useful later. I’m hoping to be aggressive on shipping it but realize that could be too optimistic.

I think maybe this proposal is interpreted as the only way forward and as if it prevents other things from existing. If you have an experiment that should exist that helps the ecosystem and aligns with the bigger picture, do that too. Things like Community DAO aren’t made impossible because of this.

NF funding questions

I’m trying to focus on HoG in this thread rather than anything related to NF policy or community funding here since those are two totally separate threads*

"benevolent dictator" term

This is a term from within the open source (eg Linux) community that most people maybe didn’t have proper context for, so I didn’t realize it would be so triggering. I’m not trying to make a political point with it… the point of using that term is to acknowledge that there are a million small decisions that come up and someone has to make them. It is better to ship a thing that doesn’t have every single piece figured out and community driven that actually works rather than get bogged down in trying to ship a perfect thing. That’s a bad approach in software and in governance both.

The goal here is thus to focus on shipping and experimenting and bringing in members of the community but without forcing them to deal with all the exceptions and edge cases right away. That’s what kills so many interesting ideas in governance – everyone demands perfection immediately and the proposer or participants just get tired and give up.

This is meant to be transitional. I don’t want to run this thing long-term, I want it to stand on its own. But it has to get there somehow. Startups need founders. So the proper term here is more like “benevolent dictator for now” (to contrast the “benevolent dictator for life” used in OSS), one that Illia coined a few years ago and has stuck around.


@ALuhning made some really good points about operations and accountability which I want to acknowledge and echo too. My hope is to solve the funding need first then move to how we can help with operations so the community ecosystem (not just “guilds”) runs smoothly and delivers magic.

synchronous call
It’s hard to figure out timezones but I set up a zoom call for tomorrow 2-3pm Eastern US time where anyone interested can chat and obv will have more to come as this develops. DM me for details.


Having take much time going through all the post, I feel is important we still look into this matter critically, let make a calculated decision, @erik.near thank you for the forsight, but pls still give it another look let not rush things, is an awesome plan, but if executed in a wrong time the community will suffer for that.

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Very interesting indeed. Liked the idea.


Sweet info!

On behalf of C1 Guild and Writer’s collective i will say this is an epic innovation and we support it :100:.

Looking forward to action.


It’s still in the experimental phase and we won’t know if it would work if we don’t try it first.


Hey Erik!
I’m a part of Guild Ops of the @ConciergeTeam team.

After reading this post, I appreciate that you are very concerned about the funding mechanism of Guilds because, during most of the meetings with guild leaders, they complain about slow funding from the foundation. You won’t believe some guilds have been waiting for a quarter to pass their proposals so we need to rectify this.

Yes, this is where we are lagging right now.

We as Guild Ops can take charge of this part and right now we are the team who acting as a bridge between NF and the Guild ecosystem. Where we’re helping new/old guilds with every kind of support. We are mainly focusing on making Guild independent and trying to increase coordination between Guild<>Guild and Guild<>Projects.

In my opinion, the proposal by @chronear is the future face of the Guilds where he is saying that “With more than 130 Guilds in our ecosystem, it would be unjustifiable if we don’t have a scalable program to complement this growth of interest in contribution.”
And to solve the scalability issue in the guild program, we Guild ops are working on a plan you can read my comment on the post his post to know more about it.


Hi Erik, I’m interested in the synchronous call.

For the sake of transparency, I’ll just note a few things publicly.

Like most dictators, benevolent or not, we are now focused on semantics. It really doesn’t matter the particular nuances with which different groups may have attached to the term - while some have the luxury to be familiar with it in the context of linux software, others have actually fled dictartorships and experienced how institutions get corrupted and collapse. At the end of the day, what matters is the substance of the proposal. None of the main points have been addressed:

  1. How are the powers and responsibilities given to HoG, under your initial supreme command, any different to the powers and responsibilities the NEAR Foundation has had until now, also under your command? Please let’s not deflect all responsibilities to Guilds. The NEAR Foundation has had challenges and many experiments over the last few months, creating an entirely separate entity run by the same person who was ultimately responsible then but with seemingly less accountability leaves many questions to answer.

  2. The scope of the ‘experiment’ - immediately absorbing everything that existed up until now AND receiving funding in the hundreds of millions runs counter of running an experiment we all acknowledge can (and statistically will) fail. How may we run an actual experiment that does not take all Guilds and funding structures as collateral? What is the minimum viable product? What funding are we talking about initially? ($100m is my initial conservative estimate).

Final note, I have been receiving several messages of support from quite active and senior community members who do not speak out, which is very telling of the nature of the benevolent dictator we fear: at what point does the benevolence end when everyone’s pay check depend upon pleasing the supreme leader? I know it is extremely unfair that having held such high positions actually disqualify you from certain roles, but being out of touch and inaccessible by the community you seek to lead present some major challenges.

Looking forward to discussing some of these during the call,



Thanks @chronear, @blaze , @ALuhning and @erik.near a couple of thoughts on my side, that broadly compliment what has been said so far:

Long term time frames:

Guilds are people infrastructure, which is sometimes even more tricky than technical infrastructure to keep engaged over time (people will ghost and rug). Especially in the early days of a new system where it’s not clear how something establishes itself and grows over time, it’s important there is a reliable and unified engine of development in the early days (call it benevolent dictator or gamemaker).

Setting expectations and ‘rules of the game’ for guilds and how they should expect to (or can) operate is important for providing clear pathways to growth and development. Sometimes setting parameters or limitations helps new systems evolve faster.

A couple of other thoughts:

Scope defines conditions and requirements for onboarding.

Incentives define speed of development and adoption.

Ideally, a clean scope and high incentives can jumpstart something like this - but in reality this machinery is a lot like sailing a ship: Raise the sail to go fast = add more incentives, drop the sale to go slow down = lower incentives and be more rigorous with entry conditions.

In my opinion, any House of Guilds needs to ‘sail the ship so to speak’ and be playing a constant iteration game of setting scope and incentives, and then being attentive to whether the desired user base and growth trajectory is on par with expectations and goals.

Macro goals on an ecosystem level, can help clarify certain value propositions.

For example, we know that DAOs are in their infancy, and that Research and Development into DAOs is something that will pay dividends for ALL ecosystem stakeholders over the next 10 years. So a guild along the lines of a Lockheed Martin Skunkworks (call it say, Sput-Works), that does R&D experimentation, guides, and theory around the possibilities of Sputnik V2 and V3 + Astro (i.e. here is how you can put the European Union on Sputnik V2) will be helpful for realizing this infrastructure at scale and with ecosystem projects (when I have questions about what DAO I want, I talk to Sput-works!).

Same goes for Gaming Communities, or ‘teams’ of mercenaries interested in collaborating on certain sectors of crypto.

Glad you are taking the lead of this Erik and excited to see where it can go. Happy to help as I can!


Hello all,

a couple extra thoughts to add to the discussion.

I think our discussions would be more profitable if we addressed a few topics that might not be exactly shared concepts, looking at previous discussions; something like:

  • vision
  • decentralization
  • operational roles
  • decision making/voting

About Vision

Vision is something necessarily unified, or centralized. If a community is large enough, then a vision becomes many visions, and multiple visions compete with each other, since ‘a’ vision is, by it’s own definition, a guiding principle.

I have no strong opinion on who should provide a vision for this ecosystem, but it’s logic that NF fills that role.

As I stated above, the platform provider must provide a platform; therefore, I strongly believe that most Guilds/DAOs in the ecosystem look to NF for this, and not to themselves or their peers.

Decentralized communities dissipate energy. That’s why they provide use cases for the NEAR token and blockchain. They operate mainly outwards. For this reason, they are not the best entities to hold and develop a vision for the entire ecosystem.

Vision exists a priori to the community it creates.

About decentralization

There are, in the NEAR ecosystem, competing visions about decentralization. There are 2 broad concepts:

  1. Decentralization means decision making is not done at the NF level, but at the community level. This concept looks for independence, anonymity and selflessness as guiding profiles.

  2. Decentralization means a system that organizes itself in smaller units of decision, independent of a central power. This concept looks for interdependency, group-belonging and collaboration as guiding profiles.

Maybe the way I describe it is less than perfect, but I do think (1) is not decentralization, only an attempt at it. The way I see it, efforts that try to simply change the decision making from one group to another do not seek true decentralization.

Screen Shot 2022-03-05 at 10.05.29 PM

For example, the way the Community DAO is organized, at it’s basic level, is not more decentralized than the current NF led systems. One DAO that seeks to include all other groups is mimicking the current system, in which different groups gravitate around NF. I believe it has a strong case to become one of the most important DAOs in the NEAR ecosystem, but not as a replacement of NF.

I do believe the current iteration of the CREATIVES DAO, in which DAOs with proven track record + a team of moderators manage fund delivery, is a superior version of previous governance structures. It follows concept (2), in which groups self-manage inside a larger structure. Plus, it adds to the previous model (Vertical DAOs), makes it more complex, i.e. less centralized. More importantly, it respects the need for responsibilty, inderdependency and collaboration. Groups are encouraged to work outwards, as well as inwards.

About operational roles

Although there are many groups/individuals willing to engage with fundamental governance issues, the vast majority is more interested in bridging NEAR and their own projects. I think it’s paramount that we do not forget this.

Groups working in this ecosystem are more interested in having a clear, stable vision be provided, so that they can operate locally, in the projects that are important to them and to their communities.

They are less worried about the details of how operations are run, and more about fitting in one system and growing in it.

They want to know things like:

  1. Can my projects be funded?
  2. What are the ground and the ceiling for Guilds/DAOs, in NF’s vision?
  3. If my DAO is growing, can I grow even more, or there is cap for that growth in this ecosystem?
  4. What is expected of a partner (as opposed to a dependent entity; i.e. If I grow a lot, can I become a real player in the ecosystem)?

As a Guild Leader, I feel that the Vertical DAO system answered some questions, the Tier System answered others (sad to see that be eliminated without even being tried), so any system, new or old, must take these into account.

If the relationship between Guilds and NF falls in line with the vision NF has for it’s platform, then we have the ground set for a long and fruitful engagement.

About decision making/voting

It is ofc interesting discussing structures, or competing structures. HoG, Vertical DAOs, etc, are iterations of the same idea.

For most Guilds/DAOs/individuals in our ecosystem, asking supports to a Vertical or to the HoG is operationally the same. Being funded on a proposal-base or on a guild-identity-base is also operationally the same thing. Decentralized groups are inherently flexible, adaptable.

They would not care about ‘endowment’ or ‘overhead’.


All they care about is who votes, and who is being supported.

And about that, @erik.near I again repeat the example of the Creatives DAO or even the experiments @jlwaugh is running with multi-DAOs or DAOs-of-DAOs.

Allowing for complex groups to engage with each other in decision-making is more interesting and less centralized than having chosen Council Members, following a certain protocol.

Currently, under the Vertical DAO system, Creatives DAO vote on certain projects, Marketing DAO votes on certain projects, but some are complex enough that they are voted by both (currently on separate forum topics and $ flows). It would be interesting to have both the Creatives DAO and the Marketing DAO (which in turn have members) be member of a larger DAO.

House of Guilds is an elegant way of describing this scenario, which is already possible on AstroDAO.

The challenge is making this all technically smooth, but that’s kinda the proposition we are making, right? Using web3 technologies to experiment with ‘more complex’ systems, not just taking old models and running them on new platforms.


That is indeed a great idea, because people from the Creatives DAO discover Marketing DAO by accident or by really looking for it. If all verticals are part of major DAO, this would make the ecosystem easier to understand for those who are entering. I discovered Community DAO just now, for example, and only because the DAO I opened would not be properly a creatives dao, so I was directed to Educational, and then to Community.


I agree. The custom function calls are hard for many people, so the complexity becomes hard. If Astro had many function calls ready to use, instead of us having to put some json code.


Thanks for such a thoughtful reply! A few comments…

:sparkles: Yesss! Here is the official NEAR vision (established in 2020): a world where all people control their data, money, and the power of governance.

I’d love to see more “Community DAOs” with open, inclusive membership structures to promote diversity through accessibility.

We should be mindful that NF is part of the community, not separate!

Very important! I believe this could also be said about Community DAO groups, especially those involving other DAOs.

Multi-DAO Governance

That’s my intention for this group of active DAOs in our Community DAO.

Which others might be included?

I’d love to get your feedback on the purpose, vision, and mission of NEAR Community DAO:

Anyone may join us here on the forum and connect with members via Telegram, Discord, etc. Be sure to create a proposal to add your NEAR account to this open Community group, if you haven’t already :slight_smile:


I can’t agree more with this:

I also think that these questions are the core of DAOs’ concerns. At least the DAOs that are operating for some time in the ecosystem and right now are having some difficulties in taking a step further (since the tiering system shutdown). Partnership/real player x dependence

-Can my projects be funded?
-What are the ground and the ceiling for Guilds/DAOs, in NF’s vision?
-If my DAO is growing, can I grow even more, or there is cap for that growth in this ecosystem?
-What is expected of a partner (as opposed to a dependent entity; i.e. If I grow a lot, can I become a real player in the ecosystem)?


Hello :slight_smile:

I will. You and all others involved have been working really hard, is difficult to keep up with it :clap: :clap:

Not looking at the Link yet, just replying to what’s easily visible, I think that any system that allows for various groups being governed by ‘decentralized’ entities is interesting.

My feeling, thought, is that the system the Community DAO is implementing, with various groups inside the bigger Community DAO, resembles the current system, in which various groups organize in the Forum. It looks like an ‘astrodao’ version of what already exists.

Community DAO (or any community DAOs) seem like super interesting ways of running certain community projects, either with funding included or not. I’m thinking polls, certain projects, etc.

But I don’t think a Community DAO can claim to be THE community. That concepts needs to be sufficient broad to allow for all kind of experiments, groups, competing visions, goals, backgrounds, areas of expertise, etc, and most of all, not be depending on ‘membership’, i.e. there are lot’s of levels of engagement, on-chain, off-chain, in the forum, off the forum, on astro, off astro, etc. DAOs can even use astrodao and not want to be part of certains communities, for certains reasons, and the structure has to accommodate that.

Most importantly, we need to make sure that the structure we use (not even against using the current Community DAO) is not power-based, but information-based, like all Complexity Theory proponents will tell us.

Just a final note regarding NF being part of the community: NF, by the very nature of what was created for, has a very specific role, as a community member. It’s role is necessarily (looking at it’s Vision) decrescent (not sure this is the right English word) and it’s defined by it’s conception. Other groups aim to grow, NF aims to do the opposite. So, it is true that it’s part of the community, but it’s also true that it’s not a ‘free’ entity, whose path can go ‘anywhere’.


This has already been such a fascinating experiment. I want to provide an update on the original House of Guilds proposal.

  • In the last few weeks, in addition to watching the forum, I’ve had amazing conversations with dozens of community members, guild leaders, concierges, DAO leaders, NF team members and so on via discord, telegram, Hangouts, Zoom, slack and bat-signals. Not everyone here, but a great many.
  • I was originally really hoping to focus on just funding Guilds… But pulling on the single thread of “how do we fund Guilds?” started to unravel a number of other important community-related questions like “but why should we fund Guilds? What is a Guild? What should be funded at all? Why are we funding anything? What’s the bigger goal here? What’s actually needed to make it happen? What’s the NF’s role? What’s the community’s role? Who is the community? What do they need?”… and so on, until it was turtles all the way down.
  • Based on all of this, it’s clear that we need to do more than just figure out how to “fund Guilds”, but we also need to provide…
    • clarity about what the Community is and what its vision is
    • clarity on how to get individual communities funded and supported
    • clarity on how to get community-oriented initiatives funded
    • clarity on what service-based guilds should do next
    • clarity on how community members can get involved in decision-making and fund distribution
    • clarity on how the community can scale operationally
    • clarity on the technologies and products that are needed to support this and who will build them

…so that’s what I’m going to work towards.

I have kind of a weird role at the moment, with one foot in the community and one foot in the NF, but it’s been beneficial to see and work with both sides. It’s clear that the NF needs to shift focus more to supporting the community and its initiatives at scale (via reducing operational support, encouraging autonomy and focusing on higher level funding) and it’s clear that we all need to simplify our understanding of what that community even is to start supporting its growth from within.

The House of Guilds proposal here obviously isn’t sufficient to solve all of this, so I’m going to park it for now in order to work on the fuller scope of issues. I specifically want to disentangle good old-fashioned community building from things that look much more like funding and I want to tie it all together with other big initiatives like regional hubs and grants. My hope is that we can wrap this all up into a simpler, cleaner package now and allow the community to expand exponentially because of it.

So I mostly wanted to say that I’ve been quiet here but I’ve been listening and working to iron out more wrinkles than originally expected. Thanks for engaging so far. I hope to post more soon.


This is awesome and reason why this open discussions occur

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I love the transparency on the near ecosystem and the relevance shown to the power of majority in decision making. I am proud to be hear and also positive that near will grow more rapidly

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Just been reading through the posts on this thread and this quote pretty much encapsulates my position.

IMO there has been too much emphasis on experimentation and not enough focus on creating stable structures and guild teams. The DAOs and Guilds need time and space to find their own way forward.

Will add to this post… when I get to the end of the thread