Community Pulse


Dear Community,

In lieu of my weekly pulse, we wanted to share thoughts related to the important conversations of the past weeks about racial and cultural sensitivity on NEAR, and what we hope are the opportunities for the entire global community to have its voice and growth represented in a diverse NEAR Digital Community (NDC).

With the formation of the NDC there is an opportunity for real diversity in our governance. Because of this, we believe we can and should explore together what we want/mean by diversity, and what measures should be taken to ensure inclusiveness. Additionally, the very real issue of racism and bias in Web3 merits exploration and clear protocols around language to ensure there is clarity. As an ecosystem, we have an opportunity to re-explore our community policies and code of conduct to reflect and address claims, remediation and reconciliation (whenever possible).

This post is not written from a place of authority, but as a sounding board for us to explore how to best move forward towards a healthier ecosystem. Ultimately, we do hope for an NDC that is based on respect, healthy collaboration, and a culture free from prejudice, racism and bias of all forms.


Research shows that diverse organizations tend to be more innovative and grow faster. In a recent article from the Harvard Business Review, it highlighted the varying ways in which a diverse team contributes to better performance overall:

“Most importantly, we found that the most-diverse enterprises were also the most innovative, as measured by the freshness of their revenue mix. In fact, companies with above-average total diversity, measured as the average of six dimensions of diversity (migration, industry, career path, gender, education, age), had both 19% points higher innovation revenues and 9% points higher EBIT margins, on average.” - Harvard Business Review

The NDC may well be a very tangible opportunity for us to show how a global community on the blockchain can lead to self-governance, innovation and diversity. The result, should we choose to agree with the data, is that our diversity may be a superpower for our self-governance.


It’s important to recognize that the world is represented here on the NEAR Protocol, and that racism and bias exist IRL. Therefore, though it’s uncomfortable and sad, the odds are very high that it exists in some form or another – whether we are aware of it or not – on the blockchain. We as a community also believe that the blockchain, in order to thrive and build, needs to be honest and proactive with itself. And, we share that creating a stronger, antifragile blockchain is our shared goal. So, it seems reasonable that we should trust that understanding each other, and how acting with respect towards everyone will support our growth.

We assume in writing this that everyone wants to grow and that taking non-defensive positions and building better communication and relationships will help us globally.


Key points about diversity, awareness, and the community:

We hear that the verticals that have been created on the platform (how we are all separate without one way of sharing) mean we really don’t have a very good sense of each other and our cultures around the world. This means we can miscommunicate, leading to a lack of understanding, mistakes, and few chances to learn.
We hear that people have experienced bias and aggression based on different cultures, race, age, and professional experience and this has caused professional pain, and fatigue, and now deeply offended and have a deep lack of trust in the NEAR community. Many community members have felt excluded and voiced that bias (and in some cases racism) is a block towards building and growing within NEAR. Many community members want to see all of us on-chain address these issues directly so we can speak from a more informed place of collaboration.
At the same time, we hear there are those who want to see NEAR focus more on the technology, and focusing on cultural representation comes at the sake of growth. Many feel surprised that they had insulted other cultures, and want a way to measure accusations and have clarity about what language is offensive so that the rules are clear.
We also hear there are those who see cultural engagement as the best way to onboard and build out Web3 to lead toward massive adoption and innovation. Many believe we need a both/and way of seeing growth – you can have cultural heritage represented while also building.
Ultimately, we hear the community as a whole wants to collaborate and build together – and that has not diminished.


The Community wants to move towards a shared understanding of/planning for diversity – so we are supporting you through these actions:

We have developed an NDC Regional Communities Group to focus on the frameworks needed for communities to apply for funds from the Community Treasury (CT). It is a collaborative, non-competitive group that is starting to develop the best path forward for regions to self-govern. Please let us know if you know leaders in your region who should participate.

Develop a global group to help us create truly excellent NEW community guidelines (Q1) that reflects and outlines the needs of all communities with clarity. Additionally, the new guidelines can offer clear, process-oriented ways to identify and address all claims of bias, prejudice and racism toward transparent resolution. Please let us know if you want to be involved in this action.

We are 100% committed to promoting global leaders to run for office! We urge you all to organize around representation and voting. We will begin to make a call for elections and need candidates to be put forward. Please work with us to organize in your region.

Host a “TOWN HALL” (Q1) with our media partner, NEAR Week to explore racial and cultural sensitivity with the goal of being great partners. This is an attempt to create more connection and listening. We will bring an expert to help us understand the language and best practices we can implement to become a healthier, more aware global community in Web3. Please let us know if you have thoughts or ideas for this action.


We are here to listen and to respond as best as possible in developing a governance process/framework that is strong and inclusive. If you have ideas or suggestions, please share them here or reach out to us!

Again, thank you. We hope this is a chance for a new dialog, new ideas, better understanding and most importantly, respect for each other and building together. A diverse and inclusive governance is possible only with engagement and listening, running for office and getting out the vote – the GWG will provide the frameworks around this engagement, though it really needs you to make it happen! GET INVOLVED!


Thank you Sarah and everyone behind this idea, it is encouraging that our voices matter and our demands are considered for a healthy building of trust and confidence in the NEAR ecosystem.


I must appreciate your efforts Sarah up to this point. One thing is certain, racism and it’s associated ills will be a thing of the past in the ecosystem if we all work towards inclusiveness, by being open minded and accepting of each others views and cultures irrespective of who and what is involved.
It’s very important we continue to learn and improve without any form of bias.


This is a great way of addressing all the challenges pinpointed in the ecosystem.

I personally look forward to seeing the implementation of the way forward.

Thank you, Sarah.


This was satisfying to read. It’s reassuring to know that our concerns are being noted and actions are taken to ensure that the community is safe and welcoming to everyone regardless of race or nationality. Thank you all for working towards creating a safer space for everyone.


The beauty about web3 is that no one cares who you are.

It is a truly global, level playing field where most of us are pseudonymous behind a chosen name and avatar and become known and respected from our contributions.

I am also part of what would be considered a ‘minority’ by Western standards, but obviously I am part of the larger whole (majority?) in my region. How can we reconcile that?

The awkward truth is that the NDC is actually suffering from a major DIVERSITY problem - most of the people involved from it are from the same region and from the same vertical.

It is unfortunate that the monotonous cohort that control the NDC claim lack of diversity, and are seeking to push racial issues, when the real issue is:

  • Why is engagement with NDC so low?
  • How many regions in the world are represented?
  • How many verticals on NEAR? (Defi, NFT, etc.)
  • How many projects within each vertical?
  • How many developers?

Literally, all the key stakeholders that are working day in and day out are missing from the NDC - and you expect us to make concessions to the ‘majority’ that is actually vastly overrepresented in the NDC?

This is a sad attempt to use race as a way to create a direct line of funding into regions that may not have earned it.

I don’t care about your race in the same way you don’t care about mine.

Show me the value that any group or region is creating and let’s focus on having appropriate funding avenues based on real value, not race or any other immutable trait.


@hairen, thank you – you bring up very valid and insightful points.

Just to share a few key points that can help make this post more relevant and to respond to your great insights:

  • The intention of the post – always on Wednesdays – is to give a pulse of what we are hearing and you’ve outlined another point when you offered, “The awkward truth is that the NDC is actually suffering from a major DIVERSITY problem - most of the people involved from it are from the same region and from the same vertical.” — I might have described this as “we hear you believe that vertical engagement is currently dominating the platform” – but that might have sounded wonky – but it’s what we do see as well across the board that we are stuck in silos. THAT SAID – it can also just reflect where innovation and adoption are happening, and that’s not a bad thing only a fact – so it may be more complex and we should discuss that as well.

  • Your point about the diversity of skin color of the GWG is sort of correct. We are largely white and western in the core contributor’s group, though we have active members working and contributing from many of regions and backgrounds. As for the verticality of projects I am not sure that is accurate, many are working across all projects and platforms, but I understand your point. I will address the key issue next…

  • The GWG is NOT the NDC (which is what I am in and who we are writing in the Community Pulse). I know that seems a bizarre statement, but we really are not. We are not an entity. We are like a think tank trying to figure out how in the name of a decentral god you create a decentralized self-governance model for NEAR. We are not working for anyone but the community to develop the frameworks FOR the entire community to then amend, adjust and vote on (from Brand to constitution…etc).

  • The NDC (Near Digital Collective) is the community. And, the activity happening in the regional community group on TG is grappling with and thinking through how to expand and grow new regions/verticals into the mix, as well as thoughtfully considering how we can support everyone. Again, that’s a place to make your voice heard and give insights.

  • We are also working very hard to hack the current way we communicate. To get out of our verticals, to share more widely in the ecosystem, and to be relevant to all those who create on NEAR.

At the end of the day, “diversity” is complex and layered and not just about skin color, but about age, experience, regions, you name it! It’s the mix. And, this is a moment towards self-governance so all questions, insights, and ideas are on the table.

Again, many thanks for your insights and it’s great to connect here.


Good morning Sarah,

I am new to the NDC community and would like to see how I can support the diversity and bias efforts.
You are correct that diversity is layered and complex which is why it’s important that intersectionality is a priority in any DEIB efforts.

My work experience is in building diverse and inclusive workplaces and communities, having founded two startups at the intersection of social impact and tech.

Right now, I am building Web3DEI DAO, a community-driven initiative to create a more diverse and inclusive Web3 industry through education, partnerships, and advocacy.

I look forward to seeing how I can contribute.


,i want to report Conflict of interest violation by @blaze (NDC consultant and head of working groups )

He hired Cheddar Finance mod Aescobar on the same position in NDC. How is possible @blaze ? why did you choose him, but now other 14 candidates?