NDC/GWG Friday Reflections, February 17

Hello! I’m Matt and I look after various bits around how the GWG and NDC communicates with the world. My background: I’ve been a journalist on and off for 20 years, I was the co-founder of Decrypt and the editorial director at the NEAR Foundation. I left the NF to start NEAR studio, a creative agency specialising in the NEAR ecosystem.

We’ve been getting a ton of feedback as to how things are going, and we wanted to take the chance to replay some of it and say, “we get it” and maybe, just maybe, provide a bit more clarity wherever we can.

We’ll be running these every Friday to hopefully try to share a bit more on what’s happening on this side of the fence. If we can do better, or miss something, or just want to talk, come one, come all.

What we heard this week

You’re frustrated: We’ve heard this from all corners this week and we get you. We’ve been amazed by the desire to start projects, initiatives and DAOs to take the NDC forward. But we’re just not there yet to unleash all of you to start creating.

Decentralized governance is a hard problem to solve and we all want it to be working and doing the thing it’s promising to do. If you’ve been in the space for any period of time you’ll have seen what happens to projects when the rules aren’t robust enough to stop bad actors taking over. This is the last thing we want. And, though you don’t know us yet, it’s not who we are.

But we know we can and should do more to show the status of things, how far they are away and when they will be ready.

You don’t know what’s going on: totally get that. We’ve been working on the best ways to get the word out to you, and really what that word should even be because governance on NEAR does not exist. But we’re listening.

We’e trying to understand the conflicts. We’re asking for input. We’re up late creating and drafting and posting for you. We hear that even when we share it’s a lot to take in. We agree. This is a messy process. Some things are taking way longer than we’d like. Other things turn out to be dead ends, and many things we’re still trying to work out the best way of sharing.

We are swarming now, generating ideas together, and that’s what we see our role as – not dictators, but listeners – taking the temperature constantly to understand the layers of this ecosystem – which is really exciting, complex and needed. So, we’re here to listen for you, without agenda and without a need to control the outcome.

What’s the incentive for all of us taking part in this? A great question that has many answers. Governance isn’t cool, or sexy, but the outcome of it can allow all that jazzy stuff. Being involved in shaping this means you get a say on what it goes on to be. But mainly, for me, and for those in the current GWG we want to be of service to this amazing thing of making self-governance work for everyone. It’s not about the money. We are, none us, paid at IRL scale to work on this and we don’t have a plan for or a need for this to be our full time gig. All on the GWG get paid for completed work on the bounty system (though we have created a budget because we know a plan is needed).

Now, for all of you, we know that nobody should work for free. We recognise that. However, the budget is extremely tight for getting this first phase live. Everyone is working on a bounty basis, and no one (again, none of us) is on a salary for this work.

That said, there is now a process for anyone to start up a workgroup to help solve some of the challenges of getting a decentralized project off the ground.

Who is this cabal of collaborators running the GWG and how did they get their jobs? Totally see that. Crypto is bad for obscuring who runs things and how they ended up being in charge.

We want to change that. The GWG’s goal is ultimately, to disappear once all the building blocks are in place and good enough to support all the amazing work that will come out of it.

The people in the GWG are, essentially, those who put their hand up, and wanted to take a crack at solving a really hard problem: how to create a decentralized community with enough rules to keep everyone honest, but enough freedom and flexibility to be able to adapt and change with time.

We are all putting up personal statements in the coming days on the Forum about ourselves, our work, our backgrounds so you get a deeper sense of us. And I mean not “us” as a cabal, but people from the community who came to be of service and are available to you for the growth of the NDC movement.

What we ask

It would really help is your engagement. We’re learning as we go, and we want to create something empowering for everyone. We will get things wrong, and we will make mistakes, but we believe, ultimately we’ll get there.


Thanks Matt – here’s my post from today: Who I am and what I do in the GWG


I’m a huge fan of the Friday Reflections.

I appreciate the hard work you and your team are doing to build decentralized governance on NEAR. I understand that it’s a difficult problem to solve, (one of the most difficult if you ask me) and it’s clear that you’re taking the time to get it right. I appreciate the efforts you’re making to keep the community informed.

There are many of us out here who are supportive of the work you’re doing and look forward to contributing to the NDC movement in any way we can. Thank you again for all that you do.


Well said. Appreciate the work you’re putting in along with the other members of the GWG.

Keep up the good work :muscle:


Thanks Niall, appreciate. We’ll get there I’m sure :slight_smile:


U’r doing a great job and many of us understand everything. So yep, we value your time and resources.

Just keep it up!


Thanks @beardduke for the reflections,

The answer for this is not quite on point imho, looking at the standpoint of a community member who want to get involved in the NDC and start contributing.

When looking at the onboarding process gwg-contributor-onboarding | wiki, I can see that it is closed. Does it mean only those who registered considered active contributors and can take part in NDC’s bounties?

If my previous question is not the case, and anyone can take part in the contribution process of the NDC right now, I would suggest we have a clear portal for those who want to raise their hand now can join. This seems also related to the communication so I kindly tag @sarahkornfeld to take a look at this as well.

Thank you all & have a nice week ahead!


The NDC is a movement by the community to decentralize NEAR.

The Governance Working Group (GWG) is one of multiple working groups on NEAR, focusing on providing inclusive, adaptable, and transparent governance processes for the NDC.

When the GWG launched after the call to participation in September, it was open for any community member to join. The GWG operates on a very tight budget, so it can only have a specific number of members. Many of the members that joined do not have active bounties, so the decision was made to close onboarding with these next steps:

  1. New bounties are presented to existing members, and if they can not fill the bounty, it is published on devsgigboard on NEARSocial for the community.

  2. RFP process for new development. There are many tools and apps that need developed for the NDC and the GWG will open RFP’s for them on the devsgigboard

  3. Decentralize. The GWG does not have the desire to become the next citadel on NEAR. The GWG is a working group focused on decentralization through governance. The next logical step is to scale out and up via the community by forming new working groups with the community. Two new working groups have formed based on community feedback and needs assessment.

  4. Regional Communities - this working group is focused on restoring funding to the regional communities and what was known as guilds. It’s let by the community.

  5. Distribution working group, getting a message out in a decentralized ecosystem is tough. We want every NEAR community member to be aware of the NDC; the message has not gone far enough. This work group which is also community-led, is working to identify ways to get the message further and deeper into the ecosystem.

I hope this helps add a bit more clarity.


Small addition to the excellent @blaze response above.

GWG is not the main NDC beneficiaries. Contrary. Mission of GWG is to enable many other working groups and beneficiaries, and build & setup primitives to do that.


@williamx Hey there – just making sure you feel your question was answered. The Creative Working Group you are developing is a great next step. @blaze answered very completely, though please give feecback.

The GWG (as it is now) won’t always be around (it’s only here to help with frameworks) and so new workgroups, running in the elections, responding (as you did!) on the forum and everywhere you wish is a part of the important process.

Thanks for all the hard work you do, William.