“The NEAR Constitution V1 represents the first step towards defining a structure for future Ecosystem-wide Governance on NEAR Protocol.”
This first draft of the constitution is a minimum viable product for iterations into the future. The original vision proposed for the governance framework of the NDC was set by Illia during his ETH CC speech in Paris. From this speech, we have initiated the process of realizing that vision: Whereby the NEAR Digital Collective comprises a House of Merit, a Council of Advisors, a Transparency Commission, and a larger ecosystem-wide voting body. Together these institutions monitor the NEAR Treasury and create the early rails for Ecosystem wide governance.
As we ship this V1, it is expected that feedback and discussion will clearly delimit the following areas of these institutions in later versions: Election Process, Term, Powers, and Representation, Impeachment Procedure, and Constitutional Amendments over time.
We welcome feedback and suggestions from anyone and everyone - keeping in mind that we are following @illia’s original vision, and are on the clock to ship this as efficiently and thoroughly as possible!
We the Community of the NEAR Ecosystem (Ecosystem), to form a decentralized Ecosystem, establish on-chain collective decision-making, ensure openness through transparency, provide for self-governance, promote the common good of the NEAR Ecosystem first, and secure the absolution of centralization from ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the NEAR Ecosystem.
The NDC is a community-driven initiative to decentralize governance to the NEAR Ecosystem over time through evolving governance models approved by the Voting Body to enable collective decision-making, transparency through reporting, and self-governance.
The Governance Body (see Amendment II) are the decision-making bodies elected to govern the Community Treasury (budgets) and strategic direction of NEAR Protocol as approved by the Voting Body for the growth, development, and sustainability of the Ecosystem.
The Voting Body is the NEAR Ecosystem general assembly for elections, referendums, and voting comprised of every NEAR Account (account) designated as a voting account.
The Community Treasury has the purpose of providing grants that align with the strategic direction set by the Governance Body as approved by the Voting Body.
Formal Amendments to the Constitution are to be made only after the first elections are held for all governing bodies. At such a time, the Governing Bodies shall amend the amendment procedure for broader participation from the ecosystem.
The Governance Body shall not infringe upon the rights of the individual or collective concerning freedom of speech or participation and must abide by the NEAR Manifesto when making any rules.
The Governance Body shall not infringe upon the interests, decisions, and governance choices of dApps, protocols, and creative works built and operating within the NEAR Ecosystem.
The Governance Body shall not display unfair advantage, preferential treatment, undue influence, or partiality to any specific project, entity or group (“nodes”).
The Governance Body is to prioritize the success of the Near ecosystem above any individual’s interest. The NEAR ecosystem is a collective and as such, it is always treated as more important than any one person, regardless of their influence.
Any individual or member participating in the Governing Body of the NDC is to disclose relevant conflicts of interest, prior to assuming their position in the governance structure.
Transparency is the key to establishing trust between all stakeholders, and as such the Governance bodies commit to a collaborative and transparent approach in all governance decisions, so as to drive accountability and foster trust.
Each governing body will be responsible for organizing how they operate and handle its proceedings in alignment with approved governance models as approved by the Voting Body and in accordance with the NEAR Manifesto. They will have the right to remove their members for breaches of the code of conduct with a vote of two-thirds.
Each governing body is responsible for ensuring transparency by keeping a journal of its proceedings. Such proceedings must be routinely published by each governing body.
Each governing body is responsible for filling vacancies as they happen by issuing a vote to fill the vacancy.
Each governing body is responsible for choosing its speaker and other officers.
The House of Merit (HOM) is composed of experienced and committed Community members chosen for a term by the Voting Body representative of the different ecosystem nodes.
No person can be a representative unless they have one year or greater of experience and active participation in the NEAR Ecosystem.
Every node in the NEAR Ecosystem is represented by at least one representative and may have additional representatives based on the impact of the node on the entire NEAR Ecosystem.
Representatives are appointed to ensure the interest of nodes during elections, allocation decisions, and budgeting cycles.
HOM members can be removed and disqualified from their roles
The Council of Advisors is composed of proven leaders and other influential contributors chosen for a term by the Voting Body.
No person can be an Advisor unless they have one year or greater of experience and active participation in the NEAR Ecosystem.
Advisors can be removed and disqualified from their role as a representative.
Advisors are appointed to advise the House of Merit on strategic direction and priorities in order to ensure budgetary alignment with the values and mission of the NEAR Ecosystem.
The Transparency Commission is composed of experienced and committed Community members chosen for a term by the Voting Body.
No person can be a member of the Transparency Commission unless they have one year or greater of experience in the NEAR Ecosystem.
TCO members can be removed and disqualified from their role as transparency officers.
A transparency commission is appointed to ensure checks and balances, transparency audits & reporting, and dispute resolution on Governing Body activities.
The House of Merit manages the Community Treasury with support from the Council of Advisors and checks from the Transparency Commission. Funds from the Community Treasury are to be deployed via an approved vote by the Voting Body to develop the NEAR Ecosystem.
To guarantee adequate management of the Treasury, the Governance Body is responsible for (1) Establishing safeguards against conflicts of interest, (2) providing a clear process such that the constitution and Governance Body can evolve over time (3) creating responsible Treasury management and risk mitigation, and (4) transparency of all operations. These four responsibilities are to be reflected in the operational structure of NEAR Ecosystem governance.
Nodes are the collectives within the NEAR Ecosystem that can be amended through an approved Referendum by the Voting Body. Today, nodes are defined as: Users, Contributors, Developers, Validators, Founders, NEAR Foundation, Pagoda, Partners, and Backers. Maintenance of Ecosystem Nodes is to be set by recurring voting procedures to ensure activity and engagement.
The NEAR Ecosystem has long requested and issued a call for a greater degree of transparency (openness) and self-governance. The call to action and assembly of the NEAR Digital Collective (NDC) is the collective NEAR Ecosystem (Ecosystem) response. The NDC is the “collective” representation of the NEAR Ecosystem (NEARVerse) as a governance node, represented and composed of nodes of users, contributors, validators, developers, projects, founders, partners, and backers. Collectively the NDC is focused on stewarding pragmatic decentralization that reflects and involves the full scope of our community.