NEAR Digital Collective (NDC) Preamble - DRAFT

NEAR Digital Collective (NDC) Preamble

Since the launch of the NEAR MainNet nearly two years ago, our Ecosystem has collaborated, endeavored, and experimented with several iterations of governance processes and DAOs. With the advent of Sputnik, the community found the opportunity to experiment with self-governance and treasury management. As with every experiment, we learned much about transparency, accountability, coordination, and collective impact.

As we continued iterating during this exploratory phase, the NEAR community asked for further transparency and greater control of self-governance, which naturally meant having the ability to start managing the ecosystem treasury independently.

The mission of the NEAR Foundation is to empower a thriving ecosystem with self-sufficiency through decentralizing core functions to collectives that have sustainable mandates over time.

The NEAR Digital Collective (NDC) is proposing to take the next step in the decentralization exercise by creating and implementing ecosystem-wide:

  • NEAR Constitution
  • Governance Framework
  • On-Chain Voting & Proof of Humanity
  • Legal Framework
  • Guidelines for Community Engagement
  • Treasury Management

The NDC transitions aspects of the community infrastructure from purely DAO verticals to an overarching governance model that oversees and shepherds the growth and sustainability of the ecosystem. This will create a model for future initiatives and empower a community-governed ecosystem over time.

The NDC will be in complete alignment with the mission of NEAR:

“To empower people to manage their assets, data, and the power of governance.”

Mission

The NEAR Digital Collective’s (NDC) mission is to decentralize the process of funding, growth, and sustainability of the NEAR ecosystem through the “power of on-chain governance” by establishing an ecosystem-wide governance structure that facilitates transparency and accountability amongst stakeholders

Constitution

The NEAR Community constitution is a set of community principles that govern the conduct, membership, and participation in community driven initiatives.

  • Transparency and Trust - Holding ourselves to the highest of standards
  • Collaboration over competition and a shared purpose for common good
  • Shared sense of belonging and where everyone feels welcome
  • Equitable access to resources and opportunities
  • Encouraging action-driven participation
  • Civil and inclusive communication
  • Rewarding impact over influence
  • Incentive Alignment

Governance Framework

The governance structure and framework of the NEAR community will document, implement and enforce the Community Manifesto, the roles and responsibilities of each branch, stakeholder, and collective that unilaterally operate and govern all community-driven governance initiatives. It comprises boards, voting bodies, an operations branch, and trustees. A judicial branch can be operationalized when deemed necessary by the community.

House of Merit

Most impactful and notable community members act as representatives.

  • Public applications and discussions
  • Voting for candidates by existing members with public results
  • Ability to remove operations leaders via voting
  • Veto power over the other branches in extreme circumstances
  • A board that advises the executive branch
  • Allocates budget from the treasury
  • Focuses on the long-term ecosystem development
  • Members of the Operations branch are excluded from membership, they have a clear separation of powers and responsibilities

House of Stake

Open Ecosystem Participation (Every NEAR Account)

  • HOS members will be elected by democratic elections
  • Any NEAR wallet address can participate and propose a referendum
  • Quadratic voting is based on the root square of your stake
  • Larger referendums to overturn executive orders or merits
  • On-chain voting mechanisms
  • Members of the executive branch are excluded from membership, they have a clear separation of powers and responsibilities

Operations Branch (may be renamed)

Leader and stewards appointed for efficient decision-making elected by the

  • Individuals appointed as stewards for each ecosystem’s vertical
  • Facilitates support for Public Goods
  • Economic planning and prioritization for organic growth
  • Maintaining oversight over NDC operations
  • Coordinating governance and streamlining the process
  • Ensuring the funding process is optimal
  • Ensuring the proposal process is clearly defined
  • Aligning stakeholders around responsibilities

Treasury

  • Has a Board of Trustees
  • Acts as custodian of funds
  • Empowers branches to deploy funds
  • Services specific needs of the ecosystem
  • Democratically governed fund of funds
  • Timely allocation of resources
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1 single question. Isn’t this the centralisation of the community?

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Thanks for the clarifying question. No, the NEAR Foundation will continue in its role for the foreseeable future. This is likely the first of several additional decentralization initiatives at a broader level. So as the preamble states, it is further decentralization.

This is not the community’s first foray into decentralization, as we have had experiments and experience with guilds and DAOs. The NDC is another step in the decentralization process, where we use our obtained collective knowledge to create a constitution, governance framework, and treasury management model that can be used in multiple endeavors throughout the ecosystem.

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Thank you for putting this down on paper. This is a very helpful in understanding the NDC. I will just jog down some top-of-the-mind thoughts.

NEAR Constitution
The constitution is the governance framework that defines the roles and how various governance bodies related to each other, as well as basic rules and principles of operation. So the governance framework defined here has many parts of the constitution.

The governance structure and framework of the NEAR community will document, implement and enforce the Community Manifesto 3, the roles and responsibilities of each branch, stakeholder, and collective that unilaterally operate and govern all community-driven governance initiatives. It comprises boards, voting bodies, an operations branch, and trustees. A judicial branch can be operationalized when deemed necessary by the community.

Bylaws
No constitution is a complete codified set of rules and procedures, and some constitutions are less codified than others. This is what the bylaws are for, and the following is basically what’s usually included in bylaws.

A a set of community principles that govern the conduct, membership, and participation in community driven initiatives.

House of Stake
This mentions onchain voting which is a direct referendum. In a direct referendum, there’s no need for electoral members. If this house has representatives or delegates, then it is a delegated democracy. We need to decide on the type of democracy (is it direct or delegated?) and how onchain voting can play a role in it.

If we are using a referendum system (direct onchain voting), we need to determine which system has the final vote. Referendum and delegation cannot have the same weight if they vote differently. We can give the referendum the opportunity to overrule a delegated body, but we cannot have the two have the same weight on the same vote. There has to be one controlling vote. Delegates bring deep interest, expertise, and attention more than referendum. If we are going to use a referendum system, then we need to figure out a rock bottom quorum because most people in a referendum system will not pay attention or participate in votes, or the referendum could end up being controlled by large interest groups. The strongest interest groups will vote and take over, and can create a plutocracy in the worst case scenario. The ancient Greeks tried direct democracy and some said their civic duties were quite burdensome based on historic texts. However, it is possible to have something like a referendum to overturn delegated votes which can work for issues that can turn out the votes.

House of Merit
This house looks like a delegated representation. This looks like the upper chamber.

Operations Branch
If this is the executive branch, I suggest there are roles in executive and legislative bodies that are complimentary in such way that there can be checks and balances. Typically, the role of the executive branch is to apply the rules to carry out for certain outcomes. Most executive branches draft the budget documents, and the legislative body votes on the budgets. The executive branch can also delegate some of the rule making to legislative branch. In this case, a legislative can set up committees to make certain rules (think committee on special investigations).

Treasury
No questions here.

On the Constitution’s Pitfalls
Some of the real problem in most constitution is what happens when bodies disagree and the dispute resolution is what can put democracy into gridlocks and unable to move forward. In the US, the executive and legislative can take each other to court and the judicial branch looks at the constitution and statutes, and decides who has the authority to make the rules. In other countries, the court can issue advisory opinions or advisory rulings which can advise the these bodies on how to resolve disputes.

Just putting some thoughts here. Thanks again for putting this together and really appreciate the outline in understanding NDC. :slight_smile:

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Everything looks great :raised_hands: Let’s start implementation.

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Great preamble @blaze i enjoy reading your post :joy: cause am new to most constitutional grammar as I’ve just fluid intelligence of this and am really learning a lot .
I love the concept and anticipate the product of this wonderful initiative while I worked hand in hand with my colleagues on community guidelines

It’s weekend!! Do have a wonderful day guys

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