Welcome to the October/November 2021 Report of the ZBG…and a strategic review of future activity:
In October, continued limited progress on Guild aims led to a trial re-evaluation of the geographical focus on Cambridge.
Specificaly, a “twin towns” approach was instigated with outreach to a known community of non-mainstream musicians in Leeds, UK. (The emphasis being less on finding & educating the crypto-unaware - and more on converting/involving the interested, known and partially crytpo-aware.)
This should be a more efficient use of both time & capital, however it does contribute further towards a discussion [below] on an existential question for the guild/DAO that has its roots both in the difficulties encountered thus far with recruitment, and in the complexities of trying to interact with real-world commercial entities.
However the principal question is whether a specific guild or DAO is required where there is no geographical focus/community…
No budget request made in October. None planned for November/December.
DAO/Guild funds sit at 523.30 Nr - unchanged.
The frustrations of September continued in October with the ‘slow and steady’ approach decelerating to an almost glacial crawl.
A significant degree of time and energy has been spent by the council in the search for a base of operations - as set out in the September report - within the city’s more vibrant cultural area of Romsey. A number of promising situations fell through due to last minute changes in either terms or conditions or both, with a significant obstacle being the distinct lack of a formal “contracting entity” - a subject that has become further into focus for all DAOs recently.
After a council discussion, we decided to postpone the search. We still believe that this is the way to proceed in Cambridge [from a pure marketing/educational perspective] and in similar specific geographical areas, but it’s clear that this type of strategy requires the establishment of a formal legal entity [with banking facilities etc] to interact with the physical world.
A further complication has been recruitment & retention, both at the council and member level. The original group of interested/involved parties has largely withdrawn/drifted away to the extent that we are effectively a ‘council only’ guild. Equally, the council itself also has an issue with recruitment/retention. (The intention to approach a community member within Near to sit as council has now also been complicated by recent discussions on the legal responsibilities of DAO council members.)
Given the lack of progress on recruitment, we felt that we needed some “easier wins” to build some momentum. The community in Leeds should offer that opportunity. As part of my connection to the NEAR Music Guild [NxM], I have introduced representatives of the collective to NEAR [NxM / Createbase] in the past…however up until this point, that process has been very much micro-managed/hand-held with only a very basic engagement on their part with either the technology or ecosystem of NEAR. The plan is/was to change that with a more comprehensive integration.
However, the unavoidable question remains of whether these activities in fact justify a Guild/ community operation…or perhaps it is more just a straightforward onboarding/marketing initiative run out of other already existing DAOs/Guilds - More below
Given the various matters above, and following discussions with @Vandal - in his dual role within Creatives DAO & NxM [of which I am also council] - an alternative strategy for pursuing the aims of the ZBG is being proposed:
The ZBG - A(nother) new approach…
The ZBG was set up with a particular geographic micro-focus [Cambridge, UK] and an overarching macro aim - in its simplest form - to reintegrate creatives with the economic benefits of technology in the form of Web3/blockchain. The latter is a shared goal with any number of guilds/DAO’s and onboarding initiatives, however the former was aiming to establish a “cultural hack node” model in Cambridge that has similarities to the strategy pursued by the Arroz Guild in Lisbon.
The challenges / obstacles in achieving these aims since formation can be summarised as:
Recruitment: - the lack of progress both in making a creative “community bridgehead” within the target area, and in maintaining a committed core team.
Structure: - the complications arising out of an informal on-chain micro-community trying to engage with the legal & financial reporting infrastructure of real world formal commercial enterprises.
In terms of the recruitment issue, a number of different approaches and strategies have been tried - the latest of which has been to expand the geographical focus.
Meanwhile, the increasing focus on the legal & financial structure of Guilds/DAOs, and the reporting requirements has further complicated the issue of council recruitment and retention.
The evident question resulting from the above is that whether a specific guild/DAO structure is required where there is no longer a geographical focus/community.
Equally, the aims of the ZBG - denuded of the original geographical focus - are addressed elsewhere. In particular, within NxM - [the NEAR Music Guild], but also out of Marketing & Onboarding.
So the proposal is to bring a halt to the ZBG as a separate Guild/DAO and to integrate its recent initiatives in Leeds within NxM, and in future to apply for funding out of NxM and other applicable Guilds/DAO’s for specific community outreach projects.
Subject to confirmation with the Creatives DAO Council, a proposal will therefore be made to transfer the Guild/DAO treasury back to the Creatives DAO.
DAO funds currently sit at 523.30 Near.
Given the above intention to discontinue operations, all outstanding proposals/requests for funding have been allowed to expire without payment. Equally funds allocated from previous months to outstanding projects/expenses have been reintegrated into the treasury total. No further proposals for funding will be made.