We hope this post finds you well.
Our team of volunteers would like to share a comprehensive update on the progress of the NDC regional communities program, which aims to unlock potential for community development and sustainable growth, especially in terms of builder activity and the number of successful projects.
The core purposes of NDC are “to support and promote the operation and/or development of the NEAR blockchain and/or associated ecosystem.” We will continue upholding that commitment to decentralization and empowerment of all the people who make it possible.
Since February / March of this year, the Regional Communities Work Group has been working hard to address challenges faced by leaders and contributors around the world. Empowered by Marketing DAO (which was backed by NEAR Foundation at the time), we facilitated necessary onboarding, education, and coordination. As a result, many funding proposals were gathered to be reviewed by their council.
You can review the following on-chain posts for details:
June 16th (updated KPIs)
Here is the proposal we submitted for July, August, and September. This plan did not work out exactly as we had hoped, but we stayed focused on helping communities and building a better system together. Despite no longer having any financial support, our team of core contributors worked hard to experiment with electing DAO council members.
RC DAO Election
This initiative was the first attempt to enable community participants to decide on leadership of a potential “Grassroots DAO.” Although it failed in some regards, there were many positive outcomes, and the lessons learned helped improve NDC elections. Of course, we understand it could have been much better but being the very first election on Near and no past election to take a framework from some mistakes were made.
Our team developed a full product on the BOS, which onboarded 740 face-scanned voters (making rc-dao.sputnik-dao.near a top-20 NEAR contract in terms of activity). Also, we created a dedicated election interface that connected 7 total DAOs: 1 for each of the 6 inhabited continents, along with the global Regional Communities DAO.
Ultimately, the RC DAO election was compromised, and based on recommendations from the Governance Work Group and reputable “OGs,” results were nullified. Read the posts linked below for additional information about the process and transparent decision-making.
June 15th (call for self-nominations)
June 27th (election update)
July 12th (disqualification)
Of course, we are not here to dwell in the past. We are looking ahead to the next phases of this emergent structure with self-organizing teams from across the map.
Following the nullification announcement, we quickly shared a proposal for a new structure. Rather than just 1 elected representative from each continent, we proposed a more decentralized system of 5 councils, 1 for each continent. To begin, we added all the candidates who were not disqualified, but we invited others to get involved.
These interdependent structures can help to connect many people from various parts of the world, making it easier for them to work together and hold each other accountable. We originally proposed a more complex, “multi-DAO” approach, but having considered community feedback, we adjusted the course to simplify. Now there are 6 independent DAOs, each with their governance framework. Together, they united to submit a funding proposal to NDC. Below are links to their strategy documents, plus lists of the leaders who contributed thus far.
Moving Forward Together
Let’s be clear, our goal is not to establish some kind of authority over all regional communities. Just like NDC, the purpose of this regional community program is to support and promote NEAR. The admins’ team is not here to extract value. We have spent more than the total amount received in funding. We are now serving as advisors, rather than playing an administrative role.
Our most important accomplishment is probably the formation of a legal entity to manage risks/liabilities for communities without an official Regional Hub (such as Banyan, NEAR Vietnam, and NEAR Balkans). We are confident regional communities will succeed. However, they might need assistance with certain matters. Furthermore, there is a need to develop new communities, not only fund existing ones.
Continental DAOs will continue to evolve, and we are happy to see more ideas for impactful events and valuable projects. Needless to say, every NEAR community is free to determine its governance model.
Going forward, continental DAOs may request funding directly from the NDC, rather than relying on us to compile one big proposal. To us, this update reflects rapid progress toward a more decentralized future of the NEAR ecosystem, with at least one Regional Grassroots DAO on each continent. As always, we are open to suggestions ~ your comments and questions are much appreciated.
Thanks for all your support!
– Igboze, Bakaka, Ola, and James