Since our announcement of Shell’s involvement with Gitcoin Grants we have been listening to the community sentiment and thinking through how to respond with meaningful action vs. performative words.
When GitcoinDAO launched in 2021, we began a journey of decentralization which has not come without its challenges. Decision-making processes were put in place and iterated on as we moved from operating as an impact org to a protocol focused one. This required us to both move fast and take our passionate community along for the ride.
With our intention of staying neutral, we worked to maintain Gitcoin Grants, ship products that are useful to us and other communities and created plans to achieve financial sustainability for the DAO. All of this resulted in a series of decisions that our community did not have a chance to weigh in on.
I believe taking money from Shell, on our terms, was the right decision. Lending our legitimacy to them and calling them partners and showcasing them may not have been the right decision without more feedback from our community.
As a DAO and a respected brand in the Ethereum ecosystem, we understand the importance of working in public and the necessity of community involvement. Another beautiful thing about our ecosystem is that many ideals can co exist in our ecosystem and, in fact, very much co-exist in the Gitcoin community.
We wanted to ensure that our decision to accept funding from Shell was not something that we forced all grantees to accept however. As a result, grantees were asked to opt in during their application process. They can decide!
That said, we understand our responsibility in who and how we promote activities happening on our tech (we learned this loud and clear last round). We know that for some of you, running rounds where Shell is involved is not really the problem…but giving them a stage to amplify their voice is.
We acknowledge that our missteps have ripple effects and we are working to improve how we approach better community decision making. We’re listening and would like to invite everyone to participate in the development of a process that supports the selection and promotion of partners who feel aligned with our community’s values moving forward. See @ceresstation’s post on Gitcoin Partnerships Council to engage in the conversation.
I hope we can continue to show you our progress as we grow together as a community and a DAO.