[GCP-011] - Support the Funding the Commons Hackathon, Residency and Conference Series

[GCP-011] - Support the Funding the Commons Hackathon and Conference Series

This proposal was put together with support and guidance from @CoachJonathan

Summary: This proposal seeks Gitcoin community approval for a grant to fund the “Funding the Commons” hackathon and conference series. The grant aims to:

  1. Position Gitcoin’s Allo Protocol and Grants Stack at the forefront of an emerging EVM-based public goods funding ecosystem
  2. Integrate Gitcoin’s technologies with other public goods funding infrastructure
  3. Strengthen Gitcoin’s legitimacy and positioning as a thought leader in the public goods funding movement
  4. Foster collaboration among EVM-based projects and communities to collectively produce an integrated public goods funding infrastructure stack that any EVM-based ecosystem can deploy.

This proposal is requesting a total of $160,000 from Gitcoin. $60,000 will come from the DAO treasury and will be used for production costs (more details outlined below) while $100,000 will come from the matching pool to fund the development of public goods technologies.

Abstract: The Funding the Commons hackathon and conference series is designed to bring together like-minded individuals and projects in the EVM ecosystem focused on funding public goods, with the goal of creating a not-for-profit incubator for public goods funding infrastructure, financed by leveraging the very tooling it helps to create. By supporting Funding the Commons, Gitcoin can showcase its Allo Protocol and Grants Stack while integrating with other public goods funding tools, infrastructure, and blockchain networks in the EVM ecosystem. This proposal outlines the various ways Gitcoin can contribute to the entity’s success, including providing funding, resources, and community support, and highlights the potential benefits and drawbacks of Gitcoin’s involvement.

Motivation: Gitcoin’s support for the Funding the Commons event series is motivated by several key factors:

  • Positioning Gitcoin’s technology at the forefront of an emerging EVM-based public goods funding ecosystem.
  • Strengthening Gitcoin’s legitimacy and positioning as a thought leader in the public goods funding movement.
  • Fostering collaboration among EVM-based projects and communities to advance the funding of public goods.

By supporting the Funding the Commons hackathon and conference series, Gitcoin can demonstrate its commitment to these goals while benefiting from the various opportunities that the event series presents.

Specification:

Timeline

Sections:

  1. Paris conference
  2. Hackathon
  3. Grants round
  4. Berlin residency
  5. Working groups
  6. Berlin conference

1 Paris conference: 15-16 July

Funding the Commons bridges the public goods community across Web2, Web3, research, philanthropy and industry. The 6th edition of Funding the Commons will take place on 15-16 July with the beautiful backdrop of Paris, France. The event is hosted at the renowned Sorbonne Université, which has the distinction of being one of the two oldest universities in Europe. Gitcoin will have the opportunity to present and run workshops, in addition to a number of auxiliary sponsorship benefits.

2 Hackathon: August-September

Sponsoring protocols will present “problems”, challenges, and use cases they would like to see built, and commit to deploying solutions developed during the pilot hackathon if those solutions meet certain qualifications.

The hackathon will use Hypercerts to track work and Grants Stack to allocate funding.

Builders will also be encouraged to deploy their project on Gitcoin’s up-and-coming Public Goods Network (pending its availability to be deployed on).

3 Grants round: September

Several hackathon project participants (exact number TBC) will be invited to participate in a subsequent round of funding, run on Gitcoin Grants Stack, to receive additional funding to continue building their project.

A team of evaluators from Protocol Labs and other orgs sponsoring this initiative (including Gitcoin) will determine the eligibility criteria and ultimately select which projects can participate in the next round of funding. The selection criteria will incorporate a combination of factors such as innovation and creativity, technical complexity and implementation, user experience and design, and impact and potential.

Whether the funds will be distributed through a QF round or through a direct grants mechanism (with funding allocations being determined by judges) is yet to be determined, and will likely be a decision that is made closer to the date of the hackathon.

Primary objectives of the projects being funded include:

  • EVM-compatible public goods funding infrastructure, incubation of new projects that are developing new innovative tooling, especially those building on top of Allo Protocol
  • The integration of existing public goods funding platforms and protocols, such as the Allo Protocol, Grants Stack, Hypercerts, ant others, to create a cohesive and synergistic funding ecosystem with infrastructure that is permissionless & replicable across EVM chains

4 Berlin residency: September

Inspired by experiences at Zuzalu that led to this very proposal being drafted after a series of discussions amongst members of Protocol Labs, Gitcoin, Optimism, and Ethereum Foundation, Funding the Commons Berlin residency is a prototype to supercharge the development of the public goods funding ecosystem.

We aim to bring together a highly curated and diverse group of 20-30 individuals, including Gitcoin contributors and members of partner protocols, freelance developers and designers, and representatives from other public goods funding infrastructure projects. Residents would be selected through an application process based on the projects they are working on, and past contributions to the public goods ecosystem. Selection would be determined by mentors provided by partner protocols. Our first residency is scheduled to take place in Berlin during September 2023, offering participants a unique opportunity to collaborate on projects that advance the EVM-based public goods funding ecosystem.

Drawing from the concept of “designing serendipity,” the residency will cultivate a dynamic environment that encourages the cross-pollination of ideas among PG teams such as Hypercerts and Gitcoin, as well as independent builders and designers. Through a series of weekly sprints and lightning talks, residents will work on projects that contribute to the overall goal of building EVM infrastructure for public goods. Residencies can be the catalyst for establishing relationships and partnerships, and enabling emergent solutions that drive the public goods funding movement forward.

5 Working groups

Working groups can play a crucial role in the virtuous cycle of conferences and hackathons, bridging the gap between these events and maintaining momentum. By establishing focused working groups, a continuous stream of collaboration, knowledge sharing, and progress can be ensured. The following working groups are proposed:

  • Developing and maintaining a library of public goods funding mechanisms
  • Retroactive public goods funding
  • Impact evaluators
  • Impact certification

6 Berlin conference: 8-9 September

The 7th edition of Funding the Commons will take place on 8-9 September in Berlin, home to a number of blockchain protocols and countless builders. Gitcoin will continue to reinforce its position as a leader in the public goods funding ecosystem.

KPIs:

  • +3 New public goods funding infrastructure projects created
  • +2 Integrations of projects with Allo
  • +$100,000 funneled through Grants Stack as a result of this proposal
  • +100 developers participating in hackathon
  • +20 Gitcoin DevRel leads from each of the two conference appearances
  • +5 Gitcoin partnership leads from each of the two conference appearances

Budget:

We are requesting $60k in funding and $100k in matching grants to execute the above plan, including running a Funding the Commons hackathon, support two conferences in 2023 [Paris, Berlin]

Production Costs ($60k)

  • $15K for Funding the Commons Paris
    • Logistics, swag (Gitcoin x Funding the Commons), marketing
  • $15K for Funding the Commons Berlin
    • Logistics, swag (Gitcoin x Funding the Commons), marketing
  • $20K for hackathon production costs
    • Software, labor, mentors, judges, etc.
  • $10K for production & rent of Berlin Hacker House / Residency
    • Rent, food, scholarships for builders

Matching pool funds ($100k)

  • $25K in hackathon prizing
  • $5K for impact assessments
  • $70K will be allocated to follow-on funding for projects that emerge from the hackathon and wish to continue development (exact selection criteria TBC)

Benefits: By supporting the Funding the Commons event series, Gitcoin stands to gain several key benefits:

  • **Adoption and real-time use case of Grants Stack: **The event series would directly utilize Gitcoin’s Grants Stack in a variety of ways, including to deploy funding to projects by running a Funding the Commons grant round (exact funding mechanism, be it QF, QV, direct grants etc. still TBD)
  • Positioning Allo Protocol as a key public goods funding resource: Participating developers will be made aware of and shared docs about Allo Protocol, while being connected to our DevRel team should any questions arise/support be needed as they build
  • Exposure to the upcoming Public Goods Network: Builders will be made aware of and encouraged to deploy their projects on the PGN L2
  • Integration with other public goods funding tools and infrastructure: The event series will bring together various EVM-based projects and communities, allowing for integrations and collaborations between Gitcoin’s technology and other developers of PGF infrastructure.
  • Conference sponsorship benefits: Gitcoin’s support for the event series will include conference booths, speaker slots, brand positioning, social media appearances, and other sponsorship benefits in Paris and Berlin (see sponsorship deck for full list of benefits).
  • Strengthened relationships with partners, sponsors, conference speakers, and hackathon teams: Gitcoin’s involvement will help build and strengthen relationships with key stakeholders in the EVM ecosystem, including existing partners and sponsors such as Golem Foundation, Celo Foundation, Near Foundation, Protocol Labs, and Filecoin Foundation.
  • **Public Goods Stewardship: **Gitcoin members will be integrated into the core of public groups funding working groups, created to steward and create standards for public goods funding infrastructure as it becomes deployed across chains
  • **Dogfooding & building awareness for Grants Stack: **Gitcoin will benefit from FTC running a self-serve QF round (and providing valuable feedback on their experience) while incentivizing developers to mobilize their communities contribute towards the grants round (TBC)

Drawbacks: Potential drawbacks of Gitcoin’s support for the Funding the Commons event series include:

  • Lack of interest by projects in hackathon
  • Lack of interest by hackathon participants in continuing the project beyond the hackathon (this should be mitigated by milestone-based grants and retroactive funding)
  • Time and energy constraints that lead to lower prioritization of other initiatives

Vote:

  1. Vote yes to fully fund the initiative with the requested resources and matching pool funds.
  • $100k in Matching Pool Funds
  • $60k in production support
  1. Vote yes to fund the matching pool but not offer financing for the conference series, hackathon, and hacker house.
  • $100k in Matching Pool Funds
  1. Vote yes to funding the conference series, hackathon and hackerhouse, but not offering the matching pool funds.
  • $60k in production support
  1. Vote no on financially supporting the event in any capacity.
  2. Abstain from voting.
18 Likes

I want to openly express my full support for this proposal, keeping in mind that I was contributing to it’s creation in the background.

For me, this proposal hits so many checkboxes:

  • Positioning Allo Protocol as a key public goods protocol to build on/with & direct access to those builders
  • Positioning PGN as a viable L2 option for launching public goods projects
  • Real use case for Grants Stack
  • Positioning Gitcoin as a leader in the public goods space alongside other big names in the Web3
  • 2x Sponsorship opportunities for values-and-audience-aligned events
  • Using our matching pool to fund public goods

I will be voting for Option 1 and would love to see what others think, whether they are aligned or see issues with the proposal.

5 Likes

I want gitcoin to support this series of events. With this money they can ensure all the resources needed to run a proper long-term experiment of intentional public goods funding.

At Zuzalu’s public goods talks I saw how we can align all our current projects and new ideas to have a more welcoming space to try and evaluate them. There is still a lot to talk about. Funding the Commons will keep us focused and engaged during the rest of the year. I hope the result will be better integration of the tools and a more informed commitment from the builders and researchers.

Gitcoin is core infrastructure for public goods funding. We need it to be tested, showcased, and improved to support these events. It makes a lot of sense for the support to flow both ways, and see at the end of the year all the things it enabled.

4 Likes

I fully support this proposal, because there are many potentials from hackathons!
If we would like to coordinate with some great events like ETHSingapore on Sep 10-12 or DevConnect in Nov, it will be great.

If we need more builders, I could introduce the hackathon to more Chinese builders.
anything I can help, please let me know.

Go go go!

6 Likes

@bobjiang many thanks for your words and your offer. More builders are always welcome, especially those with diverse views and perspectives on issues around public goods funding - we’d greatly appreciate your support in outreach to the Chinese builder community.

3 Likes

Huge fan of this proposal and very much aligned.

So I can definitely vote yes on 60K on production support.
I see myself also voting yes on a matching pool if this matching is used 100% for a round run on Allo Protocol. We have never used matching pool funding for anything else than … matching pool funding - it is why sponsors have shared these funds with us in the past.

So I could votes yes on this if the full matching budget goes to matching on our platform (the $5K for impact assessments could be moved to production costs and the hackathon prizes are the actual round).

As a separate thought I would also recommend to open up this round in some way to more people than just the ‘winners’ of this initial hackathon, as this is quite a big amount for gitcoin, but maybe this would already be the case?

Hope this feedback helps and in any case a big fan of the initiative!

3 Likes

I’m a big fan of Funding the Commons and of David and the team behind it. Super aligned with Gitcoin’s mission. Very much hope Gitcoin decides to support.

2 Likes

I support this proposal but want to flag that I have a conflict of interest, so if this comes to a vote I will abstain.

That said, here’s what I think is great about this proposal:

  • Hackathons powered by QF feels like a no-brainer. This gives projects some additional upside beyond the hackathon prize PLUS it decentralizes much of the judging.

  • Gitcoin’s sweet spot (at least during current market conditions) is funding smaller, early stage teams. I could imagine projects launching at one of these events, gaining momentum through subsequent Gitcoin OSS/Infra rounds, and then becoming a whale project in the future. Take FundPG as an example of something that came out of ETH Denver and just appeared in the Beta Round. This is where the next Joke DAO will come from!

  • Let’s buidl the infra we need. Create implementations of these coordination mechanisms. Design new mechanisms. Integrate mechanisms. Make it easier to fork some of the existing protocols.

  • There are already strong synergies between Schelling Point and Funding the Commons. This proposal feels very relevant to the open thread about the future of Schelling Point.

  • Impact assessments. IMHO, this is what stands between QF being a cute Ethereum thing and an essential primitive in funding all of the world’s digital public goods. I’m glad to see funding earmarked for impact assessments and very curious to see what the community will come up with here.

Again, I will abstain from voting on this proposal, but offer my comments for the benefit of other stewards.

4 Likes

I would love for us to explore doing something related to these events as well!

1 Like

I’m so excited to see this proposal and want to openly share my full support!

This proposal fees very strategically aligned with the DAOs current goals and will give us a couple of really great ways to experiment with the protocol.

5 Likes

This seems like a solid initiative. I agree with Kris that we should use QF as opposed to direct grants for the hackathon, that would be a really cool experiment.

And 60k to sponsor 2 very aligned conferences, a hackathon and an experimental residency makes a lot of sense, and seems reasonable.

Some sort of report after all the experiments would be nice to document the learnings of the experiments… even maybe add some money to the cost to cover the creation of a report/blog post so learnings can be captured after the fact.

I would love the report to highlight what went well and what could be improved, especially around using QF for hackathons.

5 Likes

Thank you @davidacasey for this proposal! Generally I agree that hackthons have been proven to be effective at increasing developer adoption and this is a great way to demonstrate the use case of Allo. Could you tell us a little about the teams’ background and experience in executing similar projects in the past? What were the results and what are the key improvements we can make moving forward?

1 Like

I’m a fan :slight_smile:

I would love to see this model used for hackathons at future Zuzalus. Both are great opportunities to share Allo and increase its usage.

1 Like

Want to voice my support here.

There is a lot of potential within this initiative that fundamentally aligns with what Gitcoin, and the public goods ecosystem need in order to flourish even more. IMO this effort will result in improved tool integration and a more informed commitment from builders and researchers.

Thanks David for putting effort into all of this!

3 Likes

Hugely supportive of this initiative!

I resonate with @CoachJonathan’s points on how this initiative would be a significant boost for the Allo Protocol strategy. I also feel that the residency will be a great way to further advance the stack for public goods funding across EVM– the public goods week at Zuzalu was a great case study for how useful it is to bring together key projects in the space to compound one other’s progress by building on shared standards and avoiding duplication of efforts.

2 Likes

I am excited to see this proposal. We have had a great relationship with PL and FTC in the past and I am really excited to see this opportunity.

FTC and Gitcoin have a great history on working together in putting on, supporting, and hosting stages at each other’s conferences. It would be great to see it happen again since we are often dealing with the same audience.

What really excites me is the QF hackathon, the Berlin Residency, and the Working groups. In Zuzalu we were able to work closely with the team from PL to put on Public Goods Week in Montenegro and the planning worked really well. One of the benefits of having both of us there was that we were able to not only brainstorm through common problems together but also build together as well. It really was having the best of both worlds and from what I got to witness engineers were able to go deeper into the actual problem because they had to spend less time knowledge sharing. And when they finally thought up a solution they were able to spin up a solution pretty fast and implement it right away. This was shown in the quickness of deploying hypercerts at Zuzalu.

And although the hackathon seems really exciting, I think the Berlin Residency is going to be the greatest opportunity to not only introduce new people to building on Allo but also create dedicated Allo engineers and more intermediate developers. It would also give the winners of the hackathon time to build out their project more after the hackathon and get to know the product better. I think a handful of skilled and trusted engineers building cool things on Gitcoin Protocols beyond our core team is just what’s needed to help Gitcoin grow and show us what is possible beyond what we are currently looking out for.

I fully support this proposal and look forward to seeing what comes from it.

3 Likes

This proposal has met the requirements for moving to a snapshot vote. The name of the post has been updated and the post has been moved to the “proposal” category.

you can vote on this proposal here:
https://snapshot.org/#/gitcoindao.eth/proposal/0x1bf4e07b5919f9fd92e2e08ddbcb681f5e84f16f2621aa0844690a7d9b73aff5

End date May 23, 2023, 11:00 AM EST>

@jengajojo Thank you for taking the time to read through this, and to post your questions.

Orinayo Ayodele, Filecoin Green Program Manager, has led two Sustainable Blockchain Summit hackathons in the past year. She comes from a social impact background leading hackathons and projects focused on social impact entrepreneurs growing and scaling across the world. She has worked with the likes of Ikea, Google and many governmental institutions like the USAID, European Union, and GIZ to deliver solutions to real world problems.
The first hackathon in partnership with Gitcoin, focused on building environmental projects on the Filecoin Network and bringing attention to Filecoin Green and its mission of “turning sustainability into a Web3 superpower”. Partners for this hackathon included Fluence, Chainlink, and Hedera. 260 participants were involved with the hackathon, with a total of 52 work projects submitted. The total prize amount was $50,000 USD.
The second hackathon focused on bringing together sustainability gurus and developers to build new solutions at the intersection of web3 and the environment. We wanted to widen the scope of people who could participate in the hackathon, and specifically targeted university students on the East Coast interested in sustainability. We then held several matchmaking sessions for different interest groups to team up and work on tackling real world sustainability challenges. Partners for this hackathon included Climate Collective, Hyphen, and The Hbar Foundation. With 437 participants, 39 projects submitted and over $43,500 in prizes, these projects dived deeper into using the tools that Filecoin Green and its partners were building. This hackathon had less submissions than the first hackathons, but the participants were not only more familiar with the protocols but they actually built useful projects on top of the tech stack that was missing in the first hackathon. The success of the 2nd hackathon can be attributed to more marketing and awareness of Filecoin Green, casting a wider net for participants to get involved, and better documentation for participants to follow as they hacked.

David Casey (myself) has produced a spectrum of events and built numerous global communities over the past 15 years, from leading the organization of multi-thousand person music festivals, to producing blockchain conferences, and supporting the production of corporate tech conferences and hackathons in San Francisco, to organizing curated retreats from 20 to 200. David has managed 30-person event production staff teams and 100+ person volunteer crews, and led logistics, communications, marketing, project management, budgeting, staff recruiting, and government relations for large events. From 2013-2020 David built out the NuMundo (www.numundo.org) community, a global community of 100k+ sustainable living enthusiasts and 800+ property owners developing intentional communities. David ran and led the Impact Leaders Club, a network of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and human beings dedicated to creating a world that works for everyone. David is also a Celo Scout, and has contributed significantly to the development of the Celo startup ecosystem by attracting numerous companies and protocols to build on Celo. The Celo Scout Program enables the discovery of pre-seed and seed stage startups that leverage web 3 technology for impact. Since 2014, David has been innovating at the interface of crypto and real-world use cases, including founding a blockchain protocol for mutual credit in 2020 (http://resource.finance) and advising a number of crypto startups.

2 Likes

Hi - great proposal. I’m supportive and will be voting in favor of the $60k.

Offline perhaps I’d be interested in whether and how the OpenData Community can assist.

Our mission is to help defend web3 - while building algorithms, tools, and Regen Rangers (oath taking data analysts for good).

I’m particularly thinking about:

  • Sybil identification -
  • Grants screening -
  • Grants reputation analysis
  • ODC members participating directly in hacker houses and hackathons

However there may be other ways that make more sense.

TL;DR - great proposal from afaik a proven and values-aligned team. I’m epowell101 on Telegram and would love to find a little time to discuss how or whether the OpenData Community can assist.

2 Likes

Thank you for sharing. Sounds fantastic! Looking forward to seeing more awesome work from you all :rocket: