Governance Roadmap S19/20 & Beyond

Thanks to @deltajuliet for her co-authoring of this post.

Introduction

In order to continue to align with our commitments to transparency and accountability, we’ll be rolling out several new governance-related initiatives to double-down on our desire to see more community-led decision making at Gitcoin. The intention of these initiatives is to open up a world of possibilities for what it means to be part of Web3 :rocket:

Our hope is that with these governance initiatives, we continue to build (and rebuild where necessary) trust and credibility with the Gitcoin community and larger web3 ecosystem. These initiatives are also intended to ensure the long-term sustainability of Gitcoin to realize its vision of a world shaped by community-led positive change.

Current State of Governance at Gitcoin

Gitcoin’s current governance structure is (mostly) outlined in this post from April 2022. Since that time, we have launched several products, spun up and wound down several workstreams, elected two Steward Councils, and have seen dozens of contributors come and go. A lot has changed at the organization, but little in terms of how we’re making decisions and engaging with one of our most important partners, you - the Gitcoin community.

Internally, we’ve identified several areas of opportunity that we plan to address in the coming months, including:

  • Context building for current Stewards
  • Clear metrics & KPIs for “good governance” at Gitcoin
  • Increased transparency of happenings within the DAO’s daily operations (especially on the product and program side)
  • More opportunity to provide feedback and make decisions around the development of Gitcoin’s products and grants program
  • Clearer guidelines on how to create proposals that advance Gitcoin’s top priorities (and therefore get funded)

Who is doing what?

  • CoachJ (Governance coordinator)
    • Maintenance of existing (and evolving) governance processes
    • Operationalizing stakeholder communications plans
    • Documentation of all governance-related processes
    • Researching and proposing new governance-related experiements
  • Rena (Chief of Staff)
    • Supporting on execution
    • Acting as bridge between CSDO, governance and the Foundation
    • Stakeholder communications support
    • Supporting on upcoming governance-related experiments
  • Kyle (Executive Director) w/ support of CoS and external consultants
    • Product-based governance strategy and structure
    • Gitcoin Grants governance strategy and structure

Key initiatives

Based on the opportunity areas listed above, below is a list of initiatives that will be worked on in the current S19 season (ending at the end of October) and planned initiatives for S20 (starting November 1st, 2023 ending January 31st, 2023).

A note on our rollout: We’re focused on executing quick wins now and strategizing bigger picture items in the meantime.

S19:

  • Update and socialize the DAO cadence (budget cycles, grants rounds, product milestones, etc.)
  • Create more context for Stewards:
    • Publicize and socialize DAO happenings
    • Make sync and async updates easily available/accessible (details TBC)
  • Develop governance metrics and KPIs for:
    • Gitcoin as a whole
      • Standby for renewed DAO Goals and EssentiaI Intents to be published
      • Workstreams Leads are working with [TAG] K2 on further refinements
    • Financial sustainability
      • Foundation/Workstream budgets to be socialized by early October in a way that’s easy to digest
    • Governance initiative
    • Clearly outline current DACI (Driver, Approver, Consulted, Informed) framework for every level of decision making at the DAO, including for Stewards
  • Outline and update voting thresholds (currently at +1M tokens, looking to reduce significantly)
  • Research Product IP initiative for Passport & Allo
  • Research Passport gating the governance forum

S20:

Note: S20 is all about our more nuanced direction. We’re hoping to work on the documentation and planning in S19 and continue on with more ‘spicy’ initiatives in S20.

  • Updated documentation repository for all things governance: https://gitcoin-1.gitbook.io/gitcoin-governance-manual/
  • Comms cadence ossified and increased
  • Roll out PIP (Passport) and AIP (Allo) initiative
  • Roll out expanded Gitcoin Grants governance initiative
  • Rollout of Passport gated governance forum (and solutions to include those who cannot afford to own GTC)
  • Explorations of election-based roles at Gitcoin
  • Research DAO2DAO governance opportunities
  • Monthly Steward onboarding calls

S21 and beyond:

  • DAO2DAO Governance experiments rollout
  • Exploration of GTC delegation incentives program

If you have any questions about the list above, please leave a comment and we will do our best to address any questions and curiosities you have.

Communication Channels

Expect more updates in the governance forum about progress for all the items listed above. There are also lots of ways to start getting informed about all things happening at Gitcoin:

Sync:

Async:

  • Gitcoin Monthly - Product-focused newsletter
    • Posted to the governance forum and on Gitcoin Twitter at the beginning of every month
  • DAO Digest - Bi-weekly recap of everything happening at the DAO
    • Posted to the governance forum and sent out via email every 2 weeks
  • Gitcoin Pulse - Weekly audio broadcast highlighting the top news at Gitcoin
    • Posted weekly to Gitcoin Citizens Twitter and to the DAO Citizens channel in Discord

This is our commitment to transparent, inclusive, and effective governance. Our request is that you get involved - that is how we create our decentralized future: together.

What general comments, questions, concerns, or bouts of excitement do you want to share? We want to hear from you! If you don’t know what to say, here are some prompts that we’d love to hear from you about:

General

  • What do you think makes good vs. bad governance?
  • What do you think are important considerations for rolling out frameworks around how we govern our products and program?
  • What DAO2DAO governance relationships have you seen work well and why?

Gitcoin Initiatives:

  • Does this sound well-positioned? Are we working towards the things you’d want to see as a leader in decentralization?
  • Do you think you have a platform for feedback? If not, what does that platform look like?
  • What else should we consider in terms of shaping up our governance?
  • What has been done well in similar DAOS that isn’t reflected here? What other DAOs could we partner with that you think could make a difference for Gitcoin?
  • What are some metrics you’d suggest measuring or KPIs you’d suggest working toward?

Communication

  • How do you (as Stewards) understand what’s happening within the DAO, and quickly? Where do you get your info from now?
  • Where exactly could the DAO improve upon our updates, without sacrificing the time it takes to build and work?
  • Are prompts more accessible or is just publishing our work enough?
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Thanks so much for this @deltajuliet & @CoachJonathan :slight_smile: I love the way comms around governance are shaping up here!

Have we ever tried a centralized dashboard offering real-time updates? Wondering if that would be viable for impact reporting in between rounds.

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Excited to see some interesting opportunities rolling out in the coming months.

The DAO should have a master framework (called ‘constitution’ in some circles) to govern this and other aspects of DAO operations. This also goes to the communication question mentioned later. While the weekly digests and monthly syncs are a good way to get upto speed from a product update pov, the important governance changes get drowned out. Having an operating manual/shared source of truth offers clarity on the current state of the DAOs processes and helps newbies quickly get upto speed on how to GitcoinDAO without having to absorb all the context on forums.

  • DAOs which have an established and functioning metagovernance squads as well as regular collab syncs are effective at going beyond the PR value created by such efforts. Happy to help you all sync in deeper with banklessDAO if that makes sense.
  • Structuring the incentives correctly plays a key role in shaping the desired outcome. A shared grants squad with shared resources is a great way to incentivize bottom up collaboration projects.
  • Instead of casting a wide net and testing the catch, it’s better to be strategic about which DAOs to approach and work with.

Generally happy with the proposed changes, but I’d like the community to think deeply about election-based roles, which often result in popularity contests. Election based roles are best utilised for positions of trust rather than positions of skill. I’d suggest avoiding election based outcomes for any skill dependant work.

Consider revamping the delegates program, or at the very least reshuffle delegation monthly based on activity. Maybe the DAO can allocate some GTC to a Quadratic Delegation Matching Contract, which redelegates tokens each month based on delegate performance.

As a general feedback towards decentralization, consider a discord based onboarding and contribution flow for newbies where folks can join the server → get verified → join channels where actual work happens → participate in weekly WS syncs → earn reputation → upskill themselves → start their own workstreams inside existing streams → become long term contributors to the DAO

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This is actually in the works! Our current site https://impact.gitcoin.co was last updated in March. I am working right now with the MMM team to get this updated & put a focus on not just our program but our products as well.

Toward the end of the year, you’ll this updated and subsequently maintained throughout the year.

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Super insightful, @jengajojo!

Love this idea! Do you have any suggestions about constitutions you’ve seen that are aboslutely :fire:? Would love to fork and make edits vs. creating a new one from scratch.

Yes to all of this. 100% would love to connect with you to discuss. Let’s aim for next month once I have more space to prioritize taking actions around this. I’m also interested to explore this idea of a grants squad, though I’m certain @kyle is cooking up some great ideas around how we better govern the grants program as a community

:bulb:

Making a note to explore the delegates program in S20 (Nov - Jan).

I agree with this and this is how it used to happen at Gitcoin (that’s how I got involved). I think the struggle with this (especially as I’ve experienced over the past year) is the amount of overhead required to manage this kind of work that doesn’t end up being super high value. That said, I agree that this is on the path to decentralization and I think this flow will re-emerge in the future.


Thanks for your insights!

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Amazing :slight_smile: this will be super useful for contacting media as well

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Absolutely! Here you go: govbase/documents/constitutions at master · metagov/govbase · GitHub
What out for the ones which keep updating regularly, since those are the most useful ones!

Perfect! My DMs are open. Happy to hop onboard to help out :slight_smile:

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Not related to governance but a “nice have” baked into the Constitution

https://agilemanifesto.org/principles.html

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gm everyone, Toady here from Nouns DAO and The Noun Square media collective. @carlosjmelgar recommended I drop by here, just catching up now! Had a blast contributing to our first Gitcoin round in #GG18 and would love to know how I (we) can help more in #GG19 and beyond.

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This is exciting. Does this also open the opportunity for grantees, funding partners, donors, and other contributors to have delegated tokens rebalanced to create more pluralistic voting within the DAO?

Can you elaborate on the reason for reducing the thresholds? Is this alpha related to the question above?

Great opportunity to tap into leadership and experience from other DAOs, crossover products and treasuries. Do we have any DAOs lined up for this?

Does this mean reward value created with delegated GTC?

bullish on this. Congrats on putting all of this together. Thrilled to see the DAO move in this direction.

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1.- People… I think governance just “Is”, it’s not bad and it’s not good, we cant make this disruptive evaluation, i think that we have to find a focal point to decide how it’s going to be, and be as far as we can to the moloch traps that we face in every day. I this that it’s easier to see the bad things than good thinks, as we can learn from Dante Alighieri. Bad decisions are harmful for the protocol very quickly l but good decisions needs months or years and sometimes we are not active long enough to see or wait for this cnages.
2.- Ethics, something that i can’t find in our different governance proposal are around governance but not ethical behavior.
3.- Hoho, i’ve seen @jengajojo doing great things within DAOs, it’s like a Rosseta stone, it’s driving between protocols. Sometomes i can understand if humans try to be something similar as automatas. So if we are looking for some interblockchain communications, we need interDAO communication and principles. Like a Public Goods constitution, when all the protocols that are related to this interest are writing and updating.

1.- Yes, sounds great. Yup, it’s great about reading form Gitcoin’s decentralization.
2.- I think i’m not as smart as you guys, just learning.
3.- Public Goods are mainstream with other DAOs, but we have to learn if this system it’s sustainable in time.
4.- Censorship resistance and more languages.
5.- BanklessDAO it’s doing a great job.
6.- Proposal, voting %, discussions.

1.- I listen to the Twitter spaces with the updates that @carlosjmelgar does.
2.- BanklessDAO has a Weekly RollUp about thats happening inside DAOs, maybe we can have some updates over there. And bDAO it’s a public good =)
3.- Nope, i think we need interaction.

Sorry if i’m to naive to understand whats happening, but i think that any idea, works for everyone.
Best

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That’s what my intention is. And your eluding to a token delegation program is not the first time I have seen this written, so I will investigate re-prioritizing this so that we get something active sooner rather than later.

If you go to https://delegate.gitcoin.co/ you’ll see that there are about a dozen people with over 1M tokens. Having these token whales presents a few barriers to decentralization:

  1. Fewer people can make proposals onchain (currently need 1M tokens to do this)
  2. Atm, a handful people (myself included) essentially get to decide the outcomes of proposals - curry enough favour with these people, and essentially the proposal will pass
  3. This article from a16z talks about:

Your probability of choosing to participate increases when:

  1. You are more likely to change the outcome if you vote

So, the idea here is reduce the # of whales = empower more people to have their voices heard/votes matter.

No, I haven’t even started thinking about this yet, so any recos please post them here or shoot me a DM :slight_smile:

I’d like to explore what it looks like to run something like this based on experiments being run around the web3 so far.


Thanks for all the Q's and comments!
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What has been done well in similar DAOS that isn’t reflected here?

One really interesting thing that Optimism does is they have both 1 person 1 vote and 1 token 1 vote for various decisions. Do you think that might be something worth exploring?

What other DAOs could we partner with that you think could make a difference for Gitcoin?

Partnering with DAOs that were grown through Gitcoin because they are intrinsically motivated to support the ecosystem and fund more public goods.

What DAO2DAO governance relationships have you seen work well and why?

This isn’t a governance relationship necessarily but Solarpunk DAO is investing in Kokonut Network’s coconut plantations through $Earth. This relationship works well because the startips are aligned & Kokonut Network is a Moloch DAO which is an effective framework IMO.

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I would like to add my two cents on this subject here after our conversation in spaces today.

The badge holder process that optimism has for their governance is definitely an experiment as the rest of the governance has been in the early stages.
The recent addition of badge holders has also been a part of some controversial discussions within the forums to say the very least over the past 6 months.

Forum posts regarding conflict of interest & undisclosed financial interest arose from the governance. I searched for the term “Badge Holder” and this is what appears to stand out the most.

So this is something that is very important to be aware of when thinking :thought_balloon: of a similar concept within the process of decentralization for Gitcoin.

”Badge Holder” Search :eyes: Results

With the recent incident a security council is also being discussed here.

There are some things that can be learned from a committee of badge holders especially with the current gitcoin citizens program.

Many members of the ecosystem have already aligned their values with these grant opportunities.

Here’s what a badge holder election might look like.

  1. A nomination process for the election of badge holders of existing members in the governance who hold “X” amount of GTC could then be put into a proposal forum here.

Usually this is a certain percent of the total supply of tokens for governance.

Recommendations could also be made through a separate forum post from the community each with their own template.

Example:
(A) - Delegate nomination
(B) - Community nomination

  1. A Citizen would then need to opt-in to the role of a “DAO Guardian” which would become a significant commitment to the time spent working on the following tasks per week.
  • Review transfers for budget decisions.
  • Assist in Grant stack round management.
  • Vote :ballot_box: on proposals in governance.
  • Volunteer for governance calls on spaces.
  • Active participation in discord conversations.
  • Create media related to GTC & Public Goods.
  1. Each season a new round of Badge Holders are nominated.

Existing badge holders have the ability to distribute a badge to (1) one :point_up: new member who is an existing Gitcoin citizen in each round.

Every round of badge holders that are nominated then become elected by a final vote from the gitcoin community. To ensure that the best interests for the entire ecosystem are up to the standards of what these highly dedicated individuals are willing to accomplish.

  1. Some other details may be needed such as a UI dashboard to highlight the badge holders after individuals opt-in as well as a budget for the “DAO Guardians” from season to season.

This budget could also be distributed in a retroactive manner to ensure that any impact is made for the collective prior to any compensation being distributed. Utilizing the UI dashboard to link :link: & update all contributions to Gitcoin along the way.

:heart::pray::white_check_mark:

@Jimi I hope this gives you a good idea of what could be accomplished in order to make the process fair. As we have seen from the OP Gov experimentation as a case study. :open_book:
The idea of badge holders may need to come with a certain prerequisite to be an existing member of the community that has added value prior to taking the role of a badge holder.

The scalable solution that this provides season to season has a very strong growth pattern for tackling more complex issues & maintaining the different gears :gear: of governance that sometimes need a thorough analysis to understand how we can increase our productivity and retention rate of active delegates.

At the same time the lines of communication between each team whether it is the Gitcoin foundation members, developers, council review members, round managers, delegates, grantees, donors and community members all need to remain as open and streamlined with transparency as possible. This type of coordination effort will help to facilitate decentralized governance.

For these two things I recommend the delegates dashboard that is coming soon for all of the GTC grantees out there built by Karma HQ which we have helped to Beta test with.

As well as Curia dashboard for tracking of delegates participation within the Gitcoin ecosystem.

https://x.com/curia_gov

I hope this all helps and has added some value to the conversation here for the upcoming seasons and future of Gitcoin.

I am very excited to see how we all grow together! :herb::herb::herb:

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I wanted to provide an update on where we landed with some of these items that were outlined several months ago. I will also take the opportunity to share some areas that have been identified that will be worked on in the new year.

Completed items:

  • Update and socialize the DAO cadence (budget cycles, grants rounds, product milestones, etc.)
  • Research Passport gating the governance forum
  • Comms cadence ossified and increased

In progress items:

  • Create more context for Stewards:
    • Publicize and socialize DAO happenings
    • Make sync and async updates easily available/accessible (details TBC)

This is ongoing and updates can be found in the thread Enhancing Our Stewarship.

  • Develop governance metrics and KPIs for:
  • Gitcoin as a whole
    • Standby for renewed DAO Goals and EssentiaI Intents to be published
  • Financial sustainability
    • Foundation/Workstream budgets to be socialized by early October in a way that’s easy to digest
  • Governance initiative
  • Clearly outline current DACI (Driver, Approver, Consulted, Informed) framework for every level of decision making at the DAO, including for Stewards

Gitcoin EIs were announced, DAO goals to be shared in Q1.
Regular financial updates now provided monthly in the forum.
Governance initiative KPIs yet to be developed.
Current DACI framework (somewhat) outlined in the Governance Manual under each role

  • Outline and update voting thresholds (currently at +1M tokens, looking to reduce significantly)

Recently passed in Snapshot, looking at implementing in Q1.

  • Research DAO2DAO governance opportunities

Ongoing, will likely remove this task since it doesn’t have a clear “end date”.

Incomplete items:

  • Roll out PIP (Passport) and AIP (Allo) initiative

Allo details shared in a post, but full plan not yet rolled out. Targeted to be completed in Q1.
Passport details still TBC. If there is a rollout, it won’t be until Q2 or Q3 2024 at the earliest.

  • Roll out expanded Gitcoin Grants governance initiative

Discussions are still in early stages, updates on this likely to come from the GPT team in Q1.

  • Explorations of election-based roles at Gitcoin

The only role being explored for elections is the Executive Director of the Gitcoin Foundation. More on this in Q1.

  • Monthly Steward onboarding calls

Training materials are nearly complete, will share details of this in Q1.

  • Exploration of GTC delegation incentives program

This has not started and is being evaluated in terms of priorities.


Looking Ahead

As we continuously strive to improve our governance framework, I’ve identified a few areas where our proposal structure and process could benefit from greater clarity and organization. This post aims to address these gaps and propose a structure that enhances our decision-making efficiency. Your insights and feedback are crucial in shaping a robust governance model for our community.

1. Identifying Types of Proposals

In a previous discussion titled What should Stewards vote on, I outlined three primary areas for Stewards’ decision-making:

  1. Allocation of treasury funds
  2. Governance changes
  3. Electing or removing the Executive Director of the Foundation

Furthermore, we are in the process of introducing the Allo Improvement Protocol, aimed at integrating community input into Allo development. Additionally, we are exploring the Passport Improvement Protocol, though it is still in its nascent stages.

Next steps:

  • Ratification of “What should Stewards vote on” ideas into a “Gitcoin Governance Constitution” (targeting Q1)
  • Share more details about the Allo Improvment Process (first introduced in this post) and how to get involved (targeting Q1)
  • Share more details about a Passport Improvement Process and how to get involved (still TBC and timing TBD)

2. Categorizing Treasury Fund Allocation Proposals:

Currently, two groups can request treasury funds: Community members and Core Contributors. Core Contributors have been using a mish-mash of structures to request funds from the treasury. In the new year we’ll be proposing two potential structures for requesting funds:

  • A unified category named “Budget Requests and Amendments” specifically for Core Contributors
  • Gitcoin Citizen Proposal (GCPs) for Citizens/community members

Next steps:

  • Ratification of this proposal (Q1)

3. Proposal Naming Conventions:

A consistent naming convention is crucial for organizing and maintaining a clear historical record of proposals. Inspired by the practices at POKT (PIPs, PUPs, PEPs) and ENS (Epoch-based naming), I will be suggesting the following format below for Gitcoin. I’d like for this process to be as collaborative as possible, so please provide any feedback you have to this.

  • Utilizing our ‘Seasons’ system, proposals could be named as “S20.1 [Proposal Type]” or “S21.3 [Governance Change]”.
  • Adding descriptors like [Social] or [Executable] to indicate the nature of the proposal.

Next steps:

  • Agreeing to a naming structure with community input (Q1)
  • Agreeing to a way to document and store everything within the Governance Forum and any other locations the community sees fit (Q1)
  • Collecting feedback on the “descriptors” section (Q1)
  • Ratifying this through a vote (Q1, Q2 at least)

4. Structured Proposal Process:

To enhance the proposal development process, I will be recommending new formats to follow in the governance forum:

  • Initiating proposals as drafts for community feedback, marked as [DRAFT].
  • A “temperature check” phase to gauge community sentiment, indicated as [TEMP CHECK].
  • Finalizing the proposal for voting, labeled as [FINAL].

This process will ensure thorough community engagement and feedback before any formal voting. This is also important to establish ahead of S21 (Feb 1) when Gitcoin plans to announce it’s Gitcoin Ecosystem Contributor Program (working title, more details to come).

Note: The labels above are not set in stone and suggestions for alternative flows are very welcome.

Next steps:

  • Collecting feedback on the process (Q1)
  • Ratifying and documenting the agreed upon naming conventions (Q1)

5. (Re)Defining Stewardship at Gitcoin

The ongoing conversation in the post Enhancing Our Stewardship outlines a lot of the gaps and possibilities wrt to Gitcoin’s Stewards.

6. Governance Experiments

In the new year, we’ll be looking to innovate and experiment with our governance structure and mechanisms with the goal of increasing participation and continuing to make decisions in the best interest of the DAO.

Some of these experiments may or may not include:

  • GTC delegation matching program
  • Secret ballot votes (both during the vote and after the vote is complete)
  • Streamlining governance administrative processes (like the current oSnap proposal)
  • Clearer/easier ways for the Gitcoin Citizens to plug into the Gitcoin ecosystem and contribute meaningfully

As soon as I have this all drafted into a project tracker, I will post to this thread create a new thread and share there.

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