This proposal seeks community input on GitcoinDAO’s Purpose and Essential Intent to create greater alignment among stakeholders.
Amended Timeline: To facilitate additional input from the community, the deadline to provide feedback to the draft purpose and essential intent statements is extended one week to Friday June 3, 2022.
Earlier this year, several members of CSDO raised concerns that there was growing misalignment between GitcoinDAO contributors, stewards, community, and fans around the DAO’s mission and methods for delivering outcomes on that mission.
Some of the confusion is historic. Since Gitcoin launched in 2017, there have been several iterations of its articulated mission, vision, and values. Along the way, followers and contributors alike were drawn in by the company’s continuous evolution within the ecosystem, first as a funder of open source, and eventually, as a builder and funder of public goods. Though directionally similar, how community members frame Gitcoin Holdings’ impact is often a signal of when they started following and contributing to the project.
Part of this misalignment is also due to where we are in our organizational development. GitcoinDAO will be a year old this month (yay!). In the midst of the disaffiliation from Gitcoin Holdings, contributors are developing the common rituals, processes, and language that clearly articulate our vision for the world we are trying to build.
It is also increasingly clear that the confusion over the DAO’s purpose and essential work is beginning to affect how we create alignment with all the constituents we have. This was most recently felt during the S14 budget process where stewards and contributors voiced concerns about the various workstream projects and associated spending, which seemed out of sync with the stated mission and vision of Gitcoin Holdings. The broader market conditions and the desire for tighter alignment underscored the need for a clear statement of purpose, and focused direction on the DAO’s medium-term goals.
During a recent cross-stream strategy session held on May 6th, workstream leads and Gitcoin Holdings attendees brainstormed potential statements of GitcoinDAO’s Purpose and Essential Intent (see link).
During the strategy session, workstream leads and Gitcoin Holding attendees met with the goal of developing a shared sense of potential statements of DAO-level Purpose and Essential Intent. The session was facilitated by Sam Spurlin of The Ready.
Instead of focusing on traditional Mission and Vision statements, Purpose and essential intents seek to offer context on what work matters most within an organization and and why.
Attendees were asked to consider:
- The definitions of a stated purpose and essential intent (see above).
- Instead of focusing on what an organization does (a mission statement), a Purpose statement describes the reason it exists.
- Essential intent describes the concrete, measurable work of contributors to an organization in pursuit of the overall purpose.
- The utility of developing and articulating a DAO-level purpose and essential intents.
- The role of the GitcoinDAO community articulating and consenting to the drafted artifacts.
Using previous Gitcoin discussions on the topic as inspiration, attendees drafted and voted on potential purpose and essential intent statements.
The session ended with the attendees electing a subgroup to synthesize the discoveries of the session into draft language for consideration by the broader community. The subgroup included @annika, @owocki, @lthrift, @kyle, and @Jodi_GitcoinDAO.
Draft language was presented and discussed during CSDO Meeting #32 held on May 17th. The group decided we had enough conviction in the working group’s language that we were ready to move the discussion forward to our community.
We are an Impact DAO working to launch our Protocol. We will transition to a Protocol DAO focused on building and funding tools that support community-driven shared resources. We knew we wanted to stay true to our earlier mission and ensure the purpose and essential intents were focused on empowering the builders of funders to use Gitcoin Grants to realize the green pilled future we have imagined.
We agreed the Grants protocol is the most important essential intent for us to focus on over the next 12mos. We also quickly identified the thematic need to ensure we thrive as a DAO — financially, in the impact we deliver, and in the example we set for the web3 ecosystem.
To empower communities to build & fund their shared needs.
Grants Protocol (+ Growth)
- Build a widely adopted, modular Grants protocol that creates a flourishing ecosystem of funding mechanisms.
- Have a comprehensive, diversified strategy for financial stability of the DAO in order to effectively achieve our mission.
- Create and promote clear and engaging rituals, communication channels, and messaging that build shared context among GitcoinDAO’s contributors, stewards, and supporters.
Enable a successful grants protocol launch by dogfooding it internally & supporting ecosystems in adopting it.
Continue to support the Ethereum ecosystem & public goods in web3 and beyond through Gitcoin-led rounds.
At the same CSDO meeting, workstream leads discussed the following tradeoffs, tensions, and opportunities that emerged from the proposed language, including:
- The potential confusion created by moving from a ‘public goods’ or ‘open source’ framing in our stated purpose to one that centers a community’s ‘shared needs’.
- How creating a distinction between the Grants program directed by the PGF and the Grants Protocol allows for flexibility in messaging the importance of each.
- What role our ethics play in informing our purpose and essential work.
- The constraints created by including prescriptive language in our essential Intents.
Ultimately, we cannot finalize these artifacts without feedback from you on these or other emergent considerations.
We are seeking community comment on the draft purpose and each essential intent by May 27th, 2022 (1 week from today). In parallel, we will be presenting the draft language at a Steward Council call to be held on Tuesday May 24th to seek their advice and/or consent.
It’s important to conclude this post noting that the goal of this proposal is to build in the open. We hope that this process helps us work with clarity and focus over the the 12-18 months, and well into the future. Be on the lookout for a post from our friends at MMM with updates on how some of the work in this post ties into the DAO’s brand strategy.
We appreciate your engagement with this proposal in the comment thread below.