[Proposal] Gitcoin Seasons

Abstract

Seasons are a new addition to the Gitcoin ecosystem designed to provide periods of focused action around governance.

The ‘Seasons’ concept has been explored by many web2 gaming companies, and more recently by web3 communities like Friends with Benefits.

When GTC launched in May, governance over the Gitcoin platform was handed over to the community via a group of individuals known as Stewards. Stewards are trusted community leaders with delegated voting power to make decisions on behalf of the community.

A Season represents a time period for Gitcoin Stewards to earn GTC for active participation in governance. It consists of the top 40 delegated addresses, with an open application process for community members to join.

These GTC allocations will be distributed via a number of mechanisms which will evolve over time.

This proposal is split into the following sections:

  • Motivation: Why start Seasons?
  • Specification: A roadmap for implementing Seasons.
  • Distribution: Retroactive allocations for Steward work to date.

As a point of process, the contents of this post will be split into multiple Snapshot polls, as to ensure the different topics are voted on a case-by-case basis.

Motivation

Over the past 6+ weeks, the Gitcoin community and Stewards have been working tirelessly to build the first pillars of Gitcoin governance. There has been a huge amount of engagement on the Gitcoin forum and Discord, as well as wider discussions.

These first steps have not come without trials and tribulations, but we believe that great progress has been made and the impact made on the wider decentralized governance space has been significant.

We’ve often said that Season Zero has been a Tutorial Island of sorts, with a number of people from across the Ethereum ecosystem dipping their toes into the waters of decentralized governance for the first time!

While we’re grateful for the hard work and time that has been committed thus far, we also understand that all of the Stewards have jobs, projects and commitments outside of Gitcoin which demand their attention.

For this reason, we believe that it is both necessary and justified to begin rewarding Stewards for their time and energy in the form of additional governance rights.

The principle is simple: those who have participated in such a nascent system and are shaping its core functions would be some of the best people to guide it to a stage where broader contributions are possible.

It’s worth noting that these rewards are intentionally distributed in the form of governance weight with no economic value.

It’s also worth noting that Stewards can be expected to be reasonable about the amounts they opt to reward themselves early on, as delegates can opt to switch to new Stewards if the wrong levels are set.

Specification

Seasons Overview

Season Zero (S0) represents the time between the launch of GTC and the GitcoinDAO, and the beginning of Season One (S01).

Season One will commence at a date specified in the ‘S01 Proposal’, and continue for the shorter of 90 days or the end of the next formal grants round. After this period, Stewards will vote on individual methods of allocation for GTC among themselves and the wider community.

Season One should be viewed as a trial run, with future ambitions to have recurring Seasons following short windows for recovery and reflection. Similar to off-seasons in sports, Stewards should be given time to rest before ramping up for key governance decisions made throughout the year.

A formal structure to future Seasons will be presented at the end of Season One, assuming the program is deemed valuable by the community.

Steward Selection

A snapshot of the top 40 delegated addresses will be taken at the beginning of a Season to determine the intial members for that Season.

Community members who sit outside of this threshold are welcome to submit a proposal to join, with incoming applications reviewed by the existing Stewards group (or a committee dedicated to onboarding).

Steward Incentives

Steward incentives could be distributed at the end of every Season using the following options:

  • Quadratic funding (Gitcoin Building Gitcoin)
  • Coordinape
  • Fixed rewards to workstreams left up to workstream leads

In the case of Coordinape, all top 40 Stewards will be listed, along with any outstanding stewards who reach out. Those who wish not to be compensated for their work can defer their allocation after voting has concluded. This way, all Stewards are recognized for the value they created, even if they choose not to be compensated for it.

Deferred allocations will be split pro-rata among all remaining stewards relative to the Coordinape voting distribution.

It may also be worth considering up front allocations for workstreams heading into Season 1, but to ensure concise discussion this will be left to the S01 Proposal if we find support for the concept in general.

Season Zero Distribution

We propose that a total of 40,000 GTC is allocated retroactively across the Stewards group as well as recipients of grants in the ‘Gitcoin Building GitcoinDAO’ category. The breakdown of proposed allocations are detailed below.

Seperate Snapshot proposals will be made outlining further detail around these allocations, their timelines and their distribution.

Grants Round 10 Matching: 20,000 GTC

  • To be allocated to grants in the ‘Gitcoin builds Gitcoin’ category pro-rata using the same quadratic formula as matching pool funds.
  • Used to encourage the community to create grants for the Gitcoin builds Gitcoin category, resulting in more active development of both core and periphiral infrastructure for the GitcoinDAO.

Gitcoin Stewards via Coordinape: 20,000 GTC

  • To be allocated via Coordinape to all Stewards who have been active in Season Zero.
  • Stewards will be onboarded to Coordinape and given a set amount of votes (in the form of GIVE tokens) to distribute to others that they feel have contributed value. Once all Stewards have completed this process, the resulting social graph will be used to distribute GTC to those who participated. More information on how Coordinape works can be found here.

TL;DR

This post looks to start a conversation around Gitcoin Steward incentives during Season Zero, as well as to propose initial frameworks for Steward selection and incentive distribution processes for future Seasons.

19 Likes

Hi @Callum! I hope you are doing well!

I like this proposal, great idea to reward some contributor for their efforts.

What do you think of also rewarding the people who use delegation on Stewards. I think these users could also benefit from the quadratic rewards because they also contribute positively by delegating their voting powers just to mention this part.

If this sound like a great idea please let me know :slight_smile:
Have a great evening!

3 Likes

Hello @callum and the rest of the community.

Echoing my posts in discord I am writing my opinion on the matter here.

General approach to such important proposals

First of all I think that we are starting off a bit wrong. Starting from the very specific implementation of something first without having determined or even asked the community if they think the stewards/participants in governance should be rewarded.

Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to start from the basics first?

  1. First a discussion/vote. Does the community agree with stewards/governance participants being rewarded for their time?
  2. If yes, then for what?
    a) For reading proposals, creating proposals, forming an opinion and voting? The pure governance aspect?
    b) For creating/doing something/performing work. Say authoring a document, a blog post, a contract, writing code, hosting a call etc?
    c) For both (a) and (b)?
  3. Depending on the answer to (2) then and only then focus on the how and the details of any potential mechanics. I think that omitting discussion for (1) and (2) and jumping directly towards mechanics of anything is a mistake.

My personal opinion is that basing governance on monetary incentives is wrong. I am doing this from altruistic reasons, just because the problem of funding opensource and making it sustainable is really close to my heart and I want to see it solved.

On the other hand, governance decisions would have actionable items as outcome. Write some code, write a contract, deploy a contract, write a blog post. This is work hours of someone and that someone needs to be of course paid.

For that we could even use gitcoin bounties to dog food the system a bit.

Specific feedback on this proposal

I don’t think that any incentivisation should be for top XX stewards only. Instead we should find ways to empower more and more of the community. Otherwise we may end up with some “gitcoin elite” that rules over gitcoin.

I read a bit about coordinape and it does sound like a good tool. But perhaps let’s try to onboard as many people from the community as possible instead of top stewards/GTC holders. Perhaps by asking people in discord who are interested to join via an invite link?

10 Likes

Hi @lefterisjp,

I agree with you on this part. This is how it should work normally. The problem or not, is that many of us are ‘Regular User’ already or experienced user and we already have been in some form of governance with other projects for example.

Many people will come and leave the group or the DAO, and over a certain period of time we will end up with again some ‘Regular User’. In this hole DAO we need some experienced user to take some initiative and in many case the lead with discussion, proposal and such but mainly to run the DAO in a whole.

But again, I think the best solution is like @lefterisjp is saying to open up a thread, start the discussion, Infuse it with an abstract proposal, pass it on Vote…

Hi everyone!

Great to see all the discussion and sharing of ideas and beliefs. I support a grant application to reward the Stewards. Not just the top 40 either. Maybe the top 150? Maybe all Stewards if such a thing is possible? There are many ways for Stewards to prop up this community from governance to shilling Gitcoin on social media. Thanks for those motivated folks who conceived and wrote the proposal. Many Stewards probably lack GTC because the Steward program is fairly new I think. This mean any vote should include those without GTC too.

@Callum thank you, - (bridging this from discord - sorry for the repetition)

i really like the intent of the proposal and am super familiar with the “seasons” concept from FWB (helpful in many ways) and using incentives for governance participation

i appreciate the care put in to this, i wish i had more time to engage with all of these channels and connect more dots

I know many of the stewards have been putting in extra time from 0-to-1 (as you put it) into akita-gate, quadratic lands launch/gtc airdrop leading right into the hackathon and grants GR10

but similar to @lefterisj i am not sure the incentive design matches the stewards values 1:1 (i would like to hear more though, i am making assumptions and proposals like this are a good way to find out answers - so thanks)


“stewards are trusted community leaders with delegated voting power to make decisions on behalf of the community.”


^ if this is true, is rewarding the top 40 delegates the right way to go?

i see you have created a way for stewards to “reject” their rewards and that solves this somewhat, but i wonder if more value could come from rewarding community members who are active who have very few or no tokens or delegates yet?

as someone who participates and immerses myself in FWB / Uniswap / Gitcoin and others - i am starting to see a select few of the same people with masses of tokens making decisions over the various token protocol treasuries (not a horrible thing just observation)

I can’t really speak “for” gitcoin yet but it feels like the intent and structure here is to distribute governance power not concentrate it?

does this help us do that?


i want to hear what others think - this article is relevant and outlines why the order of incentives matter as much as their existence

“you want to think of monetary rewards as a means of acknowledging the value that a community member brings to the community as opposed to being the direct incentive to participate.”

^ Gitcoin stewardship is referenced in step 1 of this but i think we are skipping step 2?


to be clear, not opposed to this as a whole

i think the timing and direction of the GTC rewards could be tweaked

the grant matching and the concept of seasons sounds good otherwise and helps create structure

thanks!

3 Likes

i like the idea of using the GTC to reward non-steward people in the community, that is a bit harder to pull off, but i think it will have more impact on the future shape of this community

Great thread everyone and great to see the conversation around how we do this whole governance thing better.

One of the key things to remember is that this will grow. We are limited in numbers, opinions and actions right now but as this will grow, it will become harder and harder to monitor contributions and involvement. We need to create the flows by which we recognise work - be it via monetary or reputation rewards. Let’s remember, commons don’t run on good will, but on accountability - it’s the reality (please refer to Elinor Ostrom’s principles for governing a commons. And it’s why many DAOs still have a small core cluster of active participants and pools of members in name only. None of it ill will but we collectively spin many plates and without clear flows, it’s easy to drop/never engage/do bare minimum. We’re already seeing some top stewards more engaged than others.

Perhaps how this flows is the build Gitcoin grants dynamic and anyone who is a steward can create their own grant within that round but should also showcase deliverables/provide updates for full transparency again. Could we make these grants payable in GTC to enable stewards to increase their own voting power via this mechanism?

The snapshot of top delegates could lead to drop in engagement or discourage involvement since the very top is unlikely to change often…we want active widespread participation and a multitude of perspectives at the table.

3 Likes

I echo all of @lefterisjp’s points about fairly rewarding operational work for the DAO while also making sure we ensure that participation in the DAO is driven intrinsically vs. via external rewards.

Given that, I think a middle ground here to is to purely use the timeboxing of seasons to not nessecary drive community monetary rewards but to purely use it as a time based measuring stick to measure the DAO’s progress, efforts and perhaps as a means to also highlight notable moments during each period. The goal here it seems from the proposal is to give the community a cadence to run against, and this cadence can be used to measure key outcomes, goals and other bits and pieces.

1 Like

Just catching up on this thread, I think @pet3rpan and @lefterisjp have a good point here about Internal and External.

Might I suggest that we spin up a quick experiment utilizing the quadratic funding allocation amounts to get the first distribution out the door ?

We take 20,000 GTC and fund the grant owners of the Gitcoin Building Gitcoin Grants Round:

I think this aligns with the existing proposal by @Callum and it would allow us to push a funding experiment out faster than going through the whole Seasons thing.

IMO we need to reward the active stewards sooner rather than later to ensure that their contributions are acknowledged and that the most active people get more governance rights via more $GTC.

We can look into the tools for coordination later but for now people have been active, and most of the people who are actively contributing as Stewards have a grant in that category.

Thoughts, feelings, feedback ?

4 Likes

This makes perfect sense to me.

Fully in favor of breaking this out into its own proposal!

4 Likes

Just posted a proposal outlining this allocation :unicorn:

1 Like

Let the GTC reward more contributors, let more people participate in community autonomy, this is a democratic, progressive.

4 Likes

Yeah I agree with zyks. Reward many. I have been helping out as an Anti-sybil Steward but I did not receive any airdrop. I really want to get some GTC to reflect my role as Steward but not sure I want to spend the $. So I hope we can distribute any grant award to all the Stewards.

1 Like

Hey team - wanted to give a heads up on a proposal we’ve been working on that helps alleviate some of the issues referred to here. Wanted to link the discussion for similarity.