Proposal: V2 of the Steward Council

Preface

In May of 2021 Gitcoin launched GTC, the native governance token for Gitcoin. Along with the creation of GTC, the governance of Gitcoin was handed over to the community via a group of individuals known as Stewards. Stewards are trusted community leaders with delegated (including self-delegated) voting power to make decisions on behalf of the community.

To support a move towards more active and engaged governance participation, and recognizing governance took a significant amount of time, the Steward Council was created in March of 2022 and it consisted of the most active and engaged stewards as illustrated by the steward health cards found at https://www.daostewards.xyz/.

Background on those efforts can be found here:

Proposal

To continue a history of ongoing Governance evolution, this proposal seeks to build on what we have learned to date by implementing a number of course corrections. This proposal is split into the following sections:

  1. Update objectives and role of the Steward Council
  2. Steward council remuneration
  3. Change the selection process for steward council members

1. Update objectives and role of the Steward Council

The original objective of the steward council was to “enable engagement through simple, non overly taxing yet highly valuable engagement flows using high context individuals”. Specifically, the council was tasked with:

  • Keeping a ‘docket’ of ongoing proposals / their current status
  • Ensuring proposals follow template(s) / adjustments to template
  • Coming to an initial y/n answer on the proposal itself
  • Bi-weekly sync calls for better alignment & broader DAO strategy discussion

During the Steward Council v1 retrospective, we received feedback that Gitcoin needed an externally connected strategic body and the original intent was for the Steward Council to become that body. As we adjust the focus on the Steward Council, we are looking to improve our market sensing ability and to develop deeper linkages to external protocols, DAOs and organizations who are solving similar issues. To make this happen, we propose the Steward Council pivot to an externally connected and strategically focused team.

For reference, here is an illustration of of the current state and the future state:

What changes: The work

What changes: The team
To facilitate a move to an externally-aware advisory body, this proposal changes the team composition to 6 Gitcoin core team delegates and 10 external stewards. This move will bring external ideas into Gitcoin as well as help Gitcoin better sense market shifts. External stewards should be web3/DAO thought leaders and may include former or part-time Gitcoin contributors. Internal Gitcoin contributors will include 1 representative from each DAO workstream and one from the Gitcoin Foundation. The selection process of both stewards and Gitcoin representatives is explained in more detail in Part 3.

Potential Outcomes for the Steward Council:

  • Provide input on organizational changes and proposals
  • Recommended/provide input on significant partnership agreements/discussions
  • Review and comment on strategy alignments related to Grants Protocol & Passport Protocol
  • Improve proposals and updates to Gitcoin processes by providing input & suggestions
  • Do deep dive reviews of seasonal budgets (aligning to one or two workstreams)
  • Give expert input on CSDO/workstream issues & opportunities
  • Identification of cross workstream overlaps

Concrete proposal for council (how might we achieve the outcomes above):

  • Steward council meets fortnightly, standing agenda topics to include:
    • Review/prereview of new proposals & provide input
    • Review CSDO decisions/discussions & identify action items
    • Review CSDO issues an participate in for async feedback & follow-up calls
    • Workstream feedback sessions (on demand via workstream)
    • Once a quarter CSDO representatives deep dive into budget proposals
  • Requirements for council members
    • Attend monthly Steward Sync calls (min. 2/3 per season)
    • Attend fortnightly Steward Council calls (min. 4/6 per season)
    • Attend & participate in ad-hoc meetings 2x30’/min per month
    • Arrive with pre-reading complete (when sent >24 hrs in advance)
    • Give (substantial) feedback to min. 2 workstream budget proposals/quarter
    • Provide input on relevant forum discussions
    • Gitcoin delegates are expected to bring ad hoc topics for discussion

Meeting cadence & sample agenda:
Steward Council members are expected to participate in the monthly Steward Sync meetings and Steward Council calls. Below are sample agendas to illustrate the differences between two meetings.
Standing calls

Ad-hoc / on demand meetings:
CSDO or Workstreams may request specific time with individual or small groups of Council members to work through relevant topics. Examples may include input on budgeting processes, compensation, strategic planning, or specific workstream topics like sybil strategies, marketing plans, or developer relations. Steward Council members are requested to join at least two 30 min sessions per month.

Sample ad-hoc meetings and topics

  • FDD Sybil meeting: Review the most recent sybil attack for lessons learned
  • MMM meeting: Request input on new Grants Protocol marketing campaign
  • CSDO Budgeting: Discuss pros/cons for 3 vs. 6 month budget cycles
  • DAOOps Community: Ideas to encourage community engagement
  • Gitcoin Product Collective: Pre-test the release of the Round Manager module

2. Steward council remuneration:

We expect the Steward Council will require time spent remaining externally connected while providing internal guidance and breadth. As such these roles will be rewarded with reputation (health cards), influence (GTC delegation) and compensation (GTC rewards).

Reputation
Being an elected & active Steward Council member will be one of the things that boost your score for the health cards considerably. The extra points for these will be added manually to the steward health card score on a monthly basis.

Influence
As many large GTC token holders allocate GTC delegation via Steward Health Cards scores, which are found at https://www.daostewards.xyz. The consistently higher a delegate score, the greater the possibility for GTC delegation.

Compensation
GTC compensation will vary depending on the current relationship to Gitcoin :

  • Existing full time Gitcoin contributors will receive a $200 stipend per month
  • Existing part time Gitcoin contributors will receive a $400 stipend per month
  • Non Gitcoin contributors will receive a $750 stipend per month

All payments will be in GTC, and will follow the existing monthly compensation process, to be initiated by the council member. This means the USD amounts will be the GTC amount at spot price, at the end of the preceding month. Alternatively, council members can choose to donate their proceeds to Gitcoin Grants.

Additionally all Stewards (not only the Council) will also be compensated for any voting, which requires gas, these compensations will happen once every season and will count only for transactions linked to the eth address linked to the Steward’s delegation address.

3. Updates to the selection process for steward council members

The move to an externally connected strategic posture requires a special kind of person. Candidates must be able to understand Gitcoin’s challenges & opportunities while being able to provide solutions and suggestions to those situations that fit with the strategic direction of Gitcoin.

Characteristics of ideal candidates:

  • A passion for public goods or funding mechanisms to fund shared needs
  • Recognized mastery in a specific DAO domain
    • ex: Product & business development, operations, marketing, governance
  • Demonstrated ability to think and influence strategically
  • Experience in organizational or product development
  • Exceptional communication skills

As such, we need to move past an algorithmic selection process (steward health cards) and use a more targeted approach to find the right candidates. Below is a proposal on the process

Step 1: Workstream steward nomination:
Each workstream and the Gitcoin Foundation will nominate one representative per season. These nominees (one from each workgroup) will represent the workstream on the council and will be tasked with bringing workstream issues & ideas to both the standing fortnightly calls and ad hoc meetings. The representative will also be tasked with bringing back relevant information to the workstreams from the Steward Council. Each workstream can use their own methodology for choosing a representative. The nominations from the workstreams are final and there is no confirmatory step. If a workstream representative cannot attend any call they must ensure they have a replacement to represent the workstream.

Step 2: External steward nomination:
In addition to nominating a representative, each workstream will nominate 3 stewards that will be entered into an electoral pool. Each nomination must be a Steward who is not active in our DAO or a non-full time workstream member or (i.e. an “independent” member). Workstreams may nominate part-time Gitcoin contributors who are active externally or have relevant external experience & exposure. This allows Gitcoin to bring in external guidance and relevant domain expertise that might not be leveraged internally. The Steward Health Cards are used as a strong guiding metric, and workstreams are strongly encouraged to select Stewards with a +7 score. The Stewards need to confirm (before the election) that they will be able to meet the requirements of the Steward Council participation. The initial nominees will be reviewed by CSDO, who will identify nomination overlaps and reallocation nomination slots back to work streams if needed.

Those who are interested in being nominated for the Steward Council should flag their interest on this post by including a link to their steward post which can be found here. For more information and questions on this process, please reach out to shawn16400#5507 on discord. An official call for nominees will follow once this proposal has been passed officially.

Step 3: Steward elections:
The fifteen nominees (5 workstreams x 3 candidates) will be entered into a quadratic voting pool for a steward vote using https://quadraticvote.co/ tool. Existing stewards will vote on nominees using the nominee linked bios found here. Each steward will receive 10 “votes”, which can be used to vote for up to 10 candidates using the standard quadratic voting methodology. Individual voting links will be distributed via email to voters, and it is the responsibility of the voter to pass along their preferred email address.

The top 10 of this ranking will be invited to join the Steward council, and the outcome of this Quadratic vote will be considered final. There will be no additional snapshot or Tally vote to ratify the selection of the 10 + 6 steward council members.

Term length and limits
Following the initial creation of The Steward Council - Formation & Mandate, the election term for external stewards will be from the time the proposal passes for a period of 180 days. Each successive term will be for the same duration and subsequent elections will be held prior to the close of each term to avoid gaps in coverage.

Participation on the council is limited for external stewards to three successive terms. After a gap of one term, external stewards are eligible to begin a new-three term cycle. This constraint also applies to elected part-time Gitcoin contributors. There are no term limits for internal workstream or Foundation representatives - however it is recommended the workstreams build capability for this work within their organizations.

For questions, comments, or concerns on any of the above, please comment below.

7 Likes

Thanks @shawn16400 - as always, incredibly detailed and well thought out and I know you’ve been gathering and synthesizing a lot of input.

I strongly agree that a more outward focus is important. I would argue we should as an organization be thinking beyond the web3 echo chamber as well (where there are only 5-10k active developers) - however definitely looking outside of Gitcoin makes a lot of sense.

That said, I don’t really understand the various mechanisms. I wish there was some way to:
a) make it much simpler and more clear to understand
b) less “political” in the sense of requiring campaigning and so on

Anyway, that’s just the perspective of someone who deeply believes in the potential of Gitcoin and has decades of experience in open source and community and so forth. Anything requiring me to jump through a bunch of difficult-to-grok hoops I figure is probably not going to have the right vibe. I’d rather just keep building w/ anyone else headed in the same direction.

3 Likes

@lthrift Proposed us experimenting with quadratic voting powered by the protocol. Maybe this is an opportunity to dogfood this in a lower stakes way.

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Love this! Perhaps there could also be stewards that are not elected but instead are DAO members with good trust score who are drawn from a lotterly like Jury duty.

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Hey @epowell101 thanks for your input. I always appreciate your input given your breadth of experience.

I am glad to see this need is resonating, seems we might be on the right path:

Yeesh. Yeah, first time I tried to understand it conceptually, I re-wrote it as a much simpler single-electoral format. When I took a second look a the concept, I understood the mechanism was built to:

  1. get adequate internal representation - elected by the DAO
  2. bring in external ideas - elected by the stewards

To do that we needed two separate selection processes to ensure we had the right level of representation. Which makes it all a bit more complex. How about this - i can do a quick 30min info session later this week to walk through the concept and in parallel, I will think about how to make it easier to understand. Does that look like help?

I know what you mean and it’s one of the reasons I really appreciate the visibility provided by the Steward Health Cards and why we encourage using the tool when considering candidates:

Specifically to your point regarding campaigning, in an ideal situation we could build a “mastery across DAOs” metric into the steward health cards to get us closer to codifying the council selection process while still delivering a “externally connected strategic body”. I am adding that to my worklist for daostewards.xyz.

1 Like

Thanks. As you know the steward’s health cards although transparent also confused me and may or may not be 100% accurate. The more active I get in Gitcoin, the lower my score has become. Note to self - Discord less - Forum more :slight_smile:

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Hey @shawn16400

As existing steward council member, I support this proposal!
Let’s make it happen.

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I’d really love to see the stewards voting history and a type of Polis style clustering analysis of which thought group your potential steward falls into. Just ideas tho…

Love the work and consideration here and I support moving forward knowing that governance is an iterative process.

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There is some nice ideas here. Perhaps this will go well for the DAO.

But i am a bit afraid it all starts to become a bit too technical and manual. Perhaps too technocratic? It also puts too much emphasis on the DAO cards to the point of actually manually editing them.

Perhaps instead of focusing so much on those “report cards” go with the flow of what people like in crypto.
Issue POAPs. A different POAP for each iteration of the steward council. Can also be retroactively given to previous iterations. Then members of the council can show off their tenure as a POAP to people outside of the DAO too.

I would also suggest you specify terms. It’s good to change things around.

3 Likes

Very much in support of updates to the Steward Council that promote an external facing posture, but curious about this:

Feels like a missed opportunity promote diverse perspectives and avoid political inertia in our stewardship.

I like this idea. Paired with term limits (maybe 2-3 seasons) we ensure that the Steward Council is keeping pace with changing needs of the DAO.

1 Like

Hi Joe,

Love your idea, the voting history.
We could have onchain and offchain voting history both.
Tally and Snapshot. (maybe it makes more sense for snapshot, off-chain voting history)

@lefterisjp thank you for this input and your comments have some resonance from prior comments. And that is always helpful to gauge signal strength.

In the proposal when we do state “workstreams are strongly encouraged to select Stewards with a +7 score” when selecting external nominees. This is a strong recommendation, but it is just a recommendation. Workstreams have the autonomy to nominate anyone they choose. Our current selection process is 100% driven by the steward health card - workstream have no input. This proposal reduces the steward heath card from the decided process, to a overwritable input.

This is gold. Thank you for this suggestion, I will add this to our list to figure out how to get this done for past and future steward council members who complete a season.

Transparently, term limits was an oversight on my side. It was brought up right before we were ready to post and I descoped the question to a later updates in order to get the broader conversation started. I will work on this and include it in the update.
thank you for the input!

2 Likes

Joe, I am a transparency maxi and I have strong feelings about the opacity of delegate voting performance - so I love this idea and thanks for the DMs. I will reach out to @erich to see if we have a use case for https://pol.is/home

echos input from @lefterisjp

signal confirmed :slight_smile: I will include term limits this in a revision. Thank you Jodi!

2 Likes

To be clear, I’m not saying we should try to use Polis for this (maybe yes, maybe no) but I am saying that the way it shows how there are thought groups which mostly share the same opinions is nice to know.

Overall, there might be practices that can push towards compromise.

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Hey @shawn16400

I am transparency maxi too, and I am Scrum evangelist as well (Certified Scrum Trainer).
So for the voting history I would like to have as following:

It is a button to redirect to the steward’s voting history, and then for the DAO participants can view all the votings from this steward.

The reason to have the “voting history” is

  • for the transparency, and then DAO members could know the decisions and progress well.
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Hey @bobjiang thanks for encouraging the use of DAOstewards.xyz. I think we can increase the utilization of the tool, but it has some development opportunities. At the moment, you can get to a stewards voting history by pressing on “vote participation” but given the one of the main points of the tool is delegate performance visibility, it should be more prominent. I will add it to our idea collector for the update.
And, to build on your idea, it would be great if the resulting screen would show the snapshot comment field which is now enabled for snapshot votes.


The capability is not used widely yet, but a couple examples of it in use can be seen here:
https://snapshot.org/#/index-coop.eth/proposal/0x316a6b2f0b6ea4bfffa1de83dec8e0641571f78c3e5886dc8047f9b5c929f659

As we prep for a revamp of the tool and algorithm, please let me know if anyone is interested in helping push forward the effort.

2 Likes

Both this and @bobjiang idea are great. It would be nice to see iterative progress on these. It would also be nice for us to be able to get the data from all the snapshot vote comments to parse for sentiment and other insights.

Thanks to everyone for the questions and comments. Based on comments, today @krrisis and I adjusted the proposal to include details around “term limits”. For ease of comparison, I provide below the original and adjusted text.

Original text:
Term length and limits
At present, there are no implied term limits, however this can be included in future updates to this process. Following the initial creation of The Steward Council - Formation & Mandate, the election terms will be from the time the proposal passes for a period of 180 days. Subsequent elections will be held prior to the close of each term to avoid a gap in council coverage.

Adjusted text:
Term length and limits
Following the initial creation of The Steward Council - Formation & Mandate, the election term for external stewards will be from the time the proposal passes for a period of 180 days. Each successive term will be for the same duration and subsequent elections will be held prior to the close of each term to avoid gaps in coverage.

Participation on the council is limited for external stewards to three successive terms. After a gap of one term, external stewards are eligible to begin a new-three term cycle. This constraint also applies to elected part-time Gitcoin contributors. There are no term limits for internal workstream or Foundation representatives - however it is recommended the workstreams build capability for this work within their organizations.

4 Likes

Hi @shawn16400

who is in DAOstewards tool team?
I am strongly interested in this tool actually, and I had a similar prototype previously as https://www.stewardpage.com/steward/0x521aacb43d89e1b8ffd64d9ef76b0a1074dedaf8

would like to discuss more about daostewards tool.

1 Like