[S14 Proposal - Amended x2] KERNEL Budget Request of 49K GTC

KERNEL: A custom educational web

This proposal seeks to establish a GitcoinDAO workstream for KERNEL, a custom web3 educational institution, built carefully to create the conditions to encourage better humans, building a better web. It is a transformative educational experience in web3.

AMENDED TL;DR x2

KERNEL seeks an amended 49K in GTC for Season 14 (a 67% reduction from our original request of 150K GTC), our first as a GitcoinDAO workstream. KERNEL is spinning out from Gitcoin Holdings with ~$100K USDC in treasury, after two years building KERNEL within Gitcoin Holdings.

KERNEL is a unique experience for both web3 newcomers and web3 veterans, allowing KERNEL to guide talented contributors across the web3 ecosystem, whether that is GitcoinDAO, other protocols, or stewarding their own projects. KERNEL ultimately hopes to be an educational institution that is a public good, creating positive externalities for web3, first and foremost, by having a positive impact on the lives of KERNEL Fellows and the communities they are responsible for.

These communities are wide-ranging, including a variety of high potential web3 protocols, projects, DAO’s, and other adventures. Already, seven early stage KERNEL projects are slated to give .5% of tokens/equity to the KERNEL treasury during S14, with a potential for 15 more during S15 and S16. We still have many blocks to come.

Because Gitcoin Holdings already holds 24% of ‘team governance rights’ in KERNEL, and hopes to transition this to the DAO, we think this will serve GitcoinDAO well over time as we collaborate to build a public institution for all.

Our intention is to raise funding for KERNEL in a completely web3-native way (directly from protocols, no venture funding), starting at home with GitcoinDAO. We took inspiration from Nomic Labs, who recently completed a similar fundraise for Hardhat with $2MM in anchor support from the Ethereum Foundation and support from Uniswap, Optimism, Aave, and others for a total $30MM fundraise.

We hope GitcoinDAO will consider being KERNEL’s anchor partner. This (shortened and trimmed) proposal describes a bit about our last two years, but focuses on our use of 49K GTC during S14 and our intentions as a GitcoinDAO workstream for S14 - S16.

You can see the original proposal for 150K GTC, which has been now reduced by 67%, by starting here. The section that immediately follows will focus on the amendments to the original proposal, including a brief update to milestones and the thinner budget for S14.

Milestone report

Since this section did not change much, we refer you to the section below from the original proposal.

In early discussions on this proposal, we believe one significant milestone went underrepresented as a feature of KERNEL.

We are very grateful to have the trust of a variety of KERNEL Fellows who have co-created KERNEL with us. Their generosity has led to the potential for a KERNEL Endowment to grow perpetually, over time, and support us in building a healthy educational system into perpetuity.

We will never require a fellow to give back to the treasury, but we will receive these contributions with open arms, knowing that they help us to continue mindfully expanding the play.

We expect, given we’ve spent time with hundreds of such projects in KERNEL, that the KERNEL Treasury may be seeded well with tokens or equity from ~20 projects between S14 - S16.

Phases & Use Of Funds

S14 begins with Phase 1, the specifics of the next phases for KERNEL, including our efforts around growing KERNEL steadily, along with educational, financial, and creative infrastructure.

  • Phase 1: KB6’s Empty Block (S14)
  • Phase 2: KB7, KB8, and a KERNEL Endowment (S15, S16)
  • Phase Infinity: The Evolving Infinite Game no funding)

Because Phase 2 and Phase Infinity do not have significant changes in the amendment, you can find them in the original proposal below.

Phase 1: Conduct KB6’s ‘Empty Block’

49K GTC would allow us to begin with the following phase in S14 of GitcoinDAO.

KERNEL’s Block 6 will be a unique one. We will not be opening up new applications for KERNEL Block 6, rather choosing to spend the summer in communion with many of the existing KERNEL Fellows while releasing our progress on a variety of 1) web3 (funding, artistic, and research) experiments and 2) infrastructure for communities of care.

Our intention is to explore fresh conversational spaces we have yet to open together and enter into KERNEL’s next phase with strong footing.

  • Run KERNEL Blocks 6, an “empty” block, focusing on the following projects, artifacts, and activities:
    • KERNEL Treasury - establishing a KERNEL Treasury which stewards a variety of tokens from GTC, other leading web3 protocols, and KERNEL projects. Explore legal models for a perpetual KERNEL Endowment.
    • Project Unprofile - exploring open and holistic means of connecting peers in KERNEL and beyond
    • Convo - a simple web app to organize intentional gatherings and great conversations
    • Signature Economies - an essay intended to create “significant” money
    • Select KERNEL Block 7, welcoming the next 300+ KERNEL Fellows
    • KERNEL Block 7 will begin September 9th, 2022

We also intend to serve in a meta-governance role in GTC, offering our perspective in protocol governance for the first time, using the KERNEL syllabus as a grounding structure.

If this experiment goes well, we may continue to do so in other web3 projects, primarily those who have experienced KERNEL and pledge tokens to the KERNEL Treasury.

A detailed breakdown of use of funds for Phase 1, intended for S14 of GitcoinDAO is below:

Please note in the second amendment, GitcoinDAO is providing funds only for KB6, KB7, and the Infinite Game for a total of 49K GTC. We have left the engineering / creative efforts here for context on what is also being explored by KERNEL during Phase 1.

Closing Thoughts

GitcoinDAO is a schelling point for creators and funders of digital public goods who want to build the common architecture that will allow hundreds of DAOs to succeed in non-extractive, collaborative and complementary ways.

KERNEL aims to be a home for many of those creators. This all means that we value GitcoinDAO as a space where we can safely explore what it means for KERNEL to be a public good.

In providing 49K GTC, and potentially supporting across 2-3 seasons, GitcoinDAO provides the seed in an imperfect garden of giving which may last a generation.

We look forward to being involved as collaborators in GitcoinDAO via CSDO, in governance proposals, and in sharing our perspective around public goods, educational environments, and coordination tools.

Thank you for your kind attention.​ We look forward to the many ways we could give this gift forward. After all, it isn’t ours to begin with.

=== The original KERNEL S14 proposal: Comments below ===

tl;dr: This proposal seeks to establish a GitcoinDAO workstream for KERNEL, a custom web3 educational institution, built carefully to create the conditions to encourage better humans, building a better web. We seek 150K in GTC for Season 14.

After two years within Gitcoin Holdings, KERNEL is seeking $5mm in total funding from the ecosystem as a part of its transition to a KERNEL Foundation (a Cayman Foundation Company).

GitcoinDAO is our intended anchor co-conspirator, and we would like to join as a workstream for ~3 seasons, S14 - S16. Separate from GitcoinDAO, we intend to explore $2-3mm contributions with a variety of other value-aligned ecosystems within web3, open source, and public goods communities to achieve our fundraising goal.

Starting with Genesis Block in May 2020, KERNEL has run five KERNEL blocks to much celebration internally and acclaim externally, alongside 1,200 KERNEL fellows building 200+ web3 projects (more here).

Along with the steady drumbeat of running KERNEL Blocks, this workstream intends to create a variety of financial, communal, educational and artistic tools for ‘communities of care’, which we hold to be amongst the most significant public goods web3 can create.

Our intention is to establish an infinite game which would allow KERNEL to be healthily self-sustaining into perpetuity within a few short years, to the benefit of GitcoinDAO, KERNEL, and hopefully, humans interested in a more caring internet.

We first describe KERNEL, then share a roadmap for this infinite game, use of funds, and parting thoughts from the KERNEL Syllabus.

KERNEL as Public Good

Any meaningful shift, within self or society, begins with how we learn and teach.

Valuable knowledge may present itself for free, but it must be given attention, intention, and reflection in order to become personally meaningful. It is this paradox which makes educational gifts the seed around which a community crafting new value models can flourish: “a single flower blooms, and throughout the world it is spring”.

Enter KERNEL: a trust space for talented individuals to use Web 3 as a means to explore their humanity more holistically. KERNEL begins with a KERNEL “Block”: an 8 week experience, anchored by 16 lessons which is filled by 250 interested, talented, and diverse peers.

The topics in a KERNEL block transcend web3 - starting with trust, moving through meaning and value, and eventually ending in giving and scale-ability.

These (free and open-source) lessons provide fertile ground for an eight week experience which is ultimately co-created by the KERNEL Fellows who interact with 1) the content and 2) each other. A deepening of personal spirit and the relationships KERNEL Fellows form with each are the primary orientations of the program.

KERNEL aims to be a living example of what it means to live well together. The experience provides questions, not answers, as we explore: how can we build better lives for ourselves as we build a better web for us all?

KERNEL Fellows are builders at leading web3 companies as founders, dancers, technologists, gamers, economists, designers, artists, and musicians. They deeply enjoy each others company and transcend these distinctions every time we meet them again.

What is KERNEL’s most fertile path?

“There are at least two kinds of games. One could be called finite, the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.”

“The rules of an infinite game must change in the course of play. The rules are changed when the players of an infinite game agree that the play is imperiled by a finite outcome — that is, by the victory of some players and the defeat of others. The rules of an infinite game are changed to prevent anyone from winning the game and to bring as many persons as possible into the play.”

-Dr. James P. Carse, Finite & Infinite Games

150K in GTC prepares us for our next act – establishing KERNEL as an “infinite” pattern for communities of care by:

  • Running KERNEL blocks ad infinitum
  • Establishing a perpetual, web3 native funding model for KERNEL
  • Open-sourcing peer-to-peer educational tools & patterns
  • Creating meaningful, timeless web3 artifacts

Each of these share a fundamental “infinite”, or “perpetual” characteristic: they avoid short-term outcomes, unhealthy competition, and aim to grow healthier with time.

Funding The Infinite KERNEL

While our approach to growing community and seeding educational spaces also lean upon infinite game philosophy, we outline below how KERNEL uses it to plan for a healthy financial future for KERNEL and to provide value to GitcoinDAO.

Our first step towards a sustainable, regenerative KERNEL are setting up 1) a public KERNEL Treasury and exploring 2) a KERNEL Endowment.

The KERNEL Treasury will begin with $50K in tokens KERNEL has raised thus far through past KERNEL Blocks and an influx of $100K USDC from Gitcoin Holdings, upon spinout. It would grow substantially if our intended $5mm grant raise from GitcoinDAO and other value-aligned protocols is successful, beginning with this workstream.

However, over the next five years, we expect the KERNEL Treasury will grow the most via KERNEL Adventures.

Through the generosity of an initial seven initial KERNEL Adventures who have committed between .5% - 1% of equity or tokens to the KERNEL treasury, our eyes open to the possibility that a KERNEL Treasury can be a continuous stream to draw upon for KERNEL into perpetuity, if given time to grow.

In Phase 1, we aim to use the $5mm in commitments from GitcoinDAO and other leading web3 ecosystems, alongside less liquid tokens from KERNEL Alumni, to give ourselves that time.

In Phase 2, we will consider establishing a public KERNEL endowment. Endowments have had notable success in co-creating some of the strongest public infrastructure in the world, both physically and financially. They are perpetual in nature, “managed with consideration given to current and future beneficiaries with the goal of providing the same level of economic support to both in perpetuity.”

Our expectation is this workstream will lead us to answers on exactly how this might support KERNEL’s efforts into perpetuity within a new, web3 context.

The effort from here then, for KERNEL, is a simple life’s work: give the gift back.

Phases & Use Of Funds

More on the specifics of the next phases for KERNEL, including our efforts around growing KERNEL steadily, along with educational, financial, and creative infrastructure.

  • Phase 1: KB6’s Empty Block (S14)
  • Phase 2: KB7, KB8, and a KERNEL Endowment (S15, S16)
  • Phase Infinity: The Evolving Infinite Game (no funding)

Phase 1: Conduct KB6’s ‘Empty Block’

150K GTC would allow us to begin with the following phase in S14 of GitcoinDAO.

KERNEL’s Block 6 will be a unique one. We will not be opening up new applications for KERNEL Block 6, rather choosing to spend the summer in communion with many of the existing KERNEL Fellows while releasing our progress on a variety of 1) web3 (funding, artistic, and research) experiments and 2) infrastructure for communities of care.

Our intention is to explore fresh conversational spaces we have yet to open together and enter into KERNEL’s next phase with strong footing.

  • Run KERNEL Blocks 6, an “empty” block, focusing on the following projects, artifacts, and activities:
    • KERNEL Treasury Models - establishing a KERNEL Treasury which stewards a variety of tokens from GTC, other leading web3 protocols, and KERNEL adventures. Explore legal models for a perpetual KERNEL Endowment.
    • Project Unprofile - exploring open and holistic means of connecting peers in KERNEL and beyond
    • Convo - a simple web app to organize intentional gatherings and great conversations
    • Signature Economies - an essay intended to create “significant” money
  • Select KERNEL Block 7, welcoming the next 300+ KERNEL Fellows
    • KERNEL Block 7 will begin September 9th, 2022

We also intend to serve in a meta-governance role in GTC, offering our perspective in protocol governance for the first time, using the KERNEL syllabus as a grounding structure.

If this experiment goes well, we may continue to do so in other web3 projects, primarily those who have experienced KERNEL and pledge tokens to a KERNEL Endowment.

Phase 2: KB7, KB8, and a KERNEL Endowment

With a treasury in place, Phase 2 (S15 and S16) will be about running KB7 & KB8, welcoming 600 new people to KERNEL. We will use the infrastructure of Phase 1 towards building a KERNEL Endowment and sprouting new peer-to-peer environments for KERNEL Fellows and web3 communities.

  • Run KERNEL Blocks 7 / 8, welcoming the next 600+ KERNEL Fellows
  • Continue the build of long-term oriented web3 artifacts and tooling
    • Free Learn - a set of contracts and the accompanying React modules required for anyone to create their own educational offerings which generate revenue while remaining free for those who learn from them
    • Margins of Meaning - a super secret shadow project to promote meaningful economies
  • KERNEL Endowment: Consider the healthiest long term structure between the KERNEL Treasury and a KERNEL Endowment, alongside other fund models

Phase Infinity: The Evolving Infinite Game

We expect, following S16, to be complete with Phases 1 and 2 and to be a self-sustaining ecosystem. KERNEL will continue to orient around 16 principles and sense our way to the most fertile path. We expect these north stars to remain with us:

  • Serve as a premier example of a ‘community of care’ within the broader web3 community ecosystem and internet culture at large
  • Create a set of open-source tools, patterns, artifacts, and customs intended to enable peer-to-peer living in other community contexts
    • The KERNEL Block: a peer-to-peer learning environment driven by the humans who participate in it, more than any particular piece of content or inspiration
    • The KERNEL Endowment: A perpetual funding mechanism, drawing upon endowments and web3 native value structure
    • Kernel Artifacts: encouraging the creation of artifacts which blend the artistic with the functional, the beautiful with the organic, the generative with the regenerative

In each of these efforts, KERNEL aims to be a clear container which embeds reciprocity and relationship at its core. It aims to include more and diverse voices within the web3 story. It will deeply nurture a shared experience for KERNEL Fellows and all ‘communities of care’, so that we might imagine and live our most vibrant present moments in communion with one another.

“The real truth, the real church is coming to the human being. Ain’t nothing in this world gonna get in your way ‘cause you can’t see it or talk to it. All you can do is experience it. Eternity is not a word, it’s an existence.” – Ornette Coleman

Why GitcoinDAO

We choose to make this proposal to GitcoinDAO for a number of reasons. KERNEL was originally created and built within Gitcoin Holdings, which means we have strong ties to Gitcoin, both socially and structurally.

  • I (Vivek Singh) served as COO of Gitcoin Holdings for 3 years (2019-2021), and KERNEL was originally constructed in May 2020 at Gitcoin as we looked to find a home for the best and brightest people we met through our work - across hackathons, Gitcoin Grants rounds, and beyond.
  • Sachin Mittal (co-founder of KERNEL) and Angela Gilhotra also were employed by Gitcoin Holdings, in roles centered around developer advocacy and both co-created KERNEL
  • @cryptowanderer and @sidcode are stewards at GitcoinDAO. Andy expressed his interest in May 2021 and Sid has been involved in the day-to-day operations of the DAO as a tech lead for the MMM workstream for 8+ months now and has contributed across PGF, FDD, and MC in various capacities. We’ve worked closely with various efforts of the DAO (Gitcoin Grants Rounds, Public Goods are Good, Memepalooza, and more).
  • Gitcoin Holdings, as a part of incubating and spinning KERNEL out into the ecosystem, holds an ongoing voice in KERNEL’s governance and would receive 24% of ‘team governance rights’ if there was a token distribution. The intention is for these rights to move to GitcoinDAO over time, per conversations with @owocki and Gitcoin Holdings leadership

A more expansive lens is that GitcoinDAO is a schelling point for creators and funders of digital public goods who want to build the common architecture that will allow hundreds of DAOs to succeed in non-extractive, collaborative and complementary ways. KERNEL aims to be a homebase for many of those creators. This all means that we value GitcoinDAO as a space where we can safely explore what it means for KERNEL to be a public good.

We look forward to being involved as collaborators in GitcoinDAO via CSDO, in governance proposals, and in sharing our perspective around public goods, educational environments, and coordination tools.

KERNEL As Gift

This brings us back, finally, to the core of KERNEL: the giving of gifts.

Gift-giving has always been the heart of genuine teaching and at the heart of Web 3. Both Satoshi and university endowments play on this same concept.

We’re asking for a gift that will both allow us to continue exploring the most valuable ways to think about - and live within - web3, and that the gift may bring you into a lively circle of continuous and imperfect gift-giving.

We are looking for the kind of people who understand value in similar ways to KERNEL Fellows, and who want to explore what it means to create sacred transactional spaces by extending human trust within a trustless medium.

Thank you for your kind attention.​​ We hope for comments from near and far and to share much more about this institution for all, one block at a time. We look forward to the many ways we could give this gift forward. After all, it isn’t ours to begin with.

19 Likes

hey vivek, how goes? long time no see :stuck_out_tongue:

i always get compliments about KERNEL whenever i go to IRL blockchain events, it seems there is a deep affinity for the program you’ve created so far among the alumni!

a few questions about the proposal:

  1. will KERNEL act as a bonafide gitcoindao workstream, including the committments that entails (working with other gitcoindao workstreams at CSDO, working out of the gitcoindao discord, engaging on the gov forum, etc)? or is this more of a mutual grant relationship?
  2. are you working with the mutual grants committee to align governance rights between the two orgs? have any details been firmed up there about gitcoindao’s participation in Kernel governance? will it remain at the 24% of “team governance rights” that has been previously agreed or does that slide up as more GTC is allocated to KERNEL?
  3. you request 150k GTC this season. how much of the tokens you plan to receive will come from gitcoindao vs other grant programs? who are the other parties + how far along the process are you with them?
  4. @pop is the above proposal valid per the latest governance terms? looks to me at first glance that it doesnt follow the governance proposal format (but i might be missing something).
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You can find the flow in the gov process here @vivek

Technically, this is a hybrid proposal as it’s a request to become a workstream combined with a request for budget as well? So it would also need to follow this flow

I almost feel the two should be decoupled but would like to discuss this in the stewards call tomorrow to gain better clarity. Ideally we should have had the proposal to establish workstream before this budget one…

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Hello @owocki and @Pop, it is always good to hear from each of you. Thanks for kicking off the conversation.

I will come back to some of Kevin’s questions soon, but I wanted to make sure to handle proposal logistics first.

The proposal followed the ‘workstream’ proposal in spirit (with a tl;dr, a milestone report, and a proposal, in that order). I have added a few edits to clear this up.

Happy to break out the funding portion into a new proposal if it adds clarity. Look forward to discussing on the public stewards call today.

4 Likes

Looking forward to the short/medium/long term breakdown so we may better determine the right path for the proposal

Thanks for sharing this proposal, Vivek. On its own, this section seems to describe KERNEL’s existing relationship to Holdings more than it explains your desired relationship to the DAO as a structured workstream, which does come with certain accountabilities to the DAO as a whole. I would like to hear more of your intent here (i.e., plan to participate in cross-stream DAO governance and other opt-in workstream collaborations).

And echoing a desire to learn more about KERNEL’s roadmap and funding in place.

3 Likes

Hello! I added edits throughout to add to clarity here overall (starting with the first paragraph.

You can now find an explicit ‘phases’ section here. Please note that Phase 1, which is associated with the S14 request of 150K GTC, is most detailed (including a budget breakdown) given this is where we are focused short-term.

We look forward to updating on progress and prepping well for S15 and S16 with more clarity as it arises.

1 Like

Hi Jodi, it was good to see you on the call today.

Surely. We intend to be full participants as a workstream. I will lean on these two sections as a start.

Our governance and consensus briefs might be helpful introductions to the types of ideas we lean upon and the way KERNEL might engage.

As it relates to cross-DAO collaborations, KERNEL is excited to engage in CSDO as we best can. We feel quite well positioned to do so, mostly due to the KERNEL Fellows we know incredibly well and trust deeply that are sprinkled around other GitcoinDAO workstreams, alongside our history within Gitcoin Holdings. @sidcode has also been actively involved both in GitcoinDAO and as a KERNEL Steward, which provides us a healthy conduit as a beginning. We welcome finding the right balance here.

Will respond on funding in a separate message, and responded to @Pop on the roadmap one message above here. Thank you for taking the time to explore here.

3 Likes

Hey Vivek -

this really feels like a step backward for the progress Kernel has been trying to make in building its own brand and identity. I don’t think this is in the best interest of Gitcoin and I am surprised you feel this in the best interest of Kernel. I dont support the proposal, but I do very much want to see Kernel successful and part of the Gitcoin solar system.

Are there ways that we can continue to partner that dont come with a funding request?

Howdy,

I will try to respond to a few messages in tandem here, perhaps most importantly why I disagree with Kyle on both counts.

KERNEL, ultimately, hopes to be an educational institution that is a public good, creating positive externalities for web3, first and foremost, by having a positive impact on the lives of KERNEL Fellows and the communities they are responsible for. These communities are wide-ranging.

In order to do so, KERNEL must walk a narrow path. Namely, it must find funding sources that are least likely to introduce ulterior incentives and most likely to support an open environment for exploration, play, healthy experimentation, and deep care.

Our intention, therefore, is to raise funding in a completely web3-native way (directly from protocols, no venture funding). We took inspiration from Nomic Labs, who recently completely a similar fundraise for Hardhat with anchor support from the Ethereum Foundation and support from a variety of others, including Uniswap, Optimism, Aave, and others.

In our case, we would like GitcoinDAO to be our anchor partner. This is because public goods and reciprocal coordination are at the core of what we explore in KERNEL and GitcoinDAO has created the most important schelling point around these topics in web3. We think there is a real chance this gift could support us in a way no other protocol could as we build a premier educational institution on a multi-decade journey.

GitcoinDAO, if KERNEL was a workstream for 3 seasons, would range from 33% - 40% of the $5mm we aim to raise. Our plan was to start closest to come with GitcoinDAO and move from there. However, stewards or foundation members of 3 top protocols have expressed interest in championing a KERNEL proposal. These will become public in the coming weeks and months, we expect.

KERNEL’s success in finding it’s healthiest source of funding, of course, does also practically accrue benefit to GitcoinDAO, as is referenced by @owocki here.

The 24% of ‘team governance rights’ means that if KERNEL is successful, GitcoinDAO will have a large part to play in that story on an ongoing basis, shaping what a web3 public good institution might look like over a long time horizon.

Our hope in following the Nomic Labs model is to treat this workstream proposal as a regular grant / workstream, not a mutual grant. If, after 3 seasons, additional funding was required, we would understand the request for a sliding scale.

I do empathize and understand the need for mutual grants, and using the venture capital paradigm, I understand why this might immediately look like a candidate for a mutual grant.

In looking for stories here, I come back to a story of Dale Carnegie giving a $2mm grant to technical universities in Pittsburgh, which was used to start a small endowment. This directly led to Carnegie Mellon University, whose endowment today sits at $3.1 billion, serving 14,000 students yearly. Who might a similar institute in web3 serve? How might we improve upon educational models for all? Is this a public good worth exploring alongside GitcoinDAO?

It is my sense that GitcoinDAO, and other web3 treasuries, have the ability to give in this way – not as wealthy philanthropists or as venture capitalists, but because public goods are good and web3 gives us the potential that value may accrue to those who support them. This lively gift economy may bring us to healthier, more holistic institutions which don’t fall into similar traps as previous technologies and paradigms.

We don’t worry as much about KERNEL’s brand being affected by this, but rather, have a sense that it as on-brand as we can get :wink: we welcome being intertwined with GitcoinDAO and finding ways to make public goods as good as they can be this century, starting with KERNEL and the wonderful fellows who spend time with us.

To that end, I’ll end with a passage from ‘The Gift’, an interesting brief in KERNEL Module 7, and welcome ways we may improve upon our thinking here.

4 Likes

While I echo @Jodi_GitcoinDAO’s comments about further defining KERNEL’s relationship to the DAO, personally I think this is an interesting proposal and strong next step for the relationship between KERNEL + Gitcoin rather than a step backwards.

In my view, KERNEL was in many ways a proto-workstream back in 2020, when the company was still the main way for Gitcoin to achieve its mission. Now that we’re a formal DAO, it seems natural that KERNEL might find ways to achieve its mission as part of that journey prior to becoming a side-DAO as in the impact DAO vision Owocki outlined here. I’d love to have the mutual grants committee help figure out what that eventual path looks like after several seasons.

Still, with that in mind, I do think the ask is quite high for a first season workstream, and I’d recommend potentially reducing the ask to around 90-100K GTC with perhaps half of that committed as a starting stipend for meta-governance (i.e. left unspent for say a 6 month window).

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Thanks for sharing this proposal. First of all I’m a huge fan of KERNEL and ended up backing Sherlock which came out of it.

Given the 150k amount requested for 1 season is large and we have many other existing workstreams to fund at GitcoinDAO, I think my preference is for KERNEL to request a much smaller amount and prioritize other methods of fundraising as well so that GitcoinDAO does not comprise such a large % of the intended raise.

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Six years ago I decided that I needed to commit my life to a purpose, to have something bigger than me that would always be my north star.

Previously, I had thought of finding purpose like “love at first sight”. I thought I was in some cosmic game that would randomly show me my purpose and I would be wise enough to recognize it.

When I decided that I was in control and could select my purpose, I thought to myself “What is the most noble goal possible”

After months of thinking and writing, I landed on EDUCATION.

But I am not a teacher. I’m something more like a systems engineer with a focus on adaptive processes. How could I affect education?

Education is THE fundamental public good.

Our neighbors having access to education makes our lives better.

Everyone should always have access to education.

In fact, the value that it creates could be accounted for using Ostrom’s SES Framework and then redistributed to others. Maybe there is a level of education where people are less prone to violence?

Anyway, all that is to say that the reason I am here is because from a system engineering viewpoint, I thought the best way I could possibly work towards my mission was to build and evangelize DAOs to eventually provide free education to everyone for life. In fact, if they can’t get paid to work, they should get paid to learn. That is my purpose.

I’m supporting this proposal WITHOUT a clause for return because I have ALREADY felt the benefits of the Kernel community in the world.

I went to Metacamp last month with 35 DAO leaders and we had a whole discussion on how Kernel isn’t only the best web 3 education available, but it is a leader in cultivating the VALUES we claim Web 3 will have.

It is the premier education for how the world shifts from a paradigm of competition, to a paradigm of collaboration.

We might be best to think of this a retroactive public goods funding, but it really doesn’t matter to me. The Kernel program deserves support of the Gitcoin community.

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Hello all, with thanks for comments, feedback, and suggestions by all, KERNEL has revised its proposal to 96K GTC, as specifically suggested by @ceresstation and @linda.

The amendment is reflected in the topline message, with a new TL;DR, emphasis on the plan for a KERNEL Treasury, and a new S14 budget.

This was a significant slimming exercise but it is one we feel confident can still work (with less room for external open source contributors).

We appreciate all of the thoughts throughout and hope that this proposal better describes the reciprocal ways we hope KERNEL and GitcoinDAO may operate for years to come.

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Well said Joe. Wow I had no idea about these layers to you. I wonder how many other members of the GC fam had similar experiences. I sure did. Thanks for opening up Sir and allowing us to know you deeper.

At EthDenver I heard more positive remarks about Kernel than any other aspect of GC. Congrats on the creation Vivek and team. Also, thank you for the detailed answers to the questions above. I am determined to eventually participate in a Kernel Block. Though small, you have my support. I trust the core members of GPG to ensure any token/gov sharing agreement between Kernel and Gitcoin Dao is fair.

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Pretty surprised by this proposal as I thought KERNEL was separating from Gitcoin but I def support the program being in the DAO. The thoughtfulness and intention that the KERNEL team brings to their work is so valuable and is what I think really makes them a crowd favorite. I may be a little bias as a past participant tho. :sweat_smile: Totally agree with @DisruptionJoe here too that education makes our lives better & is a fundamental public good. :seedling:

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Jumping in to provide my two cents as I go through all the proposals.

I’ll start by saying that, like @DisruptionJoe, I feel a deep affinity with & love for KERNEL. I, too, believe education is THE fundamental public good - and I’ve seen & experienced firsthand the learning, the connection, the beauty, and the safe space that KERNEL brings to the Web3 ecosystem at large.

I would love for the DAO and KERNEL to explore means of mutual collaboration, and would even be open to exploring the idea of the DAO Treasury generously providing some funding to KERNEL.

That said, I really don’t think a DAO workstream is the right structure for a relationship between the DAO and KERNEL.

Why’s that?

  1. KERNEL is already becoming its own entity
    With KERNEL becoming an established entity having its own completely separate governance structure, I don’t think it makes sense for it to also be a DAO workstream. This, too, is why I am voting ‘no’ to the mintkudos.xyz proposal. As I mentioned there, all current GitcoinDAO workstreams are teams that are dedicated to the DAO at-large - rather than having the DAO as just one of many affiliations. KERNEL or mintkudos.xyz becoming their own workstreams would bring about a set of new considerations/challenges that I don’t think we are prepared to prioritize facing right now.

  2. I do not see it serving the Protocol DAO mission
    While KERNEL is consistent with the ‘learn’ mandate within Gitcoin’s previous earn/learn/connect/fund framing, as we move intentionally towards being a Protocol DAO, I do not see a strategic fit in the context of the workstreams we are standing up in service of that mission.

(As an aside, a thought for CSDO & DAO governance consideration, generally speaking - together, this proposal and the mintkudos.xyz proposal make me question whether we might create other avenues for such requests that are not workstream formations.)

Although I plan to vote ‘no’ on this proposal for KERNEL to become a workstream, I want to reiterate my love for & support of the program. I do earnestly hope we can establish another flavour of relationship that can support KERNEL in its worthy ambitions.

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One major challenge is balancing preparing for the future and growing public goods from a broader perspective vs addressing the immediate needs of the present.

As of now, GitcoinDAO generally needs to streamline our workstreams in the coming months.

I would like to suggest that Kernel focus on its core priorities for now, namely having funding for KB6, KB7 and building a KERNEL treasury. I think GitcoinDAO would make an excellent anchor partner as Kernel transitions to an endowment funded model.

This would make the budget just

Item GTC Amount
Kernel Blocks 6+7 39k GTC ($330k USD)
Infinite Game 10k GTC ($60k USD)

This would be just 1/3 of the original ask.

I think right now, Kernel needs GitcoinDAO’s support more than ever and I implore that fellow stewards (@krrisis @kyle @Pop @ceresstation @seedphrase ) consider giving Kernel the breathing space for the year ahead. Kernel adds a lot of value in terms of the folks that we bring to GitcoinDAO + bringing in potential funders of public goods. I’d also like to suggest that projects grown within Kernel sign a giving pledge to public goods which can help to justify value accrual to the protocol.

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Thanks Vivek for the thoughts and details. I too have a strong affinity for Kernel, but I am still just stuck on “why a workstream” and “why more funding from Gitcoin.” This was a project that Gitcoin nurtured and funded for almost 2 years already. Seeking more from Gitcoin doesn’t feel appropriate. I am of the opinion Kernel really needs to stand on its own (and that was the goal with the seed funding as part of the spin out from Holdings).

I will likely vote no on the proposal for Kernel to be a workstream and to have it funded further by Gitcoin. There has been interest from others in the past to also be an anchor funder and I wonder if we can start there?

Thank you for taking the time to amend and restructure the proposal in line with the accountability flow. I feelI have a broader context on the good Kernel brings into this ecosystem, having witnessed it in action (perhaps more than other newer stewards) for the past two years.

I tend to echo some of the comments in this thread around the size of the request and perhaps the timing. As this DAO has been evolving, maturing and working hard to sharpen its focus, the reduced ask suggestions for running KB7/8 make a lot of sense and I am hoping we can ensure the continuation of Kernel with a lesser amount without diminishing/affecting its value.

I feel this specifically is a great way to ensure value is flowing back into Gitcoin DAO as a result of funding Kernel and something we have been discussing has been missing from a lot of other workstreams’ focus. If we can ensure this dynamic is sustainable, it would provide a great medium/long term flow of value for both Gitcoin and Kernel.

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