[DRAFT] Stewards

Authors: Erik_Knobl, Chuck
Contributors: Doswell, Boris - g01din.eth, Alex1237

Summary

So far, most of the decision-making has been located in the Core Team; However, the need for decentralization exists, and this is a concrete step in that direction. This initiative proposes the creation of the Steward, a role with the responsibility of taking actions in issues related to the management of the Treasury.

Scope of Work

This proposal will formalize a council of Stewards, with the following definitions:

  1. Role Description. Definition of the scope of the role.
  2. Membership and Composition. Defining who can have the role and how
  3. Obligations and Accountability. Defining how the DAO has oversight on their activities.
  4. Temporality and Rewards.

1. Role Description

Stewards are elected members of Developer DAO with proven experience as contributors in the DAO. It’s an ongoing role which requires active participation on a weekly basis. Their duty is to oversight the following processes of the DAO:

1.1 Review Budgets Proposals
(This description replaces the acts described in P-17: Reward Contributions in $CODE and P-15: DAO Operators for Budget Stewards).
Stewards must review proposed budgets, and express their opinion regarding them, with the purpose of ensuring fairness for contributors, taking into account the overall financial health of the DAO. Stewards must ensure that budget proposals contain clear expected outcomes. In many cases these expected outcomes will be quantitative but not always. In all cases, the expected outcomes can be used to frame a conversation with those receiving funding about progress and whether the project should pivot or persevere.

The following are the actions they can perform while reviewing budgets:

  • ENDORSEMENT. This action certifies the budget, allowing it to continue with the process.

  • CHALLENGE. This action asks for clarification on specific points, up to the whole budget, or asks for correction of any items. The team proposing the budget (the Team) is required to respond to this action. Failure to respond to any Challenges will render any budget void for the season.
    If the Team and the challenging Steward can’t reach an agreement, any side can ask for a vote of the whole Counsel of Stewards by tagging all Stewards in the Stewards channel in Discord, and giving opportunity for both sides to express their opinion. The vote will last for 72 hours after being triggered, and will be solved by basic majority vote of the acting Stewards. If the vote ends in a tie or in favor of the Team, the budget will be able to continue the process. Any budget can have any number of votes called on different items, but only one for each specific item.
    In the case of DAO Operators as Guild Leaders, this includes basic oversight in the process to elect them, ensuring elections are done in an open and transparent process.

1.2 Revoke Budget
(This description replaces the acts described in P-17: Reward Contributions in $CODE for Budget Stewards).
If any Guild or Project with an active budget fails to deliver Status Reports, or any Steward has any reason to suspect bad behavior in an individual and/or Team, any Steward can trigger a vote to revoke the allocation of the budget in any given month and/or permanently, by stating the case in the Stewards channel, tagging all Stewards, and giving opportunity for both sides to express their opinion. The vote will last for 72 hours after being triggered, and will be solved by basic majority vote of the acting Stewards. If the vote ends in a tie or in favor of the Team, the budget will be able to continue the process.

1.3 Hire DAO Operators
(This description replaces the acts described in P-15: DAO Operators for Budget Stewards).
At the instance of any member of the DAO, any Steward can trigger the process to create a new Operator role by stating the case and propose a basic definition of the role in the Stewards channel, tagging all Stewards. All the council must have at least 7 days to express their suggestions for the role, and after that, an open, recorded meeting must be set for a majority of the Stewards to attend, ending with a simple majority vote.
If the vote is affirmative, the role will start the second phase of the DDIP process, while each Steward will have 7 days to nominate individuals and/or teams of up to three persons to perform the role. Once the DDIP process has been completed, the nominations will be elevated to a Snapshot directly.

1.4 Remove DAO Operators
(This description replaces the acts described in P-15: DAO Operators for Budget Stewards).
At the instance of any member of the DAO, any Steward can trigger the process to remove an Operator by stating the case in the Stewards channel, tagging all Stewards, and giving opportunity for both sides to express their opinion. All Stewards must have at least 7 days to express their opinions in the case, investigate allegations, and after that, an open, recorded meeting must be set for a majority of the Stewards to attend, ending with a simple majority vote. If the vote is affirmative, the removal will be effective immediately.

2. Membership and Composition

2.1 Basic Definitions
The council of Stewards is composed of 8 members. They must have one or more of the following requisites, in addition to being members of Developer DAO:

  • The candidate has performed as a core team member of a guild or project.
  • The candidate is involved in the management of the multisig safe of a guild or project.
  • The candidate has acquired one of the following tags: Moderator, Scribe, Champion, Initiative Lead.
  • The candidate is being sponsored by at least three current Stewards.

Failure to comply with any of the previous requisites will make the nomination void.
The following persons can’t be nominated as Stewards:

  • Current DAO Operators.

2.2 Elections
Elections of the Stewards will be done during the offseason, when their term is completed. The elections will be managed by the Operations Guild and/or Coordination Operator. The process must have the following phases:

  • ANNOUNCEMENT: At least 3 days and no more than 7 days must be given for the community to learn about the process, where and how it will happen, and the rules for it.

  • NOMINATIONS: At least 3 days and no more than 7 days must be given for potential candidates to nominate themselves, by writing a post in the designed channel explaining the reasons, motivations and profile of the nominee.

  • CONVERSATIONS: At least one open meeting must take place with the nominees, for the community to be able to have a conversation with them.

  • VOTE: A special Snapshot vote must be done with all nominees listed in alphabetical order, with voting open for at least 3 days and no more than 7 days. The top 8 will be elected as Stewards. If there is a tie in the 8th place, all tied members will become Stewards. If the nominees are 8 or less than 8, the last place in the voting will not be appointed Steward.

  • TRAINING: All newly appointed Stewards must complete a common training so that they are all aware of the same mission, expectations for the role, and systems and processes that they need to work within.

2.3 Diversity
In an effort to encourage a more diverse leadership in the DAO, the following action should be taken:

  • ENCOURAGEMENT: All members of the DAO should reach out to minority members who comply with the requisites to invite them to post their nominations as Stewards.

3. Obligations and Accountability

3.1 Coordination
Stewards must divide the work among themselves to review and negotiate budget proposals and make their recommendation on whether funds should be allocated.

3.2 Transparency
The council formation, deliberation and decision process needs to be fully transparent. This means that from the very beginning, they need to ensure that members of the DAO can follow along or catch up easily to past or active proposals. The following are the basic communication channels Stewards must maintain:

  • Regular, recorded meetings.
  • A public Discord channel where all Stewards’ async deliberation takes place. No DMs for Stewards business should take place.
  • Section in Probably Nothing devoted to Stewards deliberation and decisions.

Stewards can rotate responsibility for sharing their reasoning for budget decisions with the DAO publicly. Both assenting and dissenting views should be published.

3.3 Public evaluation
The performance of the Stewards body should be evaluated each season by DAO members. It is the obligation of all Stewards to comply with this during the first day of the Offseason, by posting a vote in the Forum asking the community to Approve or Disapprove their performance. The vote must be available for at least 3 days. As a group, Stewards must be held accountable for helping initiatives spend DAO’s resources in an intentional way, cut off spending to projects/individuals who are not delivering, not overspend, and not leave money on the table.
If the DAO-wide evaluation falls below 80% approval, that must trigger a within-Stewards accountability vote that must be completed within 3 days, this will require all Stewards to evaluate each other as Approve or Disapprove in an open, individual post in the Stewards channel. The individual accountability to evaluate should be focused on responsibility, attendance of meetings, do their best work, and act in good faith. Any Steward failing to comply with this vote will be removed from the role. Any Steward who receives at more than half disapproval from their peers will be removed from the role, and an election process must start to replace them.

4. Temporality and Rewards

Stewards is one of the most strategic positions in D_D, the role requires dedication, attention, and vision of the whole DAO.

4.1 Temporality
The role of the Steward will be held for two seasons, with the option of continual reelection.

4.2 Rewards
Each Steward will be rewarded with 4,800 CODE for each season, accordingly to the following formula: 15 $CODE * 80 monthly hours * 4 months = 4,800 $CODE / Season.

Temporal Article:
Election for Stewards for Season 1 should be done in the first month of the season, following the above rules.

(To be discussed) Since Stewards are making funding disbursement decisions on behalf of the DAO, they may be considered liable for the disbursement of funds to bad actors. Therefore, Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance needs to be part of the Stewards activities.

5 Likes

Initial thoughts:

• Training the week of inauguration sounds good
• Quarterly elections with a two Season term limit sound good
• Appreciate diversity nudge, but personally preferred to be nominated/elected based on my performance (I speak for myself).
• KYC/AML doesn’t apply if compensating in CODE. Token is not a security.
• 4,800 CODE is fine

1 Like

I like this. It seems pro-active. I would however, pose the question: what does ‘minority’ really constitute in this context? Clarity is massively important, particularly when it comes to matters of fostering diversity.

I’d also loop in @Cannablitch to get their take on this. They’ve put forth some really good critiques of AxisOne so far, and have brought some much needed perspectives.

I’m happy to see this is being written into the proposal. Massively important.

I like this section.

I’m curious: what’s the rationale behind a 2 season term?

What are the current thoughts on how this process might be rolled out? Are there any good KYC platforms that are currently servicing DAOs? I used a particular one for a token presale some months back, but they were pretty shit. Their AI couldn’t recognize my face as a Black person. A very common and very frustrating issue across the AI/ML space. What’s perhaps worse, is that this platform is widely used across web3.

Sharing the above, so we can factor these kinds of things into considerations.

Overall, I’m on board with this proposal. Much needed

From how I understood it, the proposal is being intentional about ensuring that the group is diverse; but it does not negate performance. The stipulation was that eligible candidates are to meet 1 or more of the following:

  • The candidate has performed as a core team member of a guild or project.
  • The candidate is involved in the management of the multisig safe of a guild or project.
  • The candidate has acquired one of the following tags: Moderator, Scribe, Champion, Initiative Lead.
  • The candidate is being sponsored by at least three current Stewards.

The push for diversity sits atop of this.

There are thousands of members across this DAO, currently. Encouraging people from underrepresented groups to put themselves forward to be considered, does not undermine performance in any way. People still need to meet the listed criteria above, since they are prerequisites.

I definitely agree with Luan’s point and also encourage a shift away from categorizing underrepresented groups as minorities.
Personally, I understand with the DAO having representation of individuals globally it’s important that we establish a dictionary of DAO-specific definitions especially when it comes to diversity and inclusion so we have a document to reference to when we’re discussing these topics.

I think expressing a need for diverse representation through the budget steward position is important but I want us to avoid perpetuating tokenization. It’s important we establish a culture that is a safe space for under-represented groups can thrive and that we’re genuinely recruiting people because we value their perspectives and talents; rather than recruiting from a place of “we really need diversity and we’re lacking that right now.” If we approach recruitment like this we run the risk of making BIPOC community uncomfortable instead of successfully recruiting us into roles. I believe if we a truly fostering a culture/community that is diverse people will feel more comfortable rising into to core roles within the DAO.

5 Likes

Few fleeting thoughts at stupid o’clock:

  • Who is responsible for making sure all of these timelines are followed… Is there a chair of the budget stewards? Ops? Without someone being responsible for this, there are a lot of short-time frames here that might end up not being met.
  • There are a lot of processes and accountability here. is $4,800 CODE a sufficient reward? How do we make sure folks are going to do it, Having been scribe doesn’t seem like a good enough check to me (there is a general need for levels of contributors in the DAO IMO)
  • Need to define some baseline rules for DAO financial health on which Budget Stewards can make decisions. Who does this? Ops? Budget Stewards? Both? Fractional CFO that we employ?

At the instance of any member of the DAO, any Steward can trigger the process to create a new Operator role by stating the case and proposing a basic definition of the role in the Stewards channel, tagging all Stewards.

Worries me a little. Hiring a DAO Operator is basically equivalent to hiring an FT team member (or at least in my view it probably should be). Feels like the decision to hire a DAO operator should be slightly more strategic in nature i.e. What does the DAO need to achieve its goals and does that require a retained team member right now.

Almost feel like we need some kind of DAO steering committee/board of directors that guides the strategic direction for the DAO, which currently sounds like it’s being rolled into Budget Stewards and that could be a good solution. Whoever it needs to be an empowered (small) collective, not all the initiative leads. Most people are happy to share their thoughts & inputs into decisions but don’t have the time or desire to really get involved in big decisions and big decision-making in large groups sucks.

If the vote is affirmative, the removal will be effective immediately.

Not sure this is feasible. At least now how things work currently. When you remove someone with immediate effect you don’t get a handover, this could be pretty destructive to the DAO. Would strongly suggest a cooling-off period before any discussion or action is taken, after a few days and the emotion has died down views often change a lot and become more objective.

Also, does this mean the DAO Operatore effectively answer to the stewards?

Current DAO Operators.

Love to understand why? Assuming it’s a conflict of interest thing, that can be easily solved by not allowing people to vote on anything about them. DAO Operators will have more context than any other member which would be very valuable in making these decisions and no doubt much of this valuable context would be lost regardless of the quality of communication, at least to being with during early seasons whilst we’re working this stuff out.

2.2 Elections

Like this process

3.1 Coordination
Stewards must divide the work among themselves to review and negotiate budget proposals and make their recommendation on whether funds should be allocated.

might make sense for.someONE to be responsible for making this happen. you don’t have two scrum masters on one team for a reason.

3.3 Public evaluation

Think that just a re-run of the election process is enough.

(To be discussed) Since Stewards are making funding disbursement decisions on behalf of the DAO, they may be considered liable for the disbursement of funds to bad actors. Therefore, Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance needs to be part of Steward’s activities.

Don’t need AML for $ CODE-related allocations and DAO Operators should have an agreement directly with the Foundation (last least to being with, might evolve structure) where they’ll be KYC’d anyway.

very high-level observation… Budget Stewards are currently being anointed huge power in the DAO. I personally think there is a serious need for some really clearly defined leadership responsibility at the DAO level for the reason referenced above re big groups being very ineffective at making important decisions. open to this being budget stewards but it needs to be explicit and it should contain people who are timed committed, mission-aligned and context-aware of the DAO.

I’m curious: what’s the rationale behind a 2 season term?

@luan The role requires insider knowledge of the DAO, and it involves a high amount of strategy and medium term planning. Balanced with strict controls for performance, I think we can experiment with medium terms roles.

I definitely agree with Luan’s point and also encourage a shift away from categorizing underrepresented groups as minorities.

@Cannablitch Any help with that point would be welcomed. How do you suggest we should write this?
Any other suggestions we may add?

Who is responsible for making sure all of these timelines are followed… Is there a chair of the budget stewards?

@kempsterrrr We can appoint the top voted Steward as leader of the council. However, this is a role that requires a lot of responsibility, and any members should be able to push for thing to happen.

There are a lot of processes and accountability here. is $4,800 CODE a sufficient reward?

Agreed. The reward is based on the hourly rate. This is one case where I feel at least a bonus should be awarded for the tasks done. Will improve the offer.

Need to define some baseline rules for DAO financial health on which Budget Stewards can make decisions.

There is a level of medium term strategy decision-making baked on this role. Stewards should be able to make those decisions. They should be able to take care of those duties, instead of the Core Team.

When you remove someone with immediate effect you don’t get a handover, this could be pretty destructive to the DAO.

The act of removing an Operator is destructive by itself, and should only be made in the most extreme circunstances. But if they are doing it, it should be quick. I do like the suggestion of a cooling-off period, to avoid emotional actions.

Also, does this mean the DAO Operatore effectively answer to the stewards?

They are a check for the Operators, yes, and the representatives of the DAO to have oversight over their executive actions. This is why the initial draft tries to separate both roles.

might make sense for.someONE to be responsible for making this happen.

Yeah. Leader of the stewards sounds reasonable.

Think that just a re-run of the election process is enough.

I actually like the public evaluation process. It has 2 steps. One is the external evaluation (same as the election), but I really appreciate the internal process where all the internal view of each steward comes into action, and helps remove those not doing enough in the eyes of their peers.

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Absolutely agree with that.

I was thinking about this as well. It is a tricky balance. While I understand fear of power misuse (I mentioned this myself in the context of the OKR group) I think that the DAO board is worse, because it centralizes the power even more. Finding the right balance and safety mechanisms will take some time, but I think that most of the power should be on the guild/team level and only necessary operation power needs to be delegated - to the roles that are as close to the DAO members as possible. Would be interested in @Piablo opinion here as I have no practical experience with sociocracy.

I think that most of the power should be on the guild/team level

Operators currently have the sole power to execute. Should we give them also all the legislative power? All the power to manage treasury? Or should we spread those, to create a basic system of checks?

Not sure what you mean by legislative power. But the treasury is a good example. Way I perceive it the guilds have the power over the treasury: through the defined process of budget proposals. We need the same process to figure out if the guild is achieving the objectives bound to the budget - this is what we hope to do with OKRs. And I believe that the primary control mechanism is a check-in meeting.
Important difference I feel: only in case the outcome of the check in on the guild level is pointing out to some issue, we need a role that step-in, discuss the corrective actions and in a extreme case stop the access to the guild budget until the new key results are accepted.

Not sure if you’re classified as a minority, but I’d say self-identification is more valuable than leading with someone’s background, as a qualification for anything. It’s undignified, no matter how you articulate it. Inversely proportionate to that is saying non-minorities don’t need the nudge, because they’re represented, as if individuals don’t matter. I don’t perceive how minorities are portrayed in the media, or the latest cultural craze, to be a vanguard of human affairs, especially on matters of race.

disagree with pretty much everything written here, to be honest.

to begin, it’s a mischaracterization. there’s room for nuance, no doubt; but the mischaracterization is reductive. further, it leaps over very relevant context. ensuring that space is held for people from underrepresented communities, doesn’t mean other individuals don’t matter. it means that they should matter as well. part of this dates back to the DAO’s earliest days, when I took issue with the fact that a number of people selfishly minted multiple nfts. factor in the price of gas :fuelpump:, and the fact that news of the DAO was shared among communities of people that were pretty similar to one another; it meant that the makeup of the DAO was looking a certain way (and still does). in areas like recruitment, studies have proven that referrals are not the best way to foster diversity because a majority-white organziation has people whose social and professional circles likely resemble them. it’s not all too dissimilar to the origins of Developer DAO (at least, in part). and so part of the issue here, is access.

if people have a lack of access to opportunities, then ensuring that they have the same access to opportunities as others, is a good and proper thing. there’s still a criteria that needs to be met. that is the qualifier. it doesn’t necessarily lead with background. nothing undignified in that, from how I look at it. things don’t just happen—and particularly on matters such as this, there’s a need to be intentional.

the beauty is that you’re entitled to view the way minorities are portrayed in the media, in any way you choose. and I’m not sure what ‘cultural craze’ you’re alluding to.

I’ve been here since the very beginning (Sept 2021) and Developer DAO (D_D) is highly diverse, in fact (Europeans count). Assuming you’re not a minority by your lack of admission, you’ve taken a political stance (the cultural craze), which is not germane to the actual problems facing e.g. my (black) people in particular. Self-identification is how and where individuals matter. Period. There was no recruitment involved in D_D, IIRC, and assuredly no marginalization of anyone. If you joined D_D, you’ve watched as the core team has tirelessly made clear that everyone should speak up, participate, and feel like they’re welcome here. If anyone of any background has been experiencing inadequacy, not feeling heard, or some other infraction, they have a different problem, and should definitely reconsider a leadership position over a diverse group of people.

I’ll give you the last word.

huh ? this is a lazy sentence/conclusion.

there’s nothing for me to admit to. who or what I am is not pertinent to what is being discussed.

this is reductive. and again, just a lazy way to contextualize the subject at hand.

what are Black people facing, in your opinion? I’m curious…

not only is the end of your sentence false, but the beginning seems to have misinterpreted my prior comment. I never stated that there was any recruitment involved in Developer DAO. I referenced the flaw in referrals in the effort to foster diversity in organizations, and referenced studies that have examined recruitment. that is not the same as saying ‘Developer DAO did recruiting’.

too many studies (across education and the workplace) have shown that simply saying that people should feel comfortable to speak up and participate, is not remotely the same as fostering the kind of environment where these things can actually happen. speak to most neurodivergent people (particularly those with ADHD) about how they found institutionalized education. speak to people who report that they grew up in emotionally abusive households, about how empowered they felt to speak up. and it’s not that there’s been abuse in Developer DAO (at least not that I’ve witnessed or heard about), but rather… the environment matters. that’s the point.

the core team have not “tirelessly made clear that everyone should speak up”. that sentence cannot be supported by facts. and @with-heart himself, wrote a thread about it. the core team have been great in many respects. despite any hiccups, I trust in their leadership, for the most part. but being intentional about fostering diversity and the kind of environment that can facilitate that, is not necessarily one of their successes at this point.

the DAO started quite organically, regardless. that’s a brilliant thing, and one of the best parts about Developer DAO’s origins. the reality is that the progression and diversity of this community does not rest solely on the shoulders of the core/founding team members. it is a decentralized organization, after all. thankfully, we’ve benefitted from the efforts of people like @Stefanie, @aakansha12, @myz1237.eth, @meowy, @Cannablitch (to name a few) who continue to think about how this community can be a diverse space that is both safe and equitable for all of its members.

Improving the offer should help sure. The level of context and involvement generally in the proposal though is quite high, specifically this line “active participation on a weekly basis”. Not sure how we deal with this as not sure finding 8 reliably participating at the level is possible for purely $CODE rewards. very interested to hear others’ thoughts on this :pray:

wonder if there is someone who’d be willing to perform the below role to make it easier :point_down: - might be worth estimating hours and testing the waters first, or maybe reducing the cadence of required participation to less than weekly.

Refer back to the points above and the original feedback. I don’t think DAO operators should be excluded from the Stewards given by the definition of the level of their involvement they will have the most content, it would be very easy to recuse them from votes that impact them.

completely agree here, we need some stability in the DAO as well as decentralisation. If things are changing all the time forever we may struggle to have any real impact.

some work needs to be done here on providing context, making these kinds of decisions is critical to get right and, as the person with their name on the org atm, am keen to make sure we’re pretty careful here.

FYI in the foundation bylaws, there is a suggested minimum operating expenses budget for the Foundation currently set @ 50k (this basically ensures basically yearly fees for counsel and service provider renewals are met). Given we’re creating the budget stewards, I wonder if some kind of emergency/fast track mechanism should be put in place for releasing funds from the treasury via a unanimous or super-majority vote?

Would like to suggest some edits to this proposal to simplify the structure of the DAO and hopefully ensure the folks taking on this responsibility are context-aware, have long-term commitment and to achieve a good balance of momentum and good, diverse decision making:

  • Each Guild has a Guild Leader that is also an Operator (when the funds are in place). Every person who takes on such responsibility also must be a Steward as a requirement for the role
  • Outside of these folks we ensure there are other Stewards to provide other perspectives than the folks already in leadership roles. These could be expert advisors (i.e. Preethi, maybe Scott from Gitcoin if he’d be up for it, Nader and sure there are other folks with valuable experience in or even currently outside of the community) or just contributors to the DAO community.

Expected commitments:

  • Participate in monthly discussions to decide on the following:
    • Allocation of on-going Seasonal Budgets
    • Reviewing and accepting/rejecting new budgets
    • Reviewing and accepting/rejecting expenses requests (SaaS tools, bots, legal costs)
  • Participate in Off-Season retro’s to review past Season and then define OKRs for next Season

Why do I think this would be valuable:

  • We have existing structures for folks to attain Guild roles therefore how these positions will be elected and rotated is already defined
  • These people should already have the context needed to participate effectively in such discussions and decisions
  • Allows for folks outside of defined leadership roles to provide insight, expertise, context or challenge to the folks in leaderships roles which feels healthy for the DAO
2 Likes

Each Guild has a Guild Leader that is also an Operator (when the funds are in place). Every person who takes on such responsibility also must be a Steward as a requirement for the role

I agree that Operators are best suited for also being Stewards. But also, we have talked about the tasks Stewards are asked to perform, and how those are not easy. Forcing Operators to be Stewards is not optimal, and we may end with people not doing their tasks.
Responsibility is not something we should force on anyone.
If an Operator wants to be a Steward, fine.
If an Operator doesn’t want to be a Steward, that’s fine, too.

would love to understanding your thoughts here more mate

agreed. but believe it is reasonable to include alongside leaderships roles people are adopting, particularly if they are being reward well in meat-space funds

think we need a be clear operator vs guild lead. I’m mainly referring to guild leads here but could also see it applying to operators depending on how that evolves

would love to understanding your thoughts here more mate

Operators and Guild Leads are signing on for one specific set of tasks, which are complicated enough already. Forcing them to take on the stewards responsibility will only make them abdicate on it at the first chance, as we have already seen.
Stewards are a complicated role, and should only be taken by those who want to do it.