[Feedback Request] Stewards Role


This post seeks feedback on the Stewards role before we elect new Stewards.

The objective is to share any lessons learned by existing stewards to help new Stewards perform the role in the future, as well as gather perspective and feedback from Members on the role and how it might be updated and improved.

The Stewards role was defined in P-22: DAO Governance Structure Upgrade below.


Stewards are elected Members as well as the nominated Developer DAO Foundation Director who help “Steward” the DAO via elevated responsibilities in Governance.

Stewards replace the “Governance Allowlist” as currently defined in DDIP. Every Steward has the right to elevate proposals to binding Snapshot votes that successfully achieve the required elevation criteria defined in DDIP. Obtaining this right, therefore, also moves away from holding a specific number of $CODE tokens defined in DDIP to being appointed a Steward via Election processes defined below.

This active participation role is responsible for steering the DAO to ensure it is working towards its stated mission. Stewards must sign a Contributor Agreement with the Foundation detailing the role and rewards defined below.

Objectives of the Stewards
  • Keep track of ongoing Governance Proposals
  • Ensure Governance Proposals follow templates and guidelines
  • Review, comment and suggest improvements to inflight Governance proposals
  • Identify and triage overlaps and conflicts in Governance proposals
  • Coordinate activity between the Sub-DAOs
  • Define the DAO’s Seasonal (Quarterly) strategy, including setting DAO-level OKRs
  • Reviewing DAO and Sub-DAO performance against agreed OKRs, deciding on suitable action if Sub-DAO’s agreed deliverables are not being met.
  • Define DAO-level Treasury Strategy (any DAO Operational / Foundation costs, Treasury assets available for budget requests).
  • Review and decide on ad-hoc funding requests made during a Season.

Stewards commit to 2 - 4 hours per week for reviewing and attending Stewards Council Meetings and performing their Steward duties as defined below:

  • Community Elected Stewards will be signers on the DAO Treasury
  • Attend fortnightly Stewards Council (min 4 out of 8 per season)
  • Arrive with pre-reading complete (when sent > 24 hours in advance)
  • Give Substantial feedback to min 2 DDIPs per Season
  • Provide input to relevant forum discussion
  • Bring relevant topics for discussion to Steward Council meetings
  • Act as moderators for CoC & Violation process being defined here (Procedure 1). )Note: Stewards may be replaced as moderators depending on the outcome of that proposal).
Stewards Council Meeting

The Stewards Council Meeting provides the space and conditions for higher-stake cross-DAO decisions to be vetted and discussed, enabling the DAO to efficiently and responsibly fulfil its mission. The council is responsible for sensemaking and strategic direction and acting as a decision-making body for DAO-Level topics. (Those that sit outside the Foundation or Sub-DAOs.)

The Stewards Council meets weekly on Thursdays @ 4 pm UTC.

The Stewards council is an action-orientated session where Stewards seek to make decisions on pre-determined Agenda Items. Whilst some discussion is welcomed during the meeting, most should happen on the forum.

Every meeting must have a designated facilitator who keeps the meeting on track.

The nominated Foundation Steward will perform this role for the first Steward Council of each Season. After that, this role will rotate, with the next meeting’s designated agreed upon by the Stewards at the end of the previous session. If no facilitator is chosen, it falls back to the last chosen facilitator.

The facilitator must share the agenda > 48 hours before the meeting using this template. Any Steward can add items to the Agenda using the format defined in the same template.

The facilitator should add agenda items to a Slido ahead of the meeting and share this with Stewards attending to prioritise points for discussion at the start of the meeting.

Items not included on the Agenda before the meeting can only be discussed after the agreed agenda has been covered. Agenda items not covered are automatically added to the next meeting to be re-prioritised using the method outlined in the previous paragraph.

Meetings are restricted to the Stewards to ensure efficient decision-making and take place on Steward’s dedicated voice channel. Notes and audio recordings must be shared on the forum with Members by the meeting facilitator, including a record of any decisions and actions taken.


Stewards are encouraged to discuss topics asynchronously as much as possible and only bring discussions to the Steward Council when there is a decision to be made following the format laid out in the meeting template.

Decisions during the Steward Council are made optimistically, facilitated by the meeting’s designated facilitator using the following format:

  1. Steward requesting a decision spends no more than 2 mins explaining the Agenda Item and the suggested course of action.
  2. If no one is present on the call objects, their suggested course of action is recorded.
  3. If any Steward objects, the facilitator puts forward a 48-hour vote of the Stewards via discord Poll restricted to the Steward role with the following format:
    1. For
    2. Against
    3. Requiers more discussion
  4. Where the vote “Requires more discussion”, a thread should be opened in the Stewards discord channel for this topic, or a separate call should be organised. The point should be brought back to the Stewards when a decision is ready to be made.
  5. Where there is a tied vote, the vote defaults to Against

Stewards are accountable to Members on a Seasonal basis via Elections.

Any member can track Steward’s engagement in Governance discussion on this forum here and on snapshot via https://snapshot.org/#/profile/stewardswalletaddress to help them make informed decisions about supporting an existing Steward in future elections.


Before the start of each Season, a maximum of 10 Stewards are elected via DDIP.

A proposal is made by the sitting Stewards, which outlines the responsibilities and rewards for Stewards as defined in this proposal and invites any Member to nominate themselves as Stewards.

Nominations are made as comments to the DDIP Proposal with the following format:

  • Discord Username + Forum Username
  • ETH address (where $CODE tokens are held)
  • Statement of Intention / Your Values & Reasons for Joining
  • Qualifications.
  • Governance Record (lin/screenshot of forum stats)
  • Snapshot voting record (link/screenshot of snapshot profile - Snapshot)

After five days of nominations, the election is moved to a Snapshot vote with a Weighted Voting strategy that allows members to allocate a % of their total vote across all nominated Stewards.

  • A maximum of 10 Stewards will be elected from this vote.
  • To be elected, Stewards must receive at least 1 vote.
  • If there is a tie between 2 or more Stewards for the 10th place, a repeat vote must be held with *only *those tied for the 10th place.
Term length & limitations

Stewards serve for 1 Season at a time, with re-elections required before the start of each Season. There is no limit to how many times a Steward can be re-elected.


Stewards are compensated in $CODE for the equivalent of the maximum number of suggested hours they might serve as a Steward multiplied by the current defined hourly rate of 15 $CODE.

8 weeks X 4 Hours X 15 $CODE = 480 $CODE Per Season.

The role responsibilities were amended in P-33: Reduce Stewards role in DDIP, removing the need for a majority of Stewards to comment on a proposal before it can be elevated to snapshot motivated by a designer to allow Governance to move faster. After the 5 day discussion period in DDIP any stewards is now able to elevate a proposal to Snapshot.

Feedback Request & Goals

As above, the objective here is to share any lessons learned by existing stewards to help new Stewards perform the role in the future, as well as gather perspective and feedback from Members on the role and how it might be updated and improved.

Intended outcomes:

  • Learn from the serving @stewards to support the next stewards in performing the role better
  • Understand the sentiment and feedback from the community on the stewards role
  • Discuss any adjustments to be made to the role before re-electing it

Proposed timeline for election new stewards

Tasks Desc Dates
Finalise Feedback request and post to forum for discussion Allows Stewards and Members to share their experiences, feedback and perspectives on the role to help inform how future Steward can best server the DAO January 19th, after Stewards call (for 5 days)
Open new round of elections New post to forum asking members to volunteer for elections to becomes Stewards for the DAO January 25th (for 5 days)
If required, elevate election to Snapsho We allow up to 10 Stewards. Last time we had under 10 stewards and skipped this stage. Propose it may be worth completing this stage anyway as a chance for members to signal support for nominees, including if someone receives not votes potentially disallowing them from the process January 30th (for 5 days

My perspective on the stewards so far is whilst it provided value in a few isolated cases over the last 6 months, it broadly didn’t deliver on the intended value for the DAO specifically in the following areas:

  • Challenges in Governance, in particular slowing it down and a reliance on input from less active members of important decisions
  • Defining the DAO’s strategy and setting of OKRs
  • Improving accountability amongst Sub-DAOs and acting when OKRs not met

I did personally find it valuable as space for discussion and decision making on topics that are hard to address as a large group. For example, DAO finances, though this also became to much to maintain alongside other work.

The main causes for these outcomes from my perspective are related to the scope of the role vs the time folks have available, the context they have in the DAO and the lack of any pre-existing approaches/frameworks/structure for handling some of these responsibilities. From a personal perspective whilst we got off to a good start, I found the workload to great to maintain momentum and consistency when balanced with other work in the DAO.

I believe some healthy points to consider making changes around before re-electing would be:

  1. Reducing the on-going time commitment to once a month
  2. Increase the rewards for all stewards in CODE terms and consider how else we can either reduce the collective workload, or address some of the challenges around context etc. some ideas: explicitly pay 1 person to facilitate, require Sub-DAO’s to nominate >= 1 steward.
  3. More thought put to how the role is performed before asking folks to perform it (could translate to agreed actions that can be taken with underperforming Sub-DAO’s, templates for financial reporting, regular structured sessions for setting strategy/OKRs)
  4. Use the Stewards a place to allow contribution from advisors and/or delegates (the Gitcoin team comes to mind, maybe others in the ecosystem who could bring outside perspective and valuable knowledge to help us)

Believe it’s also worth asking what would a world look like without the Stewards? No good answers here at the min as to where these responsibilities would go but interested to hear others perspectives.

tagging other stewards @mannyornothing @drop_knowledge @rubinovitz @Erik_Knobl @ntindle - would love to hear your perspectives and also from anyone else in the DAO. Will make sure it is on the agenda for this weeks Coordination call.

The continuous time commitment with no real compensation was what made me need to step down.

Other than having discussions about governance, it was never really clear what we should be doing or trying to do.

I’d be happy to try again if it was a once-a-month commitment rather than every week.

One really hard thing was navigating a specific meeting time that we never really moved. It was in the middle of my workday and I had commitments to meet. Don’t know how to solve this but I can much easier miss one meeting a month than one a week

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The current Steward role assumes the following formula:
Stewards = Leaders of the DAO
and lately, that hasn’t been totally true.
That’s why I see @kempsterrrr suggest Sub-DAOs nominating Stewards, and I agree it should be the optimal result. However, placing myself into the shoes of a person leading a Sub-DAO, why would I want to do that? I have plenty of tasks already. There is no benefit for them.
In the end, if we want good performance from Stewards, and leaders wanting to be Stewards, we should find ways to really reward them.

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On point summary @Erik_Knobl :handshake:

This is the right quetstion

I agree with this

Last quarter I’d be interested to hear from @mannyornothing in particular if given his role in Labs if he feels there was any benefit for him and/or how we can make it more so. For me, there are intrinsic benefits assuming the role if stewards as defined is performed properly - each sub-dao has a say in the higher level strategy and accountability, vs not.

Word. any perspective on how aligned incentives for stewards might work? Or, can it be enough to expect Sub-DAOs nominate Stewards and their rewards come from the Sub-DAO?

A couple of potentials.

  1. A % of revenue back to the DAO as payment
  2. Much higher CODE rewards

Feel this and feel responsible for it. The sessions could do with more structure/purpose/guidelines and, either a sharing of responsibilities or a person who is rewarded to ensure they’re facilitated correctly, both.

This has stalled. I’d like to propose a simplification of the next iteration of the Stewards:

Rather than elect 10 Stewards, I propose we require each Sub-DAO to provide 1 and they must attend this monthly call as part of being a Sub-DAO.

With the current Sub-DAO’s, that would mean:

Foundation - 1
Labs - 1
Academy - 1
Argo - 1
Eden - 1

We also have DD RPC likely to submit a budget and TalentLayer which would take us to 7. We could then elect 4 from the community and/or offer a slot to partners (i.e. Gitcoin).

I’d also like to suggest a reduce role for the Stewards to the following:

  • Signers on the Treasury (highly reduced role given oSnap integration)
  • Introducing and enforcing adherence to an accountability process for Sub-DAOs
  • Define the DAO-Level Treasury Strategy (any DAO Operational / Foundation costs, Treasury assets available for budget requests).
  • Review and decide on [ad-hoc funding requests](https://(any DAO Operational / Foundation costs, Treasury assets available for budget requests).)


  1. Removes extra overhead of Stewards meeting - these people come to the coordination call already
  2. Reduce overhead of Stewards role - show up, consume info, discuss, vote
  3. Ensure there are sufficient Stewards with high-level of context but gives space for views outside of the contributor echo-chamber
  4. Give folks with skin in the game who contributing via Sub-DAOs a voice in things that might impact them, vs being served decisions without that voice

What would this look like in practice?

A worked example of what this might look like in practice.

Fixed agenda items:

  • DAO financial statements by @kempsterrrr
  • Any financial decisions that need to be made (legal costs, debts to operators) by @kempsterrrr
  • Review Sub-DAO performance (Sub-DAO’s self-report to the forum, we discuss and collective decide to continue supporting/funding or take action - probs needs a pre-considered list of actions)

Any Steward can also add an Agenda item outside of this.

How we’d make decisions.

@wolovim @mannyornothing @Billyjitsu @Crypdough.eth @Piablo @impactbilli.eth @BluePanda @PSkinnerTech @Kirsten @stewards

Tagging a mixture of folks here who were on the coordination call today and/or would be impacted if we move to this model. I would appreciate some feedback on this :pray:

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Seems fair. It would be important to hear from Sub-DAO leaders, as they are going to be impacted by this change.

This seems a lot more appealing to be a steward