Bankless DAO DAOisms

Title: DAOisms

Authors: wolfehr#3150

Date: 5/13/2021

Consensus Poll (5/17/2021): Discord Link

What Is This Page?

This page is a living document that attempts to ease pressure on the biggest pain points that BanklessDAO has. It’s a set of best practices that if we generally agree upon, will streamline the flow of ideas to action. DAOisms are very much a work in progress; feedback is welcome (see forum post linked above).

What are DAOisms

One of the very first problems BanklessDAO had was managing the flow of activity and ideas happening simultaneously. Everyone wanted to do things. Some community members started noticing patterns in where people were getting stuck. Places like:

  • Where do I submit a proposal?
  • Does this need a snapshot vote?
  • Is someone working on this project?
  • What project can I join?

This led to the formation of the DAOisms. DAOisms define best practices when trying to accomplish a common task. DAOisms are not meant to stifle activity with guidelines, but ease common points of friction by providing infrastructure to quickly go from idea to action.

Consensus

The biggest problem was achieving the appropriate levels of consensus. RSA provided some structure by suggesting that proposals that do not require a budget do not need to go to Snapshot vote. (There may be one-off scenarios, like major changes to governance procedures.) The general problem was that we didn’t know where to achieve consensus.

To this end, the first DAOism suggests the tactic of achieving progressively harder consensus. Progressive consensus is the idea that consensus builds from within a small group of people and expands outwards towards the whole. Harder consensus means more formal methods of voting (read more here).

The path to progressively harder consensus can be broken into three stages:

Gauging DAO Support

The first step is gauging the general interest and support of the DAO.

Use Cases

  • Want to workshop an idea
  • Want to get feedback from the DAO (e.g., a new podcast idea)
  • Includes items that do not require treasury funding
  • Has little to no impact on the DAO’s mission, governance structure, operations

Tools: Discord

Methods

  1. Find the relevant discord channels for your idea. Pitch it, see what people think. Workshop in the channel, or even move it to a private chat. Find people that get excited about your idea.

Read this exchange on Discord

  1. Use the #poll channel to get community feedback (Guide TBD). This is perfect if you think your sample size is small or want the community to help you make a decision. It’s important that you include a description of what you want and why. Provide context to help others make the right decision.

  1. Get your thoughts down on paper and post in the General Forum to discuss in a slower pace environment than Discord

Notes

  • Voting options should be more than just a simple Yes/No, but other possible responses. (Think empathy.) Eg. :construction_worker_man: = Like the idea but needs improvement. or :anchor: = Keep things the way they are.

Confirming DAO Support

The second step is to harden consensus. Here, ideas are escalated to more formal methods of gathering input.

Use Cases:

  • You have something polished to the broader community
  • You want input from beyond just the core parties interested in your proposal
  • Includes items that do not require treasury funding
  • Has a moderate impact on the DAO’s mission, governance structure, operations (especially Treasury management).

Tools: Dedicate Discord channels, forums, and community calls

Methods (Often done together)

  1. Create a forum post using the proposal template. Copy and paste that forum post into a Google document for others to provide comments/suggestions. Make sure you share the Google doc such that Anyone on the internet with this link can comment (If you don’t know how to do this, search for a guide using the italicized phrase.)

  1. Ask an admin to create a separate channel dedicated to discussing your proposal. This is often done in addition to the forum post.

  1. Present your proposal during a community call

Formal DAO Approval

Formal snapshot vote

Use Cases

  • Requires treasury funding
  • Has a significant impact on the DAO’s mission, governance structure, operations (especially Treasury management).

Tools: Snapshot vote

Methods

  • Submit a request to the genesis team or admin to create a Snapshot vote (this will become more trustless in time - progressive decentralization)

Notes

Due to the significance of Snapshot votes, we suggest the following as a starting requirement for votes. These can always be changed.

  • Voting period: 7 Days
  • Voting threshold: >66%
  • Voting Quorum: 1% of circulating BANK (benchmarket taken from protocol DAOs)

Going from Idea → Action

Earlier, we said, “[DAOisms] a set of best practices that if we generally agree upon, will streamline the flow of ideas to action.” That’s exactly what this flow from gauging support to confirming to approval. Not all of these steps have to happen.

These three phases are to help you better understand where to start. Because, if you jump straight to a proposal forum post and pitch it on a community call, people are going to want to know where this proposal came from. They’re going to want to know who you workshopped it with, who else supports this proposal, and why it reads like a first draft. But if you feel like your proposal will be widely supported, then you don’t need to go gauging consensus in channels or making polls.

For example: You’ve been listening in on some community calls and reaching Discord conversations. At some point, you notice that a couple guilds are all having the same problem. At this point, you already know there’s a general consensus that a solution is needed, but none has been championed. You can go directly to the forum and you generally know how people will respond.

Contributor Designation

Graduating from Level 1 to Level 2 was previously done in two ways:

  1. Any member of the Genesis can mint a new Level 2
  2. And Level 2 can nominate a Level 1 and must receive >50% consensus among all other Level 2s

A slightly updated version of this model involves a broader poll.

Workflow

  • Anyone can make a nomination in #polls. The nomination should include supporting evidence for the graduation. (ie how they’ve contributed/why you’re nominating them)
  • 48hr voting period
  • 66% majority with at least 20 votes.

  • If consensus fails, the person can be renominated in the future

Note: This process doesn’t try to define the requirements to be designated a contributor, only a process to gain consensus if those criteria are met. Better defining Level 2 will be handled as a separate workstream.

Determining Projects and Coordinators

Sometimes projects come up that need a coordinator. An example is when Bankless, LLC handed off some projects to the DAO. When this happens, the DAO needs someone to coordinate the project activities and help drive it forward. These projects are added to the appropriate Initiatives and Projects page.

Once a project is added anyone is allowed to volunteer to coordinate the project. Coordinate does not mean lead. The task of coordination is helping information get to the right places. Other DAO members can work with coordinators to learn about a project and how to contribute. Often, coordinators will be the same as the proposal’s author, but not always.

Workflow

  • Use the #polls channel (Method #2 of Gauging DAO Support) ← Usually for larger DAO projects (Eg. Mission, Vision, Values)
  • Gather soft consensus among core project contributors ← Usually for smaller DAO projects (Eg. Add tip bot to Discord)

Staying Aligned

The Initiatives and Projects page communicates active projects and what their objectives are.

At the top, the DAO collectively establishes high-level objectives, such as developing on-chain cash flows or taking care of layer 0 (i.e., DAO members). These are themes.

Initiatives are then identified that fit those themes. Apparel, NFTs, and Defi products are examples of initiatives that fit the on-chain cash flows theme. Distribution, contribution benefits, and DAO Updates are examples of initiatives that fit the layer 0/community theme.

Finally DAO members contribute projects that help the initiatives. The metafactory apparel drops are an example of a project that helps the Apparel initiative, the BED Index is an example of a Defi project, the Weekly Rollup and Making $BANK podcast are examples of DAO Updates projects.

An Initiatives and Projects includes the necessary information to know

  • The current themes (e.g., on-chain cash flow)
  • The initiatives supporting those themes (e.g., NFTs)
  • The projects that are happening to support those priorities (e.g., creating NFT content or relationships with content creators)
  • The project goals and KPIs
  • A high level status update
  • Who to talk to about the projects
  • Where to find more information

This allows guilds to align themselves with the DAO’s priorities and know who to talk to about initiatives and projects. Guilds (and anyone else) can also refer to each other’s initiative and projects page to know their current priorities and look for ways to help each other.

Right now there’s no defined process for how initiatives and projects get added. The goal is to ensure there is consensus for the DAOs goals, while allowing guilds and DAO members to pursue their own ideas and giving them a platform to raise visibility about what they’re working on to get help, prevent conflict, and get recognition for their contributions. It should also allow DAO members to see what projects are in flight and see where they can pitch in.

The DAO will have a template available, but guilds and local chapters should be free to surface this information in a way that makes sense to them. The goal is the alignment and visibility, not adherence to any particular format.

The DAO’s Initiative and Projects page is available here. There is a template page underneath each Guild page. Guild’s are encouraged to use their page using the above framework, but there is no requirement to do so.

At the end of each season, the DAO and each guild will provide a short overview in a community call of what was accomplished the previous season and what is planned for next season.

For example:

Second Airdrop

The DAO has a goal of completing the second airdrop. That might flow down to the finance guild as a project to drop the BANK tokens and marketing to make sure the air drooped tokens are claimed.

DAO Museum

The DAO is launching an NFT Museum. The dev guild flows down the initiative to build the museum, the design guild to create nfts, and marketing to advertise and help get donations for the museum.

Weekly Roundup

The DAO wants to have a weekly newsletter. That can flow down to the writers guild to write and distribute the newsletter and the translators guild to translate it.

  • I like the direction
  • This needs some work…
  • I don’t think this is a good idea
  • I HATE THIS

0 voters

AUTHOR BACKGROUND

  • wolfehr#3150
    • I am a Senior Release Manager at a large SaaS company. I have experience designing processes, holding people and teams accountable that I have no authority over, and managing complex projects and initiatives with many stakeholders and different opinions.

Hello everyone! Wolfe, myself, and others have been workshopping possible procedures for doing things (Consensus, Staying Aligned, Determining Coordinators, Contributor Designation). These “DAO-isms” help others find grounding in the chaos of BanklessDAO.

With that said, here are my thoughts:

Consensus

I think I’m partly to blame here, but we need to do away with Soft/Hard consensus and replace it with SoftER/HardER consensus. By this I mean there are varying “strengths” of consensus based on the intensity of the proposal.

  • Forum posts are an important method of capturing consensus. Consider this flow: Idea → Gather soft consensus around the idea (discord) → Gather harder consensus with a forum post → Start working on a proposal with interested parties → Create proposal in the forum and discord channel for text chat → Possible snapshot vote
  • We now have a Poll’s channel. We can use Poll as a litmus test for consensus. If there’s a contentious idea, escalate it up to the Polls channel where more people will have eyes. Should standardize around to post to the channel. Ie: What is the topic? Where is the discussion happening? What are the voting options?

Staying Aligned

  • Settling on large Initiatives should be chosen for each Season, like sprint planning. Smaller initiatives can be more fluid (eg. Choosing a layer 2 to launch vs starting a TikTok media node)

Determining Coordinators

  • In the future, it would be great to have incentives in place for coordinators to be responsible for their projects
3 Likes

Btw, you say

  • If soft consensus is achieved the person is approved to move to level 2.

What’s the signal for soft consensus? Probably some minimum number of votes and a baseline winning ratio - eg. what’s >50% vs >67%

I like this. I have a suggestion for the soft/hard consensus section. Issues requiring a snapshot vote will not only be limited to issues that require Treasury funding but issues that have a significant impact on the overall DAO such as governance, organization, Treasury management, etc. Here are my suggested edits (in bold).

I’m also recommending that the forum posts be restricted to proposals that have successfully achieved a certain level of soft consensus on the Discord. This way individuals reviewing proposals can be sure the idea has been discussed by the community and we reduce the volume of votes and decisions DAO members must make. If anyone can post an idea to the forum, it creates a situation where members are being asked review proposals that haven’t been vetted or discussed and snapshot votes are being launched for initiatives that haven’t reached a certain level of importance or urgency. (I think it’s important to do whatever we can to reduce voter fatigue and organize consensus and decision-making so that it manageable.

Soft Consensus

  • Use Cases
    • Want to get feedback from the DAO
    • Does not require treasury funding
  • A proposal that could have a significant impact on the DAO’s mission, governance structure, operations (especially Treasury management)
    • Soft consensus is always optional. You do not need soft consensus to start working on a project that does not require funding. However, achieving soft consensus is strongly recommended as an initial step to gather opinions/feedback from DAO members (via the Discord) before moving forward and developing a forum post.

As for achieving soft consensus, I recommend that any proposal that successfully receives a super majority of support from DAO members (60%) be approved to be moved on to the Forum.

Hard Consensus

  • Use Cases
    • Requires treasury funding
  • proposal that could have a significant impact on the DAO’s mission, governance structure, operations (especially Treasury management)

It is highly recommended that proposal developers first seek to achieve soft consensus on an idea (and achieve a supermajority of support) before developing a forum post. This way forum posts are only developed for ideas/proposals that have been vetted and discussed by the community prior to publication on the Forum. This also helps ensure that DAO members recognize that a Forum post is a proposal that is much closer to the third level of community vetting and approval – a Snapshot vote.

1 Like

+1 to Snapshot votes for significant impacts
+1 to soft consensus achieved on discord first. I like this flow:

Idea → Gather soft consensus around the idea (discord) → Gather harder consensus with a forum post → Start working on a proposal with interested parties → Create proposal in the forum an

Also:

super majority of support from DAO members (60%) be approved to be moved on to the Forum.

This may be a bit difficult. I think the quorum number required will vary depending on the scope of the problem. 60% is good, sure. But when do we need 60% of 100 people vs 60% of 1000 people. I don’t have an answer unfortunately lol

I also agree with the proposals being discussed in Discord first then if some soft consensus is achieved move it to the proposals section of the forum

@wolfehr Here’s a more fleshed out framework for gathering consensus. The idea is to go from softer consensus with few people involved to harder consensus with more voters, but do so gradually and without wasting anyone’s time.

Stakeholder Phase
The Stakeholder Phase is where ideas begin. Here, members of the DAO start with an idea, find those receptive to the it, and generally check the pulse of the DAO.

For example, John wants to start a podcast on complex defi-degen trading strategies. He talks up his idea in relevant discord channels (#podcast-recording, #av-general, #marketing guild, # general). John finds three other traders that want to see this podcast happen.

Drafting Phase
The next stage is drafting where ideas get translated into actional proposals.
Here, John works with his new friends and creates a google doc using this template. Satisfied with their proposal, they bring the proposal to AboveAverageJoe

Joe creates a new channel calling #trading-podcast and pins the google doc. In a read-only #proposal-announcement channel, a bot will notify users about the new proposal on the table. It’s important to note that in this draft stage, proposals DO NOT go to the forum.

Feedback Phase
John and his collaborates now have a place to gather feedback from DAO members. Interested parties begin to populate the channel and provide their feedback. John and Co take this feedback and iterate on the working doc until they have a refined product.

The purpose of the Feedback Phase isn’t to force changes to the proposal as per the will of the DAO. It’s a litmus test for the rest of the DAO. Authors do not have to make changes if they do not agree.

At this phase, consensus is gathered emoji reactions. Voting can happen in two forms: Informal and Formal. Informal discord voting happens within the #trading-podcast channel with :+1: and :-1:. Formal voting happens within the read-only #polls channel and is posted by a bot to minimize clutter. The #polls channel signals to the DAO that more consensus-gathering is being requested. A general rule of thumb for introducing a poll in the #polls channel is: (1) If the decision impacts others or (2) There is disagreement on a particular topic and requires escalation to harder consensus.

Forum Phase
Once the proposal has been workshopped, it moves to the forum. The forum will include people that have participated in the discord conversation, but hopefully many others that do not have time to participate. Ideally, the forum is where passive DAO members are most active.

For proposal that don’t require funding or have major changes to governance procedures, the decision will be made at the forum with the poll feature (>50% of voting party - Perhaps a minimum number of votes required?)

Snapshot Phase
Hard consensus layer - Proposals that make it passed the forum and requires funding.

@frogmonkee @davoice321 Thank you SO much for your feedback! It’s greatly appreciated. I think I’ve worked it into the google doc. Please let me know if I didn’t :slight_smile:

@frogmonkee - I like the overall flow you proposed (e.g., stakeholder phase → drafting phase → feedback phase → forum phase → snapshot phase). I think I worked the consensus parts of that flow into the google doc. However, I think the DAOisms for how to get consensus/approval is separate from the overall project flow. For example, the stakeholder phase is definitely a best practice in my mind, but it’s less about how the vote takes place and more how to figure out who your stakeholders are, confirming the problem your solving resonates with other people, and things like that. I want to create a guide in the gitbook on how to gain support for and run a project that explains a framework like you mentioned. The RPC framework @jameswmontgomery.eth mentioned would be a good guide for that section as well.

1 Like

I posted a discord poll to gauge support for the current draft.

1 Like

@wolfehr i was wondering about your thoughts on how the guilds will play a role in the overall process to see projects delivered. guilds require accountability to self-organize in a way that 1) demonstrates their readiness to act in orchestration with other guilds and 2) provide support with other guilds.

Meeting Thursday May 20 Noon hour
Discuss DAO-isms, self organizing and orchestrating…
Location: governance channel in Area 51.5!

Agenda items for noon call on Thursday:

Pre-Read Wolfehrs, “Bankless DAO Daoisms”

  1. High-level discussion on the current document. Highlight gaps or opportunities
  2. discuss self-organizing and the role of guilds in helping to orchestrate work
  3. Align on general direction for the final version of the document
  4. How can individuals and guilds guilds quickly adopt the process? As discussed Marketing guild has agreed to be the first to adopt if needed.