[V2] Establish and fund a Governance Department

Author: jengajojo
Date created: 17 Feb, 2023
Date posted: 20 Feb, 2023
Funds requested: 800,000 BANK


Department Description


  1. Steward the governance conversation in BanklessDAO
  2. Update and maintain governance docs and constitution

Scope of work:

Based on a prioritisation exercise which was conducted we identified the following action items for S7:

  1. Update governance docs
  2. Revamp constitution
  3. Kickstart governance incentives
  4. Conduct micro experiments in guilds and projects

As well as long term goals which are:

  1. Clarify the mission of BanklessDAO
  2. Upgrade and maintain Governance tools
  3. Identify and implement a framework for mitigating governance attacks
  4. Maintain governance docs and constitution

Past activities

The DAOStewards project held regular governance meetings in the amphitheatre on mondays to collect feedback from the community on the state of governance and possible solutions to address some of the challenges in this area. The Governance Department is an idea which came out of these conversations. We have been running weekly meetings


The design space of governance is answering these two questions:

  1. Who makes decisions?
  2. How are these decisions made?

Good governance helps assure the DAO that decisions are made in a way which generates engagement and ownership over those decisions from the highest number of contributors. No org can hope to succeed long term without good governance. We will use these resources [one, two] as inspiration while building the department


Budget Breakdown

Title BANK
Role holders 130,000
S7 WorkGroup Comp 400,000
Long term work group comp 100,000
Governance Rewards Program 100,000
Bounties and misc 70,000

Compensation Breakdown

Title Calculation BANK
Department Lead 7000 BANK/ week x 13 weeks 91000
Admin 2000 BANK/week x 13 weeks 26000
Accountant 1000 BANK/week x 13 weeks 13000
S7 WG 100,000 BANK/WG x 4 WGs 400,000
Long term WGs 100,000
Bounties 70,000


Factor KPI Success Metric
Governance updates # number of proposals which pass quorum #≥1
Governance rewards # number of unique participants #≥10


Department Notion Page: here

Any other organisational information of interest:

Role Descriptions:

Disclaimer: all actions are limited to Gov Dept category in the server

  1. Department Coordinator
  • Assist the department fulfils its overall mandate towards the DAO
  • Allow individual contributors to stay up to speed at a higher frequency than async updates.
  • Moderate discord channels in order to: Minimise silos and Encourage collaboration in the governance category
  • Co-Represent the department during DAO Community Calls
  • Welcome & direct new members in the department
  • Facilitate weekly department meetings, moderating meeting flow & agenda
  • Coordinate all activities in the Governance Department
  1. Admin
  • Oversee end to end notion and discord administration for the department
  • Create agenda template and record meeting notes
  1. Accountant
  • Create the seasonal budget
  • Create and record all Tx according the accounting principles followed within the DAO

Roles selection:

For the first iteration of the Governance Department, roles are filled using a sesh poll. Here is link for the selection


  1. Test governance rewards program with thrivecoin
  2. Continue weekly syncs and sub-groups to tackle governance challenges


Do you accept the formation of a governance department and funding it with the ask as outlined in this proposal?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

1 Like

I want to know what the mechanism of operation of the governance department will be.
How many votes will it take for this proposal to reach quorum?

I need you to throw more light on these questions in connection with the function of the governance department.


According to the GC this would need 32 votes to pass quorum

The function of the department is to assist the DAO in making these decisions. Who and How are both dynamic with respect to context and tools, hence the department itself takes an iterative approach towards any suggestion it makes.

imo, I don’t think the KPIs have anything to do with the goals of the Gov Dept and don’t actually reflect the desired outcomes of well organized governance operations.


Do you have suggestions for what KPIs could be instead?

I would expect the folks that designed the roles to makke good KPIs, there is also no documentation on how the group itself will actually make decisions or elect role holders


I think it is too much for an appointed Lead Role when historically only a couple hours a week has been spent Leading the Governance Workstream.


Another department, more money printer go brrr! Rinse, recycle, repeat…

I realize that governance is of great importance, it’s something that all members of the bDAO should be taking seriously. I’m rather surprised that this isn’t something that the Legal Department isn’t involved with.

1 Like

Mission vision are not governance functions.
They flow from Long term strategy;

I am surprised to see that after almost two years the same circle is going on around mission vision despite no presence of ambiguity or lack of clarity on the issue.


I’m just writing up the summary for this in the weekly rollup and while I will be impartial I want to say that my impression of this department, based on this thread, is poor.

All of the feed back from the above comments have not been addressed and yet this is going ahead to snapshot anyway. If the people behind advocating the existence of the department do not have the time to respond to contributors prior to it’s instantiation, maybe it shouldn’t be instantiated.

My impression, based on this silence is that this will be just a department with a guaranteed budget with no actual work to do. Given the following

  1. Update governance docs
  2. Revamp constitution
  3. Kickstart governance incentives
  4. Conduct micro experiments in guilds and projects

As well as long term goals which are:

  1. Clarify the mission of BanklessDAO
  2. Upgrade and maintain Governance tools
  3. Identify and implement a framework for mitigating governance attacks
  4. Maintain governance docs and constitution

Why does this need a whole level of bureaucracy dedicated to those points at the expense of 800k BANK?

I could go into this more but it’s on snapshot already. I voted no in here because the above tasks and goals are just too vague and unclear what the purpose is. Will be voting no in snapshot because of the silent response to the other feedback made.

1 Like

I’m also particularly confused how this passed “quorum”

Reading the GC discussion notes linked from the snapshot vote:

  • The above proposal had already qualified for snapshot as it had passed the necessary quorum. A vote by the GC may not have been required.
  • If such a vote had been required the motion could not have passed successfully since two of the GC members voting in favour of the motion stand to profit from their roles at GD.

So there was no vote by GC because of the supposed forum quorum, but if GC had voted this would not have passed. The link you made in response to Paulito linked this page for your source of needing 32 votes.

However that page stats “The Committee will only consider proposals that have met forum quorum”. By myinterpretation GC would still have to vote on this before it could move forward even after reaching quorum.

Because of this lack of GC vote, and that “the motion could not have passed successfully since two of the GC members voting in favour of the motion stand to profit” the current vote on snapshot should not be considered valid until this passes a GC vote.

Hi Austin! I am only a sometimes-contributor to this potential department, but I will try to answer your questions as best I can.

So far the governance group has set a weekly meeting and notion space where governance-minded people can gather, identified issues with our governance and spawned workgroups to tackle those issues.

Having a place to gather is extremely important, and often overlooked. I’ll give you an example - before we founded the PM Guild, project managers would come into the DAO, introduce themselves, and leave. Now there is a landing spot for this type of talent, and so we retain more. The same is true with the governance group AND it’s also an internal rallying spot for people who are feeling governance issues. As a result, this group has activated more governance talent in the DAO than I have ever seen working on governance before. And we’re making progress.

Two of the workgroups I am working in are the Multisigner refresh and the Constitution update squad. In the former group we are tackling the issue of only 2/7 multisigners for the DAO being active (REALLY BAD) and codified the rights and responsibilities for each, as well as the election process. In the Constitution update group, we (an experienced group of 4 editors) are going through the constitution line-by-line and editing it together to correct for clarity, conciseness, voice, and actual practice at the DAO.

Both of these streams of work are extremely valuable to the DAO’s perpetuity as an organization, and neither would have been kicked off without the governance group.

Honestly, governace has ALWAYS been an issue at BanklessDAO, and it’s because we were working on it individually, rather than as a group. As a group we can check our ideas and assumptions, back each other up to move initiatives forward, and in general have more fun working on governance.

Do you think governance is perfect the way it is? What’s wrong with having a group in the DAO dedicated to governance?

In short: Grants Committee votes on grant requests (incl this one), but the DAO is the only entity that can instantiate a new Department or Guild. This is not written in the constitution (department update squad will hopefully work on that), but it’s the consensus that we got from consulting the active multisig signers.

Grants Committee: can approve/disapprove grant requests
DAO: approves or disapproves new guilds/departments

The quorums that are used are here: bankless-dao-constitution/bdao-constitution.md at main · BanklessDAO/bankless-dao-constitution · GitHub

I didn’t check if this proposal passed quorum myself, I’m not really involved in the instantiation of this group, but since you had a head full of steam I decided to try to answer as best I could.

1 Like

I appreciate the thoughtful response links, note it is the only one in this thread to do so from that working group despite the other concerns posted before mine.

Per the two working groups you’re involved in, both are bDIPO/bDIP temp-checks, so I don’t understand why either need to operate within a department. the bDIP process was designed to be lean and have low overhead so from my perspective adding this extra layer is not only uneccessary but defeats the purpose of what the bDIP process was meant to achieve. Despite some of the criticism I’ve seen aimed at the first instantiation of the constitution/bDIP process, it largely does what it was it was meant to. So some improvements need to be made, I think that would be more suited to a single project with defined deadline than an indefinite department.

“Do you think governance is perfect the way it is? What’s wrong with having a group in the DAO dedicated to governance?”

The KPI’s are ambiguous and as I just said, what you are describing would fit better as a project with a well defined scope of work and timeline, not a indefinite department that will just carry on.

Governance was pretty good yes actually, except for some bDIPs needing some extra prompting to get the required votes but that’s a separate issue. Overall governance as is is pretty alright. Probably just needs some tweaking and what you’re already well underway doing with the revisions to the constitution and clarity around points like:

Grants Committee: can approve/disapprove grant requests
DAO: approves or disapproves new guilds/departments

Personally I take issue with this definition and if it’s still early enough in the process I would like to suggest that guild and departments not be approved by the forum for sybil attack reasons. Governator is in the works so decisions like spending a seasonal budget on a new department/guild should certainly NOT be decided by this forum. We already experienced some form of abuse last year with coordinape and we should not assume that the forum would be exempt from that.

Lastly to what I said just now on “if it’s still early enough in the process” because that’s largely where your impression of my feedback being slightly heated, “had a head full of steam”

Formerly I thought that the forums were the place the to provide feedback async before a final decision is made, but increasingly it seems to be that when something hits the forums when I or others express concern or offer alterations we’re meet with something along the lines of, “well there’s already been a synchronous work stream doing this so too bad, it is what it is and we’re voting on it just the way it is”

For instance, all the above comments were not in support and yours has been the only effort made to explain a bit. When iSpeakNerd and I offered suggestions to the change to season length we and others were met with the same. SprinklesforWinners was directed to one of your previously mentioned synchronous work streams after her suggestions were posted to the forums.

Despite one of the key resources referenced as one of the guiding sources being DAOistry and the second guiding principle they list is async-first, what I’m witnessing, even in the conception of this department, is a move away from asynchronous contributor input.

I liked to add to my governance summaries that I’ve been doing for the weekly rollup a line at the end encouraging others to have their voices heard and post their feedback but lately I just feel like anyone who can’t get involved before something hits the forums, it’s too late to have input by then anymore.

1 Like

@AustinFoss thanks for the feedback, it has given me something to think about.

I also feel governance is ok at the DAO, but as someone who has written and been involved with many bDIPs, I also feel it’s unsustainable. The process is long, full of misunderstanding , and easy to quit. If we leave it this way, we won’t survive as a DAO in the long run.

That’s why governance department. In one season we have pushed forward multiple initiatives that I (and others) have been wanting to champion ourselves for seasons, but have never had the time (or gumption) to do.

Sure there’s improvement to be made on communication and async work, but a ton of improvement has already happened and is happening as we speak. You should get more deeply involved if you want to make governance better at BanklessDAO.

Of course your feedback on the forum is always welcome, too. But since you have a lot to say, joining the discord chat might be a better way to have a conversation about it Discord

1 Like

It would be helpful to have that list of initiatives present in this discussion and the snapshot vote then. It’s not at all obvious that such contributions have already been made by the teams that will become this new department. Having a list of work present as examples of what to expect for this department would address much of the above concern, not just from myself. Currently all that’s said is:

Past activities

The DAOStewards project held regular governance meetings in the amphitheatre on mondays to collect feedback from the community on the state of governance and possible solutions to address some of the challenges in this area. The Governance Department is an idea which came out of these conversations. We have been running weekly meetings

Are there notes for this conversations or recordings? Links to these if they exist should be present.

If the main purpose of this department then is to facilitate bDIP processes by having contributors on hand who can assist with formatting proposals, advertising and raising awareness, etc., that’s much more strraight forward and concrete than " 1. Who makes decisions?" & “How are these decisions made?” as the department’s mission.

To your other point on getting more involved:

I don’t think it’s sustainable to expect every contributor to get involved with every Governance Department working group if they want to have any input into the final result. The bulk of getting a proposal together is fairly cookie cutter and can be done within the working groups of each bDIP or other proposal, but once the initial work has been done by that team a DAO wide period for public comment needs to be allowed for everyone else who doesn’t have time to both contribute to their projects and guilds as well as have the time to contribute to each working group.

It’s entirely sustainable for a working group to do the bulk of the work, post it to the forums for public comment (no quorum, maybe some polls, and maybe one week for feed back), followed by another post pointing directly to the common points of feed back received and how/why they were/weren’t implemented and this would then be what moves to snapshot.

Our current DAO Governance section of the constitution, which should currently be actively binding for our current processes, states under Formal Proposals:

Formal proposals should be posted on the BanklessDAO Forum under the appropriate category and feedback and comments should be responded to by proposal authors. To maximize visibility and transparency, proposal authors should also be available in Community Calls to discuss the details of the proposals under consideration.

Is this public comment phase where feedback is expected to taken into consideration on the forums no longer going to be part of the governance process?

Trying to make a living from being a bDAO contributor is no longer possible if you live in in Canada, US, much of Europe, etc.; side work has to be done to make a living. With the work I’m doing pretty much exclusively in the newsletter project and somewhat within the wider Writer’s guild, that takes up a good portion of my productive hours, and have now allocated other time to earn a living through other means. Mathematically it doesn’t add up for me to be able to participate in the governance WGs as well and I’m sure there are other contributor’s in similar positions.

It simply doesn’t scale to limit the window for feedback to be considered to prior to when they hit the forums. I can certainly do a couple hours every reading through proposals and adding my 0.02 BANK, but I just don’t have the time to also participate in more working groups and attending more meetings.

Frankly, if we’ve created a governance structure that requires contributors to take on more working groups if they want to participate in governance we’ve taken a wrong turn with this. The root-level/top-level governance of the DAO should be minimalist by nature else it won’t scale. Hypothetically let’s say if I wanted to participate in both the WGs you mentioned you were in and 4hrs/week each dedicated to them, that’s 8hrs or 1 full time days work. How does that scale? Or is governance just for those who have “made it” or semi-retired and can afford to donate that amount of time just towards governance on top of other responsibilities? Practically speaking a reasonable expectation is maybe 8hrs per month or 2hrs/week to give feed back to be considered active in governance.

Between my original post and this exchange this is my week’s allocation and I have to move to other things.

tldr: My 0.02 BANK ultimately boils down to governance is becoming inaccessible for average people because of the expectation of having to participate in working groups to be heard.

Im sorry you feel governance has become inaccessible to you. This governance department has had multiple forum posts, chats on discord, has been meeting weekly with meeting minutes, and has been presented to grants committee twice (with meeting recordings and meeting notes), and has been written about in the rollup. I agrée the proposal authors could answer more on forums, but TBH they’ve done a decent job at gathering consensus for this.

For better or worse, BanklessDAO is a do-ocracy - those who show up will be able to steer the DAO. I know you don’t have a lot of time to engage, but there are a dozen contributors who HAVE engaged and worked on this and I’ve given you multiple ways to engage more if you feel passionately about this. You could engage for an hour a week and still be making a difference.

How would you know? You have never written a bDIP. I say this not to be a jerk, but to point out that it is far easier to comment on the forum than it is to write a bDIP and take it through the governance process. If we forced bDIP authors to address every piece of feedback that anyone ever left for any post they made, THAT would be unsustainable, IMHO.

Rights and responsibilities must be balanced for sustainability. Governance posts DO go on the forum to gather feedback, but not every piece of feedback needs to be taken by the authors, as long as they achieve consensus. That’s the incentive structure built into our governance.

Maybe that’s not the structure you would like to see, but that’s what exists now. If you want to change it, I suggest you write a bDIP to change it (seriously, I think you’d be great at it).

The bottom line is: I see your points @AustinFoss , and agree that we can improve at gathering feedback, but ultimately I disagree that the proposal authors haven’t gathered enough consensus, and I disagree on your view that having a governance department would be unsustainable.


"How would you know? "

I did start the process when I found out that we were missing some of the specifics regarding the proper definition given the other metric like LP tokens and whether those should be included. A little ways into the the process I discovered the Treasury was exploring ways to modify membership with time-locked BANK, so I abandoned the process until treasury could try this out.

The process was straight forward and simple from my perspective. So yes, I would know.

“I disagree that the proposal authors haven’t gathered enough consensus, and I disagree on your view that having a governance department would be unsustainable.”

  1. One of the previous attempts I made but my feedback was rejected because it was too late, the proposal was already on the forum, used a soft consensus check that was almost a year old rather than engage with a fresh poll or hear feedback.

  2. No you’re not hearing me because I’m not saying that “a governance department would be unsustainable”, I’m saying that setting the expectation that people must participate in working groups in order to have any input in the final product is not sustainable. Those aren’t the same thing.

And I will reiterate that our constitution currently says that the forum is to be used in the feedback gathering stage of the bDIP process, which is being ignored by recent proposals not incorporating any feedback offered from the forum because it’s considered too late in the process.

1 Like

You wrote a temp check for a bDIP. 5 people voted on it. You didn’t revise it, you didn’t post a bDIP, and you didn’t gain any kind of consensus.

What I said before still stands: posting something on the forum is far easier than taking a proposal all the way through the governance process. You did like 5% of the process. I appreciate that you did it, but it doesn’t convince me that you understand the scope of change management at BanklessDAO.

We can agree this is a problem. Actually our conversation changed my mind about an upcoming proposal that I am involved with, so thanks for bringing it up - your contribution (in commenting) has already changed my mind on this issue.

Oh I must have misunderstood, i felt like you were saying that the governance department wasn’t necessary or desirable because the current process of writing bDIPs is supposed to be easy. I was trying to share my perspective that the end-to-end process isn’t easy, and a governance department makes it much easier and more fun.

I definitely agree that one shouldn’t have to participate in a working group to have a say in the initiatives taking place - the finished product would certainly better reflect the will of the DAO if workgroups get input from a variety of sources before they write a bDIP.

Thanks again for engaging in the way you’re able. I’ll do my best to gather feedback in lots of ways so that we are building an org we are all proud of.

Not for this proposal tho…cause it’s not mine :pensive:. Sorry !

1 Like

Austin, I’m assuming you are referring to the comments you left on bDIP 07. I am sorry that you felt your feedback was rejected.
From my point of view, the feedback you gave appeared to be commentary rather than concerns to be addressed.

I think this is good, very well put together, and a good idea(a few days offset from the dates I’d have liked isn’t something I’m gonna sweat about); just felt like it’s jumping the gun a bit on those other points is all.

I think the biggest possible point of contention is we haven’t ever tested out a 16 working week season. And there is something to be said for having 4 gap weeks spaced out evenly across the year, just more opportunities to take a week for camping or what ever you’re into. A march gap week for skiing maybe?

Idk, the vote’s pretty clear already, and the dates themselves aren’t being added to the constitution so the worst thing that happens is if we don’t like the first season of 2024 after all, then we just vote to go back to 13.

I’m not so sure this should have gone strait to a bDIP with non-negotiable dates without having reached a soft consensus prior to. But the votes are pretty telling already and I’m not too concerned, the goal would still be achieved to prevent the mix up that happened recently.

We would never have to change the dates on seasonal specs again and the way this lines up with school, holidays, bDAO’s bDay, the Solstice. This would maybe be my ideal,

August 24, 1 week gap period (just realized this also lines up with end of summer break for any contributors who are parents)

I interpreted your comments to be pointing out that you felt there had perhaps not been enough consensus but with no strong objection and a huge amount of support from others I did not feel the need to stop the entire process and redesign the proposed dates to fit with the U.S seasonal holidays and your personal preference.
The whole point of this bDIP was to put something in place that is consistent for our global organisation, so the feedback about having floating gap weeks and some seasons longer than others and timing activities for U.S holidays was not helpful, in my opinion.

Providing feedback on a Forum post does not automatically mean that the feedback must be incorporated. Your messaging indicated that you did not feel strongly enough to outright object, but it was heard and you were provided with a response.

1 Like

“posting something on the forum is far easier than taking a proposal all the way through the governance process.”

So only those that pass a bDIP can comment of the feasibility of the process? How many contributors does that leave out of the total? I’m asking cynically, I know that’s not what you’re suggesting, but that’s how that rebuttal comes across.

My expectation is that most bDIPs should only get part way, merging with other bDIPs or fragmenting into smaller ones, until ultimately passing one that fits well out of maybe a dozen or more that didn’t. More proposals passed does not seem like a good objective.

I didn’t revise it because I could see the time locked BANK proposal would be coming down the pipes shortly and there was no point me continuing until that one completed the process, and I don’t look at it not becoming a passed bDIP as a failure of myself or the process.

“your contribution (in commenting)”


“bDIPs is supposed to be easy”

I don’t think they should be easy no. They should be straight forward to conduct and have a clear process, but the time and work in writing a good proposal and doing the community input gathering is all time consuming and NOT easy. But good quality, especially for something that might become part of governance for a long time, should require that kind of effort.

“Thanks again for engaging in the way you’re able.”

Likewise. And thanks for the patience in your replies with me. I can tell some of the frustration I’ve had over a few proposals coming through here.

By contrast the Arbitrum community had a far more heated discussion this weekend this reads pretty tepid by contrast.

Deep breath, gm, and happy Monday morning