[Application] RadicleDAO Governance Design - apiary

RadicleDAO - Governance Design Proposal

Tree grant

Project Description

This project seeks to support RadicleDAO in researching and designing a structure and pathway for distributing and activating governance control of the RadicleDAO within the Radicle ecosystem. This proposal builds on some of the work already done by the Org Design workstream’s effort to transition all Foundation-funded Core Teams (and related Foundation responsibilities) to a DAO-funded organizational structure, and contributes to the Distribution of Influence workstream’s effort to design and implement a strategy for distributing non-financialized governing power within the Radicle ecosystem.

Our goal is to help RadicleDAO develop a mission-aligned approach to ecosystem governance. By “mission-aligned” we mean a governance structure that supports the long-term stewardship of a self-sustaining, freely accessible, open-source ecosystem. The objective is a governance framework that distributes control and influence over decision-making based on stakeholder participation, mission-stewardship, as well as token holdings.

The outcome of this project is not only a concept for RadicleDAO that aligns with its mission, values, and objectives. RadicleDAO’s framework will serve as a lighthouse example in the web3 ecosystem for an alternative “end game” to decentralized governance, one aimed not just driving financial outcomes for tokenholders, but at preserving the accessibility of open source software within a self-sustaining ecosystem. To ensure others can learn and build off of RadicleDAO’s approach, we intend to develop educational materials and share the learnings and framework developed in this project.

Our research and design efforts for this project are driven by six core objectives:

  1. Engage key stakeholders to understand their objectives, motivations, and concerns about the Radicle ecosystem, its mission, and future governance structure.
  2. Ensure there is a commonly accepted and understood purpose to the RadicleDAO among its stakeholders.
  3. Apply learnings from historical and existing governance structures outside of the web3 ecosystem to the design of RadicleDAO’s governance system.
  4. Build scenarios that help us explore the tradeoffs between different governance structures and mechanisms.
  5. Design a structure and process for distributing influence and control based on RadicleDAO’s objectives (gathered in Objective 1).
  6. Create valuable resources to help others design decentralized governance systems in new and innovative ways that support their ecosystems’ short and long-term objectives .

To accomplish these objectives, we’ve broken the project down into four phases.

  1. Stakeholder engagement & defining purpose
  2. Governance R&D
  3. Refine governance design
  4. Content development & distribution

Phase 1 - Stakeholder engagement & defining purpose

In the first phase of this project, we will engage stakeholders through interviews and workshops to: (1) identify the community’s objectives for the DAO’s future governance; and (2) define and document RadicleDAO’s purpose. This phase builds off of the public Collaborative Visioning work that was started by the Org Design workstream.

Our goal is to define a specific and actionable purpose for the RadicleDAO in collaboration with current participants, including contributors, community, investors, team, foundation, LBP (public holders), seeders/delegates. A collectively and clearly understood purpose is the foundation of governance. Alignment on purpose and values will make future decision-making easier, as well as garner participant buy-in in the short term and maintain social cohesion over time.

Questions we will explore: What purpose does RadicleDAO serve? What behaviors are we trying to incentivize, honor, and sustain in the ecosystem? What’s success look like? What are we protecting against in a best case scenario?

Phase 2 - Governance R&D

With a clear understanding of the why (purpose) and who (stakeholder perspectives) of the Radicle ecosystem, we will ideate on different approaches to the DAO’s governance design. You can view an overview of what we mean by “governance design” here in this document. In this grant, we are focused on designing the governance of the greater DAO, not the governance of the Radicle Core Teams themselves. Specifically, this grant focuses on defining the following core elements:

  • Purpose, vision, & values
  • Membership & token rights (also referred to as ownership rights)
  • Surface area of decision making for meta governance (how the system gets changed) and treasury governance

To do this, we will build 2-3 governance scenarios. These scenarios are intended to help us understand the different tradeoffs between approaches to distributing participation, highlighting potential advantages and risks for each. Of course, the exact content of each scenario will be informed by our outputs from Phase 1.

Phase 3

In Phase 3, we will review the governance scenarios in collaboration with key stakeholders to arrive at a final recommendation for a governance design that supports the ecosystem’s mission and objectives. In addition, we will work with the different work streams to design an implementation strategy for this governance model.

Phase 4

Our final phase will focus on communicating our learnings and designs from this process to the broader web3 ecosystem. We imagine doing so through a series of publications that explain our process, the scenarios developed, and the final design. This content is intended to inform the Radicle ecosystem as well as speak to other leaders, developers, and investors in the open-source ecosystem. We envision co-publishing these resources with RadicleDAO. In addition to publications, we’re keen to explore a town hall or webinar for folks to be able to ask questions.

Our motivation

To us, blockchain networks represent the most granular data on collective decision making in history. We see an unprecedented opportunity to research and build data-informed approaches to governance — the learnings of which we believe could extend far beyond the web3.

We (apiary) are an applied research company developing governance solutions for decentralized organizations. In other words, we love thinking through hard governance problems, designing novel governance mechanisms, and engaging with stakeholders to ensure broad support for the processes that are put in place.

We support teams in designing governance systems to advance their objectives as well as processes for implementing organizational change towards decentralization. We understand the challenges organizations face, having worked with dozens of traditional companies, communities, and governments to build governance models that support the stewardship of enterprises, data, housing, and other assets. We’re excited to apply these learnings to web3 and believe that a phase of experimentation and prototyping will help us develop best practices and scalable solutions that make the tricky work of governance easier for teams going forward.

We’re especially excited by projects like Radicle, which are innovating on governance and striving to create new models from which others can learn. These are the projects we want to work on. It’s why we started apiary.

Our approach

  • Iterative & context-specific - Governance models should be embedded in the specific systems and contexts they are designed for. We view the development of a governance system as an emergent and iterative process.

  • Based on core governance elements - The process outlined in this document is based on what we view as the core elements of governance design, described in detail here.

  • Inclusive of participants throughout - We want to ensure we are not building a governance structure in a vacuum without input from the people who will ultimately participate in and manage the system in the future. As such, we intend to conduct this work in active conversation with key stakeholders and to consult the broader community early on and continuously throughout the process.

  • Building on existing work - We want to avoid redoing work that has already been conducted. Rather, we seek to complement the working streams that are already underway and support them in their objectives.

Team

Camille Canon

Camille Canon is the founder and CEO of apiary. Camille previously co-founded Purpose, a social enterprise on the forefront of new institutional models of ownership and governance. Camille’s driven by the question of how to design systems and institutions for human collaboration that better enable us to navigate change in the face of uncertainty.

Anouk Ruhaak

Anouk Ruhaak is the Head of Governance at apiary. Before joining apiary she worked as a Senior Fellow for the Mozilla Foundation where she focused on designing and implementing data governance models. She has a background in political science, economics and software development.

Hanna Barakat

Hanna is a Research Analyst at apiary. Before joining apiary, Hanna worked at Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, where she studied online trust-building amongst marginalized communities. Hanna’s research is driven by community-led practices that mitigate digital harm. She has a background in international relations, media studies, and human-computer interaction.

Repos

LinkedIn

Contact

Anouk Ruhaak - anouk@apiary.xyz

Website: apiary.xyz

Legal Structure

Apiary is a Public Benefit Corporation in California.

Deliverables

Total Estimated Duration: 6 months (November 2022 - April 2023)

$3500 day rate

Total Costs: 140,000 USD

Deliverables will be reviewed at the end of each phase by @abbey and @Bordumb. @abbey and Apiary will review at the end of each phase and iterate on the proposal as needed for the next phase of work.

Phase Objectives Deliverables Duration Costs
Defined purpose values and stakeholders Define the RadicleDAO’s purpose based on stakeholder interviews and existing documentation

Identify and prioritize values

Define objectives for the DAO/ecosystems governance/end state

Map the roles and incentives of ecosystem stakeholders
Stakeholder map 10-20 stakeholder interviews

Summary and analysis of stakeholder interviews

Overview document of objectives and vision for end governance state Draft Purpose statement 1-2 workshops with stakeholders on purpose, vision, and values (as needed)





Days: ~10 days

Timeline: 2-3 months

November 2022 - January 2023

**This timeframe may shift depending on stakeholder availability.





USD 35k




















Governance R&D Define pathways for mission-aligned decentralization

Explore DAO membership models

Define different mechanisms for distributing influence

Outline potential governance mechanisms that support the purpose and end game of the DAO
Report presenting 2-3 scenarios, exploring the challenges and tradeoffs between different approaches and governance mechanisms based on the ecosystem’s objectives.

The report will also include ~2 case studies per scenario.





Days: 10 days

Timeline: 1 month

January - February 2023










USD 35k

















Refining governance design Review the governance scenarios with key stakeholders

Design a governance model and implementation strategy that supports RadicleDAO’s mission and objectives
Final recommendation on a governance design and implementation strategy that supports RadicleDAO’s mission and objectives.







Days: ~6 days

Timeline 2 weeks

March 2023






USD 20k












Content development & distribution Communicate purpose and desired end state to the broader ecosystem

Educate stakeholders on the core governance design components

Establish broad buy-in on the proposed governance designs

Position Radicle as a thought leader in the field
Outward-facing, joint-publication, or publication series describing the purpose and desired end-state of Radicle DAO, as well as different governance mechanisms we explored. (by Radicle and Apiary)

Town hall with the broader ecosystem




Days: ~15 days

Timeline: 2 months

March - May 2023









USD 50k

**This budget includes additional resources for content development and design.








3 Likes

Thank you for this detailed proposal. Although some of this work is already tackled by different parts of the DAO, I don’t believe it is being done to the extent outlined in this application. I think it will be critical to make sure Apiary is connected with the appropriate contributors who have already started some of this work (stakeholder mapping, collaborative visioning exercise, Org Design Workstream contributor interviews, governance tooling & mechanism research) to ensure this work is being considered in their evaluation and time is used wisely.

Having an external party look at and build off of existing work being done on mission definition and governance model research could be helpful to break us out of thinking cycles and help overcome existing roadblocks.

I believe this would be extremely beneficial exercise for Radicle. Existing efforts to try to define purpose include: Radicle Brand Map from June 2022 & @ettinger 's Messaging Kit. Although these have been helpful to gain a clearer definition of project mission/vision, it still feels that a truly comprehensive definition of purpose across the project is missing. There also seems to be mixed feelings of not only how the purpose should be defined but who should decide the strategy to fulfill this purpose, so it would be interesting to see if an external party could tease this out for us.

I have already started drafting different scenarios using various governance tooling I have been looking into over the past few months. I would love to build it out more based on more solid definitions of purpose, vision, & values that could come out of Apiary’s work.

I really like the documentation part of the initiative as it aligns with the transparency goals the various workstreams have been trying to uphold throughout this whole DAO transition. Although there are no one-size-fits-all solutions to governance, sharing learnings, triumphs & failures in our exploration process can potentially save others a load of time and effort in their own DAO creation.

Question: The proposed deliverables for Phase 1 sound like they are going to require a lot of input from various stakeholders within the RadicleDAO community. Do you folks already have a rough idea of how much time / effort you will need them to commit to produce the outcome you are hoping for? I think it would be helpful to have a general idea here of what would be expected of stakeholders to provide this feedback to Apiary & how much time it would take for them to do so.

2 Likes

@anoukruhaak

Thanks a bunch for this application.

General Feedback

I really enjoyed the New Yorker piece and the idea therein around building a “trust template.”

Since beginning to work with Radicle, I’ve seen it as a place to build 2 few things in serial:

  1. First, build a (manual) template or model for other software DAOs to follow.

  2. And once that is done, iterated upon, and improved, build it into our tools to help automate and modularize the template to help any (software) DAO quickly build upon it.

It sounds like this grant will put us in a really, really good position to work on that first piece. So I’m very excited about that.

I am in favor of this grant.

I will work on getting a few others to review this and come back with an update on voting/funding as soon as possible.

Specific Feedback/Action

All of the points below are non-blocking, but I think are worth consideration:

  • We’re going into end-of-year holidays. I’m assuming there is some buffer in your Milestone 1 to account for this. I imagine getting 20 different stakeholders on a call in December alone may be tricky and logistics there might eat into the timing of Milestone 1.
  • At least in the short to medium term, I imagine the Radicle DAO’s main purpose will be to (a) build software for code collaboration and (b) disseminate (proselytize?) the use of the software. I think the main focus of this exercise should be purpose fit to our DAO’s needs. With that said, it will be interesting to see what - if anything - can be expanded to fit the needs of other DAOs. Just a thought.
3 Likes

Thanks @bordumb and @shelb_ee for your thoughtful responses and questions! To answer the ones about our stakeholder interviews and timeline:

Given that we are unlikely to start before the end of November, I think it’s indeed likely that we’ll spend December identifying stakeholders and scheduling interviews, with the majority of the interviews to be held in January. This will shift our timeline by a month. We hope to speak to a wide range of stakeholders (10-20 in total) and in our experience 30 minutes is sufficient for most interviews.

Does that make sense to you?

1 Like

@anoukruhaak I also have a stakeholder mapping doc of general profiles of Radicle stakeholders that I would be happy to share if that would be helpful.

2 Likes

Yes, this makes sense.

Regarding timing

I think we should mostly focus on the time allocated to the tasks rather than the timeline itself as it’s all contingent on when funding / work starts.

Further Feedback

2 follow ups questions / calls to action:

1. Previous Work

Do you have any public examples of previous work / case studies?

One bit of feedback was that it is difficult to gauge exactly what kind of output you provided via some of the organizations mentioned (Purpose, Mozilla, etc.).

I did take a look at many of the companies in Purpose’s portfolio, but did not see any detailed output. I think some published case study here might help push some others over the line in funding this work.

2. Rate

Is the following breakdown regarding the day rate correct?

  • 328 hours in total per person (41 days * 8 hours per day)
  • 3 people
  • 984 hours in total across 3 people
  • Hourly Rate: $140,000 / 984 = $142/hour

So at $142/hour, with 3 people working 8 hours per day, it comes to roughly $3,500.

Broken out by an hourly rate, one can reasonably compare it to similar consulting services, which generally run anywhere from $100-300 per hour.

I just wanted to raise this as giving a daily rate of $3,500 creates a bit of sticker shock for some people.

Other feedback (no call to action / non-blocking)

Your profiles are amazing! But it actually took quite a bit of digging on my part to read more about your previous work. And most people - unfortunately - don’t do the extra few button clicks and Google searches to find 100% of the info. I’d recommend using Hyperlinks liberally in order to better spoon-feed this info to people. Dropping my own personal notes below to help anyone else viewing this.

Previous work

Camille Canon

  • CEO/founder of the Purpose, an organization that works with socially conscious businesses and orgs
  • They help organizations and businesses to structure themselves such that they (a) remain financial sustainable while (b) not losing site of socially conscious goals
  • This work is not DAO or Web3 related, but with an expansive portfolio of 38 companies, all focused on steward-ownership, it is abundantly clear that the experience here is (a) deep and (b) well aligned with our own goals

Anouk Ruhaak (personal site)

  • Anouk works as a Mozilla Fellow, focused on data governance
  • Founder of Digital Commoners, an organization focused on data governance and digital commons problems
  • Again, not DAO or Web3 Specific, but is (a) mission aligned within the context of governance and (b) understanding issues important in open-source communities
2 Likes

Thank you for your questions @bordumb!

1. Case studies

Below are some of the case studies Purpose worked on. Purpose’s role in these cases was three-fold:

A. Stakeholder engagement - Lead stakeholder engagement processes for organizations and communities ranging from 10 to 25,000 members.

B. Governance design — Designed governance systems and processes for organizational and community stewardship of shared assets, e.g., corporate ownership, real estate, IP.

C. Legal and financial implementation, helping to creating ownership, governance, and financing structures that supported the specific goals of an organization or community. This work included: legal design, document creation and review, financial modelling, and fundraising support.

In addition, here are two samples of work that I did while at the Mozilla Foundation:

2. Rates

Your calculation is correct except that we expect 2 FTEs (rather than 3), which would come down to an hourly rate of 203 USD.

I hope that answers your questions! Please reach out if I can provide more context. And I will update our bios in accordance with your suggestion. Thank you!

Thanks a bunch for these details.

Can you please confirm the following?

  1. Ethereum address for us to send USDC to
  2. Amount to send. I believe you wanted 50% (70,000 USDC) up front, which makes sense given the longer roadmap.

Thanks.

  1. 0xA5db53D0A8f01B4fCf30a42B507fB15320d9523D
  2. Yes that’s correct!

Thanks so much, we cannot wait to get started on this!!

Thanks a bunch @anoukruhaak

We’ve started a transaction below at Nonce 45:

A few reminders:

  • The payment will be complete once we reach quorum
  • We will make the remaining payment of 70,000 USDC upon completion of the grant, which will need review by committee members
  • Your team will be responsible for any tax compliance in accordance with your local authority

Let us know if you need any help navigating things (documentation, people, etc.)

2 Likes

This all looks great to me.

I like the breakdown of work and think it makes a lot of sense. I’d also be happy to connect you with some of the folks in Developer DAO for phase 2 as we’ve gone through a lot of work around governance over the past year with some success.

For phase 4, I’d also be happy to help out there myself if they need some help around distribution and awareness about the work that has been done.

1 Like