AGP-40 discussion: Aragon Cooperative DAO funding proposal

agp
cooperative
#1

**Draft AGP for ANV #2: **
Aragon Cooperative DAO funding proposal

AGP: ‘Create AragonCoop Finance AGP #40
Title: Aragon Cooperative DAO funding proposal
Authors: Julian Brooks (@Julian) & Gustavo Segovia (@sepu85)
(w. ongoing comments from Aragon Cooperative DAO community)
Status: Stage IV
Track: Finance
Created: 2019-04-10

Summary
We propose to organise, manage and drive forward the Aragon Cooperative DAO. Committed to work for the benefit of Aragon and serving our members, we aim to support the cohesion of the Aragon community. While leading by example to consider, produce and promote emergent Cooperative DAO principles, we are equally engaged in the overall Aragon ethos (including exploring the work taking place herein) sharing such work with the wider blockchain global ecosystem at large.

Address of the transfer recipient
https://mainnet.aragon.org/#/0x940B2B518F761f4c52CDd9865C57D9a907DC5E82

Amount of the transfer
15,600DAI & 6000ANT

Number and frequency of transfers if recurring (enter “1” if only one payment will be made)
1

Purpose of the transfer
Funding of the following activities and deliverables in support of the Aragon Cooperative DAO.:

Activities
We propose to work within and for Aragon, adding value and providing strong ROI, through supporting production of such outputs that will iterate on the following basis:

Funds provide support for one (1) Human Working Day, five (5) days per week, for three (3) months (May – July 2019) at three hundred (300) DAI per day.

Aragon Cooperative DAO will manage the overall funds, with the current expectation to be that we will propose Julian Brooks and Gustavo Segovia to be paid for their contributions, working two (2) days per week each (four [4] days in total p.w.). Further paid contributory opportunities for appropriately skilled Aragon Cooperative DAO members will also be made available upon request and requirement. Such requirement to be determined by the cooperative membership itself. Community suggestion and participatory discussion is also most welcome.

Work carried out will be fully documented and auditable each month. Employed DAO members are fully committed to serve the needs and requirements towards the sustainable future of the Aragon Cooperative DAO itself, as well as supporting and assisting the wider Aragon ecosystem.

Examples of the Aragon Cooperative DAO’s overall purpose includes: methods for community members to gain meaningful involvement within Aragon beyond forum/chat contributions - e.g. Community Fund DAO proposal curation; knowledgeable signalling procedures for ANT holders through engagement and research regarding proposals, including voting on AGP’s; simplified and ongoing rewarding procedures for community contributions (in ANT); participation in meaningful governance, cutting-edge research, radical experimentation and valuable procedural contribution.

More widely, the Aragon Cooperative DAO will provide templates and examples of a functional Cooperative DAO, with documented processes and procedures, founding principles and bylaws, examples for onboarding/offboarding and day to day operations - all built upon the Aragon ethos and toolsets.

It is our strong belief that the Aragon Cooperative DAO is well able to serve its members and the Aragon community as a whole. In our consideration we are poised to enact profound change, not only in the burgeoning DAO movement but within constructing techniques for global Cooperative Organisation as a whole. Such work is deserving of financial support, a place within the Aragon ecosystem and focussed goal-oriented paid contributions for the membership, adding further value to our growing community.

As we have already seen from the abundant interest generated by our small-proto-group already, this potential is vast. We consider that without the possibility to drive such a project forward, our fear is such an opportunity may go to waste. We, as a committed cooperative ensemble will work relentlessly to not let this happen, and you as ANT holders possess the possibility to now light the blue-touch-paper for us. As the Putnam Prize winning mathematician, computer musician and one of our project mentors Prof. Miller Puckette is often heard to say - “let’s build it and see what it does”.

Deliverables

  • Cooperative DAO bylaws

  • Membership on-boarding and off-boarding process

  • Token(s) (definition and) allocation.

  • Governance procedures

  • Formulating Coop Projects and Grants Proposals

  • Management of Community Fund DAO applications

  • Further Coop AGP application construction

  • Documentation of practice (education & knowledge sharing)

  • Dogfooding and documentation of Aragon tooling and workflow

  • Further suitable community-led, signalled and proposed opportunities

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#2

We’ve received a couple of comments regarding payment structure:

For the Coop DAO funding request the ANT is twofold:

  1. It’s a method of benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative

  2. Demonstrates confidence in the overall health of the network (personally I consider ANT currently undervalued)

It’s also meant as a method for membership to gain full access and participatory voting rights in the Aragon community (many of the coop are not current ANT holders, but certainly not all).

This isn’t meant to be the more usual ‘vesting’, I’d consider our members ongoing participation a clear signal of long-term commitment (on/offboarding process being one of our key deliverables). Plus the sums are quite low, certainly insufficient to cause any pricing impact IMHO.

If the general perception is that it would be simpler/cleaner for us to apply solely in DAI, we’re happy to amend:

(52/4) x 5 x 300 = $19500 DAI

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#3

Hey guys,
Please create a PR on the AGP repo to officialize the proposal!

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#4

sure we are on it!

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#5

Pull Request Created!

1 Like

#6

Very interesting proposal. Given that the Aragon Coop will have control over the funds, I’d really love to read what other Coop members think about this proposal and see whether they will actually allocate the funds for the purposes specified in the AGP.

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#7

Hi Jorge

Great, thank you.

I’ve just given a shout-out on keybase, hope to hear from some of our members at some point soon about this…

I’m not totally sure what you mean here, may I ask for clarification please…
Do you mean who within the coop will allocate the funds and on what criteria will payments be made ('cos that’s a very good question:), or something else ?

1 Like

#8

Hey there,

As an Aragon Coop member before I was an Aragon Association member, I find this proposal quite exciting.

There has been a lot of enthusiasm for the Coop initially, but with the main initiators @lkngtn and @stellarmagnet having to face very demanding occupations more recently the momentum has slightly stalled.

I feel that a dedicated workforce is an interesting option to explore for some time to structure operations and processes at the Coop level and give it the momentum and norms it needs to thrive.

It would be nice if you could detail a bit the first steps that you would take as Coop part time workers! Have you thought about concrete things?

I am also excited by the potential cross-work that could be done between Coop x Community Funding DAO (i.e. bounty dao for newcomers :slight_smile: ). As in my eyes it would be cool to see the broader community getting involved in the daily work of the network. Open to feedback on this :slight_smile:

5 Likes

#9

:wave: Hi there,

I started getting involved in the project when the whole verification thread showed up, and came up with the verifications website as a fun side task. Then I believe @lkngtn and @stellarmagnet created a Github org and we started to collaborate a bit there and in the Keybase team. However, as @LouisGrx correctly pointed out, some of the momentum has stalled a bit, I believe partly because lack of a concrete mission and goals to achieve. I believe this AGP plans to rectify that and I’m excited that @Julian and @sepu85 are trying to take the lead on this, since it makes sense to put a financial incentive on tasks that can be done here.

In terms of concrete things, I do believe the following should be included:

  • Ownership, maintenance and continuous follow-up of the Aragon Coop DAO. I believe @lkngtn initially deployed it, but it’s up to this proposal to give some motions on what decisions can be taken there.

  • Documentation on how to deploy, organise, and build a DAO from scratch. I believe the Coop can be an excellent guinea pig on pushing the boundaries of the Aragon stack while documenting the process for non-technical people. I do believe there’s still very little documentation on how to create a DAO for non-technical people. We can even things as simple as how to create a DAO for your family and take decisions like where to eat on Sundays.

  • Develop solutions for authenticating and organising a DAO. How to verify members? How to remove members? https://aragon-verifications.now.sh/ is nice, but now we have the Aragon Forum, Keybase, the DAO and GitHub as places where one can “claim” membership of the Coop. Solving this in this small group can help us create a framework for incoming DAOs in the future.

These are just some suggestions, and as mentioned in our Keybase thread, I do believe we can come up with enough mechanisms for ensuring a proper roadmap is followed up. For the sake of this AGP, we can expand this a bit further and I’m sure @sepu85 and @Julian will be happy to. I’m at least all for it!

4 Likes

#10

I think the cooperative might be an important step in welcoming new voices and emergent propositions. Both Julian and Gustavo seem really interested in how to make the space more inclusive and the manifesto reflect it well.

I think besides the actual experiment in the cooperative governance, there is important job in improving the members participation and in gathering signals from the community.

And great to see them taking the lead on that, as both have been active voices in the process. Will def follow :vulcan_salute:

1 Like

#11

Hey Louis, appreciate your input and comments.

I do think your various previous and ongoing Aragon roles highlights nicely the overall Network’s fluidity and interleaved community. Thanks for this…

Obviously/unsurprisingly I’m in agreement with your comments re (roughly paraphrasing) the coops requirements for implementing focussed structures and processes through transactional participation and momentum building.

Your suggestion re coop members playing a more active role in bridging the broader voluntary community and Aragon workers is something we’re certainly very keen to implement.

Sure.
For me,1st steps for the role would include:

  • Publishing a workable draft version of the Aragon Cooperative DAO’s Principles of Membership and bylaws text. I’ve already put together a 0.01 draft, which contains (currently) 9 headings covering: Membership; Organisation; Participation; Autonomy; Knowledge/Education; Cooperation (across-orgs); Sustainability; Community; Lobbying/Signalling. There’s a short text and some key words attached to each heading (circa 500w atm). I’ve also shared with the coop on keybase my research notes (20+ pages) on how other coop orgs approach these issues – I think these are the texts @calcadarafael mentions:

Further specifics for us to be working on over the three months include:

  • Membership on-boarding and off-boarding process
  • Token(s) (definition and) allocation.
  • Governance procedures
  • Formulating Coop Projects and Grants Proposals
  • Management of Community Fund DAO applications
  • Further Coop AGP application construction
  • Documentation of practice (education & knowledge sharing)
  • Dogfooding and documentation of Aragon tooling and workflow
  • Further suitable community-led, signalled and proposed opportunities
1 Like

#12

Hey Julian,

Thanks for answering :slight_smile:
Q: what is the following

Overall I like the ideas presented here and I’m curious to see them implemented!

Great! Imo making those as concise and newcomers-friendly as possible would be a top priority

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#13

:smiley: pleasure.

There’s no question for me that the above list of deliverables is ambitious. We will make a start and produce outputs for all of those above. But, do I honestly think they can be definitive/final within the timescale and contributory hours proposed? I think we have to say that that’s unlikely (important to be honest, realistic, deliver what we say and for us both to be perceived as ‘safe pairs of hands’). Obviously this is going to depend on the sense of value perceived by the community from our product – but I’d like for us to be thinking longer-term about reapplying again in three months’ time to continue what we’ve started, or working towards a Nest application (perhaps in 6 months’ time).

Could this just be a standalone 3 month only project - sure, if necessary. But could this be the beginning of the Aragon Cooperative DAO becoming a beacon and driver of change across crypto orgs and global cooperativism (I do actually think so - if we want it to be).

I don’t see any reason why once we’ve reached some sense of stability and feel the coop has found its footing and on the road to decentralisation, our membership and the wider Aragon Network shouldn’t be thinking about sharing our work by seeking funding from further afield too (Coop DAO consultation gigs; academic/industry projects / EU-type grant applications or whatever).

As mentioned in an earlier thread, I’d see myself in this role for 6 months or so maximum (although only 3 months initially), and would then be hoping to bring further membership onboard to take over and build upon the momentum and ongoing energy to the project that Gustavo and I will have commenced.

So yeah, early days obvs but doesn’t hurt to dream a little. :eagle::superhero::rocket:

1 Like

#14

Last one from me for a bit
It’s been suggested some background info might be useful…

Hi, my name’s Julian Brooks.
I’ve been in and around Aragon since October 2018, mainly on the chat and forums. I’m currently working as a Researcher at University of Central London, within the Centre for Blockchain Technologies (1 day p.w.). I also teach/ lecture/ run courses – e.g. recent post as Associate Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, in Dept. for Computing, Mathematics and Digital Technology. I most-often deliver range of degree-level classes in creative computing (esp. Pure Data/libPd, audio DSP, Processing, audio recording, middleware, sound design et al.), media production, music business and management.
Recent research includes some consultancy work for the Berlin-based blockchain streaming cooperative Resonate, advising the build of an ‘ingestion engine’ for large I.P. metadata data-sets. Some advising/reviewing for Pando’s ‘content-dao’ approach to I.P. licensing. 6 months (2018) at the University of Manchester as a Principal Investigator, constructing a large funding bid exploring I.P. alternatives, smart contracts, blockchain and Cooperative DAO’s for independent music producers/labels – supporting partners included orgs such as Mattereum, p2pfoundation, SmartEU, Resonate and a couple of UK Universities. Our initial bid w. UK Research Councils was unsuccessful, and I’ll be honest, that’s what first brought me here last summer – ‘come for the grants, stay for the tools, knowledge and community’ has pretty much been my Aragon motto since then.
I hold a (fee-waiver funded) PhD, so my research and documentary skills are sharp. PhD classified as Music Composition / Computer Software, from CeReNeM at the University of Huddersfield (one of the key global institutions with regard contemporary computer music). It’s actually really all about ensemble governance and free libre open approaches to creative practice. I’ve also written several peer-reviewed journal/conference articles on the same topics (e.g.). I’ve been working within and for free libre open since 2007 (beginning with Pd, Puredyne O.S. and GOTO10), from about the same time as entering academia.
I’ve been digging into cooperatives for a couple of years now, banging on about coop DAO’s to anyone who’d listen. Such work is supported by one of my roles being a contributor and ‘artist-in-transit’ for U.S. charitable org New Blankets. Although a low-key group, their board has some heavyweight math/science old-school US academics on-board: people like Miller Puckette, Alan Schoen, Joe Deken and Harry (Hank) Levin, who are ongoing mentors. I’ve spoken with them regarding this project and they’re understandably fascinated – these are good people to lean on if required.
Prior to this I spent many years working within the popular music industry (1st paid gig aged 14), making beats, engineering, producing – the general hustle (they don’t call it the ‘gig economy’ for nothing). Still [making] stuff too. I ended up working for a decade with the company in Manchester (UK) that put my tunes out, where I ended up managing one of our labels for 5 years. They made a film about our boss, the impact and influence we had on our city (Manchester, UK) has spread around the world.
We were that good, had a ton of fun, I loved it - nowhere else on the planet was better. Aragon reminds me of then (for you guys). I’m old now (50 in Dec) and happy, cynicism-free, with a big healthy family – v. much like it like that.
Everyone has an agenda – I can be really clear about mine: I want to know that Cooperative DAO’s can work, and I want to know how they work. I’d then like to share, demonstrate and distribute that knowledge to others – including continuing work on the music project discussed above. It’s really simple (but equally kinda hard).
I’m really looking forward to working side by side with Gus, we’ll make a good team (we can also keep an eye on each other). We’ve seemingly complementary skillsets, and although I’d see myself more on the research, documentation and tactics side of things (“they have strategy, we have tactics” Michel de Certeau), with Gus most-often following his own interests and taking the tech-lead, I equally consider our roles to be constantly interchangeable (I do tech too:): in terms of overall administration, organisation, promotion and practical management.
I’m a bass player by training and temperament: I prefer being in the background whilst holding down a key role, with no real desire to be centre-stage. With the DAO demonstrating clear value & ROI, I’d like to reapply for this role in 3 months’ time. After that it’ll probably be time for me to pass the torch – leaving the Aragon Cooperative DAO in a better developed position and more functionally embedded situation than the one it currently finds itself in now.

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#15

I wanted to share my thoughts and a bit of history on the Aragon Cooperative initiative to help build the case for why I think funding the Aragon Cooperative initiative is a worthwhile expenditure for the ANT holders.

We often talk about Aragon as a tool for organizations, but we don’t really talk about is how it can and should be used on a practical day to day basis. We cannot under-emphasize these practical considerations, and often the best way to fully understand and address them is to confront them head on through dogfooding. By identifying a pain point, and then working to address the pain point with a solution, we can rapidly iterate and refine our product, documentation, and messaging. The Aragon Cooperative organization is well positioned to drive some of that, especially related to the use of Aragon to organize on the basis of membership and reputation as opposed to solely on the basis of capital contribution.

Initially the Cooperative initative was born out of the idea that, after the initial AGP vote, that many community members without large ANT stakes felt like they had little agency within the governance process, and wanted to explore organization governance process which were more membership or meritocratic driven. After lots of discussion and interest on the forum, it became clear that there was interest in experimenting…

The exact goals and scope of the organization were not very clear at that point, was it going to be purely for 1 person 1 vote signaling on the AGP process? Would the organization explore reputation/merit as a means of weighting signals? Would the cooperative take on some development related initiatives by submitting AGPs as well as simply signaling on other AGPs?

Without a clear mission statement, but with lots of interest in participating, discussions started to turn towards practical implementation questions. The two templates that Aragon provides currently were not a good fit for managing a membership driven organization, and the process of creating a custom DAOkit was a bit too technically involved. This limitation caused me to push for a more accessible way to deploy custom configurations that ultimately ended up being realized with the help of @danielconstantin and @gabi, in the form of the CLI’s DAO commands. With the new CLI functionality we were able to deploy a mainnet organization for the cooperative which had a Membership and Merit based governance structure. And the process for deploying this organization was documented on the forum, and later added to hack.aragon.org, which has become a widely referenced resource on the forum and in aragon.chat.

As these discussions continued, @stellarmagnet and myself started to discuss a very basic deployment of an organization and rough process for on-boarding members based on social verification of accounts on Aragon Chat and here on the forum. This process was discussed here and later spawned the membership verification thread. Without prompting a @jjperezaguinaga who has been particularly interested in identity and social attestations, wrote up and hosted a script which scraped the thread and automated signature validation, https://aragon-verifications.now.sh.

These verifications were used to map keybase identities with Aragon social profiles, and a Keybase group for the cooperative was used to push notification and have realtime discussions around coordinating cooperative activities. In the keybase group has been incredibly fruitful for discussion on how to actually configure the organization and onboard members. This resulted in a mainnet deployment shortly after which was used to allow 1p1v signaling on the ANV1 ballot, we plan to repeat this process for ANV2 next week.

Currently there are 36 members in the keybase organization who have validated their Aragon social profiles and expressed some interest in participating in the organization. Of those 20 remained active and validated an ETH address and were granted a membership token within the mainnet organization.

Since the last ANV vote things have slowed down quite a bit, discussions within the organization have lead me to believe that this AGP could help reinvigorate the organization by establishing some clear objectives. As far as funding goes, I think it will be helpful for the organization to have some capital to use to compensate contributors to the Aragon community. And there are things within the deliverables, as well as expected by-products of the organization operating that have the potential to benefit the Aragon Network far in excess of the requested funds.

And, while it doesn’t address this directly in the proposals, as the funds will be managed within the organization it will be a practical experiment that we can learn from. Im eager to see how the organization structures process (on and off-chain) to ensure that resources get fairly and efficiently distributing among its members–and I plan to push the Cooperative Organization to be one of the first users of TPS on mainnet and provide an example for other independent organizations to learn from.

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