App idea - Advice App

The Advice App

The idea behind the Advice App is to provide a generic, simple, agile and straightforward way for Aragon Org users to run their daily operations. It is most adapted to an environment where participants are identified and therefore accountable.

Some areas where I could see it adopted:

  • Sub DAO’s used by Flock teams and Nest teams for their operations
  • Working Groups when they have more operational capabilities

The way we make decisions daily

Currently our main tool to make legitimate decisions is coin/1p1v voting.

While more efficient consensus building tools are being researched and will be in production in the near future (dot voting, conviction voting…). I feel that there is still a gap between general consensus and how we make most decisions daily.

Indeed, creating consensus gives legitimacy to decisions but it bears significant frictions and frustrations.

On the other hand, when making most of our daily decisions, we simply ping relevant persons for advice and take action.

Principles of the Advice process

"It comes in many forms, but the essence is consistent: any person can make any decision after seeking advice from 1) everyone who will be meaningfully affected, and 2) people with expertise in the matter.

Advice received must be taken into consideration. The point is not to create a watered-down compromise that accommodates everybody’s wishes. It is about accessing collective wisdom in pursuit of a sound decision. With all the advice and perspectives the decision maker has received, they choose what they believe to be the best course of action. "

“In Teal organizations decision-making is highly distributed. Front-line individuals or teams have the opportunity to make decisions that affect their work. While these decisions may not need to be validated by a hierarchy or consensus, it is expected that experts, and those affected, should be involved. – Reinventing Organizations Wiki

Content heavily inspired from here and here

Formalizing this into an app

The main purpose of having this into an Aragon App is to be able to make this practice accessible and easy to implement by any Aragon user.

The advices and corresponding actions are recorded within the app. This helps study how a given organization operates and ensures participants are accountable.

How the app would work

  • Advice app membership can be permissioned or not and granted by specific token
  • Being part of the Advice App would grant you a new set of permissions (to finances for example)
    • In pseudonymous DAOs, people may have to lock some stake to participate. In case of there is a problem it can get slashed.


  1. Someone wants to make a valuable contribution
  2. He/she pings competent people through the advice app
  3. In the UI you can see the ledger of all advices asked, the status and their answers
  4. Answers to advices are not yes/no based, they are qualitative first --> using the ‘rich discussions’ feature of Aragon DAO’s or some external repo if not supported
  5. The proposer can chose to move forward or not, only once they have collected all the advices (or a significant enough portion of them)
  • If the proposer fails repetititvely to deliver and doesn’t listen to advices, it can be spotted in the app and acted upon

Tools like Loomio have already been used to implement a similar process (also). But I believe that the security and permission system of the Aragon Org makes it an even better system to support the Advice process.

Happy to rework the description to make it viable.

Note: The app and process described here are directly inspired from the book “Reinventing Organization” by Frederic Laloux

Actions steps for the app

  • See if there is any interest for such app
    • If not, drop the idea
  • If yes, see if any Flock team is intereted to implement
  • If not, create a Nest proposal and look for a team that is willing to do it
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so its an outsourcing marketplace for DAOs?
I don’t understand the idea. Could you give a real life example?

I understand it like issues on github. If i am not a member of a dao but have an idea or a bug or whatever i got to the github and post a new issue with a relevant tag. then people can discuss it.
Now the difference is that on top of creating a new issue i can also ping people directly which have the authority over the issue i want to create. so for example i found a bug and create a issue i can also ping a person how has the role “offical bug hunter” and i tell him about the bug also?

It is the description for an application to make decisions according to the Advice Process. I invite you to read more clicking on the links provided in the post.

Real life example:

  1. You want to run a meetup in your hometown
  2. You specify idea, content and bugdet ($500) and ask for advice to relevant persons in the organization (those in charge of communications and business development for example)
  3. They provide feedback on the idea, encouraging or discouraging it. This is recorded in the App (which runs in your Aragon DAO)
  4. Based on the advices received, you choose to proceed or not. No consensus is required to withdraw the $500 funding

This works in a trusted setting where people in the org have a reputation and are accountable.

so its a authority based decision making. so for example a DAO has a token and those token holders vote people in the dao to fill the roles of authority. each role has a specific purpose and authority whithin they can do whatever they want as long as it fulfill the mission /vision etc. of the dao. so when someone has an idea they just go to the role which fits or someone else forward the message to the person in charge. before that they can discuss the idea in the DAO forum but the person in charge (role) is the ultimate decision maker. if the person in charge acts against the DAO then people can vote him out of the role. like this?

I like this idea. Voting is a very blunt tool and is not required for every decision. Anything that reduces the cognitive overhead in working in distributed organisations is a plus. I’m going to give the document a proper read later. A few questions that come immediately to mind

  • Is this a strict requirement? how do you demonstrate that you have sought out everyone? who does this mean in the context of a DAO?
  • Is this from within the DAO, or experts in general?

I’m guessing if you have to ping someone through the app they must already be a member. would be cool if there was a way to include anyone with an ethereum address capable of signing a message

  • lastly will this require onchain transactions or simply signing messages?

if the former it could really be a drag. Also is there some way this could be built on top of/into the Autark discussions app. I haven’t seen it in action nor do I know its capabilities more than it’s going to allow communication within the Aragon app its self. maybe @stellarmagnet might be able to chime into the feasibility.

in any case, it seems like something id really like to see within Aragon

I think something like this could be interesting but want to point out that it (as far as I can tell) doesn’t actually impose any strict restrictions on how users behave.

The two things that come to mind…

One is that it would be useful to have actions granted permissively (any member can withdraw) but require a delay such that they have to announce their intent and then wait before the intent can be executed. We should actually have a basic Delay app that provides this functionality fairly soon, as it is one of the apps required for 1Hive’s Dandelion Nest Grant… This delay can allow other members to exit in response, or create disputes.

The other is that it would be useful to have user level budgeting, so that the organization can designate how many resources over what time period a user has unilateral permission to use. This would allow organizations to minimize voting and allow for this type of process without having to give every member complete access to everything.

As far as the Advice app itself, I think providing a nice UX for a process like this could be interesting though I tend to think that using other tools (forums, chat, even loomio) will work better in the short-term despite not being integrated, simply because web3 UX is terrible. Do you want to send a transaction to post a comment? (not sure if this is the case with Autark’s discussions or if you just need a signature), but either way you need to have a metamask (or other signer) popup an confirm your action.

This probably deserves its own thread, but it feels like we need to figure out what the scope of interactions that should happen in the client is. If we want everything to happen in the client including things that are not strictly related to permissions, we need to figure out a way to make these interactions feel essentially like web2 interactions. Minimize signer interaction, minimizing syncing, and abstract transaction costs as much as possible. Alternatively, if we only want to client to be used for security purposes, perhaps we should worry less about the UX of the client and think more about ways to effectively embed these actions and status’ into traditional web2 services (ala Aragon Button: Interact with DAOs everywhere)

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That’s a great question. In theory you could link it to a big challenge we are trying to address with decentralized governance which is to be stakeholder inclusive. However, in practice here this is limited to members of the organization that might be affected, and especially those that you can ping through the adivce app.

The advice. process is used in the context of organizations. So it is thought as internal to the DAO or organization. For example: you want to participate in some crypto event or sponsor one --> ping the communications experts in your DAO. We could definitely extend this beyond the boundaries of the DAO, but that is a more complicated story.

That’s the part I’m less qualified to discuss. We would quickly meet the same challenges as Autark’s for the discussions app for sure. I think these are things with high friction for now but are getting better over time. So maybe at first signatures and using some external repo for data would be the way to go… Will investigate

Yes that’s a principle behind the advice process. While operating it without restrictions requires members to be accountable and aligned with the org, it is also the best way to make people feel fully sovereign of their actions and owners of the project. In my eyes that’s a good way to let people express their full potential. I personnally feel that the less restrictions I have, the better I operate.

Now of course, safeguards can definitely help in a lot of real world use cases where the setting is not suited for full-on freedom. I’m totally into having delay mechanisms or user level permissions available as part of the app. It would make it more powerful and usable.

Maybe the way to go is that the Advice process can be reproduced using a combination of granular permissions and a forum to share ideas.

Totally agree. I’m happy to go with what is best. My main goal to make the Advice process something you can use efficiently and securely when you are an Aragon Org user. As I say it in the post, the advice process is something we already do naturally when asking for feedback on the Forum for example. But I feel we could still provide a more straightfoward, key in hand framework for it.

:100: :100: :100: agree here. I think it is an interesting way to frame this strategic topic. Its tightly related to the future use cases we want to address, how we do it, and what apps and technical developments ensue.

I would be happy to start discussing that on the Strategy WG call next week. Might be good topic for the Product WG as well for discussing specifics given the current product capabilities.

The advice app is in the category “being able to run an organization end-to-end in the client”. In this perspective I think its a powerful way to cover a lot of decision-making use cases. Decision making seems to be one of our core focuses (Voting mechanisms etc…) for now. So would be nice to clarify our approach.