Aragon Coop DAO - A Minimum Viable Manifesto (MVM)

Since the AGP-1 Voting on November 15th, some concerns has been raised by the community about the current stake-based AN Governance system since it has been noticed that less than the 0.5% of token holders have participated in both AGP polls made so far (see this and this).

It is clear then that some improvements needs to be addressed in the Aragon Network voting mechanism in order to assure effective decision making. The questions that remains open are what are the actions that need to be taken? and how would we like to implement them?.

As it seems like a bunch of speculators are holding ANTs without real interest on the Aragon Network, while at the same time there is an engaged Aragon Community that really cares about which things are decided and how they are implemented, an Aragon Cooperative initiative was born in order to create an organization aimed to support AN despite their stake on the network.

The following is what I call an Aragon Coop MVM that I’ve redacted based on my (as un-biased as possible) interpretation and syntheses of the different threads* that has tackled this topic in the last few months. The idea is that this text should serve as seed for a later discussion, modification, and of course voting by the Aragon Coop Members.

The Aragon Coop Manifesto

We are a community that is fundamentally engaged with the Aragon Project, and are composed of individuals that decided to come together to cooperatively and collectively voice our visions of the future of the Aragon ecosystem.

We stand for collaboration as a prominent tool to reach true decentralization while generating genuine value within the Aragon Network and other communities at large.

We aim for fairness among ANT holders, the AA, developers, community members and users, within every interaction and/or fund allocation that could take place among them, we want to be defenders of the Aragon Manifesto and its Code of Conduct.

We strive to experiment with governance models and new tools to pave the pathway toward true freedom in this world. We will start with democratic one person, one vote mechanism, but will also try other suitable mechanisms such as ones based on merit, reputation, delegation, prediction markets, quadratic voting, etc. – adapting and evolving our own governance through time.

In a nutshell, the Aragon Cooperative aims to contribute not only to the Aragon Network with a grassroots approach but also to other ecosystems that want to embrace decentralization and autonomy within their organizational structures.

I would propose then to focus the following couple of weeks to discuss this Manifesto and then agree on a final version and commit to it with an on-chain poll. After that, we can discuss, agree and commit, step by step (block by block) all the aspects that would shape our organization. Some that are coming to my mind are:

  1. Membership on-boarding and off-board process.
  2. Token(s) (definition and) allocation.
  3. Governance process.
  4. Process for Kicking-off Coop Projects and ask for Grants.
  5. Coop AGPs generation.
  6. Others…

* Here some of the more relevants threads that has discussed the Cooperative foundations:


for simplicity, I would propose to add comments and suggestions in this google doc form:

please make sure all change you make are in a suggest mode. if you like to express agreement or disagreement on specific phrases, please do it with a comment.


Well done Gustavo for keeping this going, props.

I have a lot of thoughts re AragonCoop, maybe too many.

I.e. Having quickly garnered much interest & attention we’ve now, like most hard problems, seemingly lost our momentum due to inevitable capacity constraints.

A few months ago when in discussion w. @lkngtn I jokingly said please don’t let this turn into ‘the yogurt weaving corner’, a place where our attempt at a real-life cooperative autonomous organisation lies at the cluttered end of that well-trodden avenue, paved with good intentions. But everyone’s busy, we.are.all.busy… (presume @stellarmagnet more than most atm:). I get that too (for everyone).

Before creating a new post can I ask if there’s any community appetite for this…
I propose we bootstrap via community fund (for now) a Cooperative Production Manager position, someone to keep things moving along - maybe focussed approx one day admin, one day research/output per week, 3 month long contract (6 month max), 300DAI p.d…*

*Full disclosure - I would put myself forward for the first role: am keen, well qualified, a safe pair of hands.

I think @sepu85 has pretty much layed out the scope (1-6 above).

What do we think? For me the potential in all this is too important to be purely voluntary, and although one person can only do so much (not much really), they can at least keep the project moving along, which it isn’t at all really atm.

I’m also aware that I may have to make a new post just to get peoples’ attention but let’s start here eh.


Thank you @sepu85 and @Julian!

I’m still very excited about seeing the Cooperative emerge as a self-organizing sub-community of Aragon and becoming a powerful political player in the ecosystem and AGP process. There seemed to be a lot of initial excitement, and over 30 people crammed into a small, hot room at Aracon… But interest seems to have fizzled out a bit.

I think a big reason for that is that there hasn’t been anyone that has picked up the torch and take on a leadership/operations/catalyst role, early on that was myself and @stellarmagnet, but I personally have been pulled in many directions recently and have not had the bandwidth to give it the attention I think it really deserves. I think the other big reason is that we never reached consensus on the purpose and goals of the organization up front, and without establishing that, things sort of stalled out. If others pick up some of the responsibility and start to organize it again, I will happily contribute as much as I can!

So here are my thoughts:

  1. I think this manifesto is a great!
  2. I think we need some clear operational processes defined, the items @sepu85 listed make perfect sense.
  3. I think we need someone or a small group to take on a clearly defined initial leadership role to make sure these things get done.

I would support something like this for sure! I think if you (or someone else who is interested in taking the initiative) wants to make a more formal scope of work it would make a great proposal for the funding DAO.

Ok, good.
Thx Luke. Scope is a big one for me, those initial items are a lifetimes work if done well. I’d also initially expect the constitution to be fluid, by necessity, as much based on practice; ‘how’ we put it together ‘is’ the constitution, in lots of ways.

We maybe have our 1st offboarding research opp quite soon:) I guess they (“they”) say the ‘first rule is turning up’ - who’s checking in occasionally.
Maybe next-level contributing either conversation and/or code.
And voting.
For me, that’s membership.

Only 5 more to go…


Here I am, and I consider myself very capable for covering such one or all the mentioned roles. I still respect the leadership from the ideators of this innitiative, and if it’s in their willing to pass the torch, here I am for receiving it.It is true that I was one one month off, but now I am very commited to move on with the Coop. These weeks I’m very focused on learning to code in a fulltime FullStack Dev bootcamp (next thing to learn it will be Aragon SDK for sure :muscle:), but I can dedicate 4-8 hours a week to Aragon.

I was thinking about this too (and propose myself for it :slight_smile: , but honestly, I don’t think this is what we need right now, in my view the next actions should be focused on Organizational Design, and these shall be done, IMO, in a collaborative way including people from different visions and skills that are willing to move forwards their actions according to what’s proposed in this manifiesto.

I would like to see mor emotional or intrinsic incentives in people working for the Coop rather than economical or extrinsic incentives. Allthough, it is true that economical incentives are also important to keep in mind and that there are still some funds in the funding DAO that we can use for this.

What about making a proposal on the funding DAO to move some funds (e.g. 4-6 kDAIs) to the Aragon Coop DAO and we can decide how ro allocate those resources from there?
(BTW @lkngtn , I’m still waiting for you guys accepting my GitHub PR adding myself as a member allowing myself to receive the proper Aragon Coop DAO token.

Hey Gustavo, appreciate you weighing in on this: you’ve obviously given it some thought, have collated many threads and put some useful practical work in - great, thank you.

For me currently the Manifesto is in a very early draft/preamble stage and requires more concrete membership bullet points, i.e. clear constitutional proposals to the above governance points. I also think it should remain a w.i.p. while we’re putting the coop together and can thus reflect our progress, hopefully modelling potential behaviour for those who setup further CoAO groups in our wake (+ avoiding the inevitable pitfalls we’ll encounter/document too).

My perception, and perhaps bias, is that this proposed position isn’t a tech-focussed role (yet), it’s admin, research, documentation, implementation and some distributive knowledge sharing (cheerleading:).

If it also wasn’t previously clear, I think this potential role should definitely be one that brings more people actively into the coop - how such participation is incentivized is kinda up to us to decide. I would be happy to limit anyone in this role to 6 months tops - I also perceive that the Coop will grow exponentially, as previously stated, that this is step 1 in an evolutionary bootstrapping process.

Once we’ve collaboratively constructed foundational documents, and what we perceive our role within Aragon and beyond to be, then yes, absolutely we should be exploring Cooperative approaches to Org Design, Viability Theory, Quad Voting, Futarchy et al.

But for me we’re not there yet. What I think we require is careful consensus, cherry picking what we believe useful and appropriate from both the historical cooperative movement and contemporary DAO practice.

Baby steps for me atm…

My gut initial feeling is just asking CFDAO for unspecified funds isn’t in the spirit of the proposal, it requires more specifics. It’s also why I’m proposing we work our way up to a Nest application, which would then provide a pool of funds for the coop to allocate as we feel fit.

Consensus is hard but important:) - I wonder whether it may be useful to have an internal Coop members vote on who we put forward for this role - if, of course, there’s a sense of support from the wider Aragon forum community for us to apply to the CFDAO in the first place.

agree with your points!!! except for asking for a NEST, at least not for the moment… setting up the minimal structure/constitution should not require any hard effort nor technical people to work on that, and asking for few kDAIs from the available funds in the CFDAO should be enough to incentivate a group of 5-6 people to work together on this.

Agree also on specifying funds allocation! just haven’t though about such specifications yet. Do you? What is the detailed scope of the 7.200 kDAIs you have in mind to ask to the funding DAO?

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@sepu85 thanks for taking the initiative in putting together this draft! I added some edits to the google doc, I think it can use more work though.

Agree with you @Julian – do you think you will be able to take a stab at helping to polish the current document?

This does sound like a good vote for members of the Cooperative - electing the lead, deciding how much funding is needed at this early stage, and defining exactly what tasks one should focus on.

Before you two get really competitive about the role – I’d say just start (or keep on) contributing to the cooperative – and help make it alive again. I think only once there is momentum in a voluntary basis, then we will have an understanding of what needs to actually be done and what the responsibilities of the lead should be.

Once the Survey app is on Mainnet and added to the Coop’s DAO, I am interested in gaining product feedback and the like.

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Good to hear from you Yalda, hope all going well.

I’ve got a couple of hours tomorrow, will do what I can. I’d like to dig through some functioning coops constitutions too - I’ll share my research findings here.

Aw shucks :v::two_men_holding_hands::blush:

Yeah, which for me also goes with the CFDAO request that tasks more likely to get funded if the community can see we’re grafting already.

Survey app feedback sounds sensible too - some communal dogfooding (I must admit that the phrase makes me squirm) would/should be part of the coop lead’s role (which then usefully feedsback into the wider ecosystem).

Cheers @stellarmagnet :fist:

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Good good. Does seem we’re in general agreement on most points here.

This would be fun but honestly gives me concern. Yes absolutely we could hangout for a week, do a little sprint, move things along (& yes, the social aspect is important too). But…
I’d be more up for the slow drip of steady progress to facilitate those occasional blasts, once we’ve put together a little more momentum.

I just think we need someone to represent, advocate and organise (for now).

All subjective of course, & I’m happy to go along with the general consensus - of course, anyone who’s unable or unwilling to do so, is already in the wrong place.

That’s what we should figure out amongst us. For me, I’m not sure it needs to be anymore specific than what I’ve already said above and on the CFDAO thread but am happy to formalise the language if required. As also already said above - the scope is actually huge - that could be a full time team of 3 people working post-doc over 5 years to reach any satisfactory conclusions.

But what we can do is come back to this MVM idea, as well as make a start on the 5 bullet points above.

Sorry, meant to add…

You think applying to start in 6 months is too soon for Nest? I had concerns it’s too long tbh :upside_down_face:

Agree! There shall be one or two guys with clear accountabilities to move things forward!

Yeah, see!! we are agreeing on stuff :slight_smile: !!! I think completing the MVM and the first bullet in parallel is actually feasible and necessary. I’m thinking more about completing the membership on-boarding process, establishing the 1 member - 1 token - 1 vote policy, and then vote on the commitment to the Coop Manifesto, and then move forward with the rest of bullets.

About that, and as you (Julian) know, yesterday there was a proposition by @lkngtn about gathering everyones bios/background/skillset/interests so we can identify ourselfs to the rest of the community and have a map for people to know who can make what stuff and feeling safer when/if allocating funds to an specific person. This could be the beginning of a reputation systems for our Coop.

This Rich Profiles document provided by @stellarmagnet is compelling, and I think I can work myself on a Coop web page where aragon Coop members can register their info, and of course visualize the other’s members info. I can work on the FE, but would be needing the support from someone about integrating it (if possible) on an Aragon Web server (I’ll ask about it in the dev channel). Hope I can make it within a week or two (I’m just starting to learn about web development, and not sure how much it can take me).

@stellarmagnet Please let’s align on this as I’d be using the Rich Profile doc as a guidance, and wouldn’t like to step on your efforts.

mmm… you are right on this! I just haven’t make my mind yet about a Coop product/community roadmap that could justify asking for a Nest. If you do, please let’s work together in proposing such a Nest! It is fun to be competitive but it’s worthy to be collaborative :blush:


More and more it appears to me we possess highly complementary skillsets, how we can successfully divvy this up is now the question I guess.

More soon, bit snowed under atm (I’ll edit this post & give you a nudge)


I think there’s a typo in the title:

Aragon Coop DAO - A Minimun Viable Manifesto (MVM)

should read:

Aragon Coop DAO - A Minimum Viable Manifesto (MVM)

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I have edited the original post with taking into account the comments you have made! Thank you all!!

The Manifesto is already putted into the new born Cooperative governance framework. Coop members can vote now in our Rinkeby DAO.

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Hey Gus, thanks for drawing my attention back to the co-op in the Giveth community call there the other day. I’m very much with you on intrinsics though bottom up project management is EXTREMELY tough!

At the time of Aracon I was giving the question “How do we avoid ALL process (and other speculative anti-patterns) and complicated philosophies to enable scale-free coordination?” much much much thought.

The answer I believe is self-education but how to actually enable such without ANY process?

I verbally brought the following idea to @lkngtn and @tatu and had a bit of a chin wag with them about it on the last day of the convention but my thoughts are now structured and available medium if you or anyone would like to have a look - its essentially a radical take on agile philosophy:

Maybe you guys could figure out how to fund a 4 person part time team doing the various permutations of the triadic arrangement in order to try and break it? It’s a redundancy configuration that I feel would fit the co-op’s grass roots quite well. It just needs testing and a good hammering to make sure it’s robust enough to be set wild. Running such an experiment would enable us to work out boundary conditions also cos IMO everything needs fine tuning! #BreakTheMould.

Again thanks for directing my attention here. I’ve been very caught up with the emergent Commons Stack stuff, we all need to work together more and it was good to see you again! :slight_smile:


Hey Josh,

No one said this was going to be easy :smile:

Thanks for sharing this, an enjoyable read.

“we are looking for working patterns that are fluid, self-directing and actualising — while at the same time acknowledging the importance of connection, belonging and working together” :raised_hands:

While agreeing your conceptual approach would work for small numbers, in terms of the coop I consider a more orchestral analogy more apt, especially in relation to our current membership numbers. And I think this can be a useful in terms of us forming into e.g. emergent working groups (a la orchestral ‘sections’). Perhaps rather than chordal relations - we can consider timbre, texture, dynamics and tone as methods to bring this currently somewhat disparate ensemble into a harmonious whole (w. some cat herding! :slight_smile: .

Though again this analogy also only holds so far for me - as at least in a (traditional) orchestra there is a long tradition of already built instrumentation - here we’re truly building from the ground up (though standing on shoulders of giants, plus with some powerful allies to draw upon (the Aragon community and toolsets).

I’ve written some more about orchestras (2015, below), and worked in-depth with large computer music ensembles (laptop orkestra’s) from around 2010 - 16, so this is certainly fertile ground for me :yum:

"A Sonic and Spatial Footprint
In a key text (Smallwood et al. 2008) regarding the formation of one
of the first laptop orchestras (PLOrk), the decision to invoke the term
‘orchestra’ is described as intending to convey a similarity in the
‘sonic and spatial footprint to the conventional orchestra’, rather than
as a political or organisational metaphor. It is in the political and
organisational historical aspects that my own misgivings about the
term ‘orchestra’ are manifested (also see Small 1998).

If the impression is that the laptop orchestra wishes to emulate
an outdated 19 th century model based on industrial relations and
military jargon (the ‘rank and file’ for example), then the ‘laptop
orchestra’ as terminology should be handled with great care. […]

Free Open Communities
The aforementioned PLOrk also describes itself as an ‘‘open source’
compositional and technical community’ (Smallwood ibid; see also,
L2Ork – Bukvic et al. 2010) and again my experience is that laptop
orchestras are most often always built upon at least some FLOSS tools
and (whether consciously or not) incorporate FLOSS ideology. The
use of FLOSS is an important point on several levels in these contexts:
easy access to software for participants and, as importantly, the
ability to alter and personalise the source code of the many technical
aspects required for running such a large ensemble; including
networking arrangements (both local and geographically
displaced/telematic performances), compositional code, creating ‘chat’
protocols and shared DSP processing tasks.


Social and Relational Pedagogic Environments:
Cybernetic Orchestra and CLOrk

What my own experience of working with such large ensembles
(e.g. McMaster University’s Cybernetic Orchestra [Ogborn 2014] and
Concordia University’s CLOrk [Concordia Laptop Orkestra, see
Tsabary 2011]) has shown - and backed up by further published
research in the field (e.g. Dannenberg 2007; Ogborn 2012; Trueman
2007; Wang 2008) - is that they function extremely well as social and
relational learning environments. These are open spaces where
people of mixed abilities can come together and knowledge share,
make music as a collective, perform and have fun. These large
ensembles function as pedagogical classrooms where participants
may actively explore areas such as compositional techniques, performance practice, active listening, music technology, DSP theory and computer science.

‘In such an environment, the learning and internalization of
technical knowledge happen symbiotically with the
acquisition of aesthetic and artistic awareness.’
Wang et al. 2008

Examples of FLOSS Governance Models for
Large Ensembles/ Orchestras in the Present Work

As previously delineated in the outline of FLOSS frameworks, the
benevolent dictator model is an apt analogy for the ways in which
most laptop orchestras function. My own experience of working with
these large ensembles has show that this is a pragmatic way of
working and is shown to be successful in the realisation of
compositions and performances.

I have also been impressed with the approaches from the several
orchestras leaders I have experience of. All attempted to foster in
their fellow members the confidence required to take active roles
within the groups, modelling the Rotating Dictatorship - for example,
by writing and bringing in compositions for the orchestra to perform
and encouraging said composer to engage with the ensemble directly.
I have also been present when it is the group members
themselves pushing the composer to express her expectations for the
piece, with the ensemble directly asking the fellow composer to
specify what she liked or disliked about individual group member’s’
contributions; “come on, don’t be scared to be a bitch – we can take
it” (personal experience in 2013). Obviously meant humorously (it got a big laugh at the time) but containing an important point I felt - that
the familiarity and communality felt amongst the ensemble, allows it
to function as a secure environment where all members can
contribute and express themselves without reproach. I would contend
that it is this very act of communal music-making that the group
members are collectively engaged in, which fosters such a positive
situation. "

Apologies for the large quote but I think the above does provide some insight into where we’re currently at. It’s really early days, and while we strive for decentralised Consensus-based Democracy, what’s shown to work in early phases is a more BD approach (cat-herding again:).

Honestly, I don’t see the 4 person model working (not without more funding) but I think the 2 person model we have is exactly your ‘triadic arrangement’, with us interfacing constantly with a working group lead, or whoever’s working on one of our bountied tasks - we’re actually doing it in very much this manner.

This is absolutely what I think we are doing… :grin:

A very fine quote that still resonates with me today re laptop orchestras , and is very apt for my expectation of what membership of our still somewhat primordial coop affords, is a:

low entry fee with an unlimited ceiling on virtuosity.
Wessel & Wright (2002)

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Hey Julian,

Thanks for your response. You raise some good points about Orchestras but I would consider it an analogy thats been worn a bit thin by the MBA’s already; so I agree with your first quote regarding organisational aspects being off:

As we are in agreement there let’s ditch the term “orchestra” as an analogy, it comes with loaded assumptions and will only serve to confuse people. (Someone will inevitably self-elect themselves as conductor or call for one!)

Yes! Very much so :slight_smile: The pattern I’m suggesting is non-prescriptive so should defiantly integrate such primitives, so long as we robustly mirror reality and respect the pythagorean (fractal/non-repetitive) nature of scale and frequency. It’s very important to note is that we do not do this in modern music, with the equally tempered piano we quantised the octave which is unnatural and thus inhuman to copy.

Perhaps this is putting the cart before the horse and trying to narrow the design constraints too quickly? The suggested pattern is based on redundancy/contingency so it should actually scale much better than a typical orchestral arrangement (rigid scores + follow the conductor). It would be more akin to graph (unordered) than blockchain (ordered) in that respect so its a minimally arranged “free field environment” to start from to later figure out which design constraints are worth imposing.

On a personal note you’d probably enjoy the League of Crafty Guitarists; theres some seriously esoteric patterns at play if you care to dive in to their history. For the time being heres an awesome clip of some emergent structure.

And while we’re at it please enjoy some of yesterdays emergent patterns as well as a corresponding haiku:

Peace and unity!
You can smell it in the air;
Listen to the drums :slight_smile:

One love,

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