Aragon Ukraine Response WG Proposal

The authors of this proposal all within the Aragon Community, Association, or Labs Team request funding, as a donation, to support the efforts of the Aragon Ukraine Response Working Group. The funds will be allocated towards humanitarian aid and dispersed to the UkraineDAO whom this working group has been collaborating with.

Funding request amount
100,000 USDC - 2 instalments of 50,000 USDC over 2 months beginning immediately

Where:
Through the UkraineDAO to wherever they recommend would have the most impact in humanitarian aid and EXCLUDING military arms.
(GnosisSafeProxy | Address 0x633b7218644b83d57d90e7299039ebab19698e9c | Etherscan)

Situation
In early March a group of 20+ Aragon community members and core contributors began discussing a collaborative response to the war in Ukraine and on Ukrainian sovereignty. This working group worked asynchronously over the next 2 weeks on a “plan of action” for both the short and long-term and met once to discuss this plan of action. The scope of this proposal to the AN DAO falls within this short-term plan of action and doesn’t include the benefits this work will have in the long-term from a philanthropic and corporate social responsibility perspective. After hearing of the launch of the UkraineDAO the team was able to make contact with one of their co-founders Alona who along with her team of fellow Ukrainians and Russians are active both away and on-the-ground in Ukraine. This highly respected team of web3.0 individuals including multi-DAO founders, Pussy Riot founding member Nadya Tolokonnikova, and the UkraineDAO community have raised $7million in under 3 weeks and have been featured globally in web3.0 related media outlets such as Decrypt. Showing and proving the incredible value that DAOs can bring to organizing like-minded thinkers during times of war and geo-political destabilization. “I can’t imagine a better argument right now for the power of DAOs and NFTs.” - Decrypt

The UkraineDAO: “Our goal is to raise funds to donate to Ukrainian civilian organizations who help those suffering from the war that Putin started in Ukraine.”

The scope of this vote/proposal is only focused on the donation. We find it important to include the other work being done below.
In no way is UkraineDAO being pressured or required to use any Aragon product/service in relation to this donation.

Some of the support/initiatives the working group is tackling:

  1. A donation from the AN DAO (for various legal, administrative, accounting reason and community involvement the AN DAO is the only sensible avenue to make this donation)
  2. Creating and promoting Aragon instructional content in both Ukrainian and Russian
  3. Feature and promote the UkraineDAO online and through social media
  4. Provide technical support to UkraineDAO if/when required
  5. Provide DAO related support in crafting the UkraineDAO manifesto alongside the UkraineDAO team and the Buterin family.

Rationale
We propose the Aragon community make a donation to kickstart our support for the citizens of this community and country based on the large working group that readily formed. We feel a donation would be fast and impactful and follow the countless organisations and people around the world raising money for this cause, including in the web3.0 industry.

  1. A donation is the most pragmatic solution for the community to support humanitarian-aid on the ground, both discussed in the Aragon Ukraine Response Group and by UkraineDAO members.
  2. The UkraineDAO is highly organised, reputable, and trustworthy. Aragon has built a strong relationship with them.
  3. Donations accepted in USDC and other crypto-currencies.
  4. The UkraineDAO best understands the needs of the Ukrainian people on the ground.

By donating through the UkraineDAO we both support this cause but also support one of the most important emerging DAOs in existence. We also expand the use case of DAOs which is the core goal of the Aragon Network and this is an excellent example of a DAO spinning up quickly to help individuals on the ground in a time of need.

Edited to be more clear: It is important to note the AN DAO is apolitical and the focus of this donation must be humanitarian aid as the DAO follows the manifesto which is to liberate people globally and put the power in their hands, we would like to see other proposals in future to help other groups as well.

Team Information of proposal: This team list is from those that participated in either the discord channel, notion page, or live call and do not include all the members that signed up.

Anthony Leutenegger - Aragon Labs Core Head of Business Development
Alex Clay - Aragon Core Network Ops Lead
Ben Perez - Aragon DAO steward and Aragon Core Head of Talent
Luiz Fernando - AN DAO member
Renzo D’Andrea - Aragon Community Member
Alex Kampa - Aragon Core Research Team Lead
Joan Arus - Aragon Labs Core co-CEO
Anson Parker - Aragon Community Member
Andrew Ridge - Aragon Core Sr. Content Writer (at time of planning)
Sam Furter - Aragon Core CTO
Joe Charlesworth - Aragon Core Executive Director and Board Member
Milena Matushkina - Aragon Core Events Manager
Anson Parker - Aragon Community Member
Harry Wilson - Aragon Core Product Marketer
Selim Imoberdorf - Aragon Core Sr. UX Designer
Artem Grigor - Aragon Core Team Member

10 Likes

Well done and thank you Anthony for bringing this proposal together. I hope this proposal passes and this makes a valuable contribution to people who really need it.

2 Likes

Hello Aragon Dao friends,

I am not a part of this community, but I have long admired Aragon, and would say I work on a sister-project who shares Aragon’s ideals as expressed in the manifesto.

In my opinion, supporting UkrainDAO does not fit within Aragon’s ideals. They openly admit some of the funds they raise go to the Ukraine Army. For equipment, logistics, and munitions. In fact, the only organization featured on the UkrainDAO website (savelife.in.ua) expresses their financial support for the military explicitly. I’ve also DM’d with UkraineDAO’s founder who confirmed some of their funds go to the military.

Though I support the people of Ukraine, surely enough factions are raising money for war — war doesn’t need web3 money, peace does.

“It should also be commented that the AN DAO is not political and this is simply humanitarian aid.” — This is not correct Anthony. UkraineDAO is not simply funding humanitarian aid, though I wish they were.

Why not instead support a peaceful organization like unchain.fund, who:

  1. Openly state they will fund humanitarian efforts only.
  2. Have prominent, known web3 folks participating, are listed on their site, and have their reputations on the line.
  3. Were approved as a Gitcoin Grant.
  4. Have a method for transparency and tracking donations.

Web3 money, in the spirit of our ideals should not be used to fund war. War is the ultimate coordination failure — we should be putting all our efforts into lobbying for peace and providing aid.

Thank you,
Matt

5 Likes

Hey Matt,

Thanks so much for your input, certainly something we discussed as a working group, and as mentioned in the proposal is an important part of where the funds from this proposal will go.

In a discussion with UkraineDAO we were assured that the money we donate would be allocated directly to humanitarian causes, two of which they gave examples of and have allocated funds towards:

  1. Psychology for Human Rights (No score, but promoted by the UkraineDAO)
  2. OutRight Action International (92.17, 4 star)(Promoted by UkraineDAO)

This proposal follows that methodology and is crucial. If required, I could ask a representative from UkraineDAO to comment here corroborating that. If that helps. I don’t want to speak for the UkraineDAO but I know their goal is to support the citizens in Ukraine and war response as effectively as possible, which may include militarily while their people are physically under attack, BUT, that the purpose (included in the working manifesto) is to continue during and after the war with humanitarian aid.

Our team believes their founding members and core supporters are highly respectable web3.0 individuals and community members as I have discussed above.

Hope this brings some insight into our decision making process.

I think it is clear in the proposal that the funds must be allocated towards non-military humanitarian aid and I will add an extra line to make that even clearer. Edit: which I have done at the end :slight_smile:

Big thank you for your feedback of course!

2 Likes

Thanks Anthony,

I’ll of course take your word for it that your intention is for Aragon DAO funds to only go to Humanitarian Aid. But as I mentioned on Twitter, it’s one pool of funds. You will be supporting an Org who has openly and privately admitted to funding the army - munitions, equipment, and logistics.

Do I believe much if not most of their fundraise goes to humanitarian efforts? I do. But the fact remains, you’re adding to a pool, of which some of it is going to war.

Why not instead support an org who is very transparent about how funds are being used and is committed to not funding war? That is surely more in line with Aragon ideals.

-Matt

3 Likes

Hey everyone, Слава Україні!

Immensely grateful to all the contributors who worked on writing up this donation proposal for Ukraine DAO. I will be around in a couple hours to properly read it along with the comments. For now, just wanted to say hello and tell you that we are happy to address any questions.

To quickly address the concerns about donating to the military - we can accommodate a donation to an NGO/charity that is not related to the military at all, as long as that’s agreed with Ukraine DAO and the charity in question. As an example, we donated 190.94ETH to Outright which supports LGBTIQ people in crisis in Ukraine.

Prior to the donation we’d need to ensure that the charity which will receive a donation:

  1. is a reputable well managed organisation
  2. is are capable of handling the agreed amount of funds responsibly
  3. their work is in line with Ukraine DAO’s mission

Gotta go now, but will happily discuss further and address any other concerns later today. Thank you very much again, Aragon!

Sending love,
Alona
Ukraine DAO co-founder

5 Likes

Hey Matt! Thank you very much for your detailed feedback.
I should set up a few key things that should clarify any confusion:

  1. Ukraine DAO’s key priority is to stop the war. Russia has launched an absolutely devastating, unprovoked attack on Ukraine. The sheer brutality with which Russians have been carrying out genocide of Ukrainian people has been unprecedented in its scale By no means it is to fund it. My friends and family members are suffering from Russian air strikes as we speak. There is nothing I wish more in this world than for this to stop, and I also hope that people in other countries will never experience the horrors that Ukrainians are going through.

  2. Come Back Alive has as its aim saving lives rather than funding war. The funds donated to Come Back Alive by Ukraine DAO will be transferred for the humanitarian needs of Ukraine’s defenders: in particular, to purchase personal protective equipment and medicine.

None of the funds donated would be used on munition or weapons.

Come Back Alive is one of the biggest and most respected organisations working in Ukraine. They have a great reputation and are very transparent about their expenditures. It’s been our privilege to work with them.

“Have prominent, known web3 folks participating, are listed on their site, and have their reputations on the line.”

We are supported by both Vitalik Buterin and his father and Dima Buterin. We have recently had Dima join our multisig and has been contributing a great deal to Ukraine which we are forever grateful for. The rest of contributors on the multisig are also highly respected and established personalities with a proven track record.

We are now in the process of writing up documentation and more detailed info on the main contributors will be shared in due course - we are doing our best in very dire circumstances.
We will also have publicly available transparent info on our vetting procedures .

Let me know if you have any further comments and we’ll be more than happy to discuss them.

Thank you!

Alona,
Ukraine DAO

1 Like

Hi Alona, thanks for your response - we’ve chatted before and my feedback is still the same. You have been open about using funds to support the army.

  1. I feel deeply for the people of Ukraine, and as part of my core philosophy believe offensive force is immoral — that the only moral use of force of defensive. I support the moral right of the Ukrainian people to defend themselves. This has nothing to do with my recommendation to not fund your project.

  2. Come Back Alive explicitly supports the military - not just protective equipment and medicine. This is reported on their website (and 2020 report). Even if they say the funds from Aragon will not go to munitions, equipment, training, etc. it’s the same pool of funds. They are supporting military action as an org.

How do we know? Have you been tracking this, and if so can you share that? Here you are openly saying you are raising money for the army:

I know this, and I have given the same feedback about them. To me, by supporting you they are advocating for funding militaries, since you are raising funds for the army. There are plenty of orgs supporting the military - governments in particular who use taxation. Couldn’t web3 money be used for humanitarian efforts only and for lobbying for peace?

I applaud and support this action. Right now though, there are orgs like Unchain.Fund that already have this in place. I would recommend the Aragon community fund them.

That all said, I do wish you and your loved ones well.
-Matt

2 Likes

Hey Matt,

You have the right to have a different view and I respect that.

A couple points:

  • Come Back Alive do not spend our funds to purchase lethal equipment. They support purely defence strategies, including medical assistance, accoutrements, and defence analysis. How do we know? They are extremely transparent as I said above. According to the views you described, I don’t see why you wouldn’t be supporting them.

If you believe that Dima and Vitalik Buterin are advocating for war, then I don’t have any further comments, thanks:)

As for your last comment, regarding “money be used for humanitarian efforts only and for lobbying for peace” - I actually always encourage everyone to support Ukraine in whichever way they prefer. I believe the most important support for Ukraine is not monetary in nature. I only dropped in here to address some statements that were not accurate factually and am not trying to prove anything to you.

We are open about our support for Come Back Alive and it’s our honour to help them. More generally, I’m a strong believer in the idea that if you wish to help someone, you should ask them what kind of help they need. Therefore I’d recommend for more Ukrainian people to be consulted when making a final decision on this matter - after all, the donation is for Ukrainians and should benefit Ukrainians :slight_smile:

Sending love,
Alona
Ukraine DAO

Hey Matt,

I have family in Ukraine and the unchain.fund community was extremely responsive. It is the organization that first popped up in my social circle and the one to which I have personally contributed. UkraineDAO was more prominent on the radar of the working group that is putting the proposal forward.

Thankfully we are building governance infrastructure so this decision can be easily be outsourced to the community in the spirit of what web3 should stand for. We can design the response options on the proposal along the lines of:

  • Support UkraineDAO
  • Support Unchain.Fund
  • Support either (Abstain)
  • Do not support

If the proposal passes the funds are distributed across the two organizations proportionally to the vote weights of the first two options.

P.S. this is a proposal for an amendment of the voting options only if others perceive it as adequate?

6 Likes

Alona,

No, I did not write “advocating for war”. I wrote they are advocating for funding militaries - which is the case if they are trying to get people to donate to Ukraine DAO. You openly fund the Ukraine army through Come Back Alive. That would constitute “advocating for funding militaries”.

Plenty of factions fund the military — the Ukraine government through taxation, as well as support from many other nations who also use tax dollars to fund the Ukraine military. Most people don’t have a choice about how their tax dollars are spent, but we do get to choose where donations go. My opinion is there’s enough funding for war already, why not (if given the opportunity) support humanitarian efforts exclusively instead?

I don’t think I made inaccurate statements, did I?

I complete understand why you would support Come Back Alive and in general support your Army with funds. I would do the same in your position. And I also think there’s a huge need for humanitarian funding that other factions won’t prioritize over funding the conflict itself. They need our help.

Peace to you,
-Matt

1 Like

I think that this makes sense.

I would even like it more if the proposal included funding for DAO or organization actively working on helping Russian civil society organize and resist the censorship / repression they suffer.

Is there any good candidate for that?

2 Likes

I haven’t done the research to make a statement here. I would defer to the working group on the proposal

Commenting in here to bring it to the forum. There was an amount of discussion around there only being one option for the community to vote on in the proposal.

I would propose that we increase the options within the vote to provide greater choice but also engagement:

  1. UkraineDAO
  2. Unchain Fund
  3. Abstain
  4. No

Would also like to propose a 5th option for full options for a community vote of a organisation like the redcross.

Happy to hear thoughts on this.

2 Likes

Thanks to Anthony, Matt and Alona for the dialogue on the questions at hand. We are all unified in our belief that this unjust war and the use of violence is abhorrent.

I think Alex/Ivan’s recommendation of added options for the vote is valuable. As the violence and suffering continues I would ask that we move this to a vote asap.

2 Likes

Yes, all war is abhorrent but when making what are essentially international legal decisions, consistency in the decision-making is absolutely essential. So where is the moral outrage over the mass murder by the US since WWII ?

  • purely in the interests of its Military Industrial Financial Intelligence Media Complex . .

This seems to be a reply to me, so I will just say that you can find my answer to your question in the first 5 words of your post.

1 Like

No, it is directed to all those here who have the simplistic attitude “West (US) good, Putin bad”. The US has been putting out anti-Russia propaganda for the last decade and ramping up to a direct provocation by expanding NATO East to Russia’s doorstep when they promised they wouldn’t do that . . the resulting nuclear war will be the US’s fault . .

Hey, I only think it should be:

  1. UkraineDAO
  2. Unchain Fund
  3. Abstain
  4. No

I disagree with including Red Cross as it has no alignment with our values or discussion as a community.

+1