Charter Updates - Discussion

Hi All,

Wanted to spin up a separate thread here to kick the conversation off around the changes to the charter that have come to the forefront during the discussion to transfer the Treasury to the AN DAO from the Aragon Association.

Over the past months a number of teams and members have provided feedback. I have tried to pull a list together that will not be exhaustive. You can see them highlight bellow, this is simply a summary others can be discussed as well:

  1. Changes to Quorum for Charter changes
  2. Addition of Delegate Voting
  3. Delegate voting rules
  4. DAO signer rules
  5. Tech Agnostic
  6. Additional SUB-DAO members
  7. Changes to Compensation for SUB-DAOs
  8. Limits on the Treasury Spend
  9. Consolidation of power within the Exec Sub-DAO
  10. Exec Sub-DAO doing too many functions (operations and grants)
  11. Voice Proposals that don’t include full text of the proposal (NB: forum posts can be edited and versioning of those posts is only accessible for forum administrators)
  12. Structure and definition of guilds and whether or not these should fall within a Sub-DAO or be independent
  13. Lack of a quarterly strategy defining what should be prioritised
  14. Lack of budget for spending
  15. AA team members or Sub-DAO committee members not being aligned on the proposal at the time it is made
  16. New guilds being formed or work undertaken by the community that has already been done by the AA
  17. The format and language of the document. It is exclusive and discriminatory by using complex and ambiguous phrasing. We cannot claim to be building the future of human centric DAOs and have as a foundational document something that requires substantial familiarity with legal contracts to comprehend. There are substantially more human-friendly versions - the examples here: Introducing The Graph Council, Welcome to ENS DAO - ENS Documentation, Gardens
  18. Staked ANT Voting
  19. Fair and open election process

These will probably all need there own separate threads of discussion if there are any other changes please add them bellow.

To kick start this though I would like to pick up on point One around the quorum needed for charter changes. At the moment it is set at 0.05% of the network which we have seen is much higher than the average participation that we have been achieving in votes >0.2%. During this period of charter changes I would propose the charter change quorum be set at 0.2% of the network. This will be set for the period of 6 months or >10% of the treasury being controlled by the DAO. This will allow for active research and changes to the charter to take place more smoothly.

At the the end of the defined time or when the DAO controls <10% of the treasury the new quorum should be set at 20% higher than the average voter participation in that period.

This is a large discussion and actual changes to the charter should be recorded in github cc @mheuer to allow for continuity of versions.

CC @fartunov, @lee0007, @daniel-ospina @Tayy @ronald_k @eaglelex @joeycharlesworth and all others who would like to actively contribute to these changes.

I would like to put the first changes to vote by the 23rd of May at the latest.

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Hey Alex, thanks for kicking the discussion in the forum. We have so far had 50+ hours in discussions about the pitfalls of the existing document (those are only calls, I am not counting the work in between). Some of those discussions pre-date the vote on the original text and have been completely ignored. At this point, and especially in the context of potentially transferring $300M into the DAO, starting from scratch with a simple and to the point document that is mostly copied from one of the examples you give above seems like the shorter path to an impactful outcome

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Looking at the list of changes and having been part of the discussion, I am inclined to agree especially with context to point 17 around the language in the document being open to all.

There are however differences of opinions here and before we decide to start from scratch would like to hear from others over the next 48 Hours.

(Added Election process as point 19)

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  1. The format and language of the document. It is exclusive and discriminatory by using complex and ambiguous phrasing.

I commented on this already in our Google doc in December last year, where we discussed charter changes:

The current charter is not exclusive or discriminatory.
“Social exclusion is the process in which individuals are blocked from (or denied full access to) various rights, opportunities and resources that are normally available to members of a different group, and which are fundamental to social integration and observance of human rights within that particular group[3] (e.g., housing, employment, healthcare, civic engagement, democratic participation, and due process).” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_exclusion)
“Discrimination is the act of making unjustified distinctions between people based on the groups, classes, or other categories to which they belong or are perceived to belong.”
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination)

In consequence, we removed the phrase at that time.

If I remember correctly, the compliance committee (@eaglelex, @ronald_k, and @Tayy) attested an overall good substance to the charter after this discussion. The gist was that with some amendments and refinements, the clarity can be improved and (legal) ambiguities can be removed. Please confirm whether this is correct.

Note that I

  • added minor clarifications to the AGP process (in December) and
  • split the charter into several .pdf documents (in February)
    after these discussions.
    This can be seen in the form of two drafts in our GitHub repo that are proposed for an upcoming version v1.1.0 release.

I communicated these efforts and offered further help.

From my perspective, it is of utmost importance that this important governance document is subject to proper version management and incremental change. In doing so, several changes (multiple version increments) can be proposed to and confirmed by the AN Main DAO in a Metagovernance proposal in one go, so that we are not accumulating delay because of our optimistic execution.

As always, I am happy to help to further progress the improvement of the charter.

As I am not expecting anyone to use/learn Git and LaTeX, an easier process would be to annotate the current draft version stepwise with .pdf annotations:

Then I or @mathewmeconry can apply the annotations to the source files and Git versioning system.

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The current charter though flawed serves an excellent purpose, it is a reference document that I rely on for building a shared understanding of why the ESD make the decision we do and when to defer to others. It needs refining, as opposed to rewriting at this stage.

imo a rewrite should only follow the establishment of clear Mission, Vision, and Values for the DAO to inform what a future charter looks and sounds like. This is not something we can impose top-down, again, especially not if decentralising is the future we aspire to. I suggest a total new charter should only be a target for s2 or s3 once we have made time to engage our community and ANT holders.

Voice allows a number of votes so we can propose a raft of multiple changes per proposal so based on @AlexClay curated listed (I’ve added a couple of points) I’m having a crack at organising/ prioritising these based on the extent of my perceived need for community discussion

Finally, there are imo a number of items in here that need NOT relate to a Charter changes if we are looking to simplify as opposed to further codify. Here’s how I would approach this…

key: (target voting) [former list position]

Proposal 1: Operational Changes (20 May)

  1. Changes to Quorum for Charter changes [1]
  2. DAO signer rules [4]
    2a. Community Multisig (added, if not the same as above) [new ]
  3. Tech Agnostic [5]
  4. Limits on the Treasury Spend [8]

Proposal 2: Governance Changes (June 10)

  1. Fair and open election process [19]
  2. Additional SUB-DAO members [6]
  3. Changes to Compensation for SUB-DAOs [7]

Proposal 3: Exisiting Charter Ambiguity (July 1)

  1. Simplify Legal Referencing of Charter [new ]
  2. Clarify External Suppliers [new]
  3. Clarify Escrow [new]
  4. Multiple minor edits yet to be captured here [new]

Proposal 4: Voting (July 22)

  1. Addition of Delegate Voting [2]
  2. Delegate voting rules [3]
  3. Staked ANT Voting Future [18]

NB Proposal pending (within 7 days) for a Decentralised Goverannce team to support, facilitate and engage community on this process

Solveable Outside of Charter

Policy/Strategy (Season 1)

  1. Structure and definition of guilds and whether or not these should fall within a Sub-DAO or be independent [12]
  2. Lack of a quarterly strategy defining what should be prioritised [13]
  3. Lack of budget for spending [14]

Communication (Season 1)

  1. AA team members or Sub-DAO committee members not being aligned on the proposal at the time it is made [15]
  2. New guilds being formed or work undertaken by the community that has already been done by the AA [16]

Decentralisation (Season 2)

  1. The format and language of the document. It is exclusive and discriminatory [17] …
  2. Consolidation of power within the Exec Sub-DAO [9]
  3. Exec Sub-DAO doing too many functions (operations and grants) [10]

Tech solution (…)

  1. Voice Proposals that don’t include full text of the proposal (NB: forum posts can be edited and versioning of those posts is only accessible for forum administrators) [11] N.B This is currently solved for using IPFS versioning in the Voice proposal description
  2. there’s like a myriad of other glitches that we could add to this list that are not a topic of Charter changes [new]

EDIT : to remove my proposed discussion points for voting mechanism as these are voting options and parameters yet to be investigated a deliverable within a pending decentralised governance proposal that is yet to be formally posted to this forum
4. TAO voting [new]
5. Voting Parameters [new]
6. i.e quiet closing

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Thank you for structuring this!

To the list of 20+ “minor” changes, I believe the things that sit in Season 2 cannot be solved entirely outside the charter.

On the first point - having a document that is phrased and presented in an accessible manner is instrumental for getting the community involved in the discussions around the Charter.

On points 2 and 3 - If we define the compensation for sub-DAOs, it feels like we have to define the scope and responsibilities…it’s not going to resolve the issue entirely, but it will be a good time to make the first step.

There is baked in-rigidity around the sub-DAO aspect. It’s probably a phrasing clarification but will give a specific example:
There is a need for product development. A team receives approved funding and sets KPIs to pick up the workstream. Calling that team, a Product-sub-DAO carries certain permanence with it. That team might be wound down in the following season while the workstream perseveres…in essence replacing all sub-DAO members from one season to the next.

Lastly, I want to clarify:
I am referring to the community under a wider definition, which includes token holders, projects built using Aragon’s stack, part-time and full-time contributors to the network through funding from the AN DAO or through AA/AL.

2 Likes

To give more details on how I see this incremental changes:

I think part 5 (AGP process), and part 6 (Sub-DAO Agreements) need to be changed together with planned changes in our governance structure and processes.
This might require smaller adjustments to part 2 (The AN DAO Agreement).
I agree that the bullet points mentioned above present valuable improvements.
Especially, tech neutrality and non-ambiguity are must-haves.

Cosmetic changes can be applied to the introduction.

The community guidelines and manifesto don’t need to be touched for the points mentioned above, and should be reworked in a separate metagovernance proposal regarding mission, values and vision (MVV) if required.

Thank you for structuring this better.

I agree the Charter gave us a good point to begin from, apart from anything else it has given us a number of contributors who have worked underneath it seen the issues and can hopefully produce something that works as version 2.0. There does come a point when the number of changes essentially becomes a new document. Looking at the time line proposed I am still inclined to lean towards a re-write from with a well funded small team, especially if the Placeholder vote passes. I second @fartunov on the language in the document and I think this is a ground up change not a paragraph by paragraph change. Completely agree on defining the Mission Vision & Values for all of Aragon.

This can then be versioned on top of the old github version. The parts that will remain in @mheuer segmentation can remain and the new portions can be added over as new versions. Correct me if I am misunderstanding this @mheuer.

I would propose we start from what we see as essential portions of good governance base.

The sections:
Treasury
Decision Tool and mechanism
DAO Structure

Treasury: I am foreseeing a larger multisig on a client or gnosis safe initially, the treasury is currently stored 50% in Aragon Client 50% in a community multisig so this is not a huge leap to implement, we can even simply change the holders of those wallets. Or simply create a new multisig, both of these would have signer rules. We need to define the election process for anything that need it which is simple open and fair for all.

Decisions: Off chain voting (voice or snapshot for now) with the ability for ANT delegation and Staked ANT voting. I find the portion around delegation and staked ANT crucial and we should pick the tool that allows us to to that initially, we need to encourage as many ANT holders to participate as possible especially in decisions that effect them. I feel this should really be a line in the sand that we are open to all holders and not excluding any. I would love to find a way for V1 ANT holders to vote as well many of these are small holders who have not swapped due to the cost of doing so with Gas.

As further context on this there are currently 12,000 wallets holding ANT V2 & >20,000 Wallets holding V1 many being excluded simply due to the gas cost.

Structure: The structure of main DAO and Sub-DAOs/guilds needs to be defined and if a SUB-DAO is formed it should be well compensated and focused on their roles with the bandwidth to do so. The Sub-DAO’s do not need defined in the charter but simply the process for them to be created, managed & disbanded. Having them fixed in the charter create a level of inflexibility that we do not need for example if teams want to spin out workstreams.

There are obviously much more detailed conversations around each of these but thought I would highlight thoughts on the structure I see working efficiently without the need for new tools or huge amounts of education working with what we already have and then work out how these fit in to a new/changed charter document.

I would be more inclined to build upon and improve the current charter rather than draft a completely new one. That way, we can more easily track what sections we are changing and why.

From a legal standpoint, it’s important to recognise the following clause from Article 2 of the Aragon Association’s articles:

In short, the Aragon Association should aim to deploy funds in-line with this purpose and this purpose should largely be recognised within the charter. If the charter materially deviated from this in terms of how funds are used, it could create an obstacle for the AA doing a mass transfer of funds to the AN DAO.

2 Likes

Continuing the discussion from Charter Updates - Discussion:

Following on, my preference would still be in the interest of a ground up change especially for the language of the document and being open to all.

I have in the meantime done a google doc with some of the changes that would need to be made at a minimum for the placeholder proposal to pass. So removal of technical specifications, signer rules, delegations of votes, budget constraints.

Thoughts and comments welcome, may also be easier to discuss in a google doc as well: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1THg-W4J4IdBDKhHRvI6kVN5BRn7WJT4q/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=104566338859692927836&rtpof=true&sd=true

CC @mlphresearch so you can see this thread and discussion on the changes

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Edited my earlier input to reflect the fact that these options are yet to be investigated which will require real-world actual conversation. To be clear, I will be having conversations outside of this forum in order to develop future proposals for decentralised governance tools. I will happily engage on these specific topics via the forum once formally proposed, or where other conversations allow.

I’d be interested to know @fartunov where you draw the idea that forum comments / suggestions / feedback / challenges are subject to the same standard of transparency as a formal proposal? Do we now need a seperate forum post to come to shared understanding here vs discussed in person?

It there anything else in the AA charter that would impact the discussion @joeycharlesworth? Is there a way to see the other articles here?

If we are going to make changes it would be good to have the information so we don’t come up with something that ends up being blocked due to it not aligning.

Adding to this, should this be the first paragraph in the introduction literally a copy of what is stated?


"The goal of the Aragon Network DAO is to develop the Aragon Project which aims to disintermediate the creation and maintenance of organisational structures using blockchain technology to build the necessary software infrastructure and tools. These tools and infrastructure empower developers to build functionality and applications for the next generation of decentralised organisations and give people across the world the opportunity to easily, transparently and securely manage their organisations, enabling a borderless, permissionless and more efficient creation of value"

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The current articles of the Aragon Association can be found here

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Great many thanks!

The only other piece from reading it would be the membership but I imagine holding ANT is enough here. So I propose simply stating the paragraph in the updated charters introduction with this:
"The goal of the Aragon Network DAO is to develop the Aragon Project which aims to disintermediate the creation and maintenance of organisational structures using blockchain technology to build the necessary software infrastructure and tools. These tools and infrastructure empower developers to build functionality and applications for the next generation of decentralised organisations and give people across the world the opportunity to easily, transparently and securely manage their organisations, enabling a borderless, permissionless and more efficient creation of value"

It then should solve any alignment issues we may face.

  1. one broad, vague term is piled on another broad, vague term, leaving me with no clear image in the end.
    e.g. disintermediate, why make me go to the effort of looking that up; ‘organizational structures’ - why not just organizations?; ‘blockchain technology’ - term only used by vague BD people who are new to this space and consultants in suits; ‘the necessary software infrastructure and tools’ - unfortunately no one product comes to mind when I think about Aragon, except for the Court which doesn’t exist today.

  2. Sentence structure is too long, with too many adjectives before finally getting to the main point.
    ‘tools and infrastructure’ → bloat, just say tools
    ‘These tools and infrastructure empower developers to build functionality and applications for the next generation of decentralized organizations’ → ‘These tools empower developers to build applications for decentralized organizations to let people manage their organizations…’ see how the point is gotten to quickly, with minimal fuss?
    ‘and applications for the next generation of decentralized organizations’ → bloat,
    ‘give people across the world the opportunity to easily, transparently and securely manage their organizations’ → ‘let people manage their organizations (you can insert your adjectives such as borderless, permissionless here)’

  3. Why does this have to be about building tools for developers to xxx for decentralized organizations? The focus shouldn’t be on developers, the focus should be on decentralized organizations.

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I note item 7 - Changes to Compensation for SUB-DAOs:

This must be solved as part of the charter changes, but being in limbo for the amount of time it takes to get there is insufficient. Exec-Sub DAO members are probably too humble to share but I would not be surprised if some/most were not already committing 15-20hours per week to these responsibilities.

What can be done to resolve this? Can this be handled somehow under ops until the charter changes address this? There is a provision within the charter that:
Committee members shall be reimbursed by the Executive DAO of any reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties but this does not help us in a situation where it is the executive DAO members themselves need to decide what is a reasonable expense.

One final point is that this is a good example of a root cause issue with the current charter. We have variables - ANT price and hours effort required - and yet the compensation amount is defined within the charter as an absolute. I note this is not listed as one of the 19 feedback points but we should aim for a design principle that covers variables, otherwise we are likely to find ourselves needing to make future changes when the next variable fluctuates

Thanks @b3n I agree with you that this is urgent to solve. I would like to see a proposal using the the correct portion of 20k that was set aside being used this month in a coordinape circle for the ESD with the amount of work that they have had to undertake.

That would be at 5% of the approved funding requests for this month based on the funding requests I believe this is around $6000 (two proposals approved) under the scout program. The amount of work required to get these proposals across the line should not be ignored and members should be compensated fairly.

Would we like a separate thread on this and then continue the larger change that is needed here in this thread.

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Yes, let’s open a separate discussion thread so as not to distract from other important points here :slight_smile: