ESD End of Season Report March 2022

As Season 0 (pre-Season) of the AN DAO comes to an end the ESD would like to provide a brief retrospective of the past 4 months from our perspective. We’ll try to keep it short in the hope at least some will read beyond this introduction.

What went well

As of 22 March, we have approved 6 funding requests by community members totalling ~200k USD equivalent. Over 40 community members have received compensation for their contributions to the Aragon Network. Progress of each initiative can be tracked in respective forum threads linked below.

We supported the community through a number of strategic and technology challenges. The work of the ESD would not have been possible without the proactive, operational support of @mheuer and @AlexClay from Aragon Association. We also recognise that a number of core and community members have gone above and beyond to help support the ESD and build critical traction and momentum for AN DAO.

Despite technical difficulties, we are happy to see contributors taking the initiative to resolve bottlenecks and urge for change. It is exciting to see community lead initiatives surfacing growth opportunities for our network.

What can we improve

Transparency: Establishing shared understanding is a prerequisite for coordination success, it requires transparency which is essential for contributors to be able to work together to propel the network forward. ESD should be an exemplary contributor to transparency across communication channels.

In our initial proposal, we aspired to provide monthly reporting and we did not deliver due to a lack of accountability and limited resources. Transparency remains a challenge and with the support of DAOps we will look to develop the following solutions during Season One (S1)

  • Practical Notion space that enables contributors to understand how and why ESD decisions are made, including ESD meeting agenda and minutes.
  • Budget transparency showing funds 1) committed by the Main DAO to ESD, 2) committed by the ESD to approved proposals and 3) the remaining uncommitted funds.
  • Monthly ESD office hours where network participants can discuss questions and concerns
  • Public governance Discord channel for the community to communicate with ESD members

Accountability: Transparency also requires accountability, which we recognise was missing season 0. While we have undertaken thoughtful deliberate action during Season 0, for greater accountability the ESD will

  • set key performance indicators for S1 so that the community can better understand and hold us accountable.
  • Provide concise reporting of KPI’s fortnightly in Discord
  • Seek qualitative community feedback via office hours and pol.is survey (pending approval of funding for this).

Recommendation: Recognising that information overload does not equate to transparency we encourage all stakeholders to aid transparency by providing concise, accessible and relevant insights, in addition to data. We believe every funded proposal should aim to provide transparency into their work via Notion to ensure other participants can support or challenge their work.

Funding Allocation Process: We recognise the need not be afraid to say “no” because there will always be good ideas that are not the right fit. Equally, good ideas might have the wrong team to deliver for the Aragon Network. To aid transparency for the ESD funding the ESD:

Strategic Alignment: While steps have been taken to improve transparency - between the Aragon Association (AA) & Aragon Labs (AL) and the wider network - our contributor audience remains largely unaware of the strategies that the AA is pursuing as well as it’s objectives across key pillars - Tech, Product, Growth. The ESD will look to

  • Continue to collaborate with the AA & AL to proactively forward requests for proposals across key network initiatives.
  • Be more demanding with respect to transparency towards the other stakeholders in the Aragon Network.

We believe both the ESD and the community should be more vocal in demanding transparency. We also recognise that we are in a position to help communicate concerns to the AA & AL and we welcome community feedback on these matters via Discord

Contributor Compensation: Perhaps our greatest challenge during S1 was the timely release of contributor reward funding. It was only through the support of @AlexClay and @mheuer that any payments were made.

Our experience in S0 has highlighted the need for a simplified payment process. There is a technical error that is blocking USDC payments from Govern and for this reason, two multi sigs were used for payments in the last month of Season 0.

We also recognise that the monthly reporting in the forum should be a retrospective instrument and that our lack of accessible guidance here led to unnecessary administrative burden.

To be clear, for the assessment of deliverables (as mandated by the charter) the ESD seeks only a summary of activity related to deliverables with all further detail provided via Notion. The ESD will

  • clarify the reporting process to mitigate reporting burden and
  • propose and/or support changes to the way funding is released to ensure contributors are paid by the 15th of the following month.

Season 0 Approved Proposals

  1. Technical Support Guild Budget Proposal - December, 2021 and Q1, 2022
  2. Request for Funding: AN DAO Gitbook 1.0
  3. BD Learning Experiment - Laying the foundation for the future BD Guild
  4. Proposal For Community & Contributor Onboarding Research and Development
  5. Core DAO Operations - Funding proposal
  6. Request for Funding: The Umbrella Proposal ☂️
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Hi @lee0007 !

Thanks for the great summary, it’s been really helpful to understand better the goods and the bads.

I have to admit that it proves challenging for me to keep up with every initiative that is being led by the ESD.

Regarding:

Is there any specific rituals / coordination tactics that you would propose to set in place in order to increase the strategic alignment between AA / AL and the wider network?

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Many thanks for the report and progress during season 0!

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Good question.

Coordination: A primary barrier in season 0 was simply the under-resourcing of the ESD. We are hoping that if we can secure strategic governance funding that

  • we can increase our number
  • become more visible and active in the community
  • more effectively gather community feedback
  • more actively coordinate with Aragon Association and your Aragon Labs Teams

Education: I would also love to hear from your team about how you hope or would like to engage with and educate the AN DAO community.

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Vocdoni is a world-class piece of governance infrastructure and as with all new tech, especially in this nascent DAO ecosystem, imo education is key to helping AN DAO contributors understand your vision, share your story and confidently present Vocdoni as a leading solution.

Tagging @Shawncubbedge here because I believe his team in collaboration with the education @Sixto5 might be best positioned to develop/deploy ritual education type events - I’m imagining a monthly community call with one or two (rotating) members of Aragon Labs.

You guys have an inspiring raison d’etre, more people should hear this from you @Joan_Arus

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This is a great summary Renee. Thanks for your work in leading a lot of this and advocating so effectively for more support, transparency and collaboration within the DAO.

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Credit to @fartunov as the lead author here, I published because I didn’t want to wait (impatient) two more days to get the main DAO proposals up, and this was a key piece of the puzzle.

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Thanks for this detailed summary @lee0007

Thanks for the report @lee0007 ! Lots to be proud of in season 0! :slight_smile:

Straight to the point: I agree transparency and accountability are crucial and go hand in hand. A DAO will not function operationally without both. Clear, concise reporting strategy. Clear, concise expectations. Fair but tough accountability.

But I think the most important step forward to ensure success is communication. I can’t stress enough how discombobulated the entire industry is in regards to this, especially the more horizontal and autonomy there is in an organisation or DAO. I think a (once again) clear and concise line of communication could really help everyone stay on track between orgs and thus allow for the betterment of the entire process. Good news, job-posting just went up for an AA Head of Comm’s. This should really help and I think they will be able to create a good system which will greatly help.

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@lee0007 Thanks your report which sets the tone to keep tackling with candor and positive energy the challenges with a growth mindset, collectively.

Link to Aragon Labs, @Joan_Arus and education.
Through the next proposal 'Learning & Experimentation, an activities we would like to engage with, it is just with Aragon Labs tools to create accessibility to AN DAO, to unlock awareness towards peer-to-peer learning exchange. I would love to connect with you further @Joan_Arus about it.

This might pave the way to also leverage internal collaborations experiment.

Your report inspires me with the input about the transparency across communication channels. Potentially, I wonder if a problem setting needs to be explored there? For example, there might a terrain for an experiment between the ESD and the Main DAO to come together. If we wish to address a continuous decentralisation, we might need to open spaces to come together and listen to each other more often. This will foster the direction for successful adaptability in the whole ecosystem.

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Thanks for the great reporting @lee0007 and @fartunov . The ESD has been doing great in the preseason even with all of our growing pains.

@Sixto5 and I have been talking about educational collaborations between the two of our groups. Really looking forward to getting this going. If there are any topics that anyone notices need to be covered, I’m all ears. :slight_smile:

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Plus one here! There is a lot of work to be done on this front!

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Thank you for this report, lessons learned are always really helpful!

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Great read on the gap analysis of previous seasons. Going through 6 proposals was helpful. Looking forward to actively take part in Aragon Governance.

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