Governance Proposal : Future of the AN DAO Charter

This proposal has been updated to simplify the discussion below and clarify the practical implications of this vote. The original proposal is copied below for reference.

As @evanaronson raised here, we need to deploy a new DAO that supports delegated voting and the requirements specified in the Proposal: Transfer the Aragon Project Funds to an Aragon DAO Governed by (Delegated) ANT. The current AN DAO was deployed on Aragon Govern and does not support delegation. There is no need to discuss and vote on deploying a new Delegate Voting DAO, because we need to. You can read more about the AA’s timeline regarding the treasury transfer and deployment of the Delegate Voting DAO here.

The main point of discussion is what happens to the AN DAO when the new Delegate Voting DAO is deployed? To help address this broad concern, I’ll separate the different elements of AN DAO into different Forum posts and reframe the questions to be as clear and pragmatic as possible.

  1. Governance : This is the topic of this proposal. The subsequent discussion on this thread and the vote(s) should be limited to AN DAO governance (ie. the AN DAO Charter).
  2. Finance : These questions will be addressed in a separate Financial Proposal and will determine what happens to the AN DAO Treasury if/when the AN DAO Charter is terminated.
  3. Community : This is an open-ended discussion where the AN DAO community can discuss how it wishes to continue advancing Aragon’s Manifesto and participate in the future of the Aragon Project.

The Delegate Voting DAO will enact a new Charter on-chain to prepare for the treasury transfer, please see timeline here. This said, ANT Holders should decide whether they want to uphold or terminate the AN DAO Charter, when the Charter of the Delegated Voting DAO is enacted.

  1. If a new Charter for the Delegate Voting DAO is enacted by an ANT Holder vote, do we terminate the AN DAO Charter?
  • Yes
  • No
  1. If the result of Question 1 is “Yes”, when is the AN DAO Charter terminated?
  • 15 days after the Charter for the Delegate Voting DAO is enacted
  • 30 days after the Charter for the Delegate Voting DAO is enacted

The financial risks of terminating the AN DAO Charter are addressed in the following Financial Proposal : FINANCIAL PROPOSAL : FUTURE OF AN DAO FUNDING. Both proposals will be put to vote on Aragon Voice at the same time to facilitate cross-referencing.

Original Post for reference (not being voted on)

Hello all,

I would like to surface a critical discussion that @ronald_k (legal counsel to the AA and member of the AN DAO compliance committee) shared in the forum as a comment. Due to the nature of this discussion and to give us all clarity on the path forward, we will formally put the options proposed to a 30 day discussion in the Forum and a 14 day voting period on Aragon Voice.

He posed the question:

What options exist to modify/restructure the current AN DAO to accommodate delegated voting and adjust the charter to best fit the new structure?

And provided the following options:

(1) Amend the current Charter (in this case, we would remain bound to the immutable guidelines);

(2) Dissolve the current AN DAO and establish a new one; (dissolving its governing charter (to be substituted by a completely new one))

(3) Fork the current AN DAO and start a new one;

Putting this important decision up for discussion (30 days) and vote (14 days) will give us all clarity on the path forward to evolve the governance of the Aragon Network.

10 Likes

As the proposer I will not share my personal opinion on the direction but create the space for discussion and vote to provide us all a clear direction

5 Likes

Thanks for getting this rolling @AlexClay.

As the options currently read, I am in support of option #3 to simply create a new DAO. I consider it to be the most aligned with the spirit of DAOs, open source software, and the reasons why I became involved with the Aragon project in the first place.

Option #1 to amend the current Charter wouldn’t be feasible or pragmatic because it makes the mistake of placing immutability at the social / legal layer. We saw from recent governance proposals to do amendments that this is an uphill battle for everyone involved. In addition, the “immutable guidelines” go against “experimenting with governance at the speed of software”. Immutability is a property of blockchains, not the social layer. As a side note, but to be fully transparent, I don’t find the actual immutable guidelines themselves to be necessary or helpful. DAOs should encourage freedom of movement, including low cost exit.

Option #2, as currently written, to dissolve the AN DAO is unclear and potentially misleading because it makes the mistake of ignoring the immutability of the network layer. This option further complicates the question of what the “AN DAO” actual is, but without answering it, so, for this reason, we need more specification of the scope of what is being proposed to be dissolved. As described by @ronald_k, “The AN Network DAO charter represent a simple partnership according to article 530 et seq. Swiss Code of Obligations”. He is describing the charter as the legal wrapper, which could presumably be dissolved, and I am not informed enough to have an opinion on the merits of doing this. In addition to clarifying if the dissolution is specifically about this partnership, it would also be helpful to specify if any of the “cultural artifacts” that have emerged from the community, such as operational tools, Discord channels and roles, the forum, etc. would be dissolved as well, as these are, in fact, mutable.

Either way, at Aragon we should lead the narrative that DAOs are unstoppable organizations that live on a public blockchain. We should not promote the narrative that they can be dissolved or locked into some immutable non-smart contract from the legacy legal system, because they can’t.

  • (1) Community = token holders: on chain.
  • (2) Governance = governance contracts: on chain
  • (3) Finance = treasury: on chain.

These are the three pillars often recognized as defining a DAO, and, in our case, AN DAO was a DAO deployed on Govern, which will thus hopefully persist for the rest of our lives.

8 Likes

Thanks for advising options @ronald_k and for surfacing these here @AlexClay

Having attempted #1 adapting the current Charter has already proven futile. We were way off meeting quorum and those with the ANT that could have passed Charter Improvement Proposals clearly seek a different path forward as per extensive discussion here Current DAO unsuitable for fund transfer

Imo at this point #3 seems the next legitimate option to meet the transfer of funds and delgate ANT vote. Keen to get some clarification on what exactly that means for AN DAO current contributors.

Given Ronalds advice on option #3

Q: Is the simple partnership effectively nullified once the transfer of funds is complete and AA is no longer the legal steward?

Q: Sans AA legal stewardship would that allow people to contribute to multiple Aragon Network DAO?

Q: Sans AA legal stewardship what would it mean for the current Charter?

Q: In the interim, should AN DAO be looking to maintain the status quo - meaning a new round of Sub DAO elections in Sept?

What does forking a DAO actually means?

This is how Ronald is defining it is “The current charter does not prohibit participants in the AN Network DAO to engage in a competing DAO. According to article 536 Swiss Code of Obligations, participants shall not engage in any activities that are to the detriment of the simple partnership i.e. the AN Network DAO. This means that participants of the current AN Network DAO can only participate in a new competing AN DAO if they withdraw and stop contributing to the existing AN Network DAO.”

That was my understanding of it too, but we probably shouldn’t be using the term “fork” here. Not only is it very figurative, which could be misleading, even as an analogy I don’t think it’s accurate.

Forking would be more of the inverse of what’s being described. It would start with forking source code for contracts of a DAO or a framework, and modifying it to use a different governance token, modify functionality, etc. The many Moloch forks were this. Even some of the big DAOs “built on Aragon” have forked prior to deploying to modify for their needs. In this case, we’re talking about simply deploying a new DAO on a totally different existing framework (TBD), but that uses the same token, and thus community (token holders).

4 Likes

Thank you @evanaronson for the clarification, as far as I understand the main difference between option 2 and 3 is whether to keep the existing DAO alive or not, please correct me if I’m wrong.

To help ANT holders making an informed decision, do you think it would be useful to share ideas on a possible vision or framework that could guide the new DAO before deciding on the future of the existing one?

Hi, is a new DAO being set up for any purpose other than this being a much more efficient way to change/revamp or edit the charter?

I just wanted to clarify this because the discussion regarding a new or competing DAO will always remain contentious, complex and subject to a lot of opinions. As a lawyer, I would love to get into these discussions, but a lot of resources and time will be spent spinning up a new DAO or dissolving the current one. However, it is essential to note that the new DAO will virtually have the same contributors (with a different governance structure, of course).

Hence, does a new DAO (irrespective of the fact that whether the current DAO continues to exist or not) solve all the issues raised in Current DAO unsuitable for fund transfer?

A DAO is as good as its contributors. Hence, will spinning up a new DAO really solve all our problems if the current AN DAO contributors just transition into the New DAO?

Obviously, if there is no better way to have a suitable charter without spinning up a new DAO, then we don’t have a choice. However, if there is still a way to get the desired result without spinning up a new DAO, perhaps it is worth exploring.

I don’t have a preference. However, I am just exploring the best way to set the right precedent for future Aragon contributors.

I would love to hear everyone’s opinion.

1 Like

Long overdue, but glad it’s finally happening :slight_smile:

I think we are asking two questions in one.
Question 1: Should we set up a new DAO
Question 2: If we are setting up a new DAO, what do we do with the experiment

With the current phrasing, we can end up in the following hypothetical scenario:

  • (1) - 40%
  • (2) - 35%
  • (3) - 25%

If one sees “yes/no on a new DAO” as the more important question option (2) is the path forward as 60% have voted for establishing a new DAO, most of which have voted for dissolving the experiment.
As @lee0007 correctly pointed out if one sees “keep/dissolve the experiment” as the more important question then option (1) is the path forward as 65% have voted to keep the experiment, most of which chose to try evolving it.

Might be overthinking this, though @AlexClay @ronald_k let me know?

2 Likes

Agree.

imo forking denotes division, while the creation of a new DAO on the same network that uses the same token, and community (token holders) denotes unity of

  • purpose such as to grow the DAO ecosystem
  • vision such as the Manifesto.

Can we consider the strategic benefits of deploying multiple DAOs to serve a common shared purpose and uphold the values that unite us just with different strategic objectives

  • Aragon Project DAO to serve Product R&D & Marketing
  • Aragon Treasury DAO to serve Finance / Tokenomics & Funding
  • Aragon Network DAO to serve Community Growth

This list goes on right

Each of these DAO could be empowered to experiment with governance at the speed of software in different ways, we could test and model different forms of decentralised governance in parallel and discover leading solutions, faster.

Only the Treasury DAO would need to be delegate enabled at this point and every other DAO within the ecosystem, could apply for funding via Treasury DAO with our respective futures decided by delegates.

2 Likes

@fartunov by your logical fallacy (observational selection) I could argue that 65% voted against #2 to dissolve the DAO

Indeed if you take the survival of the experiment as the higher importance question, the interpretation you present checks out - will edit my post. Appreciate the input!

This flexibility of interpreting results is precisely why we need to separate the two questions, no?

1 Like

Agree, a choice between two options leads to clear outcomes (simple majority)

However the options as presented multiple times here

A. Evolve the current AN DAO
B. Create a new DAO

Presents a false dichotomy (logical fallacy again) because they are not mutually exclusive and the option exists for

C: Evolve the current AN DAO & Create a new DAO

Amongst others. #2 #3

The options 1-3 as advised by @ronald_k can be presented as two questions with mutually exclusive format

Q1. Decide the fate of AN DAO
A. Dissolve AN DAO
B. Keep AN DAO

Q2. What DAO do we enable with delegate voting and treasury
C. AN DAO
D. New DAO

I may have oversimplified this so hoping others will logic check me on this too @daniel-ospina

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Not sure about logical fallacies, but the questions you suggest exclude the option “dissolve experiment, create a new DAO”.

The questions I suggest don’t exclude any of the three options put forward by the proposers (Alex and Ronald)

The option “evolve experiment” is the default if question 1 “new DAO” gets a “No”

Gm! In relation to this comment: My professional opinion (leading community for 7 years at my previous org) is that I don’t believe there should be a DAO focusing on community growth. What we’ve seen happen around the industry is that this is what often leads to misalignment of community. I’ve spoken at length with protocol DAOs about this to try and understand it better for our own sake. It should be led by the core value creators within the DAO and aligned around the mission, in our case, developing technology. We want our community focused and aligned on that. It would be a redo of the situation we are already in, which i’m not laying blame on anyone.

Edit: Adding:
There’s so many questions regarding “community” that should be built/managed from what I mentioned above, by those mentioned above. What is community, where is it, why do we need it and in what capacity? i.e. Big doesn’t always mean better. Is community going to be focused around builders/entire protocols creating plug-ins for the new core? Is it service providers which provide the added support externally? Will it continue to be people looking for paid work? etc. Just wanted to add that in here. I don’t believe it can be built on an island in another DAO.

Will respond later re: voting options, etc.

5 Likes

Can you take a look again because your option “Dissolve AN DAO AND create new” is the logical result of voting to

Q1. A = Dissolve AN DAO
Q2. D = New DAO

Those sound like work streams whether the teams picking up those workstreams choose to brand themselves as separate DAOs, sub-DAOs, guilds or squads and how they govern themselves internally is up for each of them. One thing is for sure they will have to coordinate. 100% agree with Anthony - designing with separation in mind is a value destructive path.

Branding the teams as separate DAOs that will potentially fight for legitimate claim over the Aragon brand will hurt token holders and Aragon in general. That being said the created confusion can mean opportunities for some.

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Agree, alignement is the key which is why the shared vision and values encompassed in the manifesto is mission critical. The AA is clearly aligned on the strategic objective you’ve stated of developing technology.

Aragon empowers freedom by creating liberating tools that leverage decentralized technologies.

Freedom for whom?
People.
Can a technology development DAO also best serve people?

Perhaps my use of the term growth here is misleading so to share my point of reference for growth…

I also I led a global marketing and community development effort 2013-2019 (US UK AU CA NZ ) to drive conversion rates, recurring revenue and lifetime value through communication, community engagement and education.

So by growth I typically mean relationships and revenue. And although web2 this experience taught me the exponential value of community to champion services, generate leads, influence consideration and increase referrals. The 80/20 rule or Pareto Principle applies directly to community

Can we agree, the hope is a successful product will result in a growing community network of developers, builders and DAO’s (communites of people)

DAO Experts is a great example of community growth, having developer advocates serves another needed element of community growth as to Ambassadors but how effectively will these scale, sans a strategic mission focused on people?

EDIT: If protocols havent cracked the community model yet, maybe its time we took the lead on figuring that out too, because ultimately for DAO tech to suceed they will require organisations of people…
@Ferran raises a number of great questions in this regards

I just wonder what of the community that already exisits for the Aragon OS and all the DAO on the current tech?

The reason I suggest empowering multiple decentralised organisation with different strategic objectives is also intended to move us away from this current position where our own ability to test decentralised governance at the speed of software is captured by a single status quo. Maybe I just read and think too much

many DAOs feature a form of plurality voting. This leads to situations where majority rule leads voters to compromise the lowest common denominator, which in turn may create suboptimal outcomes. Although efficient, it lacks the depth of consensus-type models or hybrid decision-making processes.

Granted the idea of squabbling over the brand did not occur to me and this is simply an idea I want to put on the table for discussion, as this is where my heads at atm trying to learn, adapt and pivot here to…

I do have ANT holder interests in mind by suggesting the need for multiple strategies. Tbh Im surprised you rail against this as harmful to the network while also seeking to secure the option to “dissolve and create new DAO” as dissolving DAO seems much more harmful to this Network than creating them, as per evans feedback

at Aragon we should lead the narrative that DAOs are unstoppable organizations that live on a public blockchain. We should not promote the narrative that they can be dissolved or locked into some immutable non-smart contract from the legacy legal system, because they can’t.

If Ghosting due to hack is not exactly great PR Dissolving DAO as a path to progressive decentralisation…considering we build DAO tech, lets maybe imagine the attention and headlines dissolving could garner…