Governance Proposal : Future of the AN DAO Charter

I appreciate all the efforts that you are putting into these conversations. I have been following these for some time now, and today I felt like giving my 2¢ too, as I have the feeling (maybe wrongly) that we enter a loop over and over again.

First, I would like to ask: what Freedom means?

Even if the motto “Fight for Freedom” (and “Freedom for People”) was a good start I think it could be the moment to change it (as many other brands did in the past). Because, in my opinion doesn’t fit to describe what Aragon actually. Think for a moment, this motto can be easily embraced by many actors without any problem, including the Workers Party of DPRK, an anarchosyndicalist group, an ancap libertarian, or Donald Trump.

Why? Because it’s blurry, pretentious and starts from a naive analysis of reality (as if freedom is something mathematical).

On top of this, we should add some contextual facts, like the fact that, as of today, Aragon always worked within the framework and on the side of the Nation-state and its legislation, something that makes all these pompous motto even more meaningless. I think that some structural parts of the current problems arise from this situation. We don’t know where Aragon has to be positioned.

So instead of putting efforts on debates that always end up in circles, I think we should start to debate about the roots of the situation:

  • Aragon is ready to become a protocol DAO?

  • Is it realistic to build a community (currently we don’t have a strong community) before having a flagship product (like Aragon Zaragoza) or even a protocol? If yes, is this the path we want to follow?

  • Are there people within the Aragon Community who want to create a DAO that is impervious to the traditional social systems (like nation-states) and that has a roadmap that truly aligns with the manifesto and all what it implies?

  • In that case, who is willing to lead and make a proposal similar to that for the ANT holders to approve?

  • If not, maybe it is time to stop for a moment and rethink the motto and the manifesto.

  • Also, is there a proposal to make Aragon more anti-fragile with respect to potential attacks from the traditional system? (Like the ones suffered by the users and the project of Tornado Cash)

These are really important questions to answer, but one important problem in Aragon is that we always tend to postpone our problems to the future, and once the future comes, we become immobile, going over the same thing over and over again. Rather than dealing with reality and how to change it, we ignore it.

For me, contributions such as those of @eaglelex are very relevant. I might agree with these ideas or not, but I think they’re some of the most lucid on Aragon nowadays. It’s important to pay attention to them.

Update:
Furthermore, talking about the context of the Aragon project current situation, we also have to be aware that the TOP15 ANT token holders (with voting power) hold more than 80% of the tokens. Among them are Aragon Association accounts, CEX, Guilds’ multisigs, VCs wallets, other investors and founders.

This also means that even with delegation (to aggregate the voting sense of small holders) and other mechanisms like quadratic voting, the vote distribution is quite centralized. And this is a big risk.

I think this is something that has to be addressed, with a specific plan. Because this is also a weakness that comes from a root problem. One that we have to be aware of and know how to address before we continue making more blind steps. Because the bigger and more complex we make the project without taking this into account, the more difficult it will be to manage it and get all parties aligned.

4 Likes

I believe the questions should be reframed for the vote. Right now reactions are being given prior to having clarified the meaning of each option, so we may not even be reacting to the same thing as one another, which seems apparent from the many unique interpretations.

Framing these questions from a legal or “wet code” perspective doesn’t capture the on-chain or “dry code” reality, or vice versa, which is causing confusion and parallel interpretations. From the discussion, and explained in my previous comments, neither “dissolving” nor “forking” are descriptive enough, so let’s just drill down onto the specific actions. I also agree with the above comments that Yes/No majority votes are cleaner signals than multi-choice.

Assumptions derived from first principles:

  • We have to deploy a new DAO that supports the requirements specified in the fund transfer proposal, as Aragon Govern does not support delegation. The fund transfer will be directed to that newly deployed DAO.
  • The AN DAO’s current deployments, due to immutability, cannot possibly be dissolved.

Given these points, there is no need to make a proposal about deploying a new DAO, as the fund transfer already passed, and thus, this is already a requirement. We do though need to figure out what we do with the wet law and each cultural “artifact” of the AN DAO. I believe that the following questions address the most significant ones independently from one another, and leaving operational matters to be addressed afterwards:

Question 1 - Do we terminate the AN DAO Charter?

  • Yes
  • No

Question 2 - Irrespective of the decision to terminate the AN DAO Charter, do we write a new charter with a new governance design that is compatible with our needs for delegated voting?

  • Yes
  • No

Question 3 - Do we transfer the balances of all AN DAO treasuries to the Aragon Association multisig prior to the transfer of funds to a new DAO?

  • Yes
  • No
5 Likes

Thank you for reframing the assumptions/questions in simple, clear and actionable language @evanaronson. As many have pointed out in this discussion, framing the options from a legal perspective as per @ronald_k’s comment seems to be leading us down a path of further confusion. We’re at risk of running around in circles when what we really need is clarity on the path forward - for everyone involved. There may be further refining and additional questions as the discussion continues, but this reframe is directing us towards greater clarity.

5 Likes

Given that

AND

In summary (correct me if wrong) AN DAO remains and New delegate enable DAO is created

If for all intents and purposes the plan required is to

  1. create a delegate-enabled DAO to transfer the treasury (approved by vote)
  2. develop a new Charter (to be voted)

What purpose benefits/risks does voting to terminate the AN DAO Charter while the AN DAO remains serve? Can we not simply drop Q1 and start from Q2?

On that basis that AN DAO remains and we vote to adopt a new Charter with which to also govern the New DAO (correct?)…

Just wondering what the final state of AN DAO is expected to be? A ghost town legacy of decentralised governance or the community that it is today?

We have to deploy a DAO it is yet to be legitimately decide where

We have to deploy a new DAO that supports the requirements specified in the fund transfer proposal

Therefore I would suggest we vote to choose between two options

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

Which at least is in keeping with the original proposal.subject to 30 days notification and 14 days vote to enable this to be a legit vote

@evanaronson

For transparency the Transfer of funds DID NOT specify a new DAO as you have indicated here

In fact, it specifed in multiple places reference to AN DAO therefore the option of whether AN DAO or a new DAO is neccessarily subject to vote

Please all DYOR some references follow to show that the transfer of funds vote specified multiple times direct reference to AN DAO

On this basis that

  1. the transfer of funds specified AN DAO and
  2. The originating proposal presents three specific options
  3. The understanding that we can not dissolve immutable on chain DAO

If ANT holders wish to rectify the establsihed vote that the transfer of funds has pertains specifically to the AN DAO then the vote in regards to this proposal can be reduced simply to

What DAO do we enable with delegate voting and treasury

  1. AN DAO
  2. New DAO

Furthermore, the point to simplify the Charter is contained in the transfer of funds vote, upon which we do not need to vote

Finally introducing options about terminating the Charter and transitioning funds via an AA operated multisig would need to be presented in a new proposal requiring 30 days notification and 14 days vote, as there is no logic that could begin to reasonably connect them to this proposal for which the proposed option are simply (comment)

(1) Amend the current AN DAO Charter (possible)

(2) Dissolve the current AN DAO (not possible) and establish a new one (possible)

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

Only three viable options which again distil down to: AN DAO or new DAO

1 Like

I agree on the fact that “forking” is a wrong terminology here. DAOs are primarily collections of humans. We will never have a duplication of @AlexClay in two competing DAOs (unfortunately) :joy:

Also stating that two DAOs compete within the Aragon Network is a completely wrong assumption. The entire Network should obviously go in the same direction.

My feeling is that this “forking” option is only a sneaky way of killing the AN DAO in favor of a new DAO. If the few whales support the new DAO, the AN DAO will soon not dispose anymore of funds to carry out its activities.

Again, the option is only one in reality: transforming the AN DAO in something different in accordance with the procedural rules of the Charter. The immutable guidelines could also be changed if the AN DAO becomes a different organization. In this way, we could preserve our human capital and don’t be ridiculous in the light of the industry.

The immutable guidelines concern only the AN DAO and not the Aragaon Network (inter alia the ANT token holders).

3 Likes

Just wanted to clarify the intentions of my previous post, which is that we will be unsuccessful in this discourse if we continue to refer to “AN DAO” or “New DAO”, because different people have different conceptualizations of what a DAO is (not from an ethical lens but a different concept of the makeup of what it actually is :stuck_out_tongue:). Some of this discourse here is evidence for what I am describing.

I think we will be more successful if we discuss in terms of the charter, partnerships, treasuries, Discord, etc, because just referring to all of this as the “DAO” is imprecise. For this reason I strongly encourage the newly stated questions to not refer to DAOs as a whole “gestalt” but as components that we can build a shared understanding about. I phrased my suggested questions above for this reason, but definitely open to improve upon them.

And to clarify this specific bit about the transfer of funds proposal, my point was specifically that we have to deploy a new DAO. This is true, as our Govern deployment does not support delegation and cannot be upgraded to support delegation.

5 Likes

100% agree theres always this tension between DAO the community and DAO the tech, which in people terms circles back to lack of shared understanding around purpose, missions vision values…

Can we make this vote about the DAO people rather than the DAO tech?

Why?

Because DAO Tech is being handled, right. There will be a delgate enabled DAO. ANT holder approved and broadley supported as the next evolution of governance.

Current Charter will not be adapted to match the needs of a delgate enabled DAO, although a valid path to get where we are going this option was not supported. Instead, a new Charter will be proposed and adopted to govern AN DAO, and I would hope ratified as per the current governance process.

Knowing this I have questioned why the option to “terminate” the current Charter as I do not understand the purpose or benefits of that, while seeing many risks to the continuinty of our - albeit flawed - legitimate foundation of decentralised governance.

My primary concern at this point is finding someone who will address questions around DAO the community

  • how this will impact contributors
  • current s3 funding status
  • contributor roles within the new DAorganisation

There’s a real sense that those of us without AA fallback contracts are not included in the AAs plan to transitions to a delegate-enabled DAO. The community have so many questions, for which no answers are yet forthcoming. Perhaps @incandenza can share the miro?

And so in posing the simple question AN DAO or New DAO, this is to provide clarity on the future of the current AN DAO community of contributors…

  • do we continue to operate as we currently are just AN DAO with a new governing Charter?
  • is the AA joinging the exisiting DAO community? Is the plan to come together here?

Because with core contributors pushing for the option to “fork” off and “dissolve” the idea we are to be ghosted seems to be pending

And while dissolving the tech is not possible, dissolving DAO community is a current work in progress - just ask anyone denied opportunity to continue contributing S2.

Basically we just want clarity on the AA’s agenda here so we the DAO (people) can choose to particpate or not in the new delegate enabled DAO (tech) just asking not to be blindsided as the result of this transition and ideally for some open discussions around the path forward here, outside of this forum

The abscence of discussion of people as a fundamental element of every DAO is why I suggested

I appreciate all the efforts being put into these conversations.

The What Now?

Being new in the neighbourhood, had some questions regarding some of the comments in this thread. Apologies in advance if this is common terminology in Aragon, as still not entirely familiar.

What if not that? Technology has served people forever (agriculture, electricity, internet), even with some hiccups (wars, oppression, etc.)
Also, it is pretty hard to separate people and technology.

What is a protocol DAO? Or what is not a protocol DAO? Protocol is a pretty loaded word, and so is DAO. Help?

I’m not sure you can split them—more on this below.

:clap:t3: Yes, please. Also, more on forks below.


I wanted to bring up some frameworks to try to help us think more clearly about DAOs in general (or any type of venture, decentralized or not).

A DAO: the three pillars to align

A DAO (and other organizations) are composed of these three pillars. Remove a pillar, and the organization dies.

No capital (or other incentive)?

Things will probably not get done.

No work?

The organization will likely create a massive bureaucracy to manage the existing tech. Hopefully, cash flow will be positive.

No workforce (contributors/community)?

You probably don’t have enough capital to incentivize people to join, or the work is not inspiring enough.
Things will not get done.

And the Token holders?

Right there at the center! (Usually providing capital and believing the workforce can deliver on the work.)

About Ownership and Forks

If a considerable part of the workforce doesn’t like the direction that the Token holders are taking, they can always fork the project and try to improve it.

The token distribution for the fork is a topic for another day.

Ownership and Centralized Power

@ferranrego brings up this point:

“Almost anyone would prefer 10% of a 1B company than 100% of a 10k company?”

Peppa Pig

Token holders will choose to dilute if the project is scaling, and great contributors share the Tokens (ownership and upscale potential).

Let’s focus on bringing value with suitable incentive mechanisms.

The Brand in the Forks

@fartunov brings up a great point:

The Aragon brand has a lot of value.

Community

As mentioned above, this is one of the pillars that must be managed to create a successful DAO. It needs to be evaluated with the other two, as it will interact directly with the work and the capital.

Token holders want value, and contributors must work on things that bring value. This is true in the current situation, and ideally, it will be even truer in the future.

That said, different contributors have different needs in terms of stability, and knowing if the DAO will want you sooner than later plays a crucial role in sourcing and keeping talent.

The Proposal to scare the Ghost

A true DAO is not to be leaderless but leaderful.

Seneca

As @fartunov pointed out, this presents enormous opportunities for proactive contributors.
Proposals, proposals, proposals!

The Value or the Motto!

Fight For Freedom?

Just Do It!

The “Just Do It” campaign launched in 1988 was highly successful, with the company defining the meaning of “Just Do It” as being both “universal and intensely personal.”
The “Just Do It” campaign allowed Nike to further increase its share of the North American domestic sport-shoe business from 18% to 43% (from $877 million to $9.2 billion worldwide sales) from 1988 to 1998.[1]

Other Examples

These also can be embraced by many actors without any problem:

EA – “Challenge Everything”
McDonald’s – “I’m Lovin’ It”
Apple – “Think Different”
Adidas — “Impossible Is Nothing”

Had a hard time imagining any of your actors using KFC’s — “Finger-Lickin’ Good,” to be fair.

Value

It is probably better to spend more time on what we want to build and how we’ll get there before we try to committee the new motto.

Moving this Thread forward

Splitting for Clarity

It is usually easier for Governance to evaluate proposals when they’re not entangled. Also, the results of a vote tend to give the Community a more precise direction.

Back to the first post of the thread

How do we choose the option (that checks all the boxes) to allow for work, workforce, and capital to come together?

Also brought up here:

The To-Be and the Gap Analysis

Where do we want to get? Where are we? What do we need to get there?

:eagle: LFG!

1 Like

Although I’m totally aligned about building and not falling into a “death by committee” situation, my analysis wasn’t about that. But the fact that Aragon to this day has not represented at all the values that can be taken from a phrase like “Fight for freedom”. And we simply continue to move forward a project without a clear leadership to set a guide, and without a clear roadmap. We keep throwing all the problems forward into the future.

When someone does politics (which is what Aragon wants to do through technology), it has to be as precise as possible. Because these decisions guide the further development of the project.

Going back to the comparisons you did with other brand mottos, Fight for freedom can’t be comparable with any of those examples mentioned.

“Just do it” → It’s a simple and clear message. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. This includes getting off the couch and putting on your sneakers to start moving your body. Like all these athletes who made it. They put the focus on an action: “the sport”, and not so much on an object, “the sneakers”. Because they know people want a quick way to cover their self actualization and esteem needs.

BTW, we give too much credit to the marketing strategy for the company’s profits and success, but it mainly comes from a cost model based on offshoring, child labor, a growing economic stability in the world and the market globalization which grew the customer base around the world.

“I’m Lovin’ It”Again, a clear message. It doesn’t matter who you are and what you do. When you are hungry, McDonald’s is there for you, covering your primary need with a good equilibrium of low price and good taste. No matter if you’re a kiddo, or you have an office job.

“Impossible Is Nothing”Same as Nike, and it was a clear response to “Just do it.”. You can do everything you propose in your life and push yourself further. Just put these sneakers on your feet and start jogging.

In opposite to these clear messages that are just a fast track to cover basic needs and self actualization needs through the purchase of a consume product, it’s challenging to position oneself as a fighter for freedom. Everyone wants freedom, but what is freedom? How much it will cost to me? Which freedom? That of setting up a single party that frees all workers from the clutches of bourgeois democracy, or that of reducing government to the maximum expression with minarchism to free citizens from the imposition of taxes?

The act of fighting requires effort, commitment, and alliances with different parties. It’s even an act of rebellion that may result in repression. It’s not something that you can just consume. Aragon project invites people to fight for freedom, without knowing for which they will fight. And this made a bit of sense from the context from which this motto arose, “the 99% against the 1%”, but that failed and that context is now outdated. It was just a protest, not a fight (that requires organization), and it’s over.

That’s the problem, it ends up sounding like an empty phrase, and it takes away any seriousness from the project, specially in a sector like Web3 filled with big amount of scams, making it difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. This is especially true when you consider that Aragon has always worked within a Nation State paradigm, and there is no clear roadmap on how that will change (and it’s exactly on what we should work).

In short. It’s not a question of changing the Motto or entering into eternal discussions that do not contribute anything for now. But I think that, depending on the path Aragon is going to follow next, it is important to review it.

Imagine that tomorrow, Aragon Association receives a requirement to censor Tornado Cash addresses. Would AA refuse to meet this legal requirement to fight for the users’ freedom?

Or what will happen if an Aragon DAO is crated to focus in DAO dApps and smart contracts development? Is the Aragon DAO going to accept TornadoCash plugins? Will prioritize user’s privacy, or will it promote users to expose even more of their data (public onchain activity, soul bond tokens, etc)? Because all public onchain info that is not properly obfuscated can be used by governments to repress, specially if we set up organizations to fight for something. All these are techno political decisions, and someone has to take them. The outcome of what we decide to do is not the same if we want to “Build DAO tooling for the next thousand DAOs” than to “Build privacy-first DAO tooling to empower alternatives to the state-nation protecting user’s integrity through data obfuscation”.

And no, just saying that we “fight for freedom” and we encourage others to do it, doesn’t solve any of this.

5 Likes

These are words of wisdom. Thank you, I think that you made the best comment since the launch of the Aragon Network forum.

1 Like

Just wanted to share this from owoki Knowledge Transfer: The Gitcoin Hyperstructure 🏢 - 🧙 🧙‍♀️ Ideas and Open Discussion - Gitcoin Governance As a different lens through which to try and unify the different elements of our future DAO

Thought it might provide a useable framework to help answer the question @ferranrego raised "Is Aragon is ready to become a protocol DAO? Socialware at least begins to speak to the human element of DAO I would like to learn how we account for at this junction @evanaronson be interested to know if this might align with your thinking or at least help get us all talking a similar language (yay taxonomy)

Socialware - Mechanisms that create assurances through human relationships, incurring a high social coordination cost.

Trustware - Mechanisms that create assurances through technology, incurring a low social coordination cost.

Hyperstructure - crypto protocols that can run for free and forever, without maintenance, interruption or intermediaries

Credit for these definitions: Orca: socialware to trustware , Zora: Hyperstructures .

Gitcoin Progressive Decentralisation Gitcoin started as **socialware** (*high social coordination cost*) + more **trustware** (*low social coordination cost*) has evolved over time. Once Trustware runs all of the core operations of Gitcoin’s products, then Gitcoin is a **hyperstructure** (*a crypto protocol that can run for free and forever, without maintenance, interruption or intermediaries*)

The four phases of this evolution of trust @ Gitcoin are:
1. Socialware
2. Modular socialware
3. Trustware at the center with socialware at the edges (hyperstructure phase)
4. Growth via network effects

As Gitcoin Progressively decentralizes over time, I believe it’ll move from centralization to a decentralized and modular set of protocol-based codebases.

3 Likes

The Autonomous in the DAO part was put too early. We are Digital Organization moving to a state where coordination would be assumed to be seamless. Let’s start with basic. I agree to what @ferranrego said but will have to stress the basics
Goals <---- Community <-----Governance<------Operations .
on @AlexClay proposal

1, can we create the next version of Charter for delegated governance before dissolving the present version? Google Docs comments would be great than tedious CIP1 CIP 2

2, By dissolving do we have to delete all roles and responsibilities?

3, Not a fan of forking - I do not see purpose of forking the DAO

I would keep it simple work on basics - Goals and Charter first then rest comes later, working on too many things create half cooked work.

1 Like

I’ve noticed some community members are not sharing their thoughts based on the 3 options that @AlexClay provided. They’re focusing on the headline “Clarifying the path towards evolving Aragon Network governance”, which is too broad IMO.

If we add this to the fact that the topic from a legal perspective is already causing a bit of confusion, it’s evident that reaching a consensus won’t be easy if the discussion continues this way.

Perhaps reframing the topic, as @evanaronson suggested, is the way to go.

I also suggest the discussion should be limited to the charter only. People should share their thoughts on whether the charter should be maintained/updated/terminated and if/when creating a new charter, what should be taken into account. Other topics on how to evolve the DAO can be discussed separately in the future.

2 Likes

Thanks everyone for participating in this discussion, many important nuances and questions were raised. However, the conversation has diverged from the original intent of this post : clarifying how to proceed with AN DAO governance. At this point, it’s helpful to stick to this topic and clarify the questions that need to go to vote, so I’ll update this post and reframe the question.

I’ll also create separate proposals and threads in the Forum for some of the key topics raised, so we can have discussions that are more focused and constructive :

  • Finance: I’ll create a financial proposal to address the financial risks and implications of this vote.
  • Community: I’ll start a new thread for the AN DAO community members and contributors to discuss the implications of the governance and financial proposals and how they want to continue participating in Aragon’s mission.

Irrespective of the state of AN DAO (smart contracts, charter and/or funding), it’s important to state that All ANT Holders can participate in the governance of the Delegate Voting DAO. The community is also welcome to rally around Aragon’s mission and advance the ideas in the Aragon Manifesto, as it has been from the beginning of this project.

7 Likes

I have updated this first post.

4 Likes

Thanks for this clarity Alex and bringing it back on track!

3 Likes

No united DAO can have two Charters.

  1. Is the intention is to have two seperate DAO with different Charters?

  2. When we can expect the new Charter to be shared?

Discussing what we do with the current Charter seems to me contingent on understanding what is defined in the new.

And if the intention is to have a united DAO is a seperate vote needed? Once the new charter is shared can we not simply vote.

"Adopt New Charter to replace Original Charter effective as of mmddyy?

  • Yes
  • No

I guess what I’m saying is that we would be better served to discuss the future of governance in relation to a forum post sharing the new Charter than attempting to define the path forward based on the outgoing charter

1 Like

VOTING LIVE: 14 days via Aragon Voice