AGP-1 outlines the governance process that we have been using for more than a year now.
Back in the day, the Aragon client and set of apps weren’t as mature. Therefore AGP-1 was mostly an off-chain governance mechanism with on-chain signalling via the Aragon’s voting app.
However, Aragon has matured so much in the last year. With the current tools we have, we can do much more. It’s time for the Aragon Network DAO to evolve.
Aragon itself should be the best example of how Aragon can be used to govern a community.
Here are some changes I’d like to see.
Sustain: Invest into proposals that make Aragon self-sustainable
The Aragon Manifesto won’t take a couple years to realize itself. We will likely need decades to reach our ambitious goals. The market is still incredibly nascent.
Aragon’s treasury has been shrinking lately. The primary reason has been the brutal bear market, but also the fact that our governance process doesn’t incentivize otherwise. Our current governance process isn’t good for treasury management. It gives agency to ANT holders to make treasury decisions, and it also allows for the Aragon Association to do that. And while the Association could as well do it with its discretionary powers, it could also be perceived as dictatorial. This creates a deadlock, where ANT holders aren’t directly incentivized to grow the treasury (since they don’t have any binding claim on it) and the Association isn’t incentivized to do its job (because it could be perceived as dictatorial).
Our common goal is to spread the Manifesto in the world, but we cannot do that if the project runs out of funds. That’s why I believe that investing the treasury into long-term bets with clear monetization models is what the Aragon Network DAO should optimize for in the short-term. This implies creating sustainable business models for the Aragon Network and frameworks for outside capital and entrepreneurs that are not dependent on treasury funds.
After all, I now see Aragon as a movement embodied as a continuous allocation of capital towards spreading the Manifesto.
Focus: Define key metrics
Right now, AGP-1 is very broad and allows everything that gets us closer to the Aragon Manifesto.
While that’s great, I believe we need metrics to objectively measure how proposals get us closer to spreading the Manifesto in the world.
Since our goal is to make decentralized organizations widespread, an example metric that would make sense is assets under management in those organizations.
It would also align with Aragon Court and Aragon Chain as a business model: more assets in Aragon organizations means more security is needed, which Aragon Court and Aragon Chain provide.
We need to brainstorm and nail down those metrics.
Incentivize: Reward proposals that get us closer
Right now, there’s little incentive to participate in Aragon’s governance. The best incentive I can think of is just trying to maximize the amount of capital one can extract from the treasury, which is quite a perverse incentive. Fortunately we do have a great community and some ANT holders altruistically vote because of their belief in the vision.
But with clear metrics, we can estimate the return on investment that each proposal is likely to have. Moreover, we can retrospectively reward proposers based on how successful their proposals actually were.
Governance isn’t free, and it shouldn’t be. People who create value for the whole community should be rewarded.
Automate: Run as much as possible on-chain
The current AGP process is too heavily reliant upon wet code — meaning that we rely too much on subjective, human-language encoded rules.
We can and should try to rely more on dry code — objective, computer-language encoded rules.
We have tons of Aragon apps out there that we should be using. We can experiment with new governance models, even Futarchy. In theory, we should be able to tie proposals to clearly defined metrics.
Remember, this is what Aragon is all about:
Experiment with governance at the speed of software
We could use sub-DAOs for committees that specialize in different areas.
This would enable more focused discussions, improved scrutiny of proposals and a reduction on the time burden of ANT holders to try to vote on proposals which they may not even fully understand.
The design space is unlimited, thanks to Aragon’s modularity and flexibility.
By implementing this Sustain, Focus, Incentivize and Automate strategy, I’m sure we will come up with an exemplary DAO that will be known by everyone in and outside the Aragon community. I look forward to chatting more with the community so we can collectively discover what’s the best shape our beloved DAO can take!