Over the past few months, we have seen a few initiatives applying for funding or already being funded to provide services to the Aragon Network. This is specifically relevant for those teams/groups that will be focused on synthesizing the representation of the entire network, namely:
- Umbrell proposal (the Culture element)
- Decentralised governance proposal (the MVV element)
- Health analytics proposal (the stakeholder list below is relevant to ensure interviews and metrics capture every group fairly, not just those who have the leisure time to regularly participate in surveys)
This post crystallized as a result of discussions with some of the delivery teams on these projects. Through these conversations, it became apparent that the delivery teams will be facing the all too well familiar sample bias. The post of @Sertac also provided an outline of the stakeholder landscape with respect to the Aragon Network. Having worked on strategic stakeholder alignment with organizations such as PIF, EBRD, STC, and EDF I would like to share a perspective on delivery to mitigate that bias.
This post in no way presents a critique of the proposals or the teams, it is simply a summary of conversations had so that it can be referenced in future discussions around initiatives aimed to capture Network-wide consensus.
Process & team composition
The purpose of the compensated contributors (working groups/teams, however, they are called) is not to come up with the outcome as a group. They are being compensated for running a structured process of capturing the positions of different stakeholder groups and crystallizing a preliminary consensus to be voted on.
This distinction is very important as it means that ideally, the teams will be professional and not have a strong personal bias towards how the final outcome should look but rather focus on an inclusive process.
At least the following stakeholder groups are identified and should be part of the parties consulted in the above-mentioned projects, but also in any effort attempting to be representative of the network:
- Full-time contributors through the core teams (AA/AL)
- Leadership of the core teams (AA/AL)
- Contributors direct to the DAO (full time as well as occasional ones)
- Large token holders (investors and court stakers)
- Projects/teams actively using the Aragon stack or building
The process should ensure fair representation of each stakeholder group. I would probably opt for fair=equal as outweighing any of those stakeholder groups introduces assumptions for their relative importance to the Network and I would personally abstain from making those.
Ultimately the token holders will have the decision-making power regardless, however, given historical engagement on proposals of <0.2% of the Network swaying the decision won’t be difficult.
Tyrannies of horizontal participation
It is extremely important to design the above processes so as to not favor the stakeholders who have the luxury to be compensated to be part of the processes or have the time wealth to be present at every meeting.
What we have commonly witnessed as community inclusive initiatives in web3 often fail at this. It is unfair to assume representatives of every stakeholder group above will have the time wealth to participate in weekly Miro-board sessions where we “collectively” decide on [a thing]. As a result, initiatives end up with echo chambers of contributors who like to hang out in Miro and produce something that might not resonate with others, who have prioritized other forms of network contributions. It is important also to keep in mind that holographic consensus does not really work if you run it in a sample drawn from a single stakeholder group.
My hope is the teams compensated within the above-mentioned proposals can amend these process failures we have experienced in the past.
Tagging the respective proposers of the initiatives mentioned above as myself and the entire network are relying on their leadership and expertise. Hope this has been helpful to you and those that will come after. Happy to keep the conversation going.