Proposal - Guild Members Pod (GMP) - a financial safety net for primary contributors

Greetings. Name’s Dickson (aka Dixon), currently the product manager of Aragon App, with background in stablecoin, digital insurance, growth hacking, and consultancy (linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dicksonwong/).

Writing is never my strongest skills so let me get straight to the point: DAO contributors’ life is hard. With proposal approved on a seasonal basis, the uncertainty on having the funding delayed or unapproved post a significant threats to the finance of each individual. Such problem is further surfaced with the recent DAO transformation in Aragon with most of the fulltime team members now force to be eating-what-they-kill. While one might argue that “This is the DAO life”, yet i believe it’s in fact an overlooked issue in the entire DAO space - “employment”, often as on-demand task, has never been treated seriously.

The DAO landscape might be young and I don’t think we can move the mountain in a day, still, we shouldn’t do nothing about it - that’s certainly not something that Aragon, as a DAO pioneer, dare not to face. Aragon should continue being the role model in the space.

TLDR; With the help from some of you guys, here is the proposal of a Pod that ran by Guilds Members, aiming to provide a safety net for AN DAO primary contributors, operated and governed in a decentralized manner. This document is incomplete, as you can see some sections would have remarks on numbers or stuff. This is also intentional, because this should be a proposal that we, as the major contributors of AN DAO, to gather, discuss and align, as a DAO.

That’s all I have prepared in the past month, i shall now leave this to the good hands of yours. Cheers. :slight_smile:

Special thanks to @ramon , @AlexM , @b3n , @mheuer , @Lion917 , and @Shawncubbedge on reviewing and providing their valuable time and best commentary to help this document in evolving into its first presentation version.


1. Background

With the DAO-ify movement, AA & AL are now moving towards to guild-based structure in which guild will maintain its own profits and losses. Such design, while being Web3.0 native, provides only a bare-minimal security to guild members to work for AN DAO vision in a recurring & sustainable basis, as proposals approval will be a haunting uncertainty that each workgroup will face constantly, which can be unhealthy to any member.

Envisioning with the next generation of DAO, AN DAO will likely be having two types of contributors guilds - project-based ones that emphasize on revenue of short term endeavours, and long-term ones that cares most about how to realize the Aragon vision. The former one will likely have multiple projects running in parallel with different funding streams (most likely including other DAOs), the latter one instead devotes themselves for a single mission to make Aragon successful yet much likely prone to sustainability risk.

To achieve this, we suggest introducing a Guild Members Pod (GMP) with its own treasury for wellness of Aragon guild members, with pod-controlled assets that fill the gap to provide grants as insurance for AN DAO long term operations.


2. Solution Overview

  1. Setup a Guild Member Pod treasury on Aragon App, operated under Ops, People, or Finance guild, governed by a Pod. with seasonable participants selected from related guilds.
  2. Enforce taxation on guild proposal from long term / core guilds to AN DAO
  3. Enable grants as insurances & other welfare for guild members.

Focusing on the long term dedication of contributors to AN DAO, it is key that we can provide some sort of security, both financial as well as psychological, if we want to create a positive and healthy work environment. For this we propose that whenever a proposal for funding is created to the AN DAO, for those long term guilds, they must allocate 5% of the funds risen to the AN DAO Wellness Treasury.

The treasury could be operated under a selected existing guild/squad (e.g. People guild) or could have a dedicated squad for it. The accumulated assets will be used for the welfare & insurance of participating guild members.

1. Insurance for People

  • Should a guild failed to get a proposal approve, provide up to 3 month of salary as fund to the guild members such that they have sufficient time to either iterate for a new proposal for new funding, or decide to be off-board.
  • Sustaining fund should be paid and reviewed on a monthly basis until the guild gets its operational funding (from AN DAO) or otherwise, dissolved.

2. Welfares

  • Medical, and other welfare support. (To be discussed. not in Day 1 scope)

2.1 Eligible Guilds

GMP aims to serve Aragon contributors that has been devoting themselves to bring out the best of Aragon. Given the infancy of this initiative, we accept the following applicants:

  • Guilds that formed from Aragon Core Team and Aragon Lab
    • list to be provided
  • Guilds that has been established under AN DAO, that includes
    • dGov
    • dTech
    • dOps
    • … etc.

That being said, in its initial scope the GMP will not accept any other applicants.

These guilds, if decided to participate in GMP, must also submit a fee, that is proportional to their proposal that submitted to AN DAO for funding, as a form of contribution to GMP treasury. For details, please read Treasury and Financial Terms section.

2.2 Grant Application

2.1.2 The Process

  • Eligible guild submit requests to GMP, with evidence that a recent proposal is rejected by AN DAO and proof that operation of the guild is at risk without fund by certain timeline.
  • GMP review the request as a Pod team, and use Aragon App to create proposal for voting among guilds representatives. For details of the governance process please refer to Governance section below.
  • Once approved, the requested fund (up to 3 month of the team run rate) will be paid by phases according to the next Funding & Payment sections.

2.1.3 Applicants’ Commitment

  • Applying guilds must only spend the new funding for paying their Primary Contributors (defined with at least 50% of their time committed to the guild). i.e. the grant cannot be used for, but not limited to, marketing, bounties, researches, etc.
  • The applying guild will require to attend regular meeting (to be defined) with GMP, named as Proposal Refinement Process, such that
    • the guild is showing progress on refining their proposal for next funding
    • GMP can provide necessary assistance on helping the guild to make a better proposal
  • Should the revised proposal passed and funding is granted before GMP grant is paid, no GMP grant will be paid.

2.2 Funding & Payment

2.2.1 How much can each Guild ask?

For the moment, up to 3 months. Additional criteria to be discussed in later version.

2.2.2 Paying guilds

This is assumed that the grant request has been approved by the GBP.

  • Payment will be paid in monthly basis, subject to decision of GMP upon the Proposal Refinement Process. (see Applicants’ Commitment)
  • The payment, once approved, will be paid by the end of the month.
  • GMP will rely on Aragon Association existing payment and legal framework to provide compensation. i.e. if AA has been paying salary to an individual in a guild through direct bank transfer, it will be done the same.

3. Governance

This section specifies the governance mechanics from Pod setup, member selection to voting.

3.1 On-chain Setup of GMP

  • GMP will be initially setup using Aragon App as a Wallet-based DAO.
  • Governance configuration as follow:
    • Minimal Participation : 60%
    • Approval Threshold : 60%
  • Should the proposal failed to pass, the guild can apply for one appeal and the process will start again in one week.
  • The first cohort (i.e. Oct - Dec) -

3.2 Pod Selection - Seasonal Guild Representatives

  • Each Season last 3 months.
  • In the last month of each Season, each eligible guild will submit a list of their members that wants to be one of GMP in next Season.
  • Existing GMP will collect the name lists from all guilds, and randomly to choose one member from each list.
  • The existing GMP will then execute the following in sequent
    • Adding the new group of members’ wallet onto GMP - will require one proposal and vote
    • Removing the existing group of members’ wallet from GMP - will require one proposal and vote
    • Add and remove the new GMP members on

3.3 Pod Voting - Voting for Grant Request

  • Each guild application will be published as one of the proposal and voted among GMP within a week.
  • Should appeal is needed, the proposal will be re-run and research in a week.

4. Treasury and Financial Terms

4.1 Financial Objective

The financial goal of GMP is to establish a cross guild treasury that enable grants as insurance scheme for guilds, such that guilds in AN DAO can operate up to at least 6 months run rate without any further funding requirement.

Once such financial goal is achieved, the surplus (that collected through taxation) will be refunded to AN DAO treasury.

We are currently estimating $X,XXX,XXX (TBD) as treasury goal. Calculated by,

  • Monthly budget from all the proposals that have been funded in past year.
  • Monthly budget from guilds formed by Aragon Core Team and Aragon Lab (which is working in progress)
  • Multiples the total of these two by 6.

4.2 Sustainability - Proposal Taxation

Eligible guilds, as long as their participate in GMP, they are committed to contribute 5% of the fund risen from their AN DAO related proposal. In other words, the guilds are advised to ask for additional 5% funding within their budgeting when submitting proposal for AN DAO approval in order to meet this requirement.

4.3 Startup - Initial Funding Request

TBD

4.4 GMP Compensation

Since this Pod existence is purely for the sustainability of AN DAO guilds and workforce, the compensation is considered to be tokens of gratitude rather than a financial aid. Given that, each member in the Pod is suggested to have XXXX ANT per month (or XXXXX ANT per Season). Subject for further discussion.


5. Timeline

Jul - Sep

  • Open discussion on forums
  • Proposal refinement

Sep

  • AN DAO proposal and voting
  • Forming its initial cohort.

Oct

  • Implement on Aragon App
  • Oct - Dec as first pilot Season

Dec

  • Take learning and refine the Pod operations guidelines
  • GMP help setting up the first official season : Jan - Mar
10 Likes

Although I helped a little bit with this proposal, I am delighted to see how it became more structured and would love to see this implemented.

DAO life is still new, and being able to improve contributors’ wellness in an environment where burnout seems to be a hot topic will be a huge step towards a more stable way of work.

5 Likes

I’ve seen several insurance services in Web3 taking care of capitals but this is the first one, as far as I know, that tries to take care of people. I am proud that such an attempt is taking place in this community. If the experiment works, as I believe, I can see it customized for our stakeholders (other Daos built on Aragon product) as well, thus improving our offer to our network.
I look forward to reading also about the future development of the welfare section, much needed indeed.

2 Likes

It’s quite interesting to see such a proposal. I think often in our desire to embrace Web3 we reject any and everything that was previously implemented just by sheer principle. While the space is new, there is no reason to not contribute to making it less wild for contributors. A more stable environment for the people in the space goes a long way into creating a more stable and flourishing space itself. Of course there is a balance to be maintained, but I think what is aligned in this proposal is well on its way to being something quite achievable and more importantly, useful for both our own and other similar Web3 communities. I am certainly curious to see how this will continue to evolve and play out!

7 Likes

Psychological and financial security 100% can not be undervalued. I love the sentiment here and am stoked to see people working on solving this. I think there’s a significant opportunity to simplify the approach, reduce the time and resources currently proposed and still provide solid outcomes for contributors. Look forward to seeing how this evolves. I hope you find the following feedback constructive

Consolidate all “treasury” type management with finance

Is it just me but “welfare & insurance of participating guild members” is not in any way appealing to me. I love the idea of establishing some level of financial and psychological safety, but typically welfare systems fail to “help” people rise above circumstances. My perception of welfare is a system that traps people in cycles of dependence. My perception of insurance is something only needed when shit goes wrong

Should a guild failed to get a proposal approve[d], provide up to 3 month[s] of salary as fund to the guild members such that they have sufficient time to either iterate for a new proposal for new funding or decide to be off-board.

This feels like just lowering the bar and overriding the collective on funding decisions. Three months of funding for authors that do not secure funding tbh if it’s taking anyone three months to develop Main DAO proposals, then they are the wrong people writing the proposal. Could you consider instead a percentage of the funding requested? For example 5% up to a maximum of three months equivalent funding? This then accounts for the value the author is seeking to deliver.

Seriously, more voting? Can’t we just create a system whereby people are simply eligible (criteria) or not. No proposals, no voting, just open, transparent eligibility-criteria and selection policy. People apply only if eligible. Probably one dedicated person could manage the approval and funding process instead of a guild. Simplify the process, save everyone time.

Is this level of oversight, mentoring /hand-holding/molly-coddling necessary? Provide a public transparent reporting process (forum category) and if they aren’t delivering, warn them, if they fail to deliver stop the funding.

Asking people to attend a regular meeting is akin to government welfare systems and this is how dependencies form. DAO contributors need to prove some initiative, willingness and ability to be responsible and accountable and if they can’t rise to that challenge sans ongoing meetings - then probably a DAO is not the right place for them.

5 Likes

Can you elaborate on why you used the term “pod” here? The ANDAO has a naming system already in place and this might create confusion.

DAO
Sub-DAO
Guild
Squad? Is that the level you are looking for?

Just a small thing :slight_smile:

1 Like

After some internal conversations, not only I still think this proposal is super interesting, but I think we can try to broaden its reach, and start doing some research if this can be productized for other DAOs.

I am thinking in creating some research bounties for this topic - this doesn’t stop at all the specific conversation here for AN DAO, but maybe we can make this even bigger and create more value for the ecosystem.

Thoughts?

Tagging @Joan_Arus given our last conversation on this

3 Likes

I know @daniel-ospina has research around this topic and is maybe planning to talk to the team about research

The “collaboration first” broken record enters the chat. Going to start off with the obvious - not every problem in web3 is for us to solve!

Thinking we can jump into a new problem and solve it better than people who have been at it for a while is at best naive, more often arrogant and irresponsible towards the network resources. Of course someone can always tickle our ego and say “we should take action / lead by example / be pioneers” or some other worn out phrase.

On the specific topic of financial safety nets. Should it exist, absolutely. Should people who get off-boarded from a project after contributing for 3/6/9 months get 3 months of free pay - probably not in 90% of the cases. But then again we are hanging out in a forum where literally every person part of the conversation stands to benefit financially from implementing such a system (not from productizing it, but specifically from being paid through such a system). Last but not least 100% with @lee0007 - 3 months of pay is not a “safety net” for those who need it stuff like health insurance and social security are.

We are speaking with projects like Opolis and WorkDAO who are solving this on an industry level, let’s let experts do their thing and collaborate with them instead of trying to reinvent the hot water in this forum. If we want to have this as part of the Aragon value proposition, let’s figure out how to plug those solutions that are already built.

On the research topic - the same logic applies. This is a mature concept that is being monetized and there are clear market leaders. The two projects mentioned above interact with and create tangible value for hundreds of contributors across tens of organizations globally. It is more prudent to bet on those teams over someone with no context jumping in to apply some new fancy framework with zero skin in the game.

4 Likes

I have to agree with Ivan, as these are valid points.

I totally understand the rational and importance behind this proposal, but I would suggest to let the experts come with a best practice (we can of course collaborate with these aforementioned projects and help to shape that) and then implement it.

3 Likes

@fartunov Thanks for the input.

I definetely agree that if there is people doing this the right way (or at least, doing it in some way) we should not try to reinvent the wheel.

What I am not a huge fan is the tone of voice being used sometimes in this thread (and a few others in this forum).

The post clearly states that this is a work in progress, and is looking for feedback - including for example bringing clarity that great solutions already exist in the industry, or disagreeing with some of the proposed mechanisms - But why make this with harsh communication and superiority? Isn’t this a community that is supposed to grow together, sharing knowledge and good practices so more members can learn and not repeat mistakes from the past?

Isn’t this sort of the goal for bringing this kind of discussion here? In theory, all forum discussions should somehow benefit the DAO, and bringing financial security to its contributors would fit in this scenario no? And in my opinion, the proposal here is not about gaining extra financial benefits, is about using part of the requested funds to create this safety net. The way you say feels like people are trying to trick the DAO with a terrible proposal for personal financial gains only.

Anyway, just would like to see more human support for each other and constructive feedback.

I still support the concept - and would be happy to see any solution being used to bring wellness to web3 and DAOs.

4 Likes

Absolutely accept the criticism. Will be more conscious about my tone going forward.

On the great solutions that already exist and work:

  • Will be discussing WorkDAO and Opolis with Rick and Alex to explore using those later this week
  • Will be discussing with Anthony the opportunity to add them as service providers in the DAO Experts program in the next cohort

Happy to loop them in discussions with the product team/s as well if integrating such a value proposition in the Aragon App is a roadmap priority

2 Likes

Would be great, if possible, to have a summary of these discussions. I think can be beneficial for everyone in this thread.

And then we can discuss further on product topics as well.

And most importantly, thanks for the openness to receive feedback.

3 Likes

My apology for a late reply, have been trying my best to survive from my covid over last few weeks.

First of all, much appreciated for your feedbacks, regardless it’s for or against my naive idea. Thank you, for your valuable time.

A small reflection after reading through the conversation: sentiment so-far seems less on the technicality of the topic but more on the eligibility on whether someone could address certain problem or even just voicing in a DAO. As a new-to-DAO contributor, i understand there would be much for me to learn from the DAO anyways - what caught me off-guard is that it seems there is some hidden-rules that i am unaware of. If they are essential to work in AN DAO, please let me know. Happy to learn and adapt.

As stated in my initial post, this is a WIP proposal that comes from an amateur perspective outside of the DAO circle. My intention is no more than voicing out an observation with some suggestions for discussion and expected to leave it to the good hands of yours. It’s also definitely good to know that we are engaging experts for such matter, although personally I have questions in whether experts exist in an emerging working space like DAO. Nevertheless, if i may make one more suggestion here - should authority or leadership exists in this DAO, please consider to bring out such information on the table across channels in DAO as early as possible. As per my research, the visibility about the decision in seeking experts on the matters of talent retention is non-exist. If we have such a great initiative to provide proper and even enhanced support to the contributors, I believe it’s worth to let the contributors knows or involve in the discussion early on.

Anyways, should we want to take a step further on research or productization, feel free to let me know if i may still provide any assistance. Yet for this topic, i think it’s safe to conclude. Good luck on the discussion with WorkDAO and looking forward to the upcoming arrangement for this matter. Cheers.

2 Likes

Something I’ve learned in a DAO
Be explicit.

In this case, “hidden rules” may be assumptions or cultural habits/routines that we are unaware of ourselves. Pointing them out may help find answers. Or to say that another way, I don’t know what you are referencing as “hidden-rules”

From the DAO side if the information exists, we’re an open book - someone probably knows where to find it. Again if there’s certain info you need or people you want to hear from, you’ll need to directly address, request and specify. I’ve literally had to ask the question “Is there a reason you can not provide xyz information?” before a bullet point list was shared. NDA’s can do that. No NDA’s apply to the DAO - we are for transparency and building in the open, with due respect to individual privacy.

i.e @fartunov @AlexClay @Ricktik6 are you aware of anyone within the Aragon community currently working with WorkDAO and Opolis to help AN DAO establish the type of proposed safety nets outlined in this proposal? Can someone put @skelneko in touch with the best people to talk to within the Aragon Community and/or at WorkDAO or Opolis

@MaxCaspar @Incandenza might also be good people to coordinate with @skelneko. The ESD has highlighted in our S1 End of Season Report and S2 funding proposal willingness to support projects that add significant value or otherwise unblock teams - especially if it involves ecosystem collaboration with a direct responsible individual (DRI) supporting the project from the Aragon side.

We’re indeed starting a research project for this in RnDAO. Maybe we can collaborate with Aragon on it?

2 Likes

Hey Renee, Alex, and Rick are in touch with WorkDAO and Opolis to evaluate their respective service offerings for us (AN DAO & AA). Anthony is also in touch with the two organizations to assess adding them to the DAO Experts.

Based on some comments in Discord, Anson has also spoken with WorkDAO independently from the above initiatives.

The existence of these solutions doesn’t mean it’s a solved problem. It just means that one has to solve it meaningfully better (better both for the contributors and the treasury). It would be great if we can come up with such a solution. Not sure why we chose not to be aware of the existence of such solutions (whether we are in touch with them or not is irrelevant).

2 Likes

People were not aware and so the question was asked here.
Thank you for the transparency of work in progress as it may aid coordination of efforts with this team and others in the DAO (current and future)