Request for Funding: The Umbrella Proposal ☂️

Thank you for the detailed and thoughtful proposal Michael!
I think this direction of exploration is very valuable as we try to create a more inclusive environment that remains productive and result-oriented.

I have two questions/concerns:

  • “pay 6k USDC immediately” - this will be the first precedent of upfront payment on a proposal. Having such a precedent where the ESD members decide who is trustworthy enough to get an upfront payment (and to what size) and who is not, without a formalized framework opens the door for discrimination and/or favoritism.
  • “3000 USDC for 3 months of Mediation service” - My understanding of the scope of this proposal is to prepare and educate members of the Aragon Network so that mediation cases are handled within the network itself. Just want to make sure there is clarity around the expectation for future commitments surrounding this “subscription” beyond the initial 3 months?

Thanks for asking these questions and considering this proposal carefully.
All of this also is a giant test bed to me - especially as I am not that experienced on the financial side of things and the payment policies in our DAO.

I would like to direct your first question to Juan and ask him if it is possible to be paid by an escrow for the development of the organizational policies or what he would suggest as appropriate.

On your second question:
In the wake of present and upcoming challenges (merger, delivery phase of our core product, changes in the AN DAO charter, onboarding of more ambassadors), it is good to have professional mediators on our side in case of conflicts. This is because having untrained/unskilled people mediating conflicts likely makes things worse.
Also, training takes time, and it is unsure if we are finding enough people with the right skill set and the ability to commit their time along the way.

Another aspect is the following:
Having people with an inside view and knowledge about the Aragon Network and things happening internally is really valuable, but on the other hand it is also important to have neutral and unbiased mediators with an outside perspective. After the second month of this testing phase, we will have gathered enough experience to evaluate if the collaboration should be continued.
However, I am optimistic, and I see a lot of value in a long-term collaboration.
We should also recognize that their prices are really affordable and that it will probably be increasingly difficult to find mediators with experiences in renowned DAOs like the Gitcoin DAO or the TEC.

Having said this, it is of course possible to pay gravity DAO on per case basis.
I think the break-even point for proper conflict mediation is if we have more than 2-3 cases per month.
I would also refer the assessment of how many cases may occur in a DAO of our size and with our increased conflict potential to Juan.
Another option is to switch from the per-case payment to the monthly service fee or vice versa after the first month. Either way, I would stick to the $3k budget requested for the 3-month period - if this should be too much, we don’t need to use it.

Conflict resolutions and cultural improvements is a topic that an increasing number of DAOs is aware of, and I am glad that, despite the great potential for improvement on our side, we are still among the first to tackle these issues.

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Thank you! Let me rephrase the second question as there was some confusion.
“Funding only as and when required makes for a self-sustaining resource with the future potential (aim) to provide professional mediation services to other DAO within the Aragon Network and incorporate learnings into our human-centric product stack.”

To me this reads in two ways:

  • We hope that members of the Aragon Network that receive the training could start offering this service to DAOs within the network but outside the AN DAO itself
  • The need for external mediation within the AN DAO itself will decline (my original second question)

Could you please confirm that those are the expected outcomes?

Based on the argumentation you have put forward for the duration of this proposal I am on board with the subscription for the duration of the 3 months.
Over the 3 months we’ll be able to collect enough insight into the cases that emerged to understand if having the subscription going forward makes sense

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I’m not quite sure if this is a final yes from @fartunov, but in hopes that it is heading that way rest assured you have my full support @mheuer. I understand you are very busy this month so when addressing @fartunov remaining questions, can you also indicate when you would plan for the project to begin, please

Thank you for the time and effort you’ve invested to deliver a well-considered and imo important proposal for the development of AN DAO, I believe you will find the right people for the roles and remain hopeful of joining other volunteers in this opportunity to upskill, learn and grow together.

Fair enough - my answer is also ambiguous. @mheuer if we can get around the upfront payment I am supporting the proposal (still would appreciate clarity around the last question I posed).

If the proposers insist on upfront payment I want to hear from @lee0007 and @daniel-ospina what is their take on doing upfront payments as it will contradict the Charter? Probably compliance should make a call as well. I personally am not a fan of such an approach but open to agree with the majoirty

Payment of Gravity DAO as External Suppliers


  • DAOxDAO collaboration is a future that I support for its ability to develop synergies and deliver results beyond the scale/scope that any single organisation could achieve alone.

  • DAO Communication: Sans a formal HR function, conflict resolution and constructive communication will be integral for success especially imo as it informs the onboarding and offboarding functions and retention of key talent within DAO

  • SMART Objectives: This proposal offers specific, measurable and achievable, realistic and time-bound results.

  • Expertise & Experience Typically professionals are consulted because they bring a level of expertise that we do not have in-house and in terms of organisational policy I will defer to Juan’s expertise in this matter and @mheuer rigourous rationale.

  • Leadership Gravity DAO is building their reputation in this niche space and the opportunity to learn alongside them is a well-timed investment, in a space where DAO conflict resolution and communications skills are a growing demand

  • Window of Opportunity: This is an opportunity for contributors to learn and upskill at a very reasonable cost.

  • Event Series: I consider training a series of education events. Event costs are typically paid in advance.

  • Mitigated Risk External suppliers are typically selected on the basis of their track record and proven ability to deliver, which I see evidenced in this proposal, therefore I consider this lower-risk than an initial proposal on a new initiative.

  • Quid Pro Quo 50% advance is to deliver a project subject to assessment prior to the release of remaining funding.


Consultancy Fees: Policy development, consultancy type work is in my experience invoiced upon delivery unless invoiced as part of an agreed monthly retainer. Similar to a retainer, the Gitbook Proposal approached this hurdle by outlining monthly deliverables.

Bias: @fartunov your diligence in asking questions has raised some important points. I did not consider that the advance funding of external suppliers could be considered impartial to previous funding applicants, because this is to date our first request to fund an external supplier.

Charter: I would certainly advise others to err on the side caution in the case of Main DAO proposal to mitigate risk of challenge in situations of Charter ambiguity.

Sub-DAO Agreements S 2 (a) i
2. Make grants to other community members at their discretion, providing:
a. Such transactions are disclosed transparently on the Aragon Forum website.
b. An Escrow is used to hold funds until the completion of the agreed-upon deliverable.
c. The deliverable has been fully assessed by the members of the Executive DAO.
3. Pay suppliers of the Aragon network, providing such transactions are disclosed transparently on the forum

I understand the Charter could be interpreted to limit perhaps even prevent the advance payment of external suppliers and on that basis (&/or others unforeseen) my decision is also subject to veto. However, in the balance here I am happy to fund the proposal as it stands, pay $6000 USDC upfront to cover an external supplier because imo this proposal meets

Sub-DAO Agreements S 2 (a) i 2 ( a) and S 2 (a) i 3 costs are “disclosed transparently”
Sub-DAO Agreements S 2 (a) i 2 ( b) remaining allocation can be held in escrow or operational-multisig
Sub-DAO Agreements S 2 (a) i 2 ( c) I have assessed deliverables to the extent of my knowledge.

And I intend to assess the case for an ongoing ($1000pm) mediation service fee, contributor rewards allocations and the delivered organisational policy before agreeing to release further funds.

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Thank you for the elaborate response, unfortunately, I am not sure I understand where you land.

The question is whether the ESD should be disbursing upfront payment for services to be provided on a case by case basis and if that contradicts the charter?

Curious to hear your experience across other DAOs becuase I have not seen up-front being a common practice (token-swaps being an exception)

Side topic not related to the question: I don’t understand the classification of “external suppliers”…if a team submits the same proposal as simply a team or as a DAO should they be treated differently, or am I misunderstanding what it is?

I land FOR the proposal as it stands

  1. Executive Sub-DAO
    a. Responsibilities
    i. In particular the Executive DAO has the following powers:
  1. Pay members of other Sub-DAOs
  2. Make grants to other community members at their discretion, providing:
    a. Such transactions are disclosed transparently on the Aragon Forum website.
    b. An Escrow is used to hold funds until the completion of the agreed-upon deliverable.
    c. The deliverable has been fully assessed by the members of the Executive DAO.
  3. Pay suppliers of the Aragon network, providing such transactions are disclosed transparently on the Aragon Forum.

My understanding is that the Charter specifically excludes advance payments to community members. And I am arguing that the Charter can be interpreted, to place suppliers in a third category distinct from both 1) members of other Sub-DAO and 2) community members. While at that at the same time this proposal also meets the criteria for funding community members so bases covered.

At Index Coop, I lead Performance Marketing. 99% of supplier costs (excludes contributor rewards) are paid in advance. I assess many and various opportunities every week, requesting more money for less return on investment than this proposal. Typically we close more than 75% of the identified opportunities as they fail to provide the industry performance metrics that I apply to baseline selection to progress. Bandwagon fallacy aside…

We do not have the benefit of decades of industry best practices to work with here. The charter is our guard rails, I believe I was elected to the role based on experience. It is our responsibility as ESD to provide guidance on funding requests. If making advance payments is not a practice we wish to provide ongoing, let’s get together, agree to a standard and provide a statement to clarify our agreed position. We are not establishing case law precedent here, we do however need to provide more clarity and consistency moving forward.

Agree, there is ambuguity as to what constitutes a supplier and I believe this is a matter for the compliance committee to help determine, as part of the Charter update process. Imo this proposal is not the time to determine the future of all suppliers’ payments, just this one.

6k imo is also relatively low risk given the remainder of the payment is dependent on the delivery of 10-16.5k worth of value. Do I think this is worth the value proposed? Absolutely. This proposal falls within the ESD criteria, I believe it offers significant value therefore I say we should fund this proposal as it stands including the disclosed advance payment.

Then I am also good to go with the proposal. With Daniel’s abstain we are through. @mheuer let us know the next steps.

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Hello everyone in the Aragon Community! I’m sorry for my late reply to this message. I am GravityDAO coordination manager and have been working closely with @mheuer around this proposal for months.

I can understand the considerations expressed in this forum thread. Want to communicate that GravityDAO is very committed on supporting other DAOs developing their competences regarding conflict management, and that we have paid services (some of them included in this proposal) but also we have some free educational activities and trainings that all the Aragon community is invited and could benefit from, that can serve to understand what we are doing and build trust regarding the decision of investing as a DAO for some of our in depth additional services.

We have planned two free Graviton trainings in 2022. One in Q2 (starting late April) and other one in Q4 (starting October) - Everyone can freely take this course. The service of a tailored Graviton training is for communities that would like to have our course designed specially to their needs and requests, like time schedule, days for the trainings, specific topics, role plays, and also this training can be started at any point of the year.

For us, having relationships with this community is really valuable and we would like to continue building a bridge for long lasting relationships. Maybe if the community has some doubts now, we can start preparing the ground without any upfront payment, to continue talking about this proposal once there is more confidence and certainty about the quality and good will of the services we provide.

I am also available for calls and coordination, so feel free to reach out to have more information.

We are having most of our activities in the TEC Discord server: Token Engineering Commons

We are exploring liberating structures with very dynamic practice groups on Tuesdays

We are also leading a study club around the book “Who do we choose to be” by Margaret Wheatley, on thursdays.

Also this Friday I will be talking about Gravity in the Commons Stack AMA community call - Everyone interested can participate, join the conversation and ask questions :slight_smile:

Big hugs! I will try to keep in the loop of this thread.


Thank you for your kind reply and invitation to the events. We will incorporate them into the initiative and invite our community.


Funds requested for GravityDAO include

  • One time costs:
    • 6000 USDC consultancy fee to GravityDAO to establish organizational policies
    • 3000 USDC service fee to GravityDAO to provide training
  • Running costs:
    • 3000 USDC for 3 months of Mediation service

This totals to $12k for the GravityDAO part of the proposal.

The proposal suggested paying

  • $6k upfront,
  • $3k once the policies are completed and handed over, and
  • 3x $1k for the mediation service on a monthly basis.

The executive committee agreed to the $6k upfront. GravityDAO agreed to start without an $6k upfront payment.


As a compromise, I propose the following:

  • pay $3k upfront for the tailored trainings.
  • define three milestones for the delivery of the organizational policies and pay $2k for the completion of each milestone
  • pay 3x $1k on a monthly basis for the mediation service (based on the first month use, we might switch to a per-case payment)

In the name of GravityDAO i want to express that we agree to the terms and conditions expressed in this post, and that we don’t have any blockings towards retroactive payments or uses of escrows.

Will also try to answer the questions regarding the 3 month mediation service. After the Graviton trainings, Aragon would be able to have a list of beginner trained mediators, that would be leading the case management according to the policies, processes and workflows built from the establishment of organizational policies. The next 3 months would be a transitional space of time where GravityDAO would assist the mediators in your community to familiarize with the workflows and support in any question they might have, or in the cases they feel they might need support from a more experienced mediator, hoping that after this time, the conflict management in your organization can become something completely autonomous and decentralized.

Here is a presentation where you can see some information of our mediation processes and our practical educational activitites and trainings.


Great, we have to figure out a time (together with the potential contributors) where we start the initiative. I think the next two weeks, many of us are probably at full capacity.

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On behalf of the ESD I’m going to accept the proposed compromise on the basis that this 100% helps us build consistency for how we fund internal and external suppliers. The ambiguity of the Charter aside, the process of payment on assessment of deliverables is the standard contributors are held to, and I believe it is good to apply this consistently for ESD funded projects. Events, such as the tailored training program, will be a standard exception in that events are routinely paid in advance.

@JuankBell @mheuer I look forward to participating in both the training and look forward to developing interpersonal communication skills tailored to working in a DAO.


Hey folks I’m supporting Gravity as a tresurer and i just want to confirm the address given by @mheuer in the proposal (“0xfFbD35255008F86322051F2313D4b343540e0e00”) is safe to send money from Mainnet and Gnosis chain (former xdai).

Looking forward to support in any way I can.


ESD Reporting for April

@daniel-ospina @lee0007 @fartunov


  • Kickstart of the Umbrella team - Complete (see the Umbrella Initiative Notion Page )
    • meeting schedules have been defined
    • responsibilities and roles were discussed
    • a task board and timeline was created
    • the start was announced via a flyer
    • Shared inbox for the Umbrella team to manage requests was creater
  • Tailored GravityDAO trainings - In Progress
    • Planning & ideation phase has begun
  • Mediation Service by GravityDAO - In Progress
    • The mediation service is available and was announced in the community via a flyer
    • AMA with GravityDAO was held in the Friday Socials
  • Development of organizational policies together with GravityDAO - Not Started

Funding Request

The original funding request was

  • $12000 worth of USDC
  • $4500 worth of ANT

In April, $3000 worth of USDC was used send to the GravityDAO multi-sig as an upfront payment.

See End of the month report (for Guilds).

Next Month

  • Finish planning on the tailored GravityDAO trainings
    • define training dates
  • Improve self-organization (e.g. DeWork Kanban board, anonymity agreement)
  • Planning / conducting cultural group work / methodologies to improve culture in the Aragon Network according to our mission statement
  • Start the development of organizational policies together with GravityDAO

Just to clarify - Are there no contributor payments pending for April?

No. So far, contributors have worked on a voluntary basis. Special thanks to @AcidCavin and all the others that participated so far.


FYI, Changed the $3.000 payment into 0, as that one was already been paid in a previous cycle (to avoid confusion)


Umbrella ESD Report May

@daniel-ospina @lee0007 @fartunov


  • Umbrella team month 2 ( see Umbrella Initiative )

    • All weekly meeting agendas and minutes available in above link
    • responsibilities and roles:
      • Fmurphy assigned to roll of team coordinator
      • In discussions with MaxCasper and Incandenza to formally join the team, pending deliverables and remuneration agreements
    • Team task board and timeline in use
    • Shared inbox for the Umbrella team to manage requests open to team
  • Tailored GravityDAO trainings -

    • Planning & ideation phase - In Progress
    • Tentative start date of 23rd June, 2 trainings bi-weekly
    • Once start date is confirmed, will begin promoting trainings, end of this week or by 5th June
  • Mediation Service by GravityDAO - In Progress

    • The mediation service is available and was announced in the community via a flyer
  • Cultural Working Group - In Progress

    • Group are meeting weekly
    • Facilitated open-space provided by MaxCasper and Incancenza to AA Core Team on 27th May in response to AN DAO Funds Transfer proposal
  • Development of organisational policies together with GravityDAO - Not Started

    • On hold until clarity emerges around AA and AN DAO merge

    Funding Request Total ($880)

    • Core Team Contributors ($880)
    • USDC 90%
    • ANT 10%
    • One contributor, @mattia, agreed to be paid 100% in ANT

    Next Month:

    • Work with Growth to promote AN DAO Gravity Training
    • Begin hosting trainings
    • Analyse uptake of GravityDAO Mediation Services
    • Continue Culture Working Group project
      • Liaise with related projects including MVV and dGov initiatives and check for overlaps
      • Finalize deliverables and renumeration with Max and Incandenza
      • Plan next facilitated open-space