VDP-148 Blueprint for Sustainable Growth: Operationalizing VitaDAO’s New Mandate

This proposal outlines the transition of VitaDAO to a new organizational structure, VitaDAO 2.0, which combines high-stake monitorship with decentralized autonomous execution, enhancing operational efficiency, maintaining strategic alignment, and promoting scalable growth.

Authors: @alexdobrin , @PaulHaas , @Alex


VitaDAO’s 2024-2025 mandate introduced the need for an new organizational design:

Screenshot 2024-06-14 at 10.53.33

This proposal elaborates on this need and suggests a new operational framework that guards the mandate and improves execution capacity.

VitaDAO 2.0 is a new governance model that relies on Guardians, Pods (Executive Layer), and a membrane of VitaDAO contributors. This structure aims to balance mandate oversight by Guardians with autonomous execution by Pods and contributors, fostering a more agile and mission-aligned organization.

Here’s how this structure helps ensure VitaDAO’s future:

  • Balanced Oversight and Autonomy: Guardians provide non-binding strategic input, allowing Pods and Contributors autonomy in their operations, striking a balance between control and creative freedom.
  • Mission Alignment: Guardians help ensure that all decisions uphold VitaDAO’s core mission, maintaining focus and alignment throughout various levels of the organization without compromising the power of VITA holders.
  • Scalable Framework: the structure is designed to accommodate exponential growth, enabling VitaDAO to scale its operations without sacrificing the quality of governance or execution.
  • Agile Execution: the decentralized execution model allows for rapid iteration and adjustment to strategies in real-time, keeping the organization highly responsive to changes in the research landscape or community needs.
  • Resource Optimization: The strategic allocation of roles and responsibilities ensures that resources are used efficiently, maximizing impact and minimizing waste.



Guardians uphold the mission and mandate of VitaDAO and play a crucial role in steering its direction. The group is comprised of key stakeholders with significant VITA holdings, and is limited to seven members (“pizza team”), though not all seats have to be taken at all times.

  • Application criteria and requirements
    • Members who are at the top 1% of governance power (inclusively of delegated tokens) can apply to become Guardians. The exact threshold will be determined based on the analysis of top token holders provided by Etherscan or a similar source. Members are allowed to serve as delegatees to get to the minimum amount of tokens required for candidacy.
    • Where Guardians have the opportunity to be rewarded for performing their oversight responsibilities well, through the granting of additional governance power, there also is a need to establish commitment and a sense of urgency for Guardians. Therefore, Guardians must be prepared to risk a limited amount of their existing governance power should their performance not meet quantifiable performance metrics.
    • Guardians shall host internal meetings every two weeks and hold a semi-annual face-to-face gathering. These meetings are critical for setting the agenda and overseeing high-level mandates for Pods and Pod Leads. The agenda and main outcomes of these meetings should be openly communicated to Pod Leads & the broader VITA community.
    • While Pod Leads can serve as Guardians, this is not a hard a requirement.
  • Detailed responsibilities
    1. Assigning/terminating Pod Leads: Guardians shall have the right and responsibility to assign and terminate Pod Leads autonomously and negotiate terms privately on a case-by-case basis. Guardians have the duty to communicate the assignment/termination of any Pod Lead openly to the community. Finally, any community member can push VDPs in appeal for any assignment/termination.
    2. Terminating fellow Guardians: Guardians shall have the right and responsibility to keep other Guardians accountable and terminate those that fail to meet expected standards of performance, commitment or work ethics. Any termination must be communicated to the community and any community member can push VDPs in appeal for that termination. Decisions to terminate a Guardian should follow the Modified Consensus framework.
    3. Budgetary framework: Guardians are responsible for setting a budgetary framework for each Pod. However, the detailed allocation and management of this budget falls under Pod Leads’ purview. Moreover, Guardians have the authority to veto budget decisions that diverge from the established mandate or mission of VitaDAO and potential attack vectors (See ENS DAO). This veto power is a critical aspect of their role, as it allows them to maintain strategic alignment and prevent deviations from the organization’s core goals and values. Along with the veto, Guardians should provide a detailed explanation and constructive feedback to Pod Leads, outlining why the budget decision does not align with VitaDAO’s mission or mandate.
    4. Strategic planning/direction: Guardians will be responsible for interfacing with Pod Leads and suggesting strategic directions.
    5. Performance review & reporting: Guardians will have the key responsibility of reviewing the performance of Pod Leads and auditing their progress. The main output of this effort should be in the form of a community-wide report to all token holders. This reporting shall be done through an open community call to be held on a quarterly basis.
    6. Guardians agree to adhere to the Modified Consensus Process for decision making.


This proposal establishes the creation of two Pods: the Longevity Pod and the Web3 Pod. Pods should be seen as executional units led by a Pod Lead and operating with significant autonomy. Each Pod will be responsible for executing a specific mandate under the constraint of having a budget approved by Guardians. Furthermore, Pods will outline an operational scope, have leadership responsibilities, manage the budget autonomously and report progress bi-weekly directly to Guardians. Pod Leads will be directly supported by Guardians and a nest of DAO contributors.

  • Longevity Pod

    The Longevity Pod shall be led by 1-2 lead(s) and will be responsible for driving and executing VitaDAO’s efforts in the longevity space as a whole. The Pod shall be given a limited budget and have full autonomy over resource allocation, which can vary from time to time depending on VitaDAO’s needs.


  1. Advance and launch new IPTs
  2. Create an manage a new Seasons Program to generate innovative in-house ideas for IP development
  3. Monitor and leverage existing connections within PortCos
  4. Scout, curate and close B2B partnerships deals with top-tier longevity-related products and services
  5. Translate complex scientific language into clear, accessible content for diverse audiences
  6. Design and run decentralized clinical trials experiments for research projects
  7. Deliver transparent resource allocation reports for enhanced transparency and accountability, accessible to community members at all time
  • Web3 Pod

    The Pod will be responsible for crafting and leading the execution of a comprehensive Web3 strategy, guiding VitaDAO’s efforts in decentralized innovation, tokenomics, and scaling a decentralized organization. It should be led by 2 co-leads.


  1. Tokenomics:
    • Enhance the utility of the VITA token
    • Improve the availability of the VITA token
  2. Advance the DeSci Model of drug development:
    • Foster active collaboration between scientists and Web3-native
  3. Treasury Management:
    • Develop on-chain Treasury Management strategies focused on capital
      preservation and capital efficiency
  4. Sustainability and Product Development:
    • Improve the composability of research assets owned by VitaDAO with
      the rest of DeFi and DeSci
    • Create and improve a platform for longevity products & services tailored towards a Web3-native audience
  5. Organizational Development & Community Growth:
    • Design a go-to-community strategy and grow VitaDAO’s membership
      base by leveraging trending Web3 narratives and tools like SocialFi,
      NFTs, RWA, etc
    • Help drive VitaDAO towards the path of progressive decentralization,
      making it a self-organizing, and highly efficient global network of
    • Develop and execute VitaDAO’s social media strategy. Manage content creation and execution across all platforms, ensuring a consistent and engaging brand voice.
    • Cultivate and maintain relationships with the community, influencers, and thought leaders within web3 and longevity field.
  6. Web3 Tech
    • Oversee VitaDAO’s on-chain tech stack - e.g., Smart Contracts
    • Facilitate the work of tech contributors by providing leadership &
  7. Partnerships and Visibility
    • Improve the discoverability of VitaDAO within the Web3 community
      through partnerships with other Web3 projects that can feature
      VitaDAO prominently
    • Represent VitaDAO in Web3 conferences and scout new partnerships
  8. Transparency and Governance:
    • Create live dashboards for enhanced transparency and accountability,
      accessible to community members at all time

Budget and Compensation

A thorough compensation framework will be presented and vetted by the community in a separate proposal. This VDP outlines some of the high-level components upon which the new proposal shall be based:

  • Elected Guardians shall be entitled to receive recognition from the DAO based on their oversight/governance performance in the form of additional governance power. The performance metrics and mechanisms used to establish the granting of further governance power will be proposed separately as part of an overarching compensation framework. The allocation will be determined based on aggregated responsibilities (e.g., if they’re also executing as Pod Leads) and an yearly performance evaluation. Moreover, a mechanism which, if a Guardian fails to meet expected standards of performance or work ethics, could result in a reduction in governance power is anticipated.
  • Pod Leads receive competitive salaries that should be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Contributors compensation will be project-specific within Pods’ budgets and should be based on the OBRA model.


The new structure will be implemented through a phased approach, starting with Pod Formation and Guardians elections.

  1. Establishment of Pods
    • If approved, this proposal greenlights the creation of the Longevity and the Web3 Pod. These Pods can be incorporated as limited companies in any jurisdiction deemed strategic for its operations.
    • Contributors currently working under the Working Group scheme can be relocated to one of the Pods according to its internal demands. Service provider contracts that are currently active between VitaDAO Global Services (VGS) and contributors or their legal entities will either be terminated or transferred in full to one of the Pods. In both cases, the affected party shall be notified immediately.
    • Ongoing initiatives like The Longevist, Ambassadors Program, etc, will also automatically fall under one of the new Pods and budgeting shall be reevaluated by the lead. For gap periods where there’s no assigned lead for a given Pod, all initiatives underneath that Pod shall be directly managed by Guardians or fully interrupted until a new lead takes over.
  2. Guardians election
    • The election will be conducted through a single Snapshot vote, utilizing a weighted voting mechanism. This method allows tokenholders to express their support for multiple candidates (or none), distributing their vote proportionally according to their preferences and ensuring a democratic and representative selection process that reflects the collective decision of the VitaDAO community. Candidates that receive the highest aggregate support will be elected as Guardians. The initial election will nominate no more and no less than 5 people to serve as Genesis Guardians. Two seats will remain open so as to incentivize greater contribution from members that aspire to serve as Guardians. The election or nomination of new members shall be held at any time.
  3. Appointment of Pod Leads
    • Once elected, Guardians will be responsible for hiring and onboarding top-tier talent to lead each one of the Pods. Though Guardians will be responsible for carrying out interviews, reference checks and negotiating terms, any community member can suggest candidates to serve as Guardians. A contributor that manages to source a candidate that ends up being hired as Pod Lead will be fairly compensated for the effort.
    • Guardians shall also serve as Pod Leads if deemed the right person to take over the role. There should be a hard limit of no more than 50% of Guardians serving as Pod Leads at any given time.
  • Agree
  • Revisions Requested [Details in Comments]
  • Disagree
0 voters
1 Like

Looking good! Excited about the future of VitaDAO with this new structure.

It is amazing to see clear accountability amongst the members with the greatest impact on the organization with the implementation of this structure.
All for that!

Just one question:
The following is mentioned as part of the longevity pod’s responsibilities:
“scouting new partnerships and closing deals with top-tier longevity-related products and services.”

Whereas this is mentioned as part of the web3 pod’s responsibilities:
“Create and improve a platform for longevity products & services tailored towards a Web3-native audience”

These goals seem quite similar, how are they specifically covered by each pod?
Is the longevity pod getting them onto the platform, whereas the web3 pod is optimizing incentives, participation, etc. once they get onto the platform?


Solid proposal. Love the focus on Web3 and transparency—highly needed in today’s times.


Love this, OBRA and clear KPIs. I think it is also important to remember that VitaDAO is first a DAO so I agree with the renewed focus on crypto, but let’s not forget the Sci in DeSci. Looking forward to rewarding output and not effort. Please do not close the comment section, though -

  1. I would like to propose a few inputs, especially for what is related to the Longevity Pod - I think we can provide more structure to its goals.

  2. Also based on this proposal there is the need for several follow-up proposals (Compensation Policy, KPIs, maybe budget?, ethics and performance for guardians)

  3. There should be some wording for what happens between passing this proposal and its actual implementation - it seems like we want to stop all activities in between but this proposal implies several workstreams and that might mean a few months of inactivity - would rather suggest a clear timeline for implementation (2-3 months at most) and in the meanwhile VitaDAO continue activities as-is

  4. We should also clarify how this community will differentiate from other existing communities for example Blueprint - I envision VitaDAO as a science-based membership service with access to vetted longevity clinics etc., might be good to bring in some longevity doctors to vet what we offer to our members or at least provide feedback . Happy to hear the thoughts of the team behind the proposal

  5. Also not sure we cover all the key goals of the mandate. where would the decentralized clinical trial fall under?

Advance and Launch IPTs
o Source high-quality academic projects with commercial potential
o Incubate in partnership with other actors in the ecosystem (e.g., Catalyst) projects that are not ready yet for commercialization
o Assess in a timely and thorough manner projects that can achieve IP formation within the investment budget of VitaDAO
o Advance with the support of Entrepreneurs in Residence funded projects to a stage in which they can generate defensible and commercially valuable IP
Seasons Program
o Based on the success of cohort-based programs like Y combinator, implement a new seasons program for funding and incubating new scientific projects, supporting the first goal of advancing and launching IPTs
Support portfolio companies and funded scientific projects
o Monitor and support companies to which we provided equity financing
o Advance, with the support of our EiRs, funded academic projects (e.g., Matrix, Artan, Korolchuck)
Decentralized Clinical Trials
o Conduct the first decentralized clinical trial for a partner institution or one of the companies in our portfolio
Transparency and Governance
o Ensure wise use of budget and transparency in expenses, supporting web3 pod mandate for transparent governance

1 Like

Thank you for your question. This relates to VitaDAO’s Members Portal. The proposal is to have it as a cross-pod initiative really, with the Web3 Pod responsible for developing the tech and designing a crypto-native UX while the Longevity Pod would be responsible for sourcing and curating products and services (e.g., longevity clinics).

  • Guardians hire & fire Pod Leads
  • Guardians are setting the budgets for Pods and have veto rights

Allowing someone to be Guardian and Pod Lead at the same time is a clear conflict of interest, particularly regarding budget approvals and resource allocations.

The current org structure already has this weakness and point of centralization with the VitaCORE group, which has a lot of overlap with WG stewards.

Since this proposal is all about creating VitaDAO 2.0 and allowing for better-decentralized execution, we should remove the weak points we currently have, instead of perpetuating them with a very similar design that is just renaming CORE to Guardians and Stewards to Pod leads.

Composition of the Guardians group

Right now there’s a lot of emphasis on being in the top 1% of VITA holders, aka being a whale. I know that there’s the delegation option as well, but I would still like to see a more inclusive approach that clearly welcomes domain experts as Guardians.

A good approach would be to set a fixed ratio for the group of 7 guardians – let’s say 30% to 50% of the guardians have to be domain experts in longevity and/or biotech. It’s much more helpful for long-term mission and alignment to have a diverse group of investors, scientists, and biotech experts than having a guardian group consisting of 7 crypto investors that qualify by being in the top 1% of VITA holders.

Vague Definitions and Roles

The roles of Guardians and Pods, while neatly categorized, lack specific, measurable responsibilities that go beyond broad governance rhetoric. Terms like “mission alignment” and “agile execution” are not operationally defined, making them difficult to assess or enforce. On paper (or rather in various other past proposals) we already have been working towards these same goals for years – with limited success. Having these goals written down again to have them in front of us might feel like a nice short-term reward to ourselves, but writing it down or compressing it into a proposal was never the problem or the missing piece in the first place.

Concrete and practical guidelines > high-level abstract language

What was and still is the problem, is the concrete execution of these goals. We need concrete examples and guidelines of how we will put these things into action. In its current state, the proposal is very high-level and contains loads of broad rhetoric. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good “decentralized autonomous execution” and “enhanced operational efficiency” just like the next guy, but how do we really actually get there?

What I like about this proposal is that it correctly identifies some of the most important weak points and I think it comes at a good time to make some radical changes, which are much needed. But in its current state, it falls short of showing us HOW TO ACTUALLY GET THERE. As I said above, we have already known what we want for quite some years, and that’s not the problem we are having.

There’s a real danger we pass this proposal – ignore concrete practical measures that are desperately needed along the way – and end up with the same organization and communication flaws but this time with some shiny new names (CORE = Guardians, Working group = Pod, Steward = Pod Lead). That would be a shame and a missed chance.


Perfect, thanks! This was also what I thought it might mean :slight_smile:

As the Longevist 2024 Annual Review VDP recently passed with unanimous support, perhaps the re-evaluation could happen from 2025, especially as we’ve agreed comp for several collabs/services throughout 2024.
I think we should also have the autonomy to continue operating during potential gap periods if/when there is no pod lead, as the nature of the project is to deliver an issue each quarter (as on our ISSN application) so wouldn’t want to disrupt this, or miss out on any new dealflow opportunities from preprint-derived sourcing activities.

Pods sounds better than “committees”.

1 Like

Schmackofant raises valid points, especially that someone can be Guardian and Pod lead at the same time. I voiced it previously that it should be either or, but not both.

Otherwise too much control and power will be in the hands of a few single individuals, as for most part guardians will be pod leads as they will be voting themselves in, and then determine on budget for the pods while also executing them.

Domain expertise probably would not hurt, assuming that each guardian will be KYCd and has to show documents that show he is a good fit and to be trusted as guardian.


The idea behind the proposal of more efficient and faster execution is the right one, and while I like the big picture the devil might be in the details. Especially while in theory it can facilitate decentralization of execution, the Guardian model facilitates centralization of power much more opening the doors for a Decentralized Autonomous Oligarchy (even more so then the current VitaCORE), hence here a few things to consider:

Regarding Guardians:

There should be a way by the community to off-board Guardians directly. We had off-boarding issues in VitaDAO 1.0 so we should account for this, otherwise we will have same issues.

A public vote of no confidence on discourse and snapshot might be a way to do that with the caveat that all Guardians are not allowed to vote on this, as obviously COI.

And generally for Guardian elections the community should be able to do a full KYCd, due dilligence on the the people that want to be guardians, and Guardians should not be able to vote on the guardian election, not for themselves nor other guardians.

Moreover Guardian Performance and compensation should only judged by non-guardians, and half-yearly might be fairer, and easier to track.

Ideally the Guardians are filled up to an odd-number to not create stalemates.

Regarding Pods:

Generally in favour of the Pod Idea - apart from that guardians can be pod leads. They should not be.

Moreover, rules to create new pods should be established.


Additionally, we should specify a timer period of transition, or a date say July 31st, for when this proposal goes into affect after being voted in, as otherwise we will have some times without clear leadership, this proposal removes cores and stewards and we will not have pods and guardians for a few weeks or months, this time in between, things should keep running as, is to avoid confusion. That is contracts can still be signed, compensation for contributors are being paid out, the current presentation sildes can be used etc.


Thank you for your input, Rhys :pray:

However, the re-evaluation process is a mechanical one with no exceptions. All ongoing initiatives will fall under the purview of one of the Pods and will be re-evaluated according to that Pod’s budget as part of this process. This way, we can provide more transparency around the DAO expenses

This does not mean that terms will be automatically changed, but it ensures consistency and adherence to our processes.


Hi @schmackofant thanks for the thoughtful comments. Let me try to address some of your points:

Certainly a valid concern we thought very carefully about. Note that the proposal limits the amount of Guardians that can serve as Pod Leads to less than 3/7 for this exact reason. The idea is to strike the right balance between context-full Guardians that help provide executive perspectives and “outside Guardians” that provide unbiased perspectives. A group without representatives from the first category would suffer from lack of context on day-to-day matters, which is critically important.

The emphasis on being in the top 1% is important to ensure Guardians (and their delegators) have enough skin in the game in performing their duties. Note that they can be penalized in failing to do so.

The community will have the ultimate decision power over the exact composition of the group. I agree that it’d not be ideal to have only large crypto investors as part of the group. This is where delegation comes in really, as even those investors would likely be better off delegating at least part of their governance power in support for a e.g., a biotech expert.

I believe the “Detailed Responsibilities” section for Guardians is quite clear. For Pods, it’s no more no less than executing on the specified mandate.

Couldn’t agree more! The main purpose of this proposal is to greatly enhance execution capacity by letting Pods operate with great autonomy - limited by budget and reporting requirements ofc.


Thanks for the feedback @alexm, appreciate it.

This proposal very clearly describes the role of the Guardians as high-level and strategic: Creating and measuring KPIs, Strategic planning/direction, hiring & firing, setting budgets, etc.

Now you’re talking about “providing executive perspectives” which to be honest sounds a lot more like micro-managing Pod leads and Pods and would be the opposite of “enhancing autonomy”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think one big reason for the creation of this proposal are exactly those blurred lines: The uncertainty of what VitaCORE may do and should do, to what degree they are allowed to interfere with the execution of WG Stewards, how much strategic vs day-to-day input… these questions have created a lot of tensions and problems in the past. This proposal very ambitiously calls for VitaDAO 2.0, but essentially leaves one of the biggest weak points and points of contention intact. This proposal is a unique chance to improve this aspect, so why not take it?

There’s a good chance the Guardians group starts out or at some point becomes smaller than 7 people. Having e.g. 3/4 or 3/5 Guardians be Pod Leads doesn’t sound healthy to me. This should definitely be addressed in the proposal.

“The community” sounds awfully euphemistic in this context. Take a look at the last 10 snapshot proposals and the turnout. Every single one of them can be decided by the same pool of 2-3 people alone, who are Stewards and CORE.

Another problem: With delegation enabled and given the anonymity of ethereum addresses, it’s close to impossible to tell where votes are coming from or to prevent potential Guardians from voting for themselves.

So in effect what you’re describing boils down to: The people with the most tokens have the ultimate decision power to vote if the people with the most tokens get to be Guardian(s). It’s easy to spot the problem here and this will without a doubt in my mind be exploited pretty soon if put into effect.

The good news is there’s an easy fix: Since the mission and long-term goals for VitaDAO are well known we can easily set an appropriate minimum ratio for domain experts in the Guardian group. If problems arise, this ratio can be easily updated by another gov proposal. Curious to hear what’s the argument against doing this.

If they are “better off” doing this is a matter of perspective and requires an awful lot of trust in the good intentions of possibly random investors who will not always share the perspective and values that we want for VitaDAO. There are countless DAOs that were exploited this way and it keeps on happening. Have we learned nothing from the past?

Everyone in this DAO who followed what happened with Borovan should know very well what can happen if you blindly rely on people with a lot of tokens to act in a rational way where they might “likely be better off”. Again, there’s an easy way to fix this.

I’m still trying to figure out how this will enhance execution in the day-to-day from the perspective of a contributor or lead. Maybe you can help me paint a clearer picture? I think it would be valuable for contributors and leads to see how this proposal would change their typical workday or workweek in VitaDAO and how this would enhance their autonomy.

Current situation

  • A group of 14 people – some of them WG Stewards – named VitaCORE gives strategic direction, hires & fires Stewards (ratified by token holders), and protects mandate and mission. While this group’s job is mainly high-level and strategic, there are Stewards in the group to have context on day-to-day matters.
  • Stewards lead their WG, execute on their goals (given the strategic input from VitaCORE) and manage the budget given by VitaCORE.

Future situation with this proposal passed

  • A group of 7 people – some of them Pod Leads – named Guardians give strategic direction, hire & fire Pod leads (ratified by token holders), and protect mandate and mission. While this group’s job is mainly high-level and strategic, there are Pod Leads in the group to have context on day-to-day matters.
  • Pod Leads lead their Pod, execute on their goals (given the strategic input from the Guardians) and manage the budget given by the Guardians.

It would help to get a better grasp of the practical effects of this proposal, it’s still very abstract for me right now. One could even say this proposal is a very long-winded way of saying “we want to elect new VitaCORE members and WG Stewards and reduce the number of VitaCORE members to 7”.


Excellent proposal and progress, agree with the majority of points and comments here.

Think the key is that we make sure to keep the structure as lightweight as possible for enough surface areas for great people to get involved, and for people to come in and propose the acceleration of promising longevity research without having to work themselves through too many layers before it becomes a gov proposal.

Basically making it easy for people to bring great science, and get rewarded, or advance science in straightforward ways.