VDP-78: Steward Election Process


VitaDAO has finally closed its fundraising and now has the operational capacity to execute our postponed steward elections.

This proposal will outline the election process with reference/accordance to VDP-19, VDP-69, VitaDAO Governance Constitution and suggestions from Re-election Announcement.


As VitaDAO aligns around the concept of an execution layer and a consensus layer, it is vital to also grow the base of active contributors, potential steward candidates. Through these termly elections, $VITA holders will be empowered to vote in the people who are trusted and most intrinsically motivated to see the mission/vision of VitaDAO through by doing the work required.


Team: Gavin (Lead), Todd, Rakhan

Ground rules

From passed proposals stated above:

  • $VITA holders will vote stewards in
  • Any working group member may self-/nominate someone as a Candidate for a Steward position, either to the VitaCORE group (for private discussion) or publicly, on Discord/Discourse
  • Stewards can veto the nomination (within 3 days) and VitaCORE, or the nominee, can appeal with a $VITA holder vote.
  • In a vote necessarily recurring every 6 months (1 term), members of all working groups vote on whether the steward should remain in place through usual phasic governance. If a majority of members of all working groups do not confirm the steward, the steward is offboarded.
  • Upon election, the steward on/off-boarding process stated in VDP-19 will commence


In addition to abiding by the notes and soft requirements stated in VDP-19, the key responsibilities and necessary requirements stated in VDP-72 for Stewards must be met to ensure a greater chance of being elected.

Positions available for nomination: (1 per WG)


  • Longevity Dealflow WG
  • Coordination WG
  • Community & Awareness WG


We propose the following process:

Elections will last 2 weeks starting a week after this proposal is passed. It will be split into 2 phases.

Nomination (7 days)

  • Any working group member may self-/nominate a Steward candidate for a position to VitaCore (for private discussion) or publicly, on Discord/Discourse

  • If Stewards reject the nomination (this veto process can be done by Stewards in private, within 3 days), VitaCore or the nominee can post an appeal VDP to the $VITA holders.

Elections (7 days) - Snapshot

  • The candidates (nominees that aren’t vetoed by the Stewards or are confirmed in appeal) will post on Discord in the specific threads made for each role, using this template:

    • Title: [[Name of working group]] Candidate [your preferred name]
      For example: [Coordination WG] Candidate Vitalik/vbuterin
    • Body: copy and paste this into your Discord post -
      • Your preferred name
      • Twitter profile link (optional)
      • Why do you think you would be a good steward of this working group?
      • Time availability? (xx hrs/week)
  • Reactions on posts do not count as votes.

  • Token holders will vote for their preferred winner directly on Snapshot in a multiple-choice format detailing all the nominees

  • There will be 3 separate Snapshot proposals VDP 78.1, VDP 78.2 and VDP 78.3 for Stewards’ working groups respectively

  • Anonymity will be held due to shielded voting


If this proposal passes phase 2, the election process will start a week after. Our rationale for passing just a phase 2 threshold, is that the proposal doesn’t involve a budget and doesn’t take anything away from token holders. Operations and shepherding will be carried out by the team lead as stated above. After the election process ends, the 6 months (1 term) will start. The election process will be integrated into VitaDAO’s governance constitution on Discourse.

  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Abstain

0 voters


Great proposal!

One thing that concerns me is that the longevity WG is effectively only governed by one steward, yet it represents around 60-70% of the activity of the DAO. Moreover, there is overlap with some squads and steward positions. To rectify this I would suggest to A) expand the longevity WG into multiple sub-groups or squads, and B) consolidate groups. Finally, I feel like some crucial activities are missing, for example ensuring project success post-funding.

Longevity WG could be split into:

  • Dealflow Group
  • Evaluation Group
  • Project Success Group

Other WGs could be consolidated into:

  • Coordination, Legal & Governance (often the same thing)
  • Tokenomics and Fundraising (the same thing)
  • Community, Awareness and Marketing (same same)
  • Tech & Product & Memberships

Like this, the DAO would split its active governance and resources to 3/7 into longevity research and evaluation and 4/7 into operations, marketing, ops, tech, finance.


Thanks for reading through the proposal Paul! Love the in-depth suggestions. Hopefully my comments clear up your doubts and address your concerns. Otherwise, we’re more than happy to carry on the discourse here!

It is most important that the elections grow the base of active contributors, and potentially steward candidates that do the work for VitaDAO.

For A),

With the introduction of VDP-69, the role of a Steward undertakes the main responsibility of enabling WG members to get more done, and thereby unleashing the full potential of the WG. Assuming the role quite like the cement in between bricks, rather than being a sole governer. This usually requires prior knowledge of at least 6 months in the DAO and a full-time commitment.

We were also having a discussion in our Coordination WG sync about the number of stewards required for the Longevity WG in particular. According to the new role and commitment required, we didn’t really think more than 1 was needed (@rpill feel free to add your thoughts). I really like your suggestion for A) as it means more WG members are empowered to make/lead these decisions. However, squads as per VDP-69, will not have their own budget and are on an as-needed basis (not full-time but on-demand). This might be unsuitable for the Longevity WG, seeing that it represents the majority of VitaDAO’s activity.

If the community feels that we need more than 1 Steward in this WG, I’d be happy to make the necessary changes.

For B),

Inspired by the Safe OBRA Model, the reason for less consolidation was for more decentralisation/alignment around the concept of an execution layer and a consensus layer empowering WG members. Moving forward from the first successful year of ops in VitaDAO, we proposed efficiency improvements via empowering individuals or squads to execute as per VDP-69.

Although, I agree that some squads can be better consolidated. In particular, Tokenomics/Treasury/Fundraising & Community/Awareness/Marketing. However, these squads were deemed as being better off called upon (on-demand) rather than having their own consistent budget. I’d assume in accordance to VitaDAO’s strategic plan for 2023? @Taliskermalt

The proposed steward and squad lead positions above were also based off VDP-69 and inspired by VDP-72.

However, if the community feels otherwise we can make those necessary changes too. As always.


@PaulHaas @consigli3re

I see stewards more as facilitators than governors. In the Longevity Dealflow WG, most decision-making, due diligence, project optimization, and write-up are done on the level of deal squads, so a steward is there to mainly help along, incentivize, see where extra attention is required, and disburse milestone payouts. This can effectively be done by one steward.

Since the processes take place with the deal squad granularity, having more than one steward is redundant.


@consigli3re noting a consistency item:

  1. In a vote necessarily recurring every 6 months (1 term), members of all working groups vote on whether the steward should remain in place in an anonymous poll on Discord or Discourse. If a majority of members of all working groups do not confirm the steward, the steward is offboarded

We noted earlier in the proposal, and as anticipated in VDP-69 that token holders vote for the stewards and squad leads, that necessarily will require an on-chain vote, so we should remove the reference to Discord, and simply suggest that a VDP will be published on Discourse, and then put onto Snapshot, as per any other governance proposal. Not all token holders enter Discourse, and a bunch aren’t on Discord, they respond when they are asked to vote on Snapshot.


Yes, you are right. Thank you for pointing that out. I have amended the proposal accordingly.

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I don’t feel particularly good about using Discourse for these polls. Discourse makes it really easy to create fake accounts or multiple accounts (this is also true for VDP proposals of course, but since this specific proposal is creating new outlines for the elections, we could already use our learnings here and improve the process for VDPs later).

Having the poll on Discord instead (and possibly using token-gating) would already be a step forward. There’s also the possibility of requiring a Gitcoin Passport from voters (https://passport.gitcoin.co/) for better sybil-resistance.
Maybe there are even Discourse plugins that allow to add some requirements for allowing people to participate in polls.

@consigli3re Happy to help on the tech front here, but I really think we should discontinue these polls on Discourse as soon as possible and don’t implement new processes using them.


Great point. I agree that sybil resistance on Discourse isn’t ideal, even with increasing the trust level threshold from 1 to 2.

I think we can implement a Discord bot like EasyPoll in a wg channel that is token-gated (most preferably #general-wg) for anonymous polls, as they launch Jan 28th. I would love to hear your thoughts on how to implement the Gitcoin Passport for further verification in the election process.

I’ve updated the proposal after a discussion with @longevion about the Steward’s veto process according to VDP-69.

TLDR - Stewards can veto a nomination without making the decision or reason public. This is to possibly prevent unnecessary public shaming. However, the nominee and VitaCore have the right to always appeal to tokenholders even if these disputes are chosen to be kept private.

I have updated the proposal to use Discord as the main tool for carrying out the operations of this election. After agreeing fully with the sybil resistance concerns that @schmackofant brought up. Also, for the pure ease of engagement for the election.

I have updated the process of the elections to go straight to snapshot after the nomination period. This just smoothens out the process and still gives token holders the ultimate right in accordance to VDP-69. I realise this is a time-sensitive issue, now that the fundraising announcement is out, so I would wholeheartedly appreciate the “agree with revisions” and “disagree” voters to comment on any other changes they’d like to ensure the prompt passing of this proposal

More information on what we discussed moving VDP-78 forward can be found in our most recent Weekly Governance Sync.

Is it one wallet-one vote type of poll or token-weighted? If it’s the latter, the whole election becomes senseless. To save time, we can just ask the three richest tokenholders who they want to see as a steward.


It is proposed as a token-weighted vote, like every other proposal we’ve had to date that has gone on Snapshot. The ability to delegate is also allowed.

Exploring the “one wallet-one vote” mechanism would be an interesting but completely different proposal altogether like VDP-70, which was focused on an instrumental change in the phase 3 voting mechanism. Is a “one wallet-one vote” strategy even viable on Snapshot? @schmackofant

A similar conversation is being talked about with the introduction of quadratic voting and Gitcoin Passport gating (on top of VITA gating). These features are all actionable on Snapshot as of now but like I said, a completely different proposal that needs to pass. You’re more than welcome to contribute to this.

This proposal VDP-78, however, is purely focused on the operational process of the time-sensitive elections.

1 Like

I wonder if starting the election the day after the proposal is passed is a bit rushed. I’d say give people 1 week after it has passed so that most people will be aware of it, and can think who they want to nominate. We delayed the election for more than 7 months now, a week more or less doesn’t make a difference anymore.

Also I feel that if we have Squad Leads we should also describe somewhere what those Squads will do, and maybe define if one person can lead multiple squads or not? Can new squads be formed after the election?

Might be good to split up marketing into “social media marketing/publishing” & “conferences/events”

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A week in between makes sense! I’ve made that change.

A Squad Lead’s key responsibilities and necessary requirements are detailed in the PDF attached under VDP-72. These core squads were proposed to ensure alignment within our strategic plan for 2023. Of course, new squads can be proposed. I’d associate its approval according to how close it influences our strategic plan but, then again that’s down to the community’s vote. I’d propose that one person can only lead one squad (as for the Stewards) purely down to certain requirements of expertise, experience, the democracy of ideas/opinions and conflict of interest considerations.

Good idea! Maybe “Marketing” can be more well-defined. However, I think Conferences/Events is already a vital project that is under our Community & Awareness WG. @alexdobrin

@consigli3re Okay. I sensed you were skeptical when I told you about the custom of governance filibuster at VitaDAO. I just wanted you to see what I mean. Are you ready for the contingency plan now?

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@consigli3re - just noting that recent governance passing (VDP-60 Seasonal Governance) will require the separation of the Stewards and the Squad Lead elections to be faithful to the VDP-60 process.

Therefore, VDP-78 should remove the Squad Leads from this proposal, and should be limited to the Steward election only. The process itself for executing the elections should be ratified this week.

Under VDP-60, as I understand it, the goals and objectives for the season will be presented to the community and Proposals will be solicited to address the projects/objectives.

As the 2023 Strategic Plan itself has already been developed and socialized with the majority of token holders, and as we are behind the official schedule indicated in the VDP-60 plan, I would like to suggest (cc. @catthu ) that the Stewards identify the specific goals and objectives from that plan that are perceived as top priority for the first season and present them to the community this week for discussion and to begin the proposal requests.

One of the goals and objectives from the strategic plan will be the formation of the squads identified in VDP-69 to execute the strategic plan. But, so as not to compromise/bias the flexibility of the proposals and recognizing that the formality of electing squad leads may be superseded by the proposals that are received (i.e. a team of people from the community may get together and decide they want to tackle a specific project and they may have a squad structure/skillsets in mind) we should leave the squad lead appointments open for now.

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Removed the squad leads to reflect the passing of VDP-60! The process itself has been updated along the way according to the community’s proposed revisions.

I appreciate your clarification on the custom of governance filibuster at VitaDAO. I apologise if my skepticism came across as dismissive. Can you provide more information on the contingency plan so we can have a productive discussion?

I made a few edits to

  • clarify where someone can nominate (privately or publicly) and add consistency
  • put a time limit on the Stewards’ veto process (3 days seems fine?)
  • require candidates (confirmed nominees) to make the election post (not someone else on their behalf)

Here’s a new poll for the proposal with these edits: [deleted]