VDP-78: Steward & Squad Lead Election Process

Summary

VitaDAO has finally closed its fundraising and now has the operational capacity to execute our postponed steward and newly introduced squad lead 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.

Motivation

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 and squad lead 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.

Specification

Team: Gavin (Lead), Todd, Rakhan

Ground rules

From passed proposals stated above:

  • $VITA holders will vote stewards and squad leads in
  • Any working group member may self-/nominate a Steward candidate for a position
  • If Stewards reject the nomination (this veto process can be done by Stewards in private), VitaCore can appeal the veto with a $VITA holder vote. This nominee in question can also make a proposal anytime appealing to $VITA holders, if rejected.
  • 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

Pre-requisites

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 & Squad Leads must be met to ensure a greater chance of being elected.

Positions available for nomination: (1 per WG/Squad)

Stewards

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

Squad Leads

  • Legal Squad
  • Governance Squad
  • Tech & Product Squad
  • Tokenomics Squad
  • Fundraising Squad
  • Marketing Squad
  • Membership Service Squad

Process

We propose the following process:

Elections will last 2 weeks starting a day after this proposal is passed. It will be split in 4 phases.

Nomination (7 days)

Anyone wg member can self-nominate in the specific threads made for each position on Discord in a token-gated channel (TBC which channel - most probably #general-wg). Reactions on posts do not count as votes.

  • Discord posts will use this template below:

    • Title: [[Name of working group]] Nominate [your preferred name]
      For example: [Coordination WG] Nominate Gavin/consigli3re
    • Body: copy and paste this in your Discord post -
      • Your preferred name
      • Twitter profile link (optional)
      • Why do you think you would be a good steward/squad lead of this working group/squad?
      • Time availability? (xxhrs/week)

Elections (7 days)

  • Community will vote in an anonymous Discord poll using EasyPoll in each thread shortlisting the nominees as options
  • The nominee with the most poll votes will win the soft election for the respective position
  • In the event a person has the most votes in more than one position, the person with the second highest votes will be deemed the winner (in the lower-ranking position)

For example: If Gavin is voted as the winner for a Steward and Squad Lead position, he will be granted the Steward position and the second highest vote for the Squad Lead position will be deemed the winner

Discourse (Time-bound according to Governance Constitution)

  • A phase 2 proposal will be compiled including the winners in the soft election on Discourse for each WG/Squad
  • Once/if the passing requirement is met, phase 3 will commence

Snapshot (Time-bound according to Governance Constitution)

  • The proposal will move to an on-chain vote by $VITA holders and our community
  • Once/if the passing requirement is met, onboarding will commence a day after this proposal is passed

Implementation

If this proposal passes phase 2, the election process will start a day 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. This includes reorganising Discourse and changing Discord roles accordingly. 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

  • Agree with revisions (please comment)

  • Disagree

0 voters

2 Likes

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.

3 Likes

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.

2 Likes

@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.

2 Likes

@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.

2 Likes

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

1 Like

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.

3 Likes

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.