Meeting 3 - December 9th, 2021

Meeting recording

Minutes of Catalyst Circle V2 Meeting #3

Present (in order of first speaking)

Stephen Whitenstall (representing Catalyst Coordinator, funded proposers); Allison Fromm (representing general ADA holders); Nori Nishigaya (facilitator); Matthias Sieber (representing Cardano Foundation); Tevo Saks (representing Toolmakers and Maintainers); Kenric Nelson (representing Community Advisors); Harris Warren (representing IOG); Raymond Mata (representing Stake Pool Operators); JP (secretary).

Speaker percentages

Nori (18%), Harris (17%), Kenric (13%), Allison (13%), Stephen (12%), Raymond (9%), Tevo (9%), Matthias (6%), JP (3%)

Abbreviations used / Glossary

API – Application Programming Interface (a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other)

ATH – After Town Hall (breakout sessions that take place after the Town Hall on Wednesdays on Zoom)

CA – Community Advisor

CC – Catalyst Circle

CF – Cardano Foundation

CTC – Catalyst Technical Council (a proposed body that will be appointed by IOG to be involved in bicameral governance)

DIDs – Decentralised identifiers

IOG – Input/Output Global

Q&A – question and answer session

QA-DAO – Quality Assurance Distributed Autonomous Organisation

SDK – software development kit

SPO – stakepool operator

VCA – Veteran Community Advisor

Voltaire – the final stage of the Cardano roadmap

1) Opening and agenda (0:00)

  • Opening check-in 0:19

  • Agenda 4:55

2) Circle members' work

The "CC Stand-Up" - each person says

  • what they have worked on since last meeting

  • what they will be working on next

  • any blocks, or anything they need help with.

Allison (9:14)

  • Proposals submission, particularly for a Voter Survey; creating a roadmap to how to create a legal entity; and working with Kenric on an Atala PRISM DIDs project for CAs

  • Office Hours – more advance notice and more time zones; working on survey data; preparing for next CC election.

  • Blocks: need email address for General ADA Voters role; website; other infrastructure. CC Admin team are fixing this; QA-DAO GitBook also functions as a CC landing page.

Stephen (16:56) ,

Matthias (19:38)

  • Met with Frederik Gregaard, CEO of Cardano Foundation; ATH with Ambassadors’ Guild; Fund 8 challenge submissions on Open-Source Development Ecosystem and general Developer Ecosystem; decided to set the challenge budget for the Open-Source version higher ($1.2M) than the general ($1M) to reflect the commitment to open-source.

  • Working with Ambassadors’ Guild to redefine ambassadorship; continue dialogue with Catalyst community.

  • No blocks.

Tevo (22:58)

  • Berlin trip with several ex-CC members, lots of useful conversations. Proposal submissions; proposal workshops, and supporting others to complete their proposals.

  • Continued proposal and CA education and support.

  • Block – not sure how to leverage Admin team support when needed; and process is not clear for progressing problem-sensing or “tool sensing” (identifying the tools that the Catalyst community uses).

Kenric (27:17)

  • Atala PRISM Pioneers course, and developing DIDs for CAs with Allison; hosted a CAs’ Q&A session at ATH

  • Similar Q&A for VCAs next week; CA feedback meeting in 2 or 3 weeks

  • No blocks.

Harris (30:20)

  • Working on Voltaire roadmap and mechanisms; contributed to proposal writing on this but I could have done more; worked on governance APIs and governance SDK that will help teams both inside and outside IO to build tools e.g. for voting mechanisms

  • Want to discuss the governance parameters pilot in this meeting; would have been better if this meeting had been before proposal deadline so CC could have agreed proposals before they went in; also want to share more on the data from feedback; and support the definition of Catalyst Technical Council

  • No blocks.

Raymond (35:18)

  • About a week behind due to family issues; many SPOs missed deadlines for proposals. Problem-sensing: some SPOs see the funding process as a popularity contest they cannot win. Twitter Spaces have been effective to raise awareness of CC in the SPO community.

  • Developing Office Hours, and holding Twitter Spaces regularly

  • No blocks.

Postpone next CC meeting due to Christmas? (40:32)

  • 41:42 Consensus is to keep it on 23rd Dec.

Criteria for which proposals should be Catalyst-sponsored (42:08)

  • Allison (42:16) How do we promote CC proposals effectively; and how do we ensure CC only promotes CC-related proposals and doesn’t become a platform for our individual interest? Process for deciding which proposals are “CC-sponsored”?

  • Tevo (43:55) Should we sponsor proposals that emerge from the community? I developed a chain vote application to enable us to vote on which proposals are CC-sponsored.

  • Nori (46:46) Historically, proposals emerged from problem-sensing – this gave more visibility and legitimacy.

  • Stephen (47:47) CC should only support CC-specific proposals, i.e. related to our infrastructure or emerging from problem-sensing.

  • Kenric (48:43) Distinction between funding for operational expenses of CC, and funding that is specific to an initiative. How is CC currently funded?

  • Nori (49:34) CCv2 is funded via a Fund 6 proposal; but is currently running at a deficit, is costing more than that proposal's budget.

  • Kenric (51:07) CC operational expenses are essential - should they be funded outside of the proposal process, the same way rewards to CAs and voters are?

  • Matthias (55:44) No - *Catalyst* Circle should not be taken outside the *Catalyst* funding process. (57:38) CCv2 is too early to make CC’s existence set in stone.

  • Kenric (59:01) If we put it to a vote to compensate CC members via an award, like CAs, then we should also put it to the vote whether there should be a Circle at all.

  • Allison (1:00:58) CC members could be elected via IdeaScale; the Challenge Setting budget would be the budget to compensate CC members, and each “proposal” would be each candidate’s nomination.

  • Raymond (1:02:38) For proposals currently in fund 7, we should meet separately to discuss them specifically.

  • Tevo (1:03:53) We should use a voting system to cover proposals from CC and proposals from the community that improve the Catalyst system itself.

  • Harris (1:05:32) We need CC, or some kind of group that represents the Catalyst community, to enable transfer of governance from IOG.

  • Nori (1:06:43) We should discuss the Catalyst parameters; and as Raymond suggested, we should meet separately to discuss the fund 7 proposals and develop criteria for how we select which proposals should be “CC-sponsored”.

  • Harris (1:08:15) We should return to a focus in these CC meetings on problem-sensing and the Trello board.

ACTION ITEM: Allison, with support from Tevo, Raymond, Harris and Stephen, to set up meeting to discuss criteria for what should be a CC-sponsored proposal.

Should IOG, Cardano Foundation and Emurgo vote in Catalyst? (1:10:52)

Key points:

  • Kenric (1:12:38) Influence of large wallets is problematic

  • Stephen (1:13:13) There’s a perception in the community that they *do* vote; is this justified?

  • Harris (1:13:49) There is nothing official to prevent it – anyone can vote – but IOG are researching on protecting against influence of whales.

  • Kenric (1:16:52) Voting power is not just about amount of ADA; it’s about how likely it is that your vote will be decisive in deciding “yes” or “no” on a particular proposal; and that increases quadratically. We could develop processes to avoid that centralisation, but we are not there yet.

  • Allison (1:18:32) If Cardano and IOG do vote, there should be rigorous and transparent processes about it, same as for how they stake their ADA

  • Harris (1:20:21) I don’t believe the Treasury is doing any type of voting. But eventually that decision should be made by the proposed bicameral governance structure.

ACTION ITEM: All CC members to formulate a position for a future discussion on this, with the aim of making recommendations as a Circle.

Discussion of Circle bicameral model (1:23:43)

  • Allison (1:24:52) Clarification on the proposed audit body – is it elected? (1:29:10) Is this a fleshing-out of the Governance Oversight body proposed by Harris last week; and what happens if it doesn’t get funded?

  • Stephen (1:25:43) In the Community Governance Oversight proposal the proposed team is from the Catalyst “audit community” – those in Catalyst with relevant knowledge and skills. There is also a separate Audit Circle proposal, for audit of the Funded Proposal process specifically. (1:29:33) If it doesn’t get funded then the sustainability of Catalyst audit is at risk.

  • Kenric (1:30:56) I feel the proposed Technical Council should be appointed rather than elected – what should the appointment process be?

  • Harris (1:33:14) We cannot transition decision-making away from IOG too quickly, but we do want to do it quickly.

  • Raymond (1:36: 44) I am open to the bicameral model, but we need to keep it as simple and elegant as possible.

  • Stephen (1:38:16) We could use delegated voting [i.e. ADA-holders vote for a representative, and the representative selects the Technical Council].

ACTION ITEM (1:39:50): For clarity, CC members to add their name next to agenda items they add to the agenda in future.

Concerns about increased work for CC admin team (1:40:04)

  • Stephen (1:40:12) Concerns were raised at Admin team meeting on Friday that IOG had not discussed the Admin Team Scope Expansion proposal enough with the Admin team; workload expanding too fast; community money being used to support an IOG directed project; Admin team don;t want to become IOG employees.

  • JP (1:41:54) We support the transition to community governance but we need time to develop our supporting structures. Also we are not being paid: it’s not sustainable. Also being heard - we wanted to raise concerns, but found the decision had already been made without us. We would like to be included.

  • Harris (1:44:32) We can pace the changes. And we intend to find ways to compensate the Admin team.

  • Nori (1:46:32) The Admin team have also set up a stakepool as a way to try and make things more sustainable; the ticker is Admin

  • Kenric (1:47:51) When we define new roles, we should be clear how they are funded.

  • Stephen (1:48:32) There is a legacy of volunteerism in Catalyst, for good reasons, but we are moving into a new phase where that is not sustainable.

  • Nori (1:49:09) Need to find mechanisms for communication and joint decision making, especially on subjects that affect us directly. (1:49:33) Also – a mix-up with time zones, we missed submission deadline for CC Admin Team’s Fund 7 proposal; so what was submitted is an earlier version that does not include budget for the additional CTC work. So it’s $10k short.

  • Stephen (1:51:23) Possibly we could use a rapid funding mechanism to cover the shortfall.

GitHub tasks (1:52:52)

  • Nori (1:51:59) Admin team will resolve issues around websites, email accounts etc, probably next week.

  • Tevo (1:53:04) Does everyone have access to the GitHub repository which has the copy of the Trello board?

  • Stephen (1:55:15) GitHub board is set up to replace Trello. I agree with Harris earlier, that we should return to focusing on problem-sensing via this board in CC meetings. Put “Prioritise Problems” first on the agenda, and focus on sensing problems from the community.

ACTION ITEM: Stephen to add CC members to GitHub board, and allocate issues to people.

4) Feedback and close

Meeting ends 2:01:17

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