Meeting 5 - January 6th, 2022

Meeting recording

Minutes of Catalyst Circle V2 Meeting #5

Present (in order of first speaking)

Nori Nishigaya (facilitator); Kenric Nelson (representing Community Advisors); Tevo Saks (representing Toolmakers and Maintainers); Allison Fromm (representing general ADA holders ); Stephen Whitenstall (representing Funded Proposers); Harris Warren (representing IOG); Raymond Mata (representing stakepool operators); Matthias Sieber (representing Cardano Foundation); JP (secretary).

Speaker percentages

Harris (33%), Kenric (16%), Stephen (14%), Nori (10%), Raymond (9%), Tevo (7%), Allison (5%), Matthias (5%), JP (<1%)

Abbreviations used / Glossary

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

ATH – After Townhall, breakout rooms after the regular Wednesday TownHall meeting

CA – Community Advisor, a role open to anyone in Catalyst, to assess proposals in each funding round

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 alongside the Catalyst community.

CTO – Chief Technology Officer

DID – Decentralised identifiers

ETH – Eastern Townhall

Gimbalabs -

IO – the overall organisation that comprises IOG and IOHK

IOG – Input/Output Global

NFT – non-fungible token

QA-DAO – Quality Assurance Distributed Autonomous Organisation

SPO – stakepool operator

VCA – Veteran Community Advisor, a role open to those who have been a CA in previous rounds, to assess the CAs’ reviews

Voltaire – the next phase on the Cardano roadmap to decentralisation

1) Opening, agenda (0:00)

  • Opening check-in 0:02

  • Agenda: checking the agenda was done later in this meeting, at 41:37

  • Lots of Covid around – general need to be forgiving of schedules and timetables, as many people might be out of action. (Nori, 5:47)

2) Circle members' work (6:33)

Explanation (Nori, 6:33)

The Stand-up is a go-round using the Prioritised Problems GitHub board, where 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.

Tevo (7:47)

  • Worked on journey-mapping (mapping people’s journeys into Catalyst); and on VCA-ing; also did some problem-sensing; and attended Gimbalabs Playground on Gimball tokens relating to trust and participation ticket; but nothing else related to the GitHub tasks.

  • Will add information to GitHub about relevant Fund 5 and 6 proposals that address the issues in the Toolmakers and Maintainers’ tickets, so they can be moved along the board. For example Faster funding for Catalyst projects ticket is at least partly addressed by Rapid Funding Mechanism. Brief discussion of criteria for moving issues across the board.

ACTION ITEM: further discussion of these criteria to be added to agenda for a future meeting.

  • No blockers.

Matthias (13:22)

  • Nothing on the Prioritised Problems board; dealing with issues around defamation.

  • Will meet with Harris next week to take the defamation issue further.

  • No blocks.

ACTION ITEM: Harris and Matthias to meet next week to discuss defamation issues.

Allison (14:12)

  • Has neglected the Prioritised Problem board a little, but has 2 issues to add to it from problem-sensing: more visible auditing and tracking of funded projects needed, and the lottery system for CA rewards needs review.

  • Will return to Office Hours to track problems better; and has recruited help with documenting and reporting on problems.

  • No blockers, except for being ill with Covid.

Stephen (15:37)

Harris (18:01)

  • Continued planning of handover of decision-making to Circle and Technical Council; building out requirements for governance APIs; some details already in Git repositories, but more to be shared soon. Added Catalyst Parameters pilot ticket to the board. The “avoid duplication” ticket is now “in progress” with support of Challenge Teams helping to align proposals; and “removing IOHK from every decision” is now moved to “ready”.

  • Still thinking about ways to track participation, possibly metadata attached to specific wallets; and will help on Technical Council selection, maybe by running pilots.

  • No blockers.

Raymond (19:40)

  • Feeling stuck. SPOs are largely untrusting of IOG on governance; they think Catalyst is still very centralised; they have low trust in CA process; they feel participation in Catalyst is too time consuming. (NB 26:23 Kenric has heard similar issues from CAs.)

  • Need a system to visualise trust and participation.

  • Blockers - need help to find an existing tool to take this feedback from SPOs, and turn it into a channel or portal, to help visualise it and then translate it into action within Circle.

ACTION POINT: these to be added to the board as issues (not necessarily prioritised problems yet).

27:11 Brief discussion on “Miscellaneous” challenges and other SPO-related challenges:

  • The lack of a permanent undefined or miscellaneous challenge bucket ticket was moved to “prototyping”, because a Misc. challenge now exists (Nori, 27:11)

  • In the light of continuity between the challenges ticket, brief discussion of whether this challenge, and other SPO-related challenges, will continue in fund 8 (Kenric, 28:13)

  • Why do challenges need to be voted each round? (Raymond, 32:33)

  • That parameter could be changed – e.g. each member of Circle could select a challenge related to their constituency group that would be adopted without needing to be voted on. (Nori 34:23

Kenric (35:10)

  • the reputation system has been a big issue – lack of a reputation/ qualification system for CAs leaves the system open to gaming. To be discussed later on this agenda; need a short-term solution for Fund 8, and more long-term. And with the reward system, negative community feedback the about current bonus system, which rewards CAs for reviewing proposals that end up getting approved; it’s felt that this prevents CAs being unbiased, and that CA bonuses should focus instead on review quality.

  • Will be working on those two issues in the coming weeks. There are 2 documents where issues are being tracked: a raw one that people are adding to ad-hoc, and a more formal one that Daniel Ribar has compiled into numbered issues.

  • No blockers – but still need to learn from IOG the process for modifying the system in Fund 8.

  • (Raymond, 39:33) Received feedback on CA process from a number of SPOs, who object to CAs being able to select which proposals they review. For example this Telegram conversation

Bullying on Telegram and culture of listening (43:57)

Key points:

  • (Stephen, 43:57) An experience of bullying was raised by a community member, who asked Stephen to bring it to Circle’s attention. It’s not been added to the board as a prioritised problem, but only as an issue.

  • (Kenric, 45:13) The specific incident is important, but Circle is not the right forum to mediate it. (general agreement)

  • (Stephen, 46:35) This is part of a broader, long-standing issue around divergent voices being drowned out by the loudest voices; lack of an issue management system; IOG’s lack of capability to process unsolicited feedback; IOG using “shift” responses rather than “support” responses , i.e. minimising, rationalising, and reframing to fit its own contexts.

  • (Raymond, 50:25) SPOs feel IOG already have a plan before involving the community; the community is getting impatient; trust issue that IOG will just do things their way. Also lack of awareness among SPOs of what Circle is.

  • (Stephen, 53:21) IOG have a pattern of “seeking control” responses, and rely too much on surveys. See Google’s Aristotle project on teams and listening. There are communities within Catalyst who do this better – ETH for example – that IOG could learn from.

  • (Tevo 56:45) Does Telegram have community moderators, or only IOG ones?

  • (Harris 58:51) Perhaps members of underrepresented groups should be invited to be represented at Circle.

  • (Kenric 1:01:09) Agree Telegram is problematic; perhaps bullying and harassment have not been taken seriously enough. To build an open, collaborative community you have to make yourself vulnerable, so moderation is needed to enable people to feel safe to be vulnerable.

  • (Allison 1:03:46) I am puzzled why there are not more women in Catalyst. I am a woman and I enjoy Catalyst Telegram, but I recognise that not every woman’s experience is the same as mine.

  • (Stephen 1:05:29) People who do not see people like themselves in Catalyst, can feel invisible

  • (Harris 1:07:24) Maybe IOG should be less ready to set up channels, and should confine communication to IdeaScale.

  • (Allison 1:09:38) How do we listen to voices that are not loud?

  • (Stephen 1:10:16) Go to them and their communities.

  • (Matthias 1:11:24) If moderation teams are known to exist e.g. on IdeaScale, then if they don’t act when questionable things are said, it looks as though those things are true.

  • (Nori 1:14:11) It’s not only a moderation issue; wider issues are about community culture, what sort of culture we want to build. If IOG do lack capacity to moderate, then bring expertise in from community members who do have that capacity.

ACTION POINT: create a problem-sensing ticket about creating a culture of listening, and creating a more inclusive culture. Exact framing to be discussed.

Review Community Moderation Guidelines from Ideascale FAQ (1:16:17)

  • (Harris, 1:18:15) Moderation guidelines on IdeaScale are in FAQ at bottom of page. They may need to be modified; applied or used differently; and maybe we need better flagging tools when they are not adhered to.

  • (Kenric, 1:23:07) It can be a security issue. Conflicts attract crowds, and captures the agenda and the resources of the community.

  • (Matthias 1:25:56) If enforcement includes possible banning, would IOG be prepared to even ban the executives of companies it partners with, if needed?

  • (Raymond 1:28:04) The guidelines need to be more visible on IdeaScale.

Catalyst Parameters Pilot (1:28:47)

  • See slides. We can experiment and iterate changing Catalyst parameters in different ways.

  • (1:33:53) Start with only changing a a couple of parameters at first. Examples of parameters that could be changed are often dates – e.g. funds distribution date, dates for insight sharing, etc; but also things like CA rewards, proposal acceptance threshold. Technical Council would review proposed changes and advise.

  • (1:39:31) Suggested steps for Circle to create a parameter change proposal: decide how to integrate with the Technical Council; how to vote; how to share decisions with the community. Can we make the process less manual?

  • (1:41:37) How will we vote for the Technical Council in the future?


  • (Stephen 1:42:53) This gives a roadmap, which was a main question from the Auditability challenge team.

  • (Kenric 1:43:40) For this to work well, the legitimacy of Circle needs to be strengthened; and we need an operational budget to resource it.

  • (Raymond 1:46:58) Agree that Circle’s legitimacy needs work. Also – will the Technical Council be appointed at first, and only later elected?

  • (Tevo 1:48:55) How much community involvement will there be in decisions about paramenter changes? Can we start now, collecting ideas and working out what the process will be? And, clarity on exactly what is in scope, what we can change?

  • (Kenric 1:52:25) First – how to select the Technical Council is a prioritised problem on the board and is still to be worked on. Second – when all this involves a billion dollar treasury, can we continue to use thielanguage of experiment and prototyping – do we need to be more serious and strategic?

Catalyst Circle as a Funded Proposer (KPIs and status updates (1:54:10)

  • Progress report due on 10th Jan on Circle's Fund 6 funded proposal – everyone to add to their feedback form some information on their progress this month. Allison to help write it up.

ACTION ITEM - work out how to do this in a more structured way for the February report.

Catalyst Advisors Reputation Requirements

It was decided (1:46:38) to postpone this item, as meeting was running short of time.

4. Feedback form and close (1:55:36)

Meeting ends 1:56:12

Key words from this meeting

The most common words used in this meeting were:


Intelligent-verbatim transcript of this meeting

Agenda for this meeting

Last updated