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Meeting 6 - January 20th, 2022

Meeting recording

Minutes of Catalyst Circle V2 Meeting #6

Present (in order of first speaking)

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

Speaker percentages

Kenric (16%), Harris (16%), Tevo (15%), Stephen (12%), Matthias (11%), Allison (11%), Raymond (11%), Nori (8%), JP (2%)

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
CTC, Catalyst Technical Council, a proposed body that will be appointed by IOG to be involved in bicameral governance alongside the Catalyst community.
Catalyst School –
ETH – Eastern Townhall
IO – the overall organisation that comprises IOG and IOHK
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)

Explanation (Nori, 0:02)
  • Clarifying confusion from last meeting – in the Stand-Up, Circle members should refer to the Prioritised Problem board because the main focus of Circle’s work should be problems on the board; but people need not limit their updates to what is there.
(Note: the Circle Stand-Up is a go-round where each member says what they have worked on since the last meeting; what they plan to work on in the next 2 weeks; and any blocks they face.)

2) Circle members' work (1:17)

Harris (1:17)
  • Worked on making open APIs available for the community. Sad about outcome of Town Hall on 19th Jan, and processing that. Supported discussions around CA role, and dialogue with researchers on this.
  • Will work on detail of Catalyst Parameters Pilot and share it with Circle v3. Has been appointed to represent IOG on Circle v3. IOG wants to bootstrap governance decisions quickly, but not to make decisions without input, so wants to work to ensure voices are heard.
  • No blocks.
Tevo (6:30)
  • On lack of onboarding, which is not yet specified as a Toolmakers problem – collaborated with Kenric on community discussion on this, and there is a Miro and video available. Looked at how to track and visualise participation in relation to CA process. On how to nurture a listening culture in Catalyst, has been working with the Community Listeners group, which has emerged as a community-led safety net for people not feeling heard. Created a Miro board on his research into user journeys, to be shared later in this meeting.
  • Future focus will be on this Listeners group; and, with Kenric, sharing info from IOG with the community; and looking into Challenge Settings that are now being voted on.
  • No blocks.
Raymond (9:58)
  • Has identified new problems to add to the board; but has noticed that SPOs are more aware of Catalyst now than they were before, and understand that it is tied to our future governance. The issue of how to nurture a listening culture in Catalyst has helped.
  • Will work with new CCv3 SPO representative and with Stephen to learn to add these to the board, so the new SPO rep knows how to do it from the start.
  • Blockers – feeling overstretched because ecosystem is growing so fast. Raises the issue that the next SPO rep needs to have a lot of available time, and should have experience in proposal writing and should know the Catalyst ecosystem.
ACTION POINT: Stephen to support Raymond and new SPO rep soon after election, to add problems to the GitHub board.
Matthias (14:27)
  • Talking and listening with community members; talks with CF about transition to CCv3
  • Will work on preparing Fund 8 joint proposal between the Ambassadors’ Guild and Catalyst School.
  • No blockers.
Kenric (15:09)
  • Focused on improvements to CA process, first reputation system, with support from Tevo and with Nadia Hopkins, held ATH meetings and Tevo has held Swarm sessions; also met with IOG to ensure community input reaches them. Met with Philip Lazos on possible changes to CA reward system; and a meeting on criteria for being a CA. Details in the card on GitHub board.
  • IOG will be discussing stretch goals on this for Fund 8; so will do similar exercise with community and see how well it matches.
  • Blockers – still unclear who is the IOG lead on changes to the CA process? (Hartris confirms that it is him). Whereas 2021 focused on launching Catalyst, the focus in 2022 will be quality.
Stephen (19:59)
  • On almost non-existent collaborative layer, feel I have not done enough – submitted a Fund 7 proposal for next Funded Proposer rep, and produced an FAQ. On how to nurture a listening culture in Catalyst, attended a Swarm session with the emerging Community Listeners group; found it inspiring how the community has set this up. “Listening” initiatives have been trolled on social media, but still going ahead.
  • After leaving Circle, will focus on Community Governance Oversight; and overseeing the relationship between Circle and the Technical Council.
  • Blockers – urgency of work on listening culture, and on the Community Governance Oversight initiatives, have meant I haven't had time to do as much as I would have wanted to represent the Funded Proposers.
Allison (23:04)
  • Problem-sensing: the reputation system for CAs still a big issue; also need for better proposal auditing. Kenric and Stephen have these issues covered. Also hearing that format of Town Hall needs a refresh. Also exact role of General Voters rep needs deeper analysis. Maybe split it geographically?
  • Planning to participate in work on CCv3 election. Also issue of 6 month terms or overlapping terms for Circle members.
  • Blockers – still unsure how to use the GitHub board. Will do training with Stephen. and help transition this to next General Voters rep.

25:57 Agenda – expectations and alignment. Added:

  • Who is platformed at Town Hall
  • CCv3 election
  • Cardano Foundation rep at Circle v3
The Silenced - Matthias (31:32)
  • Disappointed to see the founding entities of Cardano publicly amplifying already-loud voices at the expense of disadvantaged community members.
  • An “open conversation” is not enough if those affected are silenced.
  • We need to take a hard look at what’s happened over recent weeks and months. Did we come here to repeat the same mistakes as other humans before us? Sit with how it feels to be silenced.
(Stephen, 37:41) – Trolling is forcing people off Telegram and shutting people down. Then at Town Hall on 19th Jan, unilateral and arbitrary decision to platform an individual’s voting choices, including downvotes, has undermined trust in IOG and has hurt people. This has been presented as an “extreme” opinion, but it’s not. The true value of Cardano is that out of this we can build mechanisms to deal with issues like this. Harris (43:55) The intention is t o have an open discourse where all can be heard. It was our mistake not to create space for a different opinion. We will do more to platform a range of voices so positive people can collaborate. Allison (47:52) People reached out to me too and had an emotional response. For me, this has been a way to learn about different perspectives, it is an opportunity for growth for those who did not expect this reaction. Stephen (50:42) It was not only an emotional response but also a rational one.

CCv3 election (53:35)

Key points:
(Allison, 53:53) Date is set for Feb 12th (54:13) discussion of security issues, and reasons for decision to run election in separate breakout rooms (Kenric 56:43) Might also support diversity in Circle membership (Tevo 1:01:49) Idea of using a voting link instead of live vote (Harris I:03:56) We do need a better solution long term (1:05:37) Numbers of people standing for election to CCv3 (1:06:01) – parallel vs serial voting (Kenric, 1:08:21) Ranked choice
ACTION ITEM: Voting to be discussed further in meeting about CCv3 election on 21st Jan.

Operational budget for Circle - Kenric (1:14:50)

(Kenric 1:14:50) People are working on this already; but is it only temporary fixes? Can IOG provide a budget for what it spends on Catalyst, and can we discuss how that would scale up? (Harris 1:16:13) This is being discussed and planned; but in the short term we want to ensure Catalyst is covering its costs (Kenric 1:17:04) Will Circle have some oversight or involvement with the design of Voltaire? Consider shifting the language as we go forward, so it is not just about IOG sharing what has already been decided (Nori 1:18:21) There is budget set aside for CAs, proposers, voters; it would make sense if Circle too was funded and did not have to submit proposals, if it is part of an emerging governance body. (Allison 1:19:11) This would also help us disentangle proposals from our other work. (Harris 1:19:30) Rewarding members of the Circle should be included too.

Six-month term for Circle members (Allison, 1:19:59)

Key points:
(Allison 1:19:59) We’re just getting started and building relationships; 3 months feels too short. (Tevo 1:20:24) Disagree; important that more people get the chance to go through the process of serving on Circle; also 6 months could be a barrier for some. If people want to work longer on Circle, they could stand for a 2nd term? (Kenric and Matthias agree) (Matthias 1:21:30) CF will not be sending a CF employee to CCv3 due to lack of capacity (Harris 1:22:59) It has been recommended to IOG to extend the term to 6 months; a handover 3 month from now would disrupt the process of the parameter pilots. (Stephen, 1:23:59) Agree with Harris, but 6 months is a big commitment and there is an issue with how Circle members are rewarded. A hybrid solution, where only some roles are 6 months, and they have the option to stand down? (Allison 1:24:53) Running an election causes a loss in productivity. But if these roles were properly incentivised, it would encourage people to run for election. (Tevo 1:25:53) Catalyst is still an experiment; it’s good to have an election and be forced to consider the issues around how we vote. Also, doing a handover to your successor is an important learning process; good to do that often, and see as many faces as possible coming into governance. (Raymond 1:27:41) People can stand for a second term. I support 6 month terms.

CF representation on Circle (Raymond, 1:28:46)

Key points:
(Matthias 1:29:20) CF will not be sending a CF employee to CCv3, as they don’t have the capacity. Not many Ambassadors want to run. (Kenric 1:30:30) To discuss at a future date, what is CF’s role within Circle? (Raymond 1:33:37) Do we need CF at the table? If they are, we need clarity on their role.

Should Circle Members publish “pick lists”? (Allison)

withdrawn from agenda due to lack of time.

User journey research (Tevo, 1:38:31)

  • Not too many responses, so the findings might not be very representative
  • Most of the onboarding happens via IOG channels (YouTube summit, events, etc)
  • The roles people end up taking are often less than their skills, or not using their skills
  • The community has a huge amount of skills within it; we should be more aware of this
  • Tooling – not many open-source tools are used. Mainly GitHub and GitBook. But a lot of proprietary tools. This is our bottleneck – need developers to solve it by building open-source tools.
  • Official and community websites are not used much for information aggregation
  • Most of the information flows are via long-form videos of live events – different from other innovation funds, which are largely text based
  • People who come in to Catalyst are mainly looking for reference material.
  • People can add to the Miro board, comment and edit; or contact Tevo if you have some knowledge of how to gamify incentives, or Catalyst governance, etc, to work towards collating a list of answers.
ACTION POINT: Tevo to do an ATH breakout room about this research.

4. Close (1:46:41)

Next meeting, in 2 weeks, will be a retrospective. Meeting ends 1:48:47

Key words from this meeting


Intelligent-verbatim transcript of this meeting

Meeting #6, Jan 20 2022 QA-DAO Verbatim transcript, corrected.doc

Agenda for this meeting

CCv2 Meeting Agenda #6 - Jan 20, 2022.doc