Meeting #11, 4th August 2022

Meeting recording

Summary of Catalyst Circle v3 Meeting #11 (English)

Present (in order of first speaking)

Nori Nishigaya (facilitator); Joey Chessher (Toolmakers and Maintainers); Felix Weber (representing CF); Tomi Astikainen (PAs); Steve Lockhart (standing in for Mercy; Funded Proposers); Harris Warren (IOG); Rhys Morgan (stakepool operators); Quasar (ADA Holders subcircle member); JP (secretary); Zoe Kleist (PAs subcircle).

Speaker percentages

Harris (20%), Nori (18%), Rhys (16%), Steve (11%), Quasar (10%), Joey (8%), Felix (6%), Zoe (5%), Tomi (5%), JP (1%)

Abbreviations used/Glossary

see below

1. Opening, agenda (0:00)

Check-in (0:03) Announcements (3:47) Large number of malicious actors in the PA process for F9 (Tomi). Agenda (5:06) Items added on Code of Conduct, Quasar’s proposed new survey, change of meeting time for Circle, and Circle composition and function. Agreed to start with Circle composition and function.

Circle composition and function (15:44)

Results of poll: Rhys and Quasar's analysis:

Summariser's note: This was also presented at ATH by Quasar on 3rd August. Link to video will be added when available.

Summary of survey results by Rhys and Quasar (17:25)

Rhys (18:29) People wanted Circle to be bigger, with not just a single person on each role; and to include people from all over the world, especially Eastern hemisphere

Rhys (20:31) On roles and functions, people said that Catalyst Circle:

  • should represent functions and categories of work rather than different stakeholder groups

Summariser’s note – in fact, this statement ("The Circle seats should represent functions/categories of work rather than different stakeholder groups"), was one of the more divisive statements in the poll overall (i.e. the community was divided on what they think about it, and the “minority” position on it was fairly strong). There was a clear grouping, “Group B”, that did substantially agree with it – 54% yes, 20% no, 25% don’t know – but there was another only slightly smaller group, “Group A”, where it was evenly split, 33% yes, 33% no, 33% don’t know; and the overall percentages were 45% yes, 25% no, and 28% don’t know. Of the 3 main options presented in the poll about how to structure Circle seats – that is, a) functions and categories of work, b) stakeholder groups, and c) self-defined groups – this was the least popular overall.

The statementThe Circle seats should represent particular roles from different stakeholder groups (e.g. Proposers, Proposal Assessors, dReps etc) rather than categories of Catalyst challenges (e.g. Community Hubs, Developer Ecosystem etc)was less divisive, and slightly more popular – overall 48% for, 21% against, and 30% don’t know, with Group A voting 36%/26%/36%; and Group B voting 57%/17%/25%.

A third statement said “The Circle seats should be open to any community in Catalyst that self-organizes and wants to participate in governance. ie. no one person or group decides who participates, the community does - through action.” The overall vote on this was 68%/17%/14%; Group A voted 57% /24%/18%, and Group B 76%/11%/11%.

Based on the above, what was presented in this meeting was not accurate – the presentation said that Circle seats based on functions and categories of work rather than stakeholder groups was something people had definitely voted for. (Rhys, 20:31: "But for roles and functions, we got Catalyst Circle should represent functions and categories of work within the ecosystem...") It is not clear whether this influenced the meeting to decide in favour of categories, or not; but even if not, it still means that Circle’s decision to use categories is not in line with the wishes of the community as expressed in this poll.

  • should be open to anyone who wants to participate in governance of Catalyst

  • should be a human sensor array acting as a representative body for all the different groups participating in Project Catalyst

Summariser’s note – this statement did not define the “groups participating in Catalyst”, so we cannot know if voters meant the current functional groups, or some other grouping.

  • should monitor the current state and future plans regarding governance, and oversee the strategic direction of Project Catalyst

  • should detect and discuss concerns or objections and opportunities arising within the Catalyst ecosystem

  • should set clear objectives and estimate the time and resources required to deliver on those issues. Circle should record meetings and capture actions in a backlog accessible to all, and reps should be provided with resources, tools and incentives to collect and make data available to the community.

Rhys (21:52) On decision-making, people said the decision-making process:

  • should work by majority vote

  • should not make Circle reps responsible for delivering solutions on the problems they sense.

Summariser’s note: there was also a strong suggestion, expressed in several statements but not mentioned in this meeting, that the community is not convinced Circle should be a decision-making body at all.

For example: “Circles role is 'sensor' (not synthesiser, decision-maker)” - 65%/15%/20%; “The Circle should never become a decision-making body - 40%/28%/30%; “The Circle should not (not now, nor ever) be/-come a decision-making body41%/35%/23% “The Circle has two functions: Being a communication streamline, and sensing problems. Those need to be done good.” 58%/23%/17%; Functional community-led Sub-Circles should have the decision making power and Circle should just coordinate their efforts.” 43%/24%/31%.

By contrast, the statement “The Catalyst Circle should be a decision-making body acting as the representative body for all the different groups participating in Project Catalyst28%/44%/26%, showed one of the highest levels of disagreement in the survey.

Rhys (22:10) On funding and operational costs, people thought

  • Circle should be funded outside of the proposal process

  • Circle Reps should have a set budget to create and facilitate working sub-circles.

Rhys (23:11) So the 3 main things emerging from the survey are:

  • We need to utilise the community to solve problems – we sense the problems, and then give them to the community to solve, mainly through sub-circles

  • Circle funding should not come from proposals/voting

  • We need better and broader representation.

Summariser’s note: those interested should read the results here to determine if these really are the 3 main takeaways from the community according to this survey.

Note that one statement that rated highly by several metrics (popularity, degree of consensus, number of votes), was "Adding increasingly complex layers of bureaucracy, while intending to improve decision making, can discourage new users from participating." Although of course it is hard to be sure that all the respondents agreed on what counts as "bureaucracy", it suggests Circle should check whether the community feels that any proposed solution is overly bureaucratic, as this appears to be something the community cares about.

Also, one of the least-divisive statements in the poll (i.e. statements about which there was a high degree of alignment, and even when voters fell into two separate camps these were not widely divergent) was “We should try out some alternatives to the Circle model”. This did have a low number of total votes, because it was added to the poll late - but if the poll had been open longer, it would have attracted more votes both for and against, and we could have gained a clearer sense of whether the community does fundamentally reject the Circle model per se.


Steve Lockhart (26:33) I was disturbed by Felix's report that CATH do not want to step up and represent the African community. Mercy has pointed out Africa is very big, so someone from one part of the continent might not be able to represent someone from another part. I am prepared to go to the African Town Hall tomorrow and really address this issue. I feel the same about Latin America and Asia too. Zoe (31:04) One seat in Circle can’t represent all of a community like CATH or LatAm. I feel if the current Circle defines the next Circle’s structure, it won’t fit, because it did not evolve from the communities, from the bottom up.

Circle as treasury managers

Harris (35:31) The purpose of Circle is to further the process of treasury management – to support distributing funding to the right people. That’s why we have functional seats like PAs etc. We need to decide on the seats – and if we can’t choose between categories or geographical, we should stick with the functional roles that keep Catalyst running. If we define the seats, there can be sub-circles that can work in a holocratic way – and it would be reasonable to fund those from Treasury, but we should ask the community to ratify that via a vote. Nori (42:57) Harris, if the purpose of Circle is treasury management – that is very different from the usually-stated “human sensor array” purpose. This could help clarify its scope - not just sensing *any* problems, but focusing on treasury management and the processes related to that – PAs, VPAs, proposers.

Categories or functions?

Tomi (45:51) We should focus on the functions – but what are they? We [Summariser's note: it's unclear if "we" here refers to the PAs group, i.e. the group Tomi represents on Circle; or to Catalyst GPS, the proposal that suggested these categories; or both] have identified 5 functions: - people and culture - structure and processes - network and ecosystem, including SPOs, developers - products and services, the whole innovation process - the growth and impact of the whole thing. If we can just finally decide that these are the functions of Catalyst, then these can be the Circle seats. But I agree there should be more than one person per seat. I suggest 2 – one more hands-on, and one more about strategic long-term development of Catalyst. I think we need to decide this now, because we are running out of time.

Steve (48:09) We should be self-correcting, and it should be easy to shift and change a decision. I don’t know if Funded Proposers and Toolmakers are valid roles. Zoe (51:38) Some people don’t want to take a big part in governance. We often try to drag them into decision-making, when they just want to submit a proposal and get funded. Joey (52:46) Perhaps group some of the seats together? And perhaps we need a charity/philanthropic role added.

Decide now, or discuss further?

Nori (54:43) Several new ideas; we are not nearing a decision. Do we feel it is time-sensitive, or do we want to go into more depth on some of these? Steve Lockhart (55:28) If we can side-load votes about governance into the voting app, and we start doing that now, then I think we can take our time. Rhys (56:02) I don’t think deciding the roles is so urgent that we have to solve it now – it should be left up to the community. We could get community feedback about these issues in the next But there is urgency to vote in a new Circle. Harris (59:23) We need to make a call – ideally as a group, and ideally, ratified by the community. Tomi’s functional categories are a good place to start.

The vote(?)

Nori (1:04:59) There is a proposal that the next Circle will be broken into Tomi’s five categories. Note that we can change it again in the future. Number of seats per category still to be decided. What is everyone’s view?

Summariser's note: At this point, this is framed as a "taking the temperature" rather than a vote; but practically, in effect, it is a vote, since it is based on a proposal, leads to a decision, and the meeting agrees to take action because of it.

Also, note that Nori (facilitator) reminds the group that Circle should move forward "based on ... feedback from the community" - but the discussion of the poll earlier in the meeting suggests that the group may have misinterpreted what that feedback actually was.

  • Joey (1:06:38): Agree.

  • Felix (1:07:35): Agree.

  • Quasar (1:07:11) Come back to me; I want to review the categories and be sure they match the intent of Circle.

  • Steve (1:08:19): I would like to see a category for "community-building and education", specifically. Tomi’s categories are nebulous. Tomi (1:08:53) On the slides where the categories are derived from, there is more than enough detail. And we can rename them if you want.

Nori (1:09:08) The exact wording can be changed; so just say if you agree in general. It seems that so far everyone is either strongly in favour, or not strongly opposed. Returning to Quasar?

  • Quasar: I’m neither here nor there. I'm unclear why “People and Culture” is labelled with IOG, and “Growth and impact” is labelled CF. Tomi (1:09:58) – It’s not labelled; it’s just fitting the current seats into the categories, but it’s not limited to those. Harris (1:10:11) These are high-level – we need to define the descriptions in enough detail that we are all content, because that will determine what these roles will do. Quasar (1:10:32) With that said, I agree with it.

  • Rhys (1:10:44) I am indifferent. I don’t mind the groups particularly, but I feel it’s a side-track, we’re creating arbitrary random groups. Tomi (1:11:20) Sorry, Rhys, if you look a few meetings back, you agreed to these, like two months ago? Rhys (1:11:51) If this is what people want to do, it makes no difference to me, I have no strong objections.

  • Zoe (1:12:48) I agree with implementing them, I think it is fundamental.

Nori (1:13:27) - So there is general consensus to use this “categories” structure to define Circle v4 seats. Next steps are to define in detail what the categories are. Joey (1:14:27) We also need to seek nominees to stand for election.

Summariser’s note: It seems clear, at this point, that the meeting views this agreement to restructure Circle seats for CCv4 in line with GPS categories as a definite decision.

Note that there is a decision later in the meeting to share this decision in Swarm on 6th Aug; and note that the meeting has agreed to discuss further exactly what the categories will consist of.

ACTION ITEM: Tomi to lead discussion on defining the categories.

Selecting a voting mechanism (1:16:32)

Felix (1:16:48) We agreed to decide on this today. Whatever we choose, it takes time to set up. The main choice is between DripDropz, and the Catalyst voting app.

Harris (1:17:47) IOG intends to run a special voting event between Fund 9 and Fund 10 on some other topics, to gather community feedback on more specific questions. This will be run through the Catalyst process. We could have the vote for Circle in the same time frame.

How many people in a seat?

Quasar (1:18:49) I strongly object to having only one person in a seat. Voting “yes” to one person means voting “no” on all the others who want to be involved, which is not in line with decentralisation. Nori (1:20:40) To look at it from another angle, are you advocating for sub-circles? Quasar (1:21:09) You could say that, but let’s make it explicit that people work together. Joey (1:21:48) But the larger you make Circle, the harder it is to make decisions. Harris (1:23:20) Number of people in a seat affects incentives. We could let incentives go to the function, and each function decides how to allocate. Again, perhaps we do not need to elect these roles, maybe we just need to ratify these positions will exist, and let them self-organise. Steve Lockhart (1:25:34) If there is a group sharing a role, what happens if they fall out? Felix (1:26:29) There is a precedent with CC Admin – they are a group.

Funding Circle v4

Rhys (1:28:51) The survey said Circle should be funded via a parameter change – I think we should implement that as soon as possible.

Catalyst Voting App, or DripDropz?

Rhys (1:30:02) With voting, my main concern is participation. Catalyst App would be better than what we’ve had for Circle before, but DripDropz is better because there’s no 500 ADA limit on who can vote. Nori (1:31:21) Can someone make a proposal that we can vote on? Joey (1:32:13) OK – I like IdeaScale, because people are more familiar with it.; and the snapshot could be of anything, it doesn’t have to be how much ADA is in your wallet. Felix (1:34:45) I advocate for DripDropz, because it is important to use community-built solutions, and because it is on chain, so we have full insight on it. Rhys (1:36:08) An on-chain vote would incentivise people just for the novelty. We could use multiple voting systems – but that would be overworking ourselves. Nori (1:37:01) Running both as an experiment, to see which works best, would be interesting.

Does privacy matter?

Harris (1:37:44) The Catalyst voting app is on a side chain, so offers privacy. I propose we choose one or the other but not both. Nori (1:38:49) Privacy and anonymity have been mentioned very strongly by the community as core democratic principles that we can’t let go of. Can DripDropz provide that? Felix (1:39:24) No. Privacy is important, but we want insights into the vote. We should try both and identify best practices. Rhys (1:40:50) The only real privacy issue is the ADA handles. Does it matter who votes for who? We are all allowed to voice an opinion, so what’s the issue with being identified? For me, it’s not much of an issue. Nori (1:42:26) Gamechanger has burner wallets which could allow people to anonymise themselves. But I do think privacy is an important democratic principle that we can’t just throw out because we don’t think it’s important. Some people do think it’s important, and have voiced that opinion very strongly in the community. Joey (1:42:58) The vote for CCv3 wasn’t anonymous, so anonymity is not a big deal for me. Harris (1:43:19) One of our tenets is valuing privacy. And it depends what we are voting for – if there is a possibility of collusion, bribery to get certain people elected for specific reasons, then it is an issue; especially if CCv4 has decision-making powers. Felix (1:45:18) – proposes using DripDropz as the voting mechanism for CCv4. Tomi (1:45:55) Cost of voting with DripDropz? Rhys (1:46:24): only the cost of the transaction

The vote (1:45:49)

Joey (1:46:53) Prefer IdeaScale. Felix (1:47:15) DripDropz. Steve (1:47:23) Prefer to use both, but willing to try DripDropz. Harris (1:47:35) Abstain. Quasar (1:47:45) I vote for DripDropz as an option, but I vote for using all of them Rhys (1:48:07) Happy to vote for DripDropz as a test. Tomi (1:48:23) I will proxy Zoe to vote for me as I missed the discussion. Zoe (1:48:43) I vote for using several- the voting app because of privacy, DripDropz for the chance to try it.

Nori (1:49:08) so no strong objections across the board, general consensus that nobody is strongly against DripDropz.

Summariser’s note: there was: 1 vote for Ideascale, 2 votes for DripDropz, 1 abstention, 3 votes for using both/several.

So the majority vote is for using both/several – and note that the survey showed the community support majority vote for Circle decisions.

Nori (1:49:57) Our two takeaways are: to talk about the categories and the seats, and the voting tool. These are two directions to develop further with the community.

ACTION ITEM: Felix and Rhys to progress it and liaise with DripDropz. ACTION ITEM: All to meet Fri 5th to discuss categories, and then discuss with the community in Swarm on Saturday 6th. ACTION ITEM: all to add comments to Quasar and Rhys’s document on the poll. ACTION ITEM: Change of meeting time to be discussed in Slack, and JP to re-send Doodle poll as not everyone answered it.

Summariser’s note: it is still unclear at this point in the meeting whether these decisions – the 5 categories as seats, and DripDropz as the voting tool – are now made, or if they need to be formally ratified by the community in some way; and whether the Swarm session planned for Sat 6th will be the only community consultation that is done. Note that at 56:02, Rhys suggests that the "Circle roles/categories" issue could be put to the community in a new poll.

(NB at the time of writing, the Swarm session is not yet available – the link will be added as soon as possible.)

Code of Conduct (Harris, 1:50:26)

Draft Code of Conduct is ready – shared in Slack, all can comment. Need to decide whether to then send it back to IOG’s legal team, or to the community for comment.

ACTION ITEM: all to review Code of Conduct draft, give feedback, decide next steps.

3. Checkout and close (1:53:09)

1:53:24 Checkout and closing remarks 1:57:10 Meeting feedback form

Meeting ends 1:57:38

Key words from this meeting

Abbreviations used/glossary

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

CATH – Catalyst Africa Town Hall

Catalyst School

CC – Catalyst Circle

CFCardano Foundation

CGO - Community Governance Oversight, a F7 and F8 funded proposal that has created a team to discuss and provide oversight of key Catalyst governance processes

CIP – Cardano Improvement Proposal

CTC - Catalyst Technical Council, a proposed body that will be appointed by IOG to be involved in bicameral governance alongside the Catalyst community.

dRep – delegation representative, a new role that will be introduced for Fund 10; people to whom a voter will be able to delegate their voting power. See the registration form

DIDs – Decentralised identifiers

ETH – Eastern Town Hall

Gimbalabs -

GPS or Catalyst GPS – an F8 Catalyst funded proposal led by current Circle member Tomi which seeks to reorganise Catalyst.

IOG – Input/Output Global

LatAm – the Catalyst community in Latin America. Comprises a regular Town Hall and several other community initiatives.

NFTnon-fungible token

PA - Proposal Assessor, a role open to anyone in Catalyst, to assess proposals in each funding round (previously called CA, Community Advisor).

QA-DAOQuality Assurance Distributed Autonomous Organisation

SPO – stakepool operator

VPA - Veteran Proposal Assessor; a role open to those who have been a PA in previous rounds, which assesses the PAs’ reviews (previously VCA, Veteran Community Advisor).

Voltaire – the next phase on the Cardano roadmap to decentralisation


Intelligent-verbatim transcript of this meeting

Agenda for this meeting

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