Meeting #13, 1st Sept 2022

Meeting recording

Minutes of Catalyst Circle v3 Meeting #11

Present (in order of first speaking)

Nori Nishigaya (facilitator); Quasar (ADA Holders subcircle member); Steve Lockhart (standing in for Mercy; Funded Proposers); Felix Weber (CF); Kriss Baird (IOG); Rhys Morgan (stakepool operators); JP (secretary).


Joey Chessher (Toolmakers and Maintainers)

Speaker percentages

Steve (28%), Kriss (26%), Nori (18%), Quasar (10%), Rhys (10%), Felix (7%), JP (1%)

Abbreviations used/Glossary

please scroll down

1. Opening, agenda (0:00)

Check-in (0:03)

Announcements (1:48) Danny’s recent Tweet raising the idea of no fixed funding cycles and monthly ballot (Felix); ADAO Twitter space on Sat 3rd to discuss Circle elections (Quasar); Working group on audit is being started by IOG (Kriss); Voting starts Sept 5th and ends Sept 19th; results Sept 27th (Nori and Felix); 2nd dRep meeting is on 8th Sept (Nori)

Agenda (5:43): Items added: none

Town Hall slides CCv4 election - community feedback on "5 unspecified seats" plan CCv4 election - nominee criteria Code of Conduct Circle compensation

Town Hall slides (7:15)

Quasar (7:15) Reminder that deadline for slides is Tuesday, 1pm Eastern time. I don’t want to speak for all of Circle if I add things to the slides. Nori (8:30) Usual method - each seat on Circle has a slide or two to report back to the community on what they have been doing. Reps have not been using that lately. Quasar (10:31) I am happy if each rep is allowed to use those slides to make a statement. I just don’t want to seem like I am speaking for the whole Circle. So I would like people to agree or disagree on what will be presented at Town Hall in the next few weeks.

CCv4 Election: community feedback on "5 unspecified seats" (11:36)

Nori (12:01) Our homework was to take the idea of 5 unspecified seats back to our communities and gather feedback. What were the results? Steve (12:33) I consulted in a Swarm Veteran’s meeting. Generally positive; some concerns that the seats are vague and might allow “evil whales”. I am not concerned about whales. Kriss (17:30) Could we each say where this information has been shared? Steve (17:54): I shared it in Swarm Veterans meeting, nowhere else. Quasar (19:30): I shared it in a few channels and got feedback that I should back off and give people some breathing room, so I did. Felix (19:56): I presented it to CF. They had previously agreed to the GPS categories, and did not understand why we are not using those. They support the sub-circle structure, and intend to create a CF subcircle. Steve (20:38) There’s a huge push-back against GPS-defined roles. Kriss (21:43) I don’t think CF fully understood the context on how the GPS proposal found its way into Catalyst Circle. So while I’m sure they were broadly in agreement, they didn’t have the full context of what led up to this change. They are keen to play a more active role in Catalyst. (22:35) It feels like we still have an opportunity to get more community input. Does anyone have any plans for that? Steve (23:12) I have been reticent to share it because I am not sure we are serious about going in this direction. (25:03) The reason Circle focused on GPS was that they were the only people who had any ideas.

Summariser’s note: this might not be accurate. GPS, being led by Circle members/ex-members, understood Circle; whereas other people with ideas might not have realised that they could approach Circle. Circle did not research what ideas were out there. So there is no definite evidence to say that GPS was the only idea.

Quasar (27:22) There was some feedback on social media when QA-DAO shared the summary of the last meeting (example here ) and I have also added more to the notes section of this Agenda. Kriss (29:07) As an aside, we agreed in the last meeting to start each Circle meeting and each Town Hall with a brief statement of meeting’s purpose – and we haven’t done so.

ACTION ITEM: Admin team to create the statement for this, ready to use next meeting.

Rhys (30:32) Feedback from SPOs – wide range of opinions; generally positive. Some concerns about whether SPOs would lose their position in Circle, whether it would foreground the interests of multi-pool operators; and some felt that SPOs don’t have much to do with managing Catalyst. But overall, positive. Nori (32:43) In summary, generally positive feedback, or at least, nobody strongly opposed. Kriss (33:31) IOG is happy with it as long as there is broad community buy-in. Steve (34:38) We also have Joey’s input via this doc, so if there is consensus, we can move forward. Nori (36:14) For the record, let’s each say whether we agree with moving forward with this approach (five seats, no defined roles; people stand for election using platform statements; we vote using DripDropz; highest five voted are elected). Quasar (36:43) No. Steve (36:53) Yes – but I would like to hear Quasar’s reasons. Quasar (37:16) Have we done a good enough job on getting community feedback? Nori (37:45) We have all said what we did to inform the community; and I don’t think the gathering of community feedback is a criterion for moving forward. Do we need more time for feedback? Is negative feedback likely? There are some concerns, but overall it seems the feedback is positive.

Summariser’s note: In the last meeting, it was agreed that gathering community feedback was a criterion for moving forward. Also Kriss says (33:31 above) that IOG’s support depends on broad community buy-in.

Quasar and Kriss are questioning whether enough feedback has been gathered, and in a wide enough range of forums – has the meeting given sufficient consideration to this view? It is unclear whether the meeting believes enough people in the community have been informed, and a broad enough range of people have had a chance to give an opinion. Also, the assumption made here (that because feedback so far has been mostly positive, negative feedback is unlikely) may be unwarranted.

Steve (38:33) If we seek feedback now, we will start to get new ideas, and it’s too late for those. We should have proactively looked for ideas in May but we didn’t. I don’t want to further canvass opinion and risk slowing things down. We are supposed to be experimenting, so let’s do it, without further consultation. Quasar (40:53) Is agreeing to this contingent on the issue of compensation for Circle – is that for 5 seats? Nori (41:27) People do need to know what the compensation will be when they are deciding whether to stand. But it is not relevant to the mechanism of the election, which is what we are discussing now.

Vote on "5 unspecified seats" approach

Quasar (43:00) Abstain. Steve (43:12) Yes. Kriss (43:26) Yes. Felix (43:38) Yes Rhys (43:47) Yes

Nori (43:52) 4 yes, 1 abstain – so we are agreed as a majority to move forward.

Nominee criteria (45:00)

Nori (45:00) Suggestions from Joey – He likes the criteria that were used for CCv3; supports candidates making a video; prefers to keep candidate qualifications as flexible as possible so candidates are aware of the possibility of exceptions, especially with social media experience. Nominees have to come up with their personal evaluation on each of the following points:

  • "Substantial fit based on respective functional group profile defined above" [Summariser’s query: this refers to CCv3 seats – surely it would no longer apply if the seats are no longer defined?]

  • minimum 6 months of experience with Project Catalyst; knowledge about its purpose, key roles and its activities;

  • able to devote 10 hours per week to the Catalyst Circle activities;

  • flexible for meeting times to coordinate with people around the globe; note Circle global team will meet to determine what date and time is best for all the participants. Meetings are usually two hours; one meeting bi-weekly for the Circle stated meeting, possible bi-weekly meeting for the working group;

  • commitment to adhere to the Code of Conduct;

  • ability to work with people, communicate professionally in both written and verbal modes of interaction;

  • willingness to learn multiple communication apps in order to reach the Catalyst community (Slack, Discord, Telegram, Twitter, Zoom, etc);

  • willingness to learn working tools (Google Docs and Sheets; Circle priority board).

Steve (48:10) The only concern is if 5 SPOs were elected, it would signal they want to take over Catalyst governance. SPOs have the ADA to do that, but they have never given any indication of wanting to, so I think it’s unlikely. Kriss (49:40) Important to note that Circle is not “Catalyst governance”, so they would not be signalling a wish to take over Catalyst governance. Rhys (50:35) Even if “bad actors” did get elected – what are they going to do? Work hard for Catalyst? It’s not an issue. Quasar (51:10) I believe there should be 7 seats, not 5. Nori (52:39) Will there still be 2 appointed seats, from IOG and CF? Felix (53:02) CF definitely wants to. Kriss (53:14) Same from IOG. Quasar (53:59) I meant 7 seats in addition to IOG and CF, so a total of 9. Nori (56:13) Does anyone want to make a proposal that we increase to more than 5 seats? [no response] OK, we move forward with 5 elected seats. Nori (57:54) Are we all agreed on the nomination criteria broadly as in Joey’s version, and for him to firm it up for election use? [No objections]

ACTION ITEM: Joey and Rhys to finalise the nomination criteria.

Code of Conduct (58:41)

Kriss (59:18) I’ve created a v2 version, including consolidated comments from IOG Legal. (QA-DAO copy with commenting disabled)

Sections 5 through 9 (on conflicts of interest, reporting violations; dispute resolution; enforcement) require further discussion. The “acceptable/unacceptable behaviour” statements came from a survey The “proposed functional roles” section was added by Tomi at the time, so is no longer relevant.

Steve (1:02:16) List of acceptable/unacceptable behaviour is repetitive. Kriss (1:03:11) It can be segmented to make it more readable. Steve (1:04:32) many of the phrases (“harassment”; “game the system”) are too subjective. Kriss (1:06:09) There will be a process for raising and discussing alleged violations.

Kriss (1:08:29) Some reference examples from other organisations:

Good insights for a code of conduct for open source communities - []( Code of Conduct Enforcement methods from Mozilla - [] Consequence Ladder from Mozilla - [] Django Code of Conduct - Enforcement Manual [] Django Code of Conduct - Committee - []

Steve (1:12:40) How did other organisations find the process of enforcing their Code of Conduct?

ACTION ITEM: Felix to ask CF for any example cases of enforcing a CoC they can provide. ACTION ITEM: All Circle reps to read example docs provided by Kriss ACTION ITEM: Kriss to lead Code of Conduct work; other Circle members to suggest edits of primary doc; deadline needs to be in time for CCv4 elections.

Steve (1:15:04) As we work on it, interested community members can also add comments. I will also do a complete edit in a separate doc to deal with the repetitiveness.

Circle compensation (1:16:34)

4 options

Kriss (1:16:37) The suggestion from last Circle meeting was $1,000 per seat per month. Was this just for the 5 elected members, or was it including a facilitator and secretary for each subcircle? i.e. $3,000 per seat per month, x 6 months, x 5 seats - $90,000? This would need a clearly-defined scope of work/SLA. Steve (1:20:00) We’re just paying for the 5 main seats, so $30,000. Kriss (1:21;18) So the options are: first, pay either reps only, at $30,000, or include two subcircle posts, $90,000. Second, pay a nominal amount of $500 to each seat and subcircle post (so $45,000) plus an allocation for tools (Google space, Slack, domain hosting, etc, avoiding the need for SLAs, timesheets, and other admin burdens and contractual burdens on Circle reps who are basically doing this out of passion. Felix (1:23:39) Strongly disagree. The kind of people we want for Circle are experienced and skilled – they will not work for low pay. $90,000 for a whole crew for 6 months is not much. Kriss (1:24:44) But does the community agree that Circle provides value for that pay? The other options are: third, don’t pay anything. Nobody wants that, but for the record, let’s say it is a possible option. And fourth – soon, we will know if George Lovegrove’s Catalyst Contributors F10 challenge has been funded. If it is, that’s a strong signal that the community thinks core contributors should be paid.

IOG speeding things up?

Steve(1:26:50) If that challenge is funded, then it would be another 4 months before proposals in it could be funded. Kriss (1:28:03) If it does get funded, maybe IOG could speed that up.

Serious work requires serious compensation

Rhys (1:28:44) I agree with Felix. If you want Circle reps who take the work seriously, you have to pay seriously. Everyone deserves to be properly paid for their time. And we cannot leave it to “Maybe we might get a Challenge that might potentially get us funded in future” – this is no way to run an entity that is supposed to do serious work. $1,000 per person per month is nothing. Felix (1:31:45) One of the reasons Circle is still able to run at all, is that we have the Admin team, and Swarm spends $10,000 a month on supporting that. We never planned for that in our proposals, but we do it because we know it is important. If Swarm – a small, not wealthy, organisation – can pay $10,000 a month, then $15,000 a month for Circle and Subcircle reps is not much. Quasar (1:32:33) We need a stopgap for CCv4 – we cannot wait for an F10 challenge. Steve (1:33:26) If Circle is properly paid, the community will also take it more seriously, and will demand accountability from their Circle rep, so it will be a positive feedback loop. Kriss (1:34:14) Community consent will be really important – so the stop-gap could be expediting Circle being funded via Catalyst Contributors, which we will know about in just a couple of weeks. Also – if people are paid, we need clear deliverables. Quasar (1:36:20) If the F10 Contributors challenge is funded, proposals in it won’t be funded till F11. Kriss (1:36:53) We could expedite that process.

The need to be clear before the election

Nori (1:37:47) Next steps – it sounds like we want to be clear on compensation for CCv4 when people nominate themselves. Steve (1:38:11) We’re also talking about giving them a task list to work to. Nori (1:38:22) A lot of that is already in the nomination criteria.

Would speeding things up be fair?

Rhys (1:38:40) There needs to be stricter adherence to reporting on reps’ work. But on speeding up the process - I can't imagine that working, because it completely deviates from the Catalyst process. Even if that challenge went through - and it's not guaranteed – I doubt anyone will agree that a portion of it should be automatically given to Circle.

10 hours a week?

Quasar (1:40:25) The estimate of 10 hours’ work a week is questionable too. Perhaps we should ask CCv4 and Sub-circles to define what they could commit to?

How would reps report on their work?

Steve (1:41:35) On reporting, we could add to the task list for CCv4 that they need to work to the holacratic model - go out to people in Catalyst and encouraged them to build Circles of their own. Kriss (1:42:43) Maybe they have to commit to doing a Twitter space once a month. Nori (1:43:38) Maybe we use the same mechanism that we use for funded proposers to report on their work; and maybe Circle reps only get paid if they do their reporting. Kriss (1:44:15) The community needs to know what Circle reps do. We record these meetings, but there’s all the work in between that needs to be transparent. Rhys (1:46:14) We can develop reporting mechanisms afterwards – it doesn’t need to be in place before we decide about funding Circle. We need to be able to tell people what the funding is before they start to nominate themselves – if it is presented as voluntary, nobody will stand. It also sets an important standard. There are many people working for free in the ecosystem, which is wrong – it’s also unsustainable, because whenever they can’t continue, whatever they have built falls apart. Felix (1:49:31) Volunteerism is exclusive – most people cannot participate on a voluntary basis. IOHK do not always understand – for example, they said dReps would be the first Catalyst role that pays a living wage, then it turns out to be only £9,000 a year. It’s not that they don’t care – it’s that they don’t understand the level of seriousness that’s needed, because they are not in our position. Steve (1:51:21) What funded proposers have to do to satisfy IOHK before getting paid – it starts to feel like a corporation. And that’s not what this is. We have to find a way for accountability to happen without these bean-counter mechanisms. We need to accept the work as proof of itself. There's something etheric about what we're trying to do – it can’t just be checked off as a list of tasks, it's not that kind of work.

ACTION POINTS: compensation issue to be discussed further asynchronously, and possibly via a further meeting.

3. Checkout and close (1:53:30)

1:53:37 Checkout and closing remarks. General agreement that it was a good meeting, but some frustration that the compensation issue is not yet resolved, and that it needs to be decided before elections can go ahead.

Meeting ends 1:58:05

Key words from this meeting

Abbreviations / 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

DIDsDecentralised identifiers

ETHEastern Town Hall

Gimbalabs -

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

IOGInput/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


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