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Meeting #14, 15th Sept 2022
Nori Nishigaya (facilitator); Joey Chessher (Toolmakers and Maintainers); Felix Weber (CF); Steve Lockhart (standing in for Mercy; Funded Proposers); ); Kriss Baird (IOG); Rhys Morgan (stakepool operators); Quasar (ADA Holders subcircle member); JP (secretary).
Kriss (28%), Rhys (21%), Quasar (17%), Felix (14%), Steve (12%), Joey (3%), Nori (3%), JP (2%).
Check-in (0:11) Announcements (3:06)
- This meeting is being streamed to Discord (Quasar, 3:15)
- Milestone-based funding model will be used for F9 projects in dApps and Integrations challenge. (Kriss, 3:29)
- Felix met with Shunsuke Murasaki from Emurgo re Emurgo’s involvement with Circle – they may create an Emurgo subcircle in CCv4. A Swarm poll, with over 100 votes cast, supported this (Felix, 6:12)
- JP, Zoe and Nadim have created intro material for CCv4 and a checklist of election tasks (Felix, 6:47)
- CF held an ATH (14th Sept) about their voting on challenge settings (Felix, 7:26)
- Announcing that Kriss’s announcement of milestone-based funding means a parameter change to challenge teams for Fund 10 (Quasar, 8:02) [note: this may mean “Fund 9”, as Kriss's announcement at 03:29 refers to F9, as clarified at 10:09]
- Announcing that the CF rep (i.e. Felix) and others are planning a Circle election without talking to the rest of the Circle reps, or inviting all reps to participate. To be addressed later in the meeting under “election process and timeline”. (Quasar, 8:25) [Note: this was not raised later, and it was not made clear who is alleged to be involved; but it may refer to a Telegram group in which a subgroup from Circle are laiasing directly with DripDropz].
Agenda (9:18): Items added: Milestone-based funding model.
Kriss (12:04) Will be implemented in F9 in the “dApps, Products and Integrations” challenge only. Tools (e.g. a “Statement of Milestones” form) are almost ready, but the process may need some experimentation. More detailed explanation of the process at next week’s working meeting. Opinions? Steve (14:15) It’s a sign of progress. At this point, I am tired of talking and just want to see decisions made. Felix (14:43) Unsure if it tackles the problem of auditing proposals – it might fail to support proposers in knowing how to document their work. Kriss (15:39) True, but by implementing it, we can see what additional support and resources are needed. There will be some sort of workshops to help. Felix (17:18) Each individual challenge should have its own reporting system that’s appropriate to it. Kriss (17:45) I’d like opinions on who should check achievement of milestones? Challenge Teams; PAs; the community generally; IO; CF; Circle; other? And – should more scrutiny be placed on certain values and projects over others? Rhys (18:43) Will funding be delayed if milestones are not met in time? Delays and scope-creep are common for startups – will there be flexibility? Kriss (19:25) It’ll be a hybrid approach - monthly payments, and payments when milestones are reached – but we want to avoid proposers saying “We need 80% of our funding in order to reach Milestone 1”. Also want to change current situation where reports lack context and evidence, but because some kind of report has been submitted, proposers are paid. Rhys (21:02) If people are working on something proprietary or commercially sensitive, and don’t want to release too much detail publicly yet, how would that fit in with reporting? Kriss (21:42) We’ll need to work that out via experiment. But Catalyst is a community-tax-driven Treasury, and those who are funded need to be accountable to the community; so perhaps if a project is not able to do so, then it shouldn’t be funded by this kind of funding? Steve (25:54) In terms of who proposers should be reporting to, we have to look to the community, as we’re the ones with the experience. Could proposers who have been funded more than once, be the people who newly-funded proposers report to? The system needs to work with the needs of each proposal - for example, if a proposal needs to buy hardware in order to get started, they need to be able to get the costs of that upfront. Kriss (28:12) Yes, we need some flexibility – but within reason. I like the idea of funded projects paying it forward and doing some review work for new projects. Joey (30:46) Lack of communication between proposers and challenge teams is an obstacle. Kriss (32:23) IO doesn't have the resources internally to improve this; so I want to talk to CF about supporting communication between proposers and challenge teams.
ACTION ITEM: Kriss to present more detail on milestone-based funding at Circle working meeting next week, 22nd Sept.
Steve (35:10) I think Circle reps should not be allowed to be on proposal teams during their tenure; it would save problems if we make it an absolute no. JP (36:11) OK - can we make a decision on that? Quasar (36:49) The decision on this is connected to the change to milestone-based funding. We could test out options for the Circle, and/or challenge teams, to not be on proposals - if they will be auditing some of these proposals, then they cannot be on a proposal team. Steve (36:51) The timing is good to implement a flat-out “no involvement in proposals for Circle members”; nominees will know, before F10 starts, that they cannot be both. Quasar (38:41) Can Circle reps be part of challenge teams?
Summariser’s note: In this part of the meeting there is a lot of overtalking, and some poor-quality audio; people appear to not always be hearing each other clearly.
There appears to be some confusion on what is actually being proposed (a simple ban on Circle reps being proposers); and some conflation of this issue with the previous agenda item on milestone-based funding.
Quasar feels that the two issues are contingent, but the meeting recording has not clearly captured in what way he feels they are connected. Some others in the meeting feel that the discussion on milestone-based funding has been closed until the following week, and is separate from this issue of Circle reps being proposers.
JP (40:34) Can we close up the discussion on whether Circle reps can be proposers? Quasar (41:17) I will not vote on that, because it’s contingent on other stuff which we need to discuss first. Steve (41:26) I don’t see how it’s contingent. If we have a parameter change to pay Circle reps, the reps need to prioritise their Circle work, not their proposals. I can’t see what conflict there is for someone to be a Circle rep and a challenge team member; but critics probably will find a way to view that as a conflict too. So I would like us to say that if you’re a Circle rep, you’re not doing anything else in the community for that 6 months. This would protect Circle reps from criticism. Quasar (43:17) If we want Circle reps who are not already on any proposal teams, then that means people who are new to Catalyst. Steve (43:55) No – I’m suggesting that a Circle rep needs to be a seasoned veteran, and established enough that they don’t have any conflicts with fulfilling the Circle role. I do not want any radical newbies on Circle. Quasar (44:56) Circle reps should recognise and disclose any conflicts of interest. I want to vote on this, but not until we have discussed the other issues. I want Circle to be funded, and I want the right people to be funded, who can do the right things in challenge teams. The dApps, Products and Integrations challenge gives us a chance to have multiple iterations or small variables within that challenge itself. Rhys (46:08) This idea might exclude seasoned veterans, who are on existing proposal teams, from standing for Circle. Perhaps better to say that people on existing proposal teams can stand for Circle – but once elected, they cannot submit any new proposals in F10. Joey (49:15) I would vote to not prevent Circle reps from proposing, but to find ways to enhance people’s understanding of what constitutes a conflict of interest. Felix (51:41) I think Circle should be generating high-quality proposals. Particularly - subcircles might want to submit proposals to fund the solutions they develop. Excluding Circle reps from being proposers could handicap Circle. Maybe we could tackle this issue via the nomination criteria? It is a reaction to an issue that has happened in the past – bad reps abusing their role to promote their own proposals – so if we raise the bar for who can stand for Circle, and check the nominees, the problem will be less likely to arise again. Steve (53:27) Allowing subcircles, but not Circle reps themselves, to submit proposals, could be a solution. Kriss (54:51) As a preliminary vote, we could each put a number in the Chat to indicate how we feel about the idea that Circle reps should not be allowed to propose. 1= very uncomfortable with this idea, 5 = it’s a great idea. The next step should be to take it to the community. But on conflicts of interest – the Code of Conduct addresses that, and was run through the community already. Quasar (56:55) I agree. The community also had input into the new parameter change about the challenge teams and Fund 9 dApps, Products and Integrations. Kriss (57:08) That’s not a parameter change – just an operational change. Not every single operation is a parameter.
(1= very uncomfortable with this idea, 5 = it’s a great idea.) Quasar: 1 Joey: 2.5 Rhys: 3 Kriss: 3 Felix Weber: 2 Steve: 5
Rhys (59:36) Quasar and I have created a new GitHub Organisation, as a central place to collate Circle reps’ reporting of their work (plus other Circle-related material such as meeting minutes, recordings, etc). This would enable the accountability that IOG need to see in order to fund Circle; and a single, central, public repo, with everything in it, would make things easier to find. Kriss (1:04:26) Who will own the account on it? Rhys (1:04:29) It’s an organization, so no individual can own it
Summariser's note: this is not quite accurate - the account is always owned by someone, and they decide who joins the organization, and can remove people from it.
From https://docs.github.com/en/get-started/learning-about-github/types-of-github-accounts#organization-accounts “All members can collaborate with each other in repositories and projects, but only organization owners and security managers can manage the settings for the organization and control access to the organization's data.”
It’s currently owned by Quasar, me, and Andreas Sosilo from Eastern Town Hall, rather than by a funded entity; but it’s public, so that anyone in the community can join.
Summariser's note: the existing GitHub Organization relating to Circle, where the Circle Prioritised Problems board sits, is owned by Circle Admin. The Circle repo is public.
Joey (1:05:16) Will it exist from Circle to Circle? Rhys (1:05:40) Yes, the idea is for it to be permanent. Circle reps, auditors, and anyone else can be Organization members; we can onboard the people who need to be there., and anyone else. Kriss (1:07:02) I’m broadly in favour of this approach. I like that it could connect with the governance portal that IOG is working on. Steve (1:10:09) We should do these kinds of things as if some random, independent journalist wants to check up on Cardano's openness and accountability. We need to make it easy for them. Felix (1:10:32) If we expect CCv4 reps to be accountable, we should try it ourselves first; because we will be introducing them to the toolsets. We agreed last week to each write a weekly summary – I did, and found it useful for clarifying the line between my general Catalyst engagement work, and what I do specifically for Circle. But it can be hard to know what to log. Kriss (1:13:06) In the reporting I do for my own job, I log what were my main focuses and priorities that week; any problems; and any help needed. Rhys (1:14:22) We could create a template for reporting, in line with the accountability model we started to develop, and copying from any existing docs we have, and put it in the repo’s readme; then we could all test it, and decide what’s relevant and what’s too granular.
Note that this version has been collated by QA-DAO from the versions that were part of Circle Admin’s meeting notes in 2 successive meetings, as we have been unable to locate a final copy.
Kriss (1:15:29) Funded proposers could also use this as a model for what type of reporting is required. Everyone’s got to report on their work. Quasar (1:20:02) Can we then start inviting nominations for CCv4; and are we closer to going to IOG for a parameter change to fund Circle? Kriss (1:21:23) Can we spend 10 minutes looking at the accountability table now?
Kriss (1:23:27) Everyone seemed to agree just now that reps should write a weekly report. Felix, how long did yours take to write? Felix (1:23:54) 20 to 30 minutes. I have what I do in regards to Circle on Dework; and I make notes during the week as I go along. Rhys (1:24:40) Links to Twitter spaces, Town Halls, etc can be embedded straight into a rep's report. Felix (1:26:33) With new tools, we need to ensure we onboard people to them properly All (1:27:42) Discussion of how Dework can be used as part of the accountability process. Felix (1:31:10) We should have workshop sessions about the tooling, including Dework. Kriss (1:32:11) We need to add a line about one-to-one sessions - how they may be sensitive or confidential, but you still need some record of what was discussed. Quasar (1:35:32) We should include a section for emerging methods that the community might come up with, to allow for new standards to emerge naturally. Felix (1:36:26) Add a general note to make sure that 1:1 participants’ anonymity will be respected if they wish. Quasar (1:36:35) That leads to a wider conversation, that several of us have been working on, on how the community can communicate anonymously but verifiably, so sensitive topics can be raised without putting anyone in danger.
Quasar (1:38:16) I want to tell the community we are accepting nominations, and create a template for nominee statements. I want to do this for Sunday, in time for the 24-hour governance fest. All (1:39:05) Discussion of Circle presence at 24-hour governance fest Twitter space on Sun 18th/Mon 19th. Agreed that those who are able will run a Circle-related session on the Sunday. All (1:42:04) Discussion of how long nominations will be open for (suggestion of 2 or 3 epochs); when the CCv4 vote will take place (shortly after the F9 results are announced is suggested); and where people will nominate themselves or others (Cardano Forum is suggested). All (1:47:48) Discussion of creating a nomination template for CCv4 candidates (Swarm volunteers are already working on it. Agreement to announce on Sunday 18th at Governance Twitter space that nominations will open the following Thursday or Friday, to allow time for Circle to review the nomination template before releasing it.) All (1:51:04) Discussion of announcements in Town Hall. Agreed to have a brief presentation at Town Hall on Weds Sept21st , announcing that there will be an After Town Hall about the CCv4 accountability process the following week, Weds Sept 28th. Steve (1:55:32) What date will Fund 10 start? Kriss (1:55:38) Last week of October. (1:56:10) Current date is Oct 26th. Rhys (1:56:30) So that only gives us 5 weeks until the election, so there is time pressure. Rhys (1:57:52) I have Rapid Funding Mechanism money left, which I am happy to offer as bounties for the Swarm volunteers who are working on the nomination template.
ACTION ITEM: Everyone to send any draft docs or links to Rhys, who will collate them all in the readme of the new GitHub repo. ACTION ITEM: Felix to arrange a one-hour call to go through the use of Dework ACTION ITEM: Swarm volunteers to finalise nomination template, in time for the Circle working meeting next week, Thurs 22nd Sept. ACTION ITEM: Rhys and Felix to discuss using some of Rhys’s rapid funding to provide bounties for Swarm volunteers doing this work. ACTION ITEM: Quasar to share links to Governance marathon Twitter space; those who can will attend it on Sun 18th Sept, and Kriss will do the keynote speech on Mon 19th. ACTION ITEM: CCv4 nominations will open on Thurs 22nd Sept. This will be announced at Town Hall on Weds 21st. ACTION ITEM: there will be an ATH on Weds 28th Sept to explain the Circle accountability model and tooling, and the reasons for it.
No formal checkout or closing remarks. General agreement that it was a positive meeting and progress is being made. Meeting ends 2:01:32
CATH – Catalyst Africa Town Hall
CC – Catalyst Circle
LatAm – the Catalyst community in Latin America. Comprises a regular Town Hall and several other community initiatives.
PA - Proposal Assessor, a role open to anyone in Catalyst, to assess proposals in each funding round (previously called CA, Community Advisor).
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).
CCv3 meeting 14, 15th Sept 2022, QA-DAO verbatim transcript.doc