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Meeting #15, 29th Sept 2022

Meeting recording

Minutes of Catalyst Circle v3 Meeting #15

Present (in order of first speaking)

Rhys Morgan (representing SPOs); Felix Weber (Cardano Foundation); Quasar (General ADA Holders subcircle); Joey Chessher (Toolmakers and Maintainers); Steve Lockhart (substituting for Mercy, Funded Proposers); Kriss Baird (IOG).
Note: The CC Admin team members Nori Nishigaya (facilitator) and JP (secretary) have resigned from CCv3, so this meeting is being conducted without a separate facilitator or secretary.

Speaker percentages

Rhys (39%), Kriss (26%), Steve (16%), Joey (8%), Quasar (7%), Felix (4%)

1. Opening, agenda (0:00)

Check-in (0:00) Announcements (2:44) Agenda: the agenda was not formally discussed or agreed

Discussion of Fund 9 results (3:43)

Note: this was not an agenda item, but a spontaneous discussion
Felix (3:47) Clash of cultures; it seems some in Cardano think Catalyst should not exist; and people in Catalyst are not engaged in the spaces where these conversations happen. The friction created means we are losing valuable community members.
Rhys (4:58) It’s been one of the most heated results announcements we’ve had. We need to implement tests on how Catalyst works.
Kriss (5:52) IOG is implementing milestone-based funding; till now, proposers have just been trusted. We have crossed a watershed where 25% of proposals funded are for large, 6-figure sums. There were 1,100 proposals submitted, and more than 200 got funded.
Rhys (7:41) People are not just upset at not getting funded – they are starting to see patterns in who gets funded and what kinds of proposals.
Kriss (8:30) Milestone-based funding, which we are piloting for F9, will be introduced for everyone in Fund 10, which will allow assessors to be more objective. Assessors tend to score every proposal highly – there should be more of a bell curve.
Steve (11:03) But some people are upset at low-scoring proposals that get funded anyway. The CCv4 vote on DripDropz will have a high turnout, and bring new people in; many people in Catalyst who have been working and getting funded, and who have made assumptions about how catalyst should be, will get a surprise.
Kriss (12:56) Data visualisation to show that mostly, proposals with high PA scores get funded. Most people don’t have time to vote – dReps will help this.
Rhys (15:59) In previous rounds, most voters only vote on 8 proposals.
Kriss (16:16) 8 or 10. But this Fund, it’s probably 50% more
Rhys (16:23) Even so – many in the community feel that some projects win votes too easily because the proposers are well-known in the community, even if their proposals are poorly written and don’t give enough detail. The next Circle should address this.
Joey (19:09) This might change when dReps begin working.
Kriss (19:21) Before F10 starts, we need to look at how PAs and VPAs work, and put the right structures in place,. We can take inspiration from the approach of large, national innovation funds. Currently, PAs are told “Assess what’s in the proposal, rather than the idea itself” – but PAs should address whether an idea is feasible. I’d almost like to see a question “If this was your money, would you fund this?”
Rhys (21:36) People are frustrated because when new people come with ideas, they’re brushed off and are not heard. We say Catalyst is an experiment, but we’re not changing anything very often. Implementing small experiments, in individual challenges or specific parts of governance, would help us iterate faster.
Kriss (26:56) Unless ideas for change are documented, it’s difficult to follow up.
The agenda items that were suggested prior to the meeting were as follows, but the meeting was more of an unstructured discussion, and several other topics were covered.

Parameters mentioned in Town Hall

Kriss (29:46) At next week’s meeting, for the avoidance of doubt, Harris and I will run through all the parameters that are housed within Fund 9.

How much longer will this group meet?

Steve (30:41) Will we keep meeting every week until the election is finished? Quasar (31:07) For the rest of the month (i.e. October) until the election. Rhys (31:39) Plus we need to onboard the new Circle reps.

How will CCv4 be funded?

Joey (32:01) Kriss, can you confirm if there is a parameter change to fund CCv4? Kriss (32:17) Yes, that’s the intention now that the accountability model is in place. We have a platform in Dework where reps’ work will be logged, and we have the concept of a confidence vote, so that is enough. Next meeting we can decide how the confidence vote will work. (NOTE: did they?)

Funding Regional Town Halls

Quasar (33:55) F9 results – many regional Town Halls were not funded. If our accountability model covers Circle reps to visit Town Halls, could the parameter change include money above the agreed $90k to support those Town Halls? Kriss (34:51) Let’s discuss next week. The community infrastructure is important, but I can’t make promises. Steve (35:58) It would need huge consensus. And we haven’t had huge consensus about anything so far. Rhys (36:27) It’s important that the administration of Catalyst is funded too. To bring new people in, we could explore funding temporary roles in the management and facilitation of Catalyst.

Members-based organisation and Catalyst

Steve (37:21) Charles [Hoskinson]’s idea of a members-based organisation – he has not said how he thinks this would interface with Catalyst; yet he continues to mention Catalyst as our funding and governance model. Kriss (38:04) IOG are listening to pain points in Catalyst. There are different types of asks for Treasury funding; we should not expect that Catalyst is the only vehicle for spending Treasury resources, because Catalyst is an innovation platform and does not suit all needs. Should Catalyst be able to perpetually fund projects? Should it be a lending vehicle? Steve (38:04) Yes – all of a sudden we’re a bank for DC Spark, because their proposal for a loan was approved. It seems legally problematic. Kriss (40:41) We need to agree what the purpose of Catalyst is. So it’s exciting for CCv4, they will be doing this. Catalyst will be part of the conversation on Charles’s members-based organisation – it won’t be a top-down discussion.

Downvoting, wasted funds, and 1-ADA-1-Vote

Rhys (42:10) People are dissatisfied with how CF is organising the Cardano Summit. If executive decisions are made on use of Treasury funds, and people feel they have no say, then the community will want to be able to opt out of funding the Treasury with their transactions. Many people feel funds are being wasted, and used to support projects that should not be funded; and people are unhappy about how easily Catalyst can be manipulated; for example, via the downvoting mechanism. Steve (44:23) Downvoting is useful. How else do you stop a bad project? Rhys (45:05) People are also unhappy with “one ADA, one vote”. Kriss (47:14) Allegations of gaming the system must be recorded and backed up with some evidence. Also: 1,100 proposals were on the ballot and only 216 got funded, so naturally many people are disappointed, and feel the way the voting decision is currently made is not favourable to the types of projects they believe in. Quasar (48:36) Can we set up Jormungandr to see the voting results? Kriss (48:41) No. It’s a private vote. For every argument that it should be public, there is a counter argument. I don’t want people to coerce others into decisions – that’s why it should be private. Rhys (49:44) But then it’s hard to get evidence of bad practices when the vote is on a private chain. The systems we put in place to protect people make it easier to game. Joey (50:57) In industry, people get rewarded for spotting issues ahead of time so we can fix them. Perhaps we should do that. It’s just keeping honest people honest. Rhys (52:09) CCv4 should be able to help people raise problems and build processes to address them.

Challenge team rewards

Joey (55:35) Do CTs have to close out their entire project before getting rewards? or do they get a percentage for the first 2 deliverables? Kriss (56:06) If they have delivered the first 2 deliverables, they get 30%. This has been delayed until Danny returns from holiday. Note that we don’t expect CTs to work for longer then 3 months – even if not all proposals in their challenge have closed out, the CT can write a final report, as long as they can demonstrate some insights. Quasar (58:35) Is the reward a flat $5,000, or is it 1% of the challenge fund? Kriss (58:43) The budget is 1% of the challenge, but whether that all gets spent will depend on the challenge and the amount of work. Rhys (59:43) If the allocated budget is 1%, shouldn’t that all be spent? Kriss (1:00:09) This is the first parameter that I’ll be discussing next week.. It says "Base reward of 5k per team; remaining funds after base rewards to be split proportionately amongst challenge teams according to the number of funded proposals relative to the total".

CCv4 election planning (1:01:25)

Communicating info to candidates

Rhys (1:01:30) We’ve got the nomination form – what else do we need to do for the election? Steve (1:01:40) We need to include on the form a link to the nomination criteria, so people don’t put themselves forward if they don’t meet the criteria. We need to publish the criteria everywhere.
Note: where was this done?
Steve (1:04:09) The criteria are important to me; I don’t want lots of nominees who don’t really know anything. (1:07:15) We need to put the nomination form on the forum, all the Discord servers, and other locations that I don’t know. Rhys (1:07:39) And we need to promote it. We have our video about it, and we can share links to the nomination form and the criteria. (1:08:38) We can also promote it via Twitter spaces.
Note: did this happen?
Joey (1:09:09) We should also contact nominees to explain the next steps; and to encourage them to make a video of their platform so it can be shared even when they are not free.
ACTION ITEM: all to work on draft of the email to candidates including eligibility, guide to submit platform statement and video. To be ready by end of day 30th Sept, and sent out at the weekend (1st and 2nd Oct) ACTION ITEM: Rhys and Felix to communicate with DripDropz to set deadline for platform statement submission.

Deciding eligibility

Steve (1:16:42) I spoke to Kyle [DripDropz] who said they don’t want too many people on the ballot. How do we determine people’s validity according to the criteria? It won’t be a quick task. Rhys (1:17:13) For now, we just need to get nominations in. We can think about how to trim the unwanted ones later. But we don’t have time for the window to be open for 2 weeks. Joey (1:20:38) Should we have a meeting with all the candidates, to answer their questions? Rhys (1:21:02) We need them to agree to the details of the role in order to consider them valid candidates. There should be an opt-in tickbox.


Steve (1:22:33) Statement submission could close on Oct 17th, because the 27th is the end of an epoch, and the 17th is 10 days back from that. Nominations could be open until Weds 12th, because that is a Town Hall day. That will be more than 2 weeks – nobody can say they had no time to nominate themselves. Rhys (1:24:27) It’s more about DripDropz’s needs, to have time to build it.
ACTION ITEM: Steve and Joey added to Telegram group where Rhys and Felix are already communicating with DripDropz. ACTION ITEM: All to promote the nomination form heavily over the weekend of 1st/2nd Oct and the following 2 weeks.
NOTE: The following schedule was agreed with DripDropz after this meeting:
  • October week 1 - Nomination open ( nomination form ) (Deadline October 12)
  • October 12 - Email to nominees, request for Nominees to provide a Platform Statement (Deadline Oct 15)
  • October 16 - Nomination platfrom statement releases on the Cardano Forum
  • October 17 - DripDropz takes over & will provide Voting Dates (edited)

Possible delays to F10

Quasar (1:27:29) It is likely that Fund 10 will be pushed back to November, so there is time. Rhys (1:28:27) It is still good to work to the tighter schedule; but it’s not the end of the world if CCv4 starts later than F10 because we haven’t organised the vote in time. Joey (1:29:17) Maybe next time, everything should happen in the DripDropz platform – nomination forms, platform statements, all in one place. Rhys (1:29:46) DripDropz were only interested in helping us do the voting mechanism this time; but maybe in the future. Joey (1:30:04) And in future DripDropz will need to be paid.

Criteria for removing someone from Circle (1:30:37)

Felix (1:30:50) The Circle Code of Conduct does not cover what happens if there is a case of misconduct. CCv4 may find it helpful to have guidance. Maybe we should not devise this ourselves – we could set up a community work group to look at it. Rhys (1:31:38) A Dework bounty for a decision-making group who will investigate objectively when the Code of Conduct is breached? Like a jury. Because other Circle members might be involved in whatever the issue is. Steve (1:33:49) You’d have to decide in the moment who should be on such a committee, because you don’t know who might be connected to the problem. Rhys (1:34:08) People would have to be paid to sit on such a tribunal. Steve (1:34:48) We can’t decide about it now. We don’t have authority to set aside money for it anyway. Joey (1:35:22) There are many community organisations who have processes for this that we could model it on. Steve (1:37:19) Is the current Code of Conduct sufficient, and can we post it to Circle candidates along with the nomination form? Rhys (1:38:05) It needs tidying up. We should do that in one of our future meetings, or outside the meetings.
AGREED: This group will not attempt to decide what happens if the Code of Conduct is contravened. ACTION ITEM: Code of Conduct to be put into a new document and tidied up for CCv4 candidates to read and agree to. (NB This task was not assigned to anyone).

3. Checkout and close (1:38:29)

Checkout: 1:38:56 Meeting ends: 1:42:45

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
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
CT - Challenge Team; a group that manages and oversees a Catalyst Challenge.
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
GPS or Catalyst GPS – an F8 Catalyst funded proposal led by current Circle member Tomi which seeks to reorganise Catalyst.
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).
Voltaire – the next phase on the Cardano roadmap to decentralisation

Intelligent-verbatim transcript of this meeting

CCv3 meeting #15, 29th September 2022, QA-DAO verbatim transcript.doc

Agenda for this meeting

no written agenda available