Meeting #16, 13th October 2022

Meeting recording

Minutes of Catalyst Circle v3 Meeting #16

Present (in order of first speaking)

Felix Weber (CF); Kyle Solomon (DripDropz); Joey Chessher (Toolmakers and Maintainers); Lloyd Duhon (DripDropz); Rhys Morgan (SPOs); Quasar (ADA Holders subcircle member); Steve Lockhart (deputy for Mercy; Funded Proposers); Kriss Baird (IOG); Anthony McDonough (DripDropz).

Speaker percentages

Rhys (23%), Felix (22%), Joey (13%), Quasar (12%), Kriss (11%), Kyle (10%), Steve (5%), Lloyd (3%), Anthony (1%).

1. Opening (0:00)

No formal check-in, announcements, or agenda. Felix (0:02) Main topic of meeting is to establish clarity on how the DripDropz vote for CCv4 will work.

CCv4 vote on DripDropz (00:47)

Date of the vote (part 1)

Kyle (0:47) We have the nominations - we need to know date of the snapshot, and time frame of the vote. Felix (1:20) Once we hand everything over to you, you will decide the date to fit with your workload. Kyle (1:30) DripDropz will discuss what is needed to build a good, intuitive UX, and come back with a suggested timeframe, including a date for the snapshot. We need to give people notice, so they can start moving their ADA, since it’s an ADA-based vote.

How the vote will work

Joey (2:01) So people vote and the top 5 are the winners? Kyle (2:08) No, it’s ranked choice. Each person [NOTE: presumably, this should be “each wallet”] has 5 votes; you give 100% of the voting power to the first vote, 80% of the voting power to the second vote, 60% to the third, 40% to the fourth and 20% to the fifth. Felix (2:59) Minimum threshold is 5 ADA; and no downvoting.

What will be displayed on the DripDropz platform?

Lloyd (3:16) Their name, and a link to their profile statement on the Cardano forum. If they have made a video, or given their socials, those links will be in their Cardano forum statement, rather than being a separate direct link on the DripDropz platform

Checking candidates’ data is correct

Quasar (6:06) 3 people omitted to put their names in their platform statement – I am editing it to add their names. Felix (8:16) Circle has contacted nominees by email several times to request a platform statement. Those who have not responded, we assume do not want to stand. So there are 34 candidates. Joey (9:04) I’ve created an updated spreadsheet, to show who sent in a form, who sent a video, who didn't respond. 4 or 5 people replied to decline the nomination; others did not respond. Kyle (9:40) As the data in the Cardano Forum was transferred manually from the Google form, error is possible; should we create a read-only version of the spreadsheet, and ask nominees to check their information? And (10:47) if someone was nominated by someone else, it’s possible the wrong email address was given. Rhys (11:01) No; they have had enough time now; we have to move forward and assume they don’t want to be nominated. Quasar (11:24) The nomination form was unclear whether you were nominating yourself or someone else. And some of the names were difficult to spell. So I will contact everyone via Discord and Twitter to make sure we have the correct name. Rhys (12:15) OK, Quasar, if you contact everyone and let’s give them until Sunday [23rd Oct] to respond, and then the DripDropz team can start work on Monday. Kyle (12:37) I would rather do an announcement via the DripDropz platform - post a read-only copy of the spreadsheet and ask candidates to contact us if they have any problem. Joey (12:57) If anything does change, could DripDropz update it as we go? Kyle (13:11) Yes, but we’d prefer not to, as it can get messy. Kyle (13:38) Is everyone on board with how Lloyd outlined how this will work? [no objections]

Date of vote (part 2)

Rhys (14:01) Ideally we want it for the start of Fund 10; but it’s unclear when that will be; so we’ll trust DripDropz to set the date. Kyle (14:20) We were in a rush, but now we’re not, right? Rhys (15:05) We have to be respectful of your time – if your team needs longer, we would rather do it right, than rush it for no good reason.

Confidence vote after 3 months

Joey (15:50) There is a suggestion to review the candidates’ performance and hold a confidence vote in 3 months. How difficult is that to set up? Lloyd (16:36) It would be simple – a confidence vote is just an up or down vote for each candidate – so that’s 2 choices for each of 5 candidates.

Duration of election

Steve (17:04) Are we still agreed that the vote will run for 2 epochs? Kyle (17:19) We understood it would run for 10 days; is it to correlate with epochs? Rhys (17:29) That was the plan. Steve (17:34) I don’t care any more if it is in sync with when Fund 10 starts. Whenever you are ready, we should start as soon as possible.

Candidates promoting themselves

Joey (18:00) When can candidates start promoting themselves? Kyle (18:18) It’s a permissionless environment; they can do as they please.

Date of vote (part 3)

Anthony (18:59) Epoch shifts are on 1st, 6th and 11th November. Kyle (19:18) The sooner, the better for us as well. Lloyd (19:21) Wait until DripDropz’s product planning meeting later today; then we’ll communicate with Rhys and Felix. They are our main point of contact with Circle, so we’ll make sure that’s where our communication stays.

No to other voting platforms

Felix (20:16) A hot topic; voting happens on DripDropz only. If other platforms want to run a vote, that’s up to them, but the results will be unofficial – we are not in a position to combine results from different platforms.
Note: This is mentioned because since the last meeting, Quasar has invited other platforms to be part of the vote, which had upset DripDropz.
Quasar (20:59) Yes, I’ll be clear about that to the community, and to Freeloaderz and other platforms. Kyle (21:12) Yes: you can’t take the results together, because they’re two entirely different voting methods, and one is not even proven in the market. We want to keep it clean and do a good job.

The voting interface

Quasar (22:04) What will the voting interface look like, so people know how to do their ranked choice vote? Kyle (22:14) We’ll make it look cool. Don’t worry about it. Lloyd (22:19) It’s not going to look confusing, with percentages or anything – it will be as simple and clean as possible.

Will DripDropz run the confidence vote?

Quasar (22:49) Is the confidence vote in 3 months easy to set up? Kyle (23:03) We can discuss it. We agreed to help with one election; so we’d have to assess the operational overhead of an additional vote; but I think it’s something we could do. Joey (23:35) You can’t do it for free forever – can you estimate your costs so we know for future iterations? Anthony (23:52) We can track the man-hours. Felix (24:40) This is a pilot - maybe Circle have a responsibility to figure out the costs, because this is needed community infrastructure, and as yet we have no way to support it.
Quasar (25:59) I apologise for the confusion I caused over who is doing the vote. It was not intentional and I do not have an agenda.
26:11 DripDropz team leave the meeting.

Nominees' contact details on Cardano forum

Felix (26:45) What links should we provide on the forum? Rhys (27:33) Prioritise Twitter and Ideascale. Quasar (28:02) As a nominee, I’m going to provide more information. I think everyone can provide what they want. Felix (28:15) On the Cardano forum itself, we just add one or two links; but then nominees can add what they like at those links, and promote themselves as they want.
28:44 Kriss Baird arrives – all give him a brief recap on the voting mechanism
Felix (30:24) It's a ranked choice vote; each voter has five votes, and they can dedicate the full amount of ADA, split over the five votes; 20 for the first, 40 for the second, etc.
Note: this seems to be a slight is a misunderstanding of what Lloyd said earlier in the meeting.
The voter does not split their vote and allocate percentages of their voting power, as Felix is suggesting. Instead, the voter makes 5 votes, and the DripDropz platform itself will allocate 100% of their voting power to their first vote; 80% of it to their second vote, etc.
This could suggest that the system has not been made entirely clear to Circle members at this point.

Re-discussion of confidence vote

Felix (30:58) Could it happen more frequently: maybe monthly? (31:36) At the moment it’s envisaged as taking place after the first 3 months; a simple yes or no on the 5 elected seats. Quasar (31:57) How is a confidence vote a simple yes or no? How is it not weighted voting? Rhys (32:31) It’s just a simple “yes” or “no”. Joey (32:41) We might need to discuss that. If someone is voted down, and you don’t know who voted, then a rationale should be given. Rhys (32:57) I wasn’t thinking that people could be removed. It would just be for feedback to Circle. Steve (33:21) I thought it was like saying whether or not to keep paying. And I don’t think we should force the community to say whether they should keep getting paid after 3 months. Felix (34:37) I think it is decoupled from the voting – the voting mechanism should be one-person-one-vote. It’s something we still need to figure out. Kriss (38:36) Could the Cardano Forum be the venue for such a vote? Felix (39:24) You can give a thumbs up or thumbs down on the Forum but that’s all. Kriss (39:33) I would see the confidence vote as a data point. Voters should give a rationale, as Joey said; and it informs the operating team to help make a decision.
Note: it is unclear who Kriss means by the “operating team”. IOG? And a decision on what – continuing to pay Circle, as Steve suggested at 33:21?
Steve (40:03) I hope that if CCv4 diverges wildly from what the community want, the community will have plenty of opportunity to say so, through Town Hall breakout rooms and Twitter spaces. Kriss (40:48) People only make a noise when they are unsatisfied. If people are satisfied, they don’t say anything. Steve (41:16) Or, if they’re not paying attention. I think most people are not paying attention. Rhys (41:30) I think the confidence vote is unnecessary. People who come into Circle, come in because they want to do the work. We all know from being on Circle that they will not make drastic changes. We are not thinking of kicking people out via a confidence vote; and anyone who is elected to Circle will be trying to do their best; so we don't need to worry about it. Quasar (42:25) I think it is possible that voters would have no confidence in Circle as a whole, although I hope it doesn’t happen. Felix (42:43) In Catalyst we are good at starting things off, but we don’t think much about how to stop them; we should consider how we stop Circle if it goes wrong. I hope those elected have good intentions; but we cannot assume that. The community needs to define a process for how to stop things they disagree strongly with. But I think a process would not be about individuals’ seats, but about Circle itself.
Note: there is a lot of confusion in this part of the meeting. Most of those present are very unclear on the concept of a confidence motion and how it operates; and there is clear disagreement on what is actually being discussed - is it a vote of confidence in Circle as a whole, or in each individual seat? (in fact, a confidence motion can be either; note that DripDropz, here, are evidently seeing it as a vote on each individual rep).
There is also disagreement about whether it should be a mechanism to allow the community to remove a corrupt Circle rep; or a “get-out clause” to allow IOG to stop paying an unsatisfactory Circle; or simply a feedback mechanism with no "teeth", which Circle would not have to act on.
Note that a “vote of confidence” is an already-existing term with a specific meaning: If something other than this meaning is intended here (and it seems that it is), it should probably be called something else, to avoid confusion. The possibility of a confidence vote may be a process Circle should consider implementing additionally, as a safeguard against corruption, but that does not seem to be what is being discussed here.
Whereas a traditional confidence motion is something that is invoked as and when needed, this discussion is about a "probationary" process, which is built in to the system, and triggered automatically at 3 months. Any further discussion of this question, in Circle or in the community, needs to clarify:
1) whether the vote would be about confidence in the whole Circle, or about each member individually. (In a system such as Circle, where there is not a “government” and an “opposition”, no parties or factions, and each rep stands independently as an individual, it may make more sense for the vote to be about each individual member; but it would be possible to do either) 2) what the voting mechanism would be, and who would be eligible to vote and 3) what would happen if a rep, or Circle as a whole, lost the vote.
It may also be important to note here that the subject of a confidence vote was first mooted in the community c. Feb 2022.
At that point, many community members were unhappy with a particular Circle member; but the process laid down at Circle’s inception for removing a rep (i.e. 20 people coming together in a meeting and voting them out) was recognised as unsatisfactory.
So the initial intention in discussing confidence votes and other approaches was to find a means to remove a corrupt Circle member if the majority of the community, and/or their Circle colleagues, felt they should go.
These questions remain unaddressed for CCv4; although a Code of Conduct is now in place, there is still no agreed process if a Circle member breaks it.

Checking that Circle nominees meet the criteria for nomination

Felix (44:33) We need to set aside some time to check that the nominees meet the criteria we set up – for example, 6 months of experience in Catalyst. All: Brief discussion of preserving privacy, all agree to check at the weekend.
48:16 Steve leaves the meeting

Funded Proposers Subcircle planned meeting

Kriss (50:52) The Funded Proposers’ Subcircle are planning a discussion meeting with IOG and a panel from the community. Best discussed when Steve is here. I would prefer it just to be minuted and not video-recorded, so people feel more comfortable.

Funding for SubCircles

Joey (53:22) Kriss, can you confirm, will the F10 parameter change to reward Circle also include the two SubCircle roles as originally planned? Kriss (53:46) Yes. We are going to change the referrer rewards, and use it to fund Circle, and we are comfortable that it should be extended beyond the 5 elected seats to the subcircle roles of “facilitator” and “scribe”. But what is unclear is how those roles will be allocated. We don’t want the Circle reps to choose unilaterally, or just pick their mates. Rhys (55:22) Do you think that’s what they would do? If it was me, I would pick people who could do the work. 57:12 Kriss leaves the meeting temporarily.

Cardano Forum post about bullying and trolling

Rhys (57:34) I think this forum post should be taken down, because it’s not appropriate to discuss such accusations in public.
Note: The discussion on this agenda item has been documented very minimally here, because there were questions raised in the meeting about whether it was appropriate to raise the matter in a Circle meeting at all, and whether it’s appropriate for Quasar, the person to whom the post relates, to be platformed.
This summary avoids referencing any of the direct comments about the case itself that are made in the meeting – however, there is a full transcript and recording.
At 58:17, Rhys says he plans to approach CF to ask for the post to be removed. It’s unclear whether he did so; but the post was not removed at any point.
Felix (1:03:09) The problem is there is no space in Catalyst where anyone who is bullied or attacked can raise it safely. Also bullies often attack without any evidence; so requiring evidence from the victim creates a difficult situation. Bullies know that victims are unlikely to keep evidence, and thus cannot defend themselves. Joey (1:07:50) We should not ask IOG to deal with it – we should deal with it as a community. Felix (1:10:16) I disagree. In practice, IOG is the custodian of Project Catalyst at present; they maintain most of the platforms we use; so they have a responsibility. The community is not yet ready to take over – there have been initiatives started, like the Listeners [an unfunded group created in early 2022 to offer non-directive listening to people facing conflict or bullying within Catalyst] but if people take on the work, they need to be rewarded. Rhys (1:12:05) But it is our role to start building solutions. Not the community – us, as Circle, because we have some time left before our tenure is finished, so we could begin work on this.

How CCv4 will select their subcircles

Rhys (1:16:11) A vote for subcircle members is unnecessary. What could we do instead? Joey (1:17:27) The Circle member could give a statement to justify why they picked who they picked, and what skills the person brings. Rhys (1:18:00) That should be enough. It’s best to keep it simple. Quasar (1:18:21) I think the paid subcircle members should come from the Circle nominees who were not elected. Joey (1:19:19) For me it’s the same principle as I use in my job with remote workers – you agree goals and timelines for their work, and if they meet those, then everyone should be satisfied; there should be no problem with the Circle rep choosing who they want. Rhys (1:20:04) We could combine those 2 ideas – Circle reps could choose their subcircle team, but only from the list of Circle nominees.
1:22:48 Kriss returns to the meeting
Kriss (1:23:50) There would need to be some sort of acknowledgement from the list of nominees on whether they want to be scribes and facilitators. Rhys (1:24:09) Yes, but there would be 28 people to choose from; that is more than enough. Kriss (1:24:27) It sounds like a good idea. Felix (1:24:54) But to play devil's advocate: those elected to CCv4 will be leaders of their own already-existing communities - so their assets, and their working group, is their own community. This is how it was envisioned. Shouldn’t they pick their team from their communities, not from people they might not have even met? Joey (1:25:48) So maybe the other Circle nominees should be their first choice, but they can also draw on the wider community, once they have a purpose in mind for their subcircle? And as long as you specify a goal and a timeline, that should be enough to satisfy the community. Rhys (1:27:22) To Felix’s point - not knowing who you are working with is not a problem, because you can learn to work together. That’s what CCv3, and the previous iteration of CCv3, had to do, and we all got along. I don’t think it will cause a problem; but if it does, we should resolve it then, not now.
Note: As a point of information, the first iteration of CCv3 actually had some quite severe and very public problems in working together.
Kriss (1:28:35) We could discuss it among the nominees now, either in Discord, or at an After Town Hall. Quasar (1:29:33) Perhaps they are not “subcircles” in the same sense as before. Subcircles were groups of people aligned around a role-based Circle seat; these will be something different. Rhys (1:31:04) Yes – they are more like a support staff. (1:32:09) So do we agree that paid subcircle roles should be chosen from the other Circle nominees only? Kriss (1:32:17) I’m probably in support of it, broadly speaking, but we should write it down and then sense it with the community.

Self-organised Town Halls

Quasar (1:32:57) During this cooldown period, IOG is pausing Town Hall. How does IOG feel about the community having a self-organised Town Hall? I hate asking for permission, but I’m looking for confirmation. Kriss (1:33:38) Yes, there’s nothing stopping anyone from doing that. Joey (1:33:59) Would Danny send out communications about it? Kriss (1:34:09) Yes – Danny will coordinate with you about how to structure an Election Town Hall.

Electing subcircles with other tools

Quasar (1:34:56) One idea that has come up is that DripDropz will run the main Circle election, and several epochs later, there will be another election for the paid support roles. Lloyd has suggested using SundaeSwap. I wanted to offer that as a suggestion. Rhys (1:35:58) I think that discussion got out of hand, and some lines were crossed from the start. I think having another election adds confusion, and probably wouldn’t get a big response. I support using other tools in future, but not rushing to organise something now, as I think there will be opposition to it, and people will oppose and even boycott it. We should keep it simple, and stick to what we have already decided on. Quasar (1:37:00) I agree with what we have decided on, but I am obligated to share that people are not excited about DripDropz; and with token-weighted voting, we all want to pursue “one wallet, one vote” with this weighted voting. If what we have is the best we can do at this time, OK; but the community wants to see more. Kriss (1:37:40) That’s always going to be the case. But be careful of saying “the community”, because we are only talking about those who have interacted with you about this topic.

No start date for Fund 10

Quasar (1:38:03) Kriss, do we have a start date for Fund 10 yet? Kriss (1:38:06) No. We need to pause, and have a retrospective, first. But we will be able to make an announcement on the start date soon.

3. Checkout and close

No formal checkout; only 3 people are left in the meeting. Recording ends 1:39:25

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
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 #16, 13th Oct 2022, QA-DAO verbatim transcript.doc

Agenda for this meeting

None available