Meeting #2, 17th March 2022

Meeting recording

Minutes of Catalyst Circle v3 Meeting #2

Present (in order of first speaking)

Nori Nishigaya (facilitator); Joey Chessher (representing Toolmakers and Maintainers); Nadia Hopkins (Community Advisors); Bullish Dumpling (Cardano Foundation); Harris Warren (IOG); Dimitri Fernando (General ADA Holders); Mercy A (Funded Proposers); JP (secretary); Rhys Morgan (stakepool operators).

Speaker percentages

Dimitri (18%), Joey (16%), Harris (16%), Nori (15%), Nadia (11%), Mercy (11%), Rhys (9%), Dumpling (4%), JP (1%)

Abbreviations used / Glossary

API – Application Programming Interface (a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other)

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

CA – Community Advisor, a role open to anyone in Catalyst, to assess proposals in each funding round

CC – Catalyst Circle

CF – Cardano Foundation

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

Catalyst School –

d-Rep – delegation representative, a proposed new role; people to whom a voter will be able to delegate their voting power. See the registration form

DID – Decentralised identifiers

ETH – Eastern Townhall

Gimbalabs -

IO – the overall organisation that comprises IOG and IOHK

IOG – Input/Output Global

NFT – non-fungible token

QA-DAO – Quality Assurance Distributed Autonomous Organisation

SPO – stakepool operator

VCA – Veteran Community Advisor, a role open to those who have been a CA in previous rounds, to assess the CAs’ reviews

Voltaire – the next phase on the Cardano roadmap to decentralisation

1. Opening, agenda (0:00)

Check-in (0:36)

Announcements (6:54) – none

Agenda and align expectations (7:10) –Items added to the agenda: sustainability for core services in Catalyst; update on conversations about Circle pay; update on the letter about d-Reps from the community to IOG.

2. Circle Stand-Up (13:44)

NOTE: The Stand-up is a go-round using the Prioritised Problems GitHub board, where each Circle member in turn says

  • what they have worked on since last meeting

  • what they will be working on next

  • any blocks, or anything they need help with

Joey (14:14)

  • Met with Circle mentor [Tevo Saks], and with Aharon {Porath, who also stood for election to CCv3] to discuss Toolmakers problems on the board; still not agreed which problems are still ongoing, and what the criterion is for “it’s finished”, so Joey will wait till they have met again before finalising

  • Will have regular meetings with Tevo and Aharon every 2 weeks.

  • Blocked by confusion getting used to times in UTC, but otherwise good.

Nadia (17:57)

  • Updating the CA Guide, together with CA community, with info from IOG about new tools; lots of good collaboration. Begun drafting a VCA guide. Submitted a proposal for a rapid funding Treasury for the CAs Subcircle; aiming to address the issue of burnout and “proposal fatigue” and to have an experiment in a governance framework for the CA group.

  • Will continue to work on onboarding CAs, and reaching out to other sections of the community

  • No blockers.

Dumpling (21:56)

  • Developed a 3-step plan to address communication gap between CF and Catalyst community: Surveys to community on Twitter about how much they know about CF’s role in Catalyst (so far, 60% of those voting have no idea); Discord channel for discussions; and got support from Frederik [Frederik Gregaard, CF’s CEO] for an open discussion event.

  • Open discussion event will be 31st March, 9:15 UTC: Frederik and others from CF, and Felix [Weber, from Swarm] will discuss with the community about CF’s involvement with Catalyst. The event won’t be decision-making; just for CF to hear from the community.

  • Blocker – would like Circle members to come to the Discord server and join Twitter space.

Harris (25:57)

  • The Catalyst Parameters Pilot will be delayed and de-prioritised, so for the time being, Circle will remain as a sensing organisation, not a decision-making one; there are things in the works that will clarify its future role. There’s been discussions in IOG about how we make decisions – Harris met the IO Leadership team, legal team, etc last week. Also met Wallet team re: some new features that are planned.

  • Will be sharing details of these things with the community in coming weeks, but cannot do so yet. Will also be able to move some of the other tickets on the board soon, e.g. “IOG transitioning from governors to service providers”. There will also be some follow-up from IOG to the community’s letter about d-Reps. Will add to the board some specific workshops to share updates with the community. Harris will take on new role of Governance Technologies, so focusing on voting mechanisms and voting tools. What will the future role of Circle be?

  • Main blocker is time; has not had time to engage with Circle members except a short meeting with Nadia.

Mercy (32:11)

  • Formed a Funded Proposers Subcircle, very representative in terms of time zones; have held one After Town Hall. And Mercy’s slides at Town Hall generated good discussions; Item added to this meeting’s agenda based on that. A Fund 8 proposal has been submitted to support the Sub-Circle’s work

  • Funded proposers would like more ways to meet each other, build collaborations, etc but don’t always have time to do it in a meeting – so perhaps a platform like a proposal directory or search engine? This will be added as a problem on the board. Harris is working on the issues around timing of when funding is released so hope to hear more on that at next Circle meeting.

  • No blockers.

Dimitri (40:02)

  • Talking to individuals I know and groups I belong to about what they expect from me, and what problems they want to address. Attended Eastern Town Hall. Held After Town Hall sessions – nobody attended the last one, but the previous week’s was large. Talked to Allison [ mentor from Circle v2]. Created two surveys - there were not a great number of replies (47:34), but issues raised include:

    • numbers of Circle seat s should reflect the number of constituents, i.e General ADA holders from different geographical regions should comprise the bulk of Circle;

    • bodies around Circle such as admin, treasury and oversight should be elected by the community;

    • governance work should not be reliant on proposals; Circle members should receive enough money to do the job in a professional manner;

    • information silos;

    • dReps.

    • (46:12) A second survey was in favour of a retrospective funding bid to pay Circle reps more than what was previously allocated (survey results here); so Dimitri submitted a proposal

  • Planning to attend Africa Town Hall and Pacific Town Hall. Will set up a Reddit account for General ADA Holders.

  • No blockers.

Rhys (52:07)

  • Supported SPOs to submit proposals, often around providing infrastructure. Ran workshops, Spaces etc encouraging SPOs to get involved in Catalyst and also work together; facilitated around 15 new proposals for what SPOs actually need to support them. Also been doing interviews about proposals to increase their reach. Partly this was developed by liaising with Becky Hopwood [IOHK community co-ordinator].

  • Plans to use rapid funding Circle budget to help SPOs get more eyes on their proposals - perhaps via ads in Twitter spaces. May be able to hold breakout rooms on IOG Discord, which will reach about 250 SPOs – liaising with Becky Hopwood on this.

  • No blockers.

Harris (58:26) Are the reactions in the community towards Catalyst positive?

Rhys (58:44) Definitely improving; there is more interest. Until now, many SPOs expect to do things for free; but actually it does cost them money; so I am trying to encourage them to change that mentality and see Catalyst as a funding mechanism because their work supports the community.

Funding cycles (Joey) - (1:02:25)

  • Dropped till next meeting, as the meeting is 25 minutes over time.

  • In brief, Kriss Baird already mentioned the issue at Town Hall – we are all overburdened, and want to consider expanding the length of a funding cycle.

Sub-circles (Joey, 1:03:10)

  • Circle members cannot be everywhere at once, so I plan to pay 5 subcommittee members to attend Town Halls around the word, and discuss on social media, to help problem sense. Will pay then $500 at first and another $500 at the end of the 6 month term.

  • They will not just be for Toolmakers, but will report issues relevant to any Circle role, and will collaborate directly with each Circle member.

  • June Akra is already covering Eastern Town Hall, but looking for input on who to select for other areas.

ACTION POINT: once selected, this group will be invited to join Circle’s Slack

ACTION POINT: Admin team to investigate paid-for Slack add-ons that will enable distribution lists etc

Fireside chats, handshakes - Joey (1:09:53)

  • Voltaire roadmap says “When both voting and Treasury systems are in place, Cardano will be truly decentralised and no longer under IOHK’s management. Instead Cardano’s future will be in the hands of the community, who will have everything they need to grow and evolve Cardano from the secure decentralised basis established by IOHK.”

  • This is not going to happen right away, although some in the community think it is. My opinion is, we are not ready.

  • Joey suggests Harris and others do Fireside Chats – you guys collect information from us on what we're thinking, but we need information back on what IOG are thinking and what are your plans are.

  • Also “handshakes” – the chance for us to get to know key players in IOHK, and for us all to find out who in the community has what skills

  • (Harris, 1:15:40) – I like the idea of Fireside Chats; IOG will have information to share soon; particularly working on open APIs to support toolmaking. We want to frame Circle’s activities around Catalyst.

  • Mercy (1:18:16) – Inasmuch as we want to focus on Catalyst, we also need to become more global in our outlook.

Community Treasury (Joey, 1:18:39)

  • The heartbeat of Catalyst is the Treasury. Can we start some discussions with the Treasury, aiming to replicate their procedures on operations and security and the skill sets that are required to operate a treasury, to work towards handover?

  • And could we put in place a comparatively small Treasury, maybe $1M in a permanent fund and $0.6M in an operating fund, and put in place all the all the functionality that is exists right now in the main Treasury, so that we can learn how to operate a treasury so that we can build confidence?

ACTION POINT: to be discussed further in future meetings and on Slack.

Circle as a VCA arbitration body (Nadia, 1:22:23)

  • Nadia (1:22:23) vCAs are refining how they determine assessment quality. If someone is assessing in a questionable way, could Circle be an arbitration body, to give greater transparency and integrity to the process?

  • Harris (1:25:21) IOG can help address identifying problems, via scripting etc; but we could also have a task force composed of Circle members, IOG and technical people to address it, because there are technical issues involved. But many of the decisions on this are with IOG now, and probably need to be wider.

  • Nadia (1:27:26) To clarify, the body I’m suggesting would not do the analysis of the data, but would see the result of that analysis.

  • Dimitri (1:27:42) If Circle members are themselves CAs and VCAs, would this be a conflict of interest? Also – to arbitrate, I would need to understand how the evidence was arrived at. And, if action is to be taken against as CA or VCA, that person should have the right to speak for themselves too.

  • Mercy (1:29:17) Agree – vCAs know where the problems are, but they should not be judge and executioner; having Circle as another layer of arbitration is better.

  • Nadia, (1:30:59) – additionally, related to a current proposal that aims to map or visualise the workings of Catalyst overall; the community would vote on the different versions, but then it needs a layer of observing whether or not they were correct. So it’s related to Circle as a kind of arbitration; in general, could Circle provide this for some of the outcomes of projects? Just to be aware of it.

Collaborating to recruit CAs (Nadia, 1:32:23)

  • Nadia and Rhys have discussed how to collaborate to encourage SPOs to become CAs. In general, how do we all collaborate to attract CAs form different parts of the ecosystem? Suggest a working group in Slack to address it.

  • Nori (1:34:19) Similar issue arose in Circle v1 with a shortage of CAs; Victor and Felix brought in hundreds of new CAs, so maybe collaborate with them also.

ACTION POINT: Nadia and Rhys to co-ordinate planning on Slack; anyone else interested can join.

Sustainability for core services in Catalyst (Mercy, 1:35:03)

  • On the discussion we had last meeting around this – let’s be mindful not to think that certain people are more qualified than others. Whoever is willing and interested can come in, and then it’s up to the community to make it inclusive and accessible via training.

  • Nori (1:36:10) There are several proposals and Fund 9 challenge settings on this – it’s worth looking at the different ideas on how to address the sustainability of Circle.

Compensation for Circle members (Dimitri, 1:37:09)

  • Outcome of Dimitri's survey – Only about 20 respondents; but it supported compensation between $3,000 to $5,000 a month for Circle; and supported retroactive funding.

  • Dimitri submitted a Fund 8 proposal for $3,000 per month per Circle member, with Mercy as co-proposer.

  • Joey (1:40:37) Did the survey ask about yearly compensation instead of monthly?

  • Dimitri (1:41:17) No.

  • Harris (1:42:40) Interesting tool for surveys that includes some AI

  • Nori (1:43:16) On pay – it’s supposed to be 10 hours a week, but most people are doing more – how many?

  • Rhys (1:45:07) Be wary of calling it a full-time role, or people might think they need to leave their job to stand for election to Circle.

D-Reps letter from the community (Harris, 1:45:57)

  • IOG is really grateful for the community’s initiative, and will be responding by letter in turn, followed by workshops and sharing information.

Changes to meeting feedback form ( Nori 1:46:34)

End-of-meeting feedback form has been updated, and is no longer anonymous. And, as Circle is now funded, it includes a section for you to give information to help Admin write our monthly funded proposer report to IOG. Also include information on your work with your mentors so we can track that.

4. Checkout and close (1:49:10)

Checkout (1:49:10) – each member in turn briefly says how they are feeling

Meeting ends 1:53:37

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