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Working meeting, 19th May 2022

Working meetings are held on the weeks in between regular Circle meetings, and are optional for Circle members to attend. They are currently not video recorded.


Nori Nishigaya (facilitator); Joey Chessher (representing Toolmakers and Maintainers); Rhys Morgan (SPOs); Mercy A (Funded Proposers); Harris Warren (IOG); Nadia Hopkins (CAs); Dimitri Fernando (General Voters); JP (secretary).

Meeting notes

These notes were prepared by JP (Admin team) during the meeting itself.
Catalyst Circle Working Session 19th May 2022 JP meeting notes.doc
Current situation with funding: Proposal for rapid funding - $7k for each Circle seat - was funded But the Circle itself and the admin team were not funded. We need to do a better job at relaying the purpose of the Circle.
  • Harris - is it possible that IOG would support a specific challenge for governance?
  • Yes, that is a potential direction to take
  • We would like to make sure the program continues. We want to make sure the Admin team gets paid for their efforts.
  • We could do a budget for what it costs to operate the governance.
  • We want to mitigate the potential risks
  • I am not inclined to say this is a financial issue. We want to continue the work and do our business without disruption.
  • Constant disruptions take away from other work and do not allow us to rest.
  • At this point, I agree with what Dimitri put in the chat yesterday.
  • Some of us in the community did a screen of all the results of F8. It seems that the community is not keen to spend significant amounts of money on Governance.
  • Let’s look at where our mandate is coming from to maintain consistency for ourselves, and v4 onwards, as well as listening to the community. We need to be really clear in terms of what needs to be done.
  • The 300/month that we are supposed to receive is nothing anyways, even if it’s a token from the community to continue the work that’s fine, but we need to figure out if this is what the community wants.
  • In every industry, having people in authority making money but people do not appreciate the administrative work that needs to be taken on.
  • There is the concept that out of the treasury we pay a percentage of the available funds to support CAs - in theory we could adjust the Catalyst parameters to cover the function of the Circle.
  • We redefine the Catalyst parameters the Circle gets remunerated from that. But we need community input.
  • We’d like to get to a point where we can have the Circle playing a decision making role.
  • For the future state it’s important we get some processes in place for decision making by the community - it won’t be IOG, so who does it? Is it the oversight committee? These things will need to be clarified for Catalyst.
  • Another way to potentially do it is to create a challenge for each seat. We could introduce it as a voting mechanism for the next fund but we cannot add value to it yet. This would be a future voting possibility but not til F10.
  • I also take responsibility as I made the call to extend it to 6 months. It was with the intent to pay members.
  • We will need to find a way to proceed forward. The intent was to be a 6 months term, loosely slated around the funds. If we look at dates we could set a date or work to the end of the fund.
Can we go around the room to confirm how people feel continuing without funding? Is everyone in agreement?
  • Nori - Yes
  • Dimitri - Not if we aren't getting paid. The community has provided their view that they do not want the Circle. If the community does not want the Circle we should not force it on them. If they aren’t going to pay the funds then we shouldn't do it for free. I do not want to do it voluntarily. In my opinion the entire Circle should not continue as the community did not agree.
  • Joey - Yes
  • Harris - Yes
  • JP - I’d just like to reiterate that we didn’t get a stark no from the community, instead as Nori alluded to, we passed the approval process but not before funds ran out.
  • Mercy - Goes back to a mandate thing. What JP was saying in terms of what could have been done, I know that’s a tempting way to go, but that’s not the main issue. If we look at Milkomeda, they got a low score but they were voted right to the top of the list, they got first. I side with Dimitri that we need to think seriously about what our mandate is. Is it from the community or IOG? It doesn’t need to be a big amount, it could be a token. FP subCircle is agreed to continue but I feel uncomfortable forcing myself and the Circle in this sense. But I am willing to continue as the funded proposer sub Circle. One last thing - under what conditions - it could be a yes/no, depending on the conditions.
  • Harris - When each member was elected there was a predisposition that it would be in place for 6 months. This is our mandate. It’s a financial thing - If you need to step out due to finance that’s fine and we understand, however the mandate is 6 months as per the last proposal. I would hope that people would continue to the end of the 6 months.
Given this light, would you continue even if not paid?
  • Mercy - I’m willing to continue but does the Circle work anymore. We will need to rethink how we are working based on how the voting went. The FP and CA sub Circles have some funding. I’m going to finish the work I started in a different way if we are not funded as a unified Circle.
  • Joey - Few quick things. I didn’t understand that it was 6 months when I committed to fill the seat. But if someone decides not to continue in the Circle, what happens to the sub Circle funds, and the pending sub Circle fends?
  • Rhys - I’m sticking around and not going anywhere. I realize not everyone can, and no hard feelings.
  • Nadia - I came into this role because I was nominated and there was work to be done, which we have done. I also wasn’t aware that it was 6 months until the beginning of the process, other than the community may have also had confusion. We put a lot of emphasis on proposals for what the community wants/doesn’t want, but it could also not be that and something else. I take to heart the relationships and interactions with everyone. How we respond to the lack of funding reflects on our capacity to make decisions and the expectations of the community. I think it’s a consideration that this didn’t get funded. If we are going to continue anyways, what is the response to the community? I think people may perceive it as overreach and non legitimate decision making.
  • Nori - We definitely want to avoid the perception that the Circle is creating its own rules even when not funded. For the admin team, Swarm has gotten together to submit the admin team. They are responding as a community - we think that this needs to continue and are throwing a bit in. We need to be clear that the mandate is not totally clear that it was not desired. It was that the funding got out before it got to it, since it did pass the process. If it was a no vote and went red (e.g. not wanted) that would be different.
  • Nadia - I’m also sensitive to some people saying yes and others saying no. But it is to a point, we all need money and to make decisions.
  • The reason we shifted to 6 months is because the other Circles were just getting going and then being done.
  • The entire reason to extend it was to have a continuation of efforts. We are doing good work and making good processes.
  • It came from me (IOG) - it was my fault that we didn’t have the funding. The proposal was good and got a 4/ 5, a good score, but the challenge ran out of funding.
  • Nadia
  • There is agreement on that totally. But I didn’t know that until I had the role, which was the case for a few other reps.
  • I think the 6 months is the right decision to get people to settle in
  • I agree that the 6 months is a good thing but I do want to revisit what Nadia said.
  • If we think we need to do it, then we need to do it well. In my mind, having gone through the results, it still seems like a mandate thing. If we had too many no votes that is what drops the ranking. There were bigger funded proposals that got funded ahead of this one.
  • My mind always goes to what are the systems we are planning?
  • We need a proper system that is repeatable so it can stand the test of time.
  • If the community is not ready to understand the importance of what we are doing we need to have the discussion of why it’s important.
  • After talking to Joey over the weekend, there are relations between healthcare, the doctors and nurses don't always see the value of the administrative arms.
  • We need to figure out next steps.
  • Just listening to the conversation I’m starting to shift to the position that we want to avoid the perception of creating our own rule set.
  • Those who are remaining can commit to working for free and focus on the legacy of CCv3 to make CCv4 viable.
  • There is an opportunity here to set an example. We believe in governance. The majority voted yes to support, so if we move forward with this mandate, we need to make sure future versions succeed.
  • That’s an interesting point. There is so much around “this is funded so it’s going forward” but from a vote perspective, I’ve come up a few times to people who push the proposal pathway as the validity option.
  • But maybe this isn’t the appropriate method for this type of work. It’s important to look at what got community support and should continue forward even without funding. What other things were there for support but that ran out of financial steam.
  • I’m really torn - I hear all sides - negative arguments and positive arguments - we know what we’ve done and what needs to happen. Yes it’s complicated on where and how to draw the line - it’s not as simple as financial.
  • There is no admin governance category. Here we are competing against open source - it’s a horrible category for us to be in.
  • If it was a governance challenge, and one proposal was the Circle that lost to other governance programs then that would be fine.
  • There wasn’t really a good fit for where to submit this proposal.
  • What we need to also remember is that there was a governance challenge for F9 that didn't get voted in.
  • We can look at the results but for F8 not to get a governance category is a story to be told.
  • If we want to continue on a unified basis, we really need to figure out what we mean by governance, who funds it, what are our aims?
  • I think the proposal was fine.
  • We put it into this specific category but there was no governance category. And the community knew what it was for.
  • If it’s not making it to the top of the list, this is still an indication from the community.
  • What are the options going forward? IOG funded? Continuing completely unfunded?
  • There are no funds for IOG just to cut a check.
  • We are trying to remove IOG from the equation.
  • We can do better than what we did in the last 3 months. We got a lot of stuff done but we were slow to implement a lot of things, we got tied up in the controversy and putting out fires for 70% of our time.
  • We’ve always been trying to catch up really, which is a shame.
  • We can set up a way to have people submit issues to us - we can semi-automate these processes to help reduce workload.
  • There are ways we can do our job to make it easier - even if for the next 3 months - open spaces to share concerns and issues with Catalyst.
  • I don’t think the lack of funding represents the need/lack of need for the position. Most people don’t know who we are or what we do.
  • Many perceptions are misleading about our position.
  • Just another factor to consider - the F8 was $12.8M not, $16M.
  • This does not mean we would have been funded but the funds were smaller given the price of ADA.
  • The CAs and FPs are creating cool mechanisms through DeWork to raise issues and vote on them. [Documenter's note: this is inaccurate: the FP subcircle is not currently using Dework, as they do not find it useful/suitable for their work and their community.] This is a great mechanism that we can use to collect ideas from the community and the rep brings it to the Circle.
  • I’d love it if the CA group does their own election and they send their rep to represent the community.
  • Can we use the rapid funding to compensate the Circle?
  • No, they cannot use these funds to pay the Circle, it’s very clear in the category.
  • I think that going forward - I want to look at these votes - look at it from a priority basis.
  • We can talk a lot about the nuance and their cumulative nature, but looking at how the whole Catalyst was designed it’s what are the priorities. Of these 1k proposals, which are the priorities to get funded?
  • If we look at it like this we may need to reposition ourselves - maybe the proposal approach isn’t appropriate.
  • Potentially there could be a set fixed amount that is voted on - we put that into a Catalyst parameter - then the community votes on it.
  • It could be helpful - what is the contribution we are going to make across the board? Maybe in our meetings, we think about the agenda and think about the Circle as governance. What improvements could we make to support governance?
  • Maybe we look at improving governance processes - how to have these discussions in our meetings? We can start asking ourselves the questions based on what happened not being funded?
  • Would make a vote for maybe 30 min discussion each time.
  • One thing that has come up in the CA group - other potential working groups get raised to us - even if not under the CA group - but people want to work on it.
  • We have been thinking that since having discord, dework, upvoting and sensing works.
  • Maybe what we do is expand it from just CAs to a broader discord server where all groups work together - we could then have an announcement board - and have people self organize on specific topics to make it better for us all.
  • Would love to hear feedback from others.
  • We all know communities are fickle.
  • The community looks at their proposals and their ideas and go in their directions.
  • What Nadia said is bang on.
  • What the SPO and other communities have are self oragnized - if stuff needs to get done, people do it.
  • What we can do is fund our working groups - we can identify problems, then use tools (like dework) to get it done. Then we can pay these groups with the rapid funding mechanism.
  • We do owe ourselves and the community the extra 3 months. We either need a way to show how we are needed or to put ourselves out of work.
  • My goal is to put myself out of work.
  • We want to have communities be autonomous and self sustaining.
  • It’s not just about money - we are all people with needs.
  • What Nadia is proposing is great as it empowers people who want to do the work come and participate.
  • Rather than justify our own roles we can make the system run better.
  • It also allows groups to work together.
  • We can have FPs and CAs working in silos.
  • There are many ways that we need to interact - we could create the platform with the focus on doing stuff - then we get different perspectives to create a more robust system.
  • I really appreciate the Circle taking the charge to address our challenges.
  • Having a Dework space is very powerful to have it be open and opens up governance to the community.
  • Circle reps need to relay what the community thinks, not the individual person.
  • We can put bounties on work that isn’t most appealing.
  • I remember when I was getting more involved in Catalyst, at the end of F7 there were discussions about being bitchy to each other.
  • The reason I put myself forward is because I saw that discussion taking up too much time. It’s not conducive to pushing Catalyst forward. It was 3 or 4 calls where people said bullying is not acceptable. Of course we shouldn't be bullying but it isn’t a productive conversation to push stuff forward.
  • This is kind of what happened to us - we got distracted with the PR of the Catalyst Circle and while necessary it’s taken a long time and we are still talking about it. We should be replacing our jobs with community.
  • One of the things as an independent group, it’s natural that this would turn into a DAO.
  • We could use this as a model of how decisions can be made. We can use this as a future method.
  • Let’s not make another discord or telegram channel.
  • We do not need another platform?
  • Why are we not in one server together talking about our shared issues?
  • Maybe we should be putting all links and dework links into the Catalyst discord section?
  • We have a responsibility for V4 to get things right.
  • We still have the rapid funding which can be used to move work ahead.
  • We can also find ways to minimize our work. Being able to pay other people means we can delegate the work to them. This will hopefully be enough of an incentive to get people to work.
  • It’s important to be able to pay people
  • We were missing some tools and processes for this group to work together.
  • The whole point is to make a model that can be used by many groups - we do a pathway for problem sensing and information sharing both ways. It shouldn't fall on one person.
  • The question then becomes, how do we gather?
  • We should have a transparent statement to the community? If the Circle wasn’t funded why are there still Circle sides?
  • Maybe we need to come to a place to express it to the community. We can bury our heads in the sand.
  • If we express it well and explain our position then it is more likely to be received positively.
  • While people may do it, we don’t want to do it without being completely transparent.
  • That’s a good point. We can continue with the rapid funding to pay workers.
  • In my mind that’s a good approach. Put out the statement and then engage the community more broadly on what is governance.
  • Then on the other hand we do education on why governance is important.
  • By the time we get to F20, it will be ruled by large wallet holders, unless our community initiatives succeed.
Solution for going forward:
  • Rhys will draft the first version.
  • Nadia will make a channel in Slack to talk about broadening the use of discord and dework. Will open it up and invite everyone.
  • Dework is good because it uses discord - avoids multiple accounts.