Working document


Source document

Catalyst Circle V3 & Community Governance Oversight V1

Working group

CCV3 - Nadia Hopkins, Joey Chessner

CGO V1 - Tevo Saks, Stephen Whitenstall


The purpose of this document is to oversee changes to the Catalyst Circle problem sensing process.


Governance Alive

The original Prioritised Problem Board was designed in collaboration with Governance Alive (see

Catalyst Circle 1

In Meeting 5 of Catalyst Circle 1 on September 9th 2021 Dor & Victor presented and discussed revised guidelines that were never implemented (see

Catalyst Circle 2

In Meeting 2 of Catalyst Circle 2 on November 25th, 2021 Dor & Harris drafted “stub” proposals to “Introduce a second new body, called “Cardano Governance, Oversight and Improvements”, to provide oversight of CC and Catalyst Expert Council” (see This was picked up by Stephen as the Fund 7 Proposal - Community Governance Oversight (

Catalyst Circle 3

Nadia has raised the Prioritized Problem “Review and Revise the Prioritized-Problems Workflow” (

Community Governance Oversight

Part of the scope of Community Governance Oversight is to oversee changes to the governance processes that define Catalyst Circle and the effectiveness of Catalyst Circle problem sensing in particular. The broad approach to this takes the form of :


Internal (self assessment) and external (community outreach) surveys


Working groups and community breakout rooms

Facilitation of an internal retrospective

A retrospective of the revised changes

A Report

A report on the whole process with lessons learnt and further recommendations.

Revised Prioritized Problem Process

This is a suggested starting point for revisions to the process. Please bear in mind the following Voltaire principles while drafting :

Voltaire principles

  1. No central entity or authority controls improvements to and innovations in Catalyst Governance.

  2. Key groups are fairly represented - such as Voters, SPOs, Toolmakers and Maintainers, Funded Proposers, Community Advisors, Challenge Teams and Cardano Ambassadors.

  3. Activities of participants in any governance changes are accountable to the community.

  4. The risk of adversarial capture is mitigated.

  5. That governance is transparent and understandable through accessible, timely and widely distributed documentation and communication.

  6. Will assess whether improvements to Catalyst Governance have : a) recruited capable participants, b) access to impartial data and analysis, c) robust methodologies, d) clear rules and policies.

  7. Formal security and emergency mechanisms are developed and implemented.

  8. Governance culture is legitimate, stable and lively.

Based on Dor & Victor revised guidelines as follows -

Problem Sensing (before the board)

Source and prioritize the most general problems of your representative group.

Draft a summary of the problem

Submit to the Board under “Problem Backlog”

Problem Backlog

  • Write the problem in structured form - ask at least one CC member for feedback

  • Schedule a time during the CC to present the problem and solicit feedback from Circle members.

  • Move the problem to the “360 feedback” section.

Circle Feedback

  • Receive feedback from Circle members and modify problem statement if needed.

  • Move to the “well-defined problems” area.

Well-Defined Problems (Ready)

Schedule time to present the problem during Town Hall

Define solving strategy with Circle (Presentation? Challenge? Proposal? Facilitate problem solving sessions?)

Prepare a presentation.

Present it.

Move to “Shared with Community” section

Shared with Community

  • Track teams who are addressing the issue.

  • Once one or more teams pick up the challenge to address it, or direct action from CC is initiated move to “Picked up” section

Picked Up (Ready)

  • Create a ticket for each solution + assign ID number to solution.

  • Once a prototype for a solution has been created, move to the “prototyping” section.

Prototyping (In Progress)

  • Once a pilot achieves results, move to validation.

Validation (Reporting)

  • Prepare presentation of outcomes of the prototype to present to the circle.

  • Circle decided whether they consider the problem solved/ Have recommendations for a follow up pilot/ Recommend this methodology to be incorporated in the “main Catalyst process” or reject it, but include what was learned from the experiment.

  • Problem owner presents the solution, what we learned and next steps to the community.

  • If the solution was integrated, move to the integrated section.

  • If the solution was rejected, either move back to prototyping or to the lessons learned column.

Integrated (Accepted)

  • Review when onboarding the next Circle members, the various ways is which problems were addressed.

Lessons learned (Canceled)

  • Review when onboarding the next Circle members, how the community tried to solve a problem, and what we learned from it.

Circle reset

  • Community groups are asked whether they want to continue with the problem or choose a new one.

  • All “abandoned” problems get archived, and Trello gets reset anew for the incoming CC.

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