Posted on Jan 10, 2023Read on

2022 Radicle Governance Wrapped

By Shelby Steidl & Abbey Titcomb

This past year was heavily focused on preparing for our transition to the DAO. This included addressing existing governance challenges such as distribution of voting power, exploring alternative or additional tooling, considering non-tokenized governance mechanisms, and supporting the implementation of a new ecosystem model. This post is a summary of key proposals and the most notable developments in RadicleDAO’s governance over the past year.

Governance Proposals

Although 2022 was fairly light in terms of total proposals that went through governance, it is still an increase from 2021 and the importance of the proposals that were passed were notably significant. We expect to see a more dramatic increase in the number of proposals in 2023 as we move fully to a DAO model.

On-chain Proposals

  • Radicle Grants Wave 1 - This proposal deployed $1M of grant funding to support work that improves the Radicle stack, ecosystem, or greater FOSS and Web3 community. You can find the Wave 1 retrospective here.

  • Ecosystem Growth Fund - The EGF funded education and research initiatives that drive awareness, engagement, and adoption of the Radicle stack. (Retrospective linked below)

  • Set name registration fee to 0 - This proposal removed the Radicle name registration fee in order to support the adoption of Radicle Orgs by reducing cost and effort when onboarding.

  • Radicle // Gitcoin Public Goods Alliance - This token swap proposed by Llama created a Public Goods Alliance between Radicle and Gitcoin which made the two mission-aligned organizations top 10 delegates in one another’s governance.

  • [Phase 0] Transition to the DAO - This proposal started transitioning Radicle’s development runway and contributor token rewards to the DAO by allocating 3M USDC to fund six months of Core Teams operational budgets (until February 2023) and 1.9M $RAD to distribute among Radicle contributors who joined the project post-token launch.

Formal Review

  • Radicle Grants Continuation - This proposal enabled the continuation of the Grants Program into its second wave. The proposal allowed the Grants committee to keep the left over funds from wave 1 to use in their next wave. This optimistic funding did not require any on-chain actions and therefore only required a off-chain Snapshot vote to pass.

Notable Temperature Checks & Discussions

  • Deploy strategic cash on Enzyme - The specific scope of this proposal is the management of the strategic cash (USDC) from the treasury to fund the protocol through responsible and risk-averse treasury management.

  • Use Otterpsace Non-transferable Tokens for distribution of influence - The aim of this work is to build a self-sustaining system of NTT badges to distribute influence among participants in a more nuanced way to further allocate governance power beyond that held by $RAD token holders. This is currently being tested in the Radicle Grants Program.

  • EGF Retrospective - The Radicle Ecosystem Growth Fund (EGF) was setup to fund initiatives that drive awareness, engagement, and adoption of the Radicle stack. It has been a great tool to allow us to run experiments in DAO open contribution strategies and ecosystem growth infrastructure.

Formalization of the Governance Team

Current Team: Abbey, Shelby, Ange

Previously defined as a Working Group, governance work has come to be prioritized by the Foundation and deemed core development. Throughout the last year, it’s lived under the Community & Governance team, supporting not only the stewarding of token governance but also doing the grunt work to help prepare the project for the transition to the DAO. The Community & Governance Team is in charge of facilitating the coordination around governance proposals, maintaining relevant governance resources and documentation, communicating governance updates to the broader community, and actively developing tooling & process improvements.

The role and responsibilities surrounding governance the DAO are expected to expand in the future, to include additional governance initiatives like treasury management and non-tokenized governance explorations. This has made it fairly clear that governance will need to live on its own and act as a neutral, independently funded initiative in RadicleDAO. This will most likely mean the creation of a Governance Org to steward governance of the RadicleDAO and supports community-led initiatives related to treasury management, project decentralization, and governance design. More on this to come early February (see definition of Org).

Notable Initiatives

  • Launch of the Active Delegate Platform - The goal with this platform was to make delegation easier to navigate for RAD holders who are unable to vote on proposals themselves, it will also empower motivated community members to take leadership in the Radicle governance process. We are currently rethinking the role of delegation and the use of the Active Delegate Platform in RadicleDAO governance.

  • Support the development of the four Transition to the DAO workstreams - Org Design, DAO Tooling, Distribution of Influence & Distribution of Ownership. Each of the workstreams has led important research and discussions on their respective themes to make prepare DAO contributors and community members for the structural changes that come with further decentralization, as well exploring the best tools and mechanisms to better distribute power and influence amongst a broader group of key stakeholders (e.g. core contributors, active community supporters, grantees etc.).

  • DAO Tooling Research - As explained in the Next Phase of the RadicleDAO, the DAO Tooling Workstream has dove into exploring governance and operational tooling that might be useful for Radicle as we transition to the DAO. See the DAO Tooling & Services Archive.

  • Version-controlled Documentation - The Governance Hub is getting an upgrade! We have been working hard on updating and transferring all governance resources into a set of docs pages that will live on the website when they launch. This will make finding key governance information easier to find and give a more robust overview of the governance process. We are hoping to launch these docs by the end of January.

  • Treasury Management & Diversification - This is an ongoing discussion that aims to develop and maintain a coordinated, value-aligned, strategy for managing the Radicle Treasury. This includes supporting the creation of a Treasury Management Working Group and figuring out exactly what the structure of that should look like.

  • Core Development Org Working Group - We have supported the working group in collaboratively designing the organizational and internal governance framework of the Core Development Org.

  • Governance Updates - The Gov Team has been drafting a proposal with numerous updates to the existing governance processes that will improve, clarify, and simplify RadicleDAO governance. We will also include a formal process of how to update the governance process in the future. The proposal will be presented to the DAO by February 1, 2023.

  • Governance Events - Radicle has attended, sponsored, hosted or spoken at many governance-related events over the past year. A few highlights were: DAO Governance Design Jam in Amsterdam, Optimism in Paris Workshop, Radicle Sovereignty Workshop during Berlin Blockhchain Week, Schelling Point in Bogota, DAO Governance Design Jam (MakerDAO DUX Core Team) at Devcon VI in Bogota.

Looking Forward to 2023

2023 will mark a significant new era in DAO governance across the industry, Radicle included. We’ll be focusing on the following governance topics in the New Year:

  • Proposing crucial updates to the governance process (which has not been updated since launch) & create an open process for how to propose and confirm changes to the governance process or governance documentation in the future

  • Support the creation of - and onboarding of contributors to - the Core Development Org. Help onboard contributors to appropriate operational service providers that are to take over contracting & payroll relationships from the Foundation

  • Propose the creation of a Governance Org (to replace Governance Team) to the community - The Governance Org will steward governance of the RadicleDAO and supports community-led initiatives related to treasury management, project decentralization, and governance design.

  • Facilitate a discussion around important updates to the governance process and coordination.

  • Rethink Governance Calls - Given proposed changes in the governance process, we want to openly discuss changes that will also be needed to the monthly governance calls. Please join the discussion here.

  • Test and implement internal, non-tokenized governance mechanisms to be used within and between Orgs in the DAO (e.g. Otterspace)

  • Consider a long-term reputation mechanism and metrics to guide distribution of power & influence of the project to further stakeholders. This is a complex topic and will require input from the community on both what and how reputation metrics should be measured.

  • Continue to develop a strategy & approach for supporting the DAO’s effective management of its Treasury. This includes exploring legal, liability and tax implications with various treasury diversification strategies, and using these learnings to set up an appropriate structure for a Treasury Management Working Group.

  • We are planning to host and/or participate in more events in various capacities in 2022. Looking forward to seeing familiar and new faces at these events throughout the year!

And that’s a wrap! As you can see it was a really important year for governance research and development. We expect this to continue in 2023, but with a lot more real-time testing and learning. Thank you for all of the support and participation throughout 2022! We are excited to have you all along for the ride as we continue our mission to design sustainable and resilient governance structures for Radicle and the broader open-source ecosystem!

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