Plenary session


  • PHOTREK ROOM - Need to start with smaller communities within the larger communities to implement the concepts of democratic pluralism. Need strategies to grow that momentum, to bring a wider group in the community to embrace the concept of balancing corporate ownership principles and democratic principles.

  • WADA ROOM - For the dREP system to work, the entire system should be fractal, and dynamic. Delegation should be based on a dRep’s knowledge of the issues - so, voters don’t choose one dREP to vote on everything, but they’re able to switch from one dRep to another based on the topic being discussed. We need to create subcultures within the Cardano ecosystem, that have specific affinities. People choose their dReps based on the issues they want to vote for, they pick a dynamic range of dReps.

  • sNET ROOM - We used 2 case studies. Aragon (facilitated by Daniel Ospina of RnDAO)- Central foundation wanted to devolve control to the community, but a relatively silent community of unknown people. We did a roleplay. The decentralisation process was delegated to 1 individual - difficult for one person to manage. Very opaque with so many different stakeholders. It’s hard for people accustomed to central control to let go. Not just about tooling - you can have the best tools in the world, but it’s useless without the community buy-in, the expertise, etc. sNET (facilitated by Rafael Presa) - what’s the balance between centralised and devolved/community decisionmaking? Former is more efficient because not so many voices. Accountability is important. Important to align on values and define the nuances available in a voting system - not just “yes or no” . Also need a lot more learning on how historically people have done this over time.


Typical pitfalls with a transition to a DAO, in addition to the Aragon case, can be deduced from the trajectories of DAOStack, Gitcoin, ShapeShift

In sNET room, Rafael asked the question What have you seen so far in DAO environments that enables friction-less decision-making processes?

Friction is indicative of a mis-alignment.

Not always - I think there can be constructive dissent. The single dissenting voice can be right sometimes!

Lack of dissent is highly suspect.

Indeed, after all the infighting between the few in the core, they unite in putting up a wall to keep the rest away and ultimately down.

Question to Wada facilitators: would people in Africa choose someone from the Western world as a dRep, or do they want someone from their own culture? Any power dynamics related to that? Answer: In Wada room, there was lots of talk about fractals, and in Kenric’s room lots about working in small groups - similar but not the same. The African traditional way of governance is fractal, and we know how it works since it has such a long history. It’s sad that Africa adopted a Western form of governance that was not appropriate for how Africa has traditionally governed itself. I hope we can go back and pick up some of these threads that worked.

Small, focused level of representation - people with affinity get together, and people who understand and have experience of the issue in question because of their identity and who they are; and they know best what they are looking for.

Organisations attempt to engage with their community by asking them how to solve problems - but problem-sensing would be better - asking what the problems actually are. Then present some solutions, and ask the community which is the best.

Need alignment and structure. So instead of asking the community for their solutions (conversation is too big) - instead ask what are the necessary pillars this community needs to focus on; then build that culture into the solution you devise.

NOTE: after this comment, the conversation moved to a series of questions to the commenter.

Question: You talk about “you” versus “your community” - so it’s a top-down separation? What aim does this serve? Answer: There should be a core community aligned with the mission and purpose. I see a segregation between those people, and the customers - those who are not familiar and haven’t been onboarded properly. If people are not aware of what’s going on, you can’t ask them to be involved with governance. External community cannot add value to internal community.

Question: How do we define scope? Does it make sense for the DAO itself to do this? Answer: A community should have a certain level of trust, so they can make smaller decisions on their own. You need a purpose and a roadmap to offer to your community members. You have to guide them, and ask people to align with how you think.

Question: If you make a “governance platform” product - is it just for the kinds of people who share your values? And If you don’t want to do that, what should you do? Can you make a generic governance platform? Does that imply looking at how the platform can be used by different people? Answer: it feels more organic to me if you have defined your mission and values. If your platform is more agnostic and vague, more people will find value in it, but you will dissipate the energy. I think in some cases, marketing happens before identifying core values and culture - the lack of culture is more welcoming to masses, but it will quickly experience lack of engagement.

The promise of a DAO is no “Us and Them”

Yes - for me, this is about the ethos of co-production - wider community can decide for themselves how they engage. Altho - coproduction largely accepts that there is a top-down structure; so maybe a better way is the small groups, fractal organising and subcultures that were discussed in the Wada room.

Your culture, identity and experiences define who you are, and how you go forward. There are no solid results from dissipation. Sustainability requires the accumulation of value. A level of affinity draws everything to it.

There’s a need to be intentional. What is the incentive for people to participate?

People are fed-up with a flood of feed-good rhetoric, and the moment they sense that the words are not backed by actions, on their way they go...

What I valued about today’s discussion is that it’s bringing people together who are doing the same thing in different ways - helps you feel less isolated. What we’re each doing is not identical - but we are more closely related than we are different.


The following people shared their contact details and invited people to connect:

Frank Anati: Walter Karshat: and Curtis Myers: Rafael, Cardano School (NB Not Rafael Presa from sNET) Afia Owusu: Esther Galfalvi:

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