F6: Catalyst value onboarding: The Catalyst School

This is our main proposal

Problem statement

Proposers, Advisors, Voters, and other Catalyst members still struggle to understand how Catalyst works and what is expected from them.

Our solution to the problem

Catalyst School, a place to enhance the impact of Catalyst as a whole by improving the contribution of all its different players and roles.

Relevant experience

Veteran advisors and proposal mentors, education professionals, very active Catalyst community members since early Funds, and more.
Website/GitHub repository:

The players of Project Catalyst

Currently, the core of Catalyst is made of:
  • Proposers: individuals and groups with ideas and projects looking for funding through Catalyst.
  • Voters: every ADA holder who wishes to participate in the Catalyst voting process.
  • Community Advisors (CAs): community members who provide feedback and assess proposals, trying to help both proposers and voters.
  • Veteran Community Advisors (vCAs): CAs who have successfully participated in a previous Fund, responsible for filtering out bad or unfair assessments made by CAs.
  • Engaged community members and projects: every community member, and all projects connected to Catalyst, who help out proposers and contribute to the ecosystem.
Each of these community members plays an important role in Project Catalyst. In order for Catalyst to flourish and reach its full potential, all these roles need to give their best contribution within the process.

Current Problems and Limitations

Catalyst is an ever-evolving experiment in community innovation, providing a framework to turn ideas into impactful real-world projects. It is open for anyone to participate: presently there are few requirements for being a proposer, a CA, a vCA, or a voter. Catalyst is not a traditional funding platform, it has its own protocol and method of functioning. Therefore, anyone who wants to join this experiment needs to learn about it first.
Today, after 5 Funding rounds, the community has come up with materials to help the onboarding of new members. Although, it is still not so easy to learn about Catalyst and most people are learning by their mistakes: new members who are proposers/CAs for the first time, for example, may not be successful, and many times this is due to their lack of knowledge about Catalyst. Some of them use what they have learned to improve their participation in the next Fund, but some others get disappointed and stop trying.

Proposed Solution: The Catalyst School

What if there was a place:
  • Where every community member could join, to learn more about Catalyst and to meet new and experienced members of the community.
  • Where proposers got help to understand what is expected from proposals submitted in Catalyst, advice on how to promote their projects and ideas, to learn how the voting process works and what is important to understanding when applying for funds.
  • Where CAs and vCAs were introduced to their role and guidelines and rules for assessing a proposal and reviewing an assessment were communicated. With examples of good/bad assessments from previous Funds presented as examples, taught about the tools available for fulfilling their tasks and could exchange experience with more experienced and veteran community members.
This place is what we have been building already: The Catalyst School!
As Catalyst evolves, the School will also evolve and adapt to whatever is needed to accomplish its main goal: to enhance the impact of Catalyst as a whole by improving the contribution of all the different players who participate in its process.
As the saying goes, if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together! With that in mind, Catalyst School will collaborate with other educational stakeholders in the Catalyst ecosystem, building bridges to maximize synergistic optimum impact.

How to Learn?

The Catalyst School aims to be a place not only to learn but also to meet and interact with other community members. Actually, we believe that one of the best ways to learn is exactly by doing that: through open conversations, exchanging knowledge, and having hands-on experiences on what it looks like to act in Catalyst as a proposer, a CA, a vCA, and other roles that might come up. For that, the School will have classes and workshops during each Fund that will be open for everyone who wants to participate.
For those who are unavailable or would prefer to not attend classes and workshops, at each Fund we will provide a limited number of 1-to-1 support with our team members.
Also, we know that some people prefer to learn at their own pace. To serve this need, all the School materials and references will be available on our website, along with recordings of live sessions and all text and audiovisual content.

The Plan: Roadmap, Milestones, and KPIs

During Fund 6, the same Fund in which we are submitting this proposal, we are already running a prototype of the School classes and workshops. We want to test our methods, get feedback and offer the best Catalyst School experience possible!
When funded, we will:
  • Provide the main School classes and workshops, with the scope described in the 'Solution' section of the current proposal. They will be recurrent every time a new Fund starts and open to everyone.
  • Provide 1-to-1 support with our team members, for a limited amount of participants per Fund.
  • Create and continuously improve content and materials that help the learning process of those who take part in the School, both actively joining our live session or just getting the information, classes, and workshops materials from our website.
This proposal intends to cover the costs of the website, content creation/maintenance, 1-to-1 support, classes, and workshops instructors, and facilitators for a period of 2 Catalyst Funds, i.e., for Funds 7 and 8.
We will track the success of this project by measuring the:
  • Total number of community members who get involved with the Catalyst School.
  • Number of proposers joining the classes and workshops.
  • Number of CAs joining the classes and workshops.
  • Number of vCAs joining the classes and workshops.
  • Number of 1-to-1 supports provided to community members.
  • Traffic at the School website.

The Team

We believe that collaboration is the key to the success of Catalyst… and it couldn't be different with this project!
We are a group of 11 people of diverse backgrounds, but two common passions: Catalyst and education.
Get to know us:
  • Alejo Escrivá: Marketing consultor and entrepreneur with experiece shaping lovable products and communities. Founder @ Cardano Hispano.
  • Dominik Tilman: Community Advisor, funded proposer, Catalyst Swarm core member, business background.
  • Felix Weber: enthusiast & community networker, T&M's elected representative for the 1st Catalyst Circle, co-founder of Catalyst Swarm, co-initiator & coordinator of the Eastern Hemisphere Town Hall, initiator of the Catalyst Alliance.
  • George Lovegrove: Web / mobile developer, active community member, and creator that helps improve Catalyst resources and tooling.
  • Kerstin Nobel: Digital education researcher, university lecturer for digital education in Germany and Luxembourg, academic peer-reviewer, Community Advisor (CA).
  • Lucio Baglione: Web / mobile developer with 9+ years of experience. CA and vCA, co-creator of the Community Tools (Proposer/CA/vCA/Voter Tools).
  • Raz: Interdisciplinary trained academic, educator and mentor, sustainability professional with 13+ years of multi-sectoral experience, experienced curriculum and course designer, independent researcher and writer, proposal mentor, UN SDG coordinator/education, curriculum advisor - WADA, co-founder - Sustainable ADA, education, and sustainability lead - Global Policy House, founder, and publishing editor - Bona Fide Info.
  • Simon Fleck: Catalyst Swarm core member, Cardano enthusiast since 2018, IT background.
  • Stefan Montalbetti: Certified Educator (Canadian B. Ed.), Facilitator (7+ years of experience), Disruptor - Member of the Catalyst Swarm with a keen desire to unlock the potential of individuals and bridge gaps to that potential. Foundations: Empathy, Inclusion, Communication, and Critical & Creative Thinking.
  • Stephen Whitenstall: Stephen Whitenstall has 30 years of experience in organizing academic, community, and business projects. He develops, maintains documentation, and provides technical project management support for Catalyst Swarm. As QA-DAO he tracks and documents the Catalyst Circle and maintains 'Ekphrasis' a repository of academic content from across the Cardano community.
  • Tevo Saks: I enjoy documenting systems and procedures that will achieve specific goals in an efficient way. Active participant in Catalyst since Fund 1, Catalyst Swarm core member, experienced Proposer, and Veteran Community Advisor.
  • Victor Corcino: Veteran Community Advisor (vCA), Proposal Mentor, CAs' elected representative for the 1st Catalyst Circle, co-creator of the Community Tools (Proposer/CA/vCA/Voter Tools), Catalyst Swarm core member, engineering/science/developer, and 'hands-on' teaching background.

Our 6-month Budget

Under construction!
Requested funds in USD 7
Which of these definitions apply to you? Entrepreneur