Catalyst Circle Nominations & Elections - Form Leadership Layer For Cardano (v1)

Dear Cardano Community,

Many of you may have been familiar with the Project Catalyst. Some might be learning about it for the first time. Regardless, it is an extremely important element being developed within Cardano community and likely to be at the epicenter of the Cardano ecosystem in the future. Why?

Project Catalyst is the process through which we govern Cardano Treasury and deployment of its resources (currently totalling almost half a billion ada). You may ask - but why is it important? Well, Treasury’s primary goal is to ensure that the ecosystem has a sense of permanent sustainability. It can iterate, evolve and most importantly finance these elements that help Cardano stay agile and relevant as time passes by. However, it also touches upon the ever elusive topic of governance.

Governance, essentially, affects every bit of our ecosystem. This includes the usual questions of who gets to decide, how do they get elected, what their responsibilities/roles are, or how does the delegation of those said rights look like. These are very valid and highly important questions to address. Point being, we wish to ensure that these governing chairs are filled with smart people.

Project Catalyst is all about experimentation of on-chain governance models. It is very methodical in nature which also ensures that it is diligent and useful throughout its iteration cycles. Hence, we are extremely delighted to announce that this is the time when we are implementing the first true leadership layer for Cardano - the Catalyst Circle v1. For now, it is particular to Catalyst affairs. You can also re-watch this week’s Catalyst town-hall for a video introduction of this concept.

However, it is the very first time that community will have a real voice and chance to lead/participate in determining direction of the ecosystem. The Catalyst Circle will start off as a consulting and catalysing body. Over time, as it accomplishes its success metrics and hence proves its credibility, it can gain more formal authorities.

So what exactly is this Catalyst Circle v1?

The Catalyst Circle is a “human sensor array” that monitors the current state and future plans regarding governance in Project Catalyst. The Circle detects and discusses concerns, objections and opportunities arising within the Catalyst eco-system. The activity outputs a transparent view into the hopes, wants, needs and concerns of the community, Input Output (IOG) and Cardano Foundation (CF) with the Project Catalyst.

It is also responsible for defining the election processes for Catalyst Circle v2.

Now YOU get to have a chance to be part of this very first version. It likely isn’t perfect solution but as we know - enemy of the good is better. Hence, the first point of order is trying to determine who the delegates are going to be representing the initial functional pieces/areas of the ecosystem. This is not set in stone and will likely evolve. But it is the step number one, the beginning.

We are starting with a minimal functional group from which we’ll learn and iterate on. This is the bootstrapping version based on consultations with leaders within Catalyst community and Governance Alive who are experts in the field of novel governance structures.

Perhaps, you wonder what are the initial functional pieces and how were they identified. Key criteria was to name the minimal viable group without which the current system would not be operational. In no particular order, these are the initial 7 functional areas.

One must naturally ask the question - so what are really the goals of this Catalyst Circle? Primarily, at this early stage it would include the following:

  • Facilitate the different functional groups in Catalyst to communicate with each other
  • Provide a heads-up when any red lines are crossed within a certain group
  • Suggest improvements on plans and processes that shape Project Catalyst
  • Define the election process for the Catalyst Circle v2

Speaking of goals, these would be key functions for the Catalyst Circle to perform:

  • Maintain an agile backlog list to track issues between meetings
  • Hold a transparent meeting every two weeks. During that meeting:
    • Review the current state of project Catalyst and provide feedback
    • Review upcoming plans for project Catalyst and provide feedback
    • Raise strong objections to governance processes in Catalyst
    • Review actions taken following objections and recommendations made by the Circle
  • Disseminate the Circle outputs in a transparent and accessible way.
  • Review and suggest improvements to the Catalyst Circle process every quarter
  • Produce an election protocol document for the next elections

Not unexpectedly, this only makes sense if there are clear success metrics in place that determine if the Circle’s output provides value to the community. Key success metrics would orient around these elements rated on the scale 1 to 5 (5 being the best/highest rating):

  • Funds exit survey indicates approval rating for the Circle via score of 4 or above
  • Circle members rate achievement of each goal and its approval 4 or above
  • Members rank Circle meetings as “productive” at end of meeting above 4

It is also worth noting that first iteration will be volunteer based - this will be reviewed after the first quarter and pending on community approval of the Circle. Initially, the Circle will have a term limit of 3 months for elected candidates, followed by a new round of elections after.

Does all of this sound interesting to you?

You can APPLY NOW for ONE of the categories listed earlier that best represents your area of interest and expertise. You can apply or nominate via THIS LINK. Unsure if you are willing to put yourself forward just yet? Do you have someone other in mind who would be ideal? You can also nominate them and should they accept the nomination - will run for this position in upcoming elections.

Deadline to submit Catalyst Circle v1 nominations is Monday - June 28th at 23:59 UTC.

Following near term timeline looks like this:

  • Two town halls (TH) with live elections will happen:
  • Circle will be announced July 1st via Catalyst Announcements TG channel
  • First meeting of the Circle is scheduled tentatively on July 12th and then every two weeks following

How to nominate someone? And what the basic vote layout structure should look like? Additional information to voters and candidates can be found via THIS LINK. Remember, in order to participate as a voter you will need to attend live in either of the town hall slots mentioned above.

Have any doubts, questions, suggestions? You can always drop a comment below or write me a DM on twitter, telegram, or directly via daniel.ribar[at]iohk[dot]io e-mail.

I appreciate you for being here with all of us.


Daniel Ribar
Community at Project Catalyst

Telegram: danny_cryptofay
Twitter: @danny_cryptofay

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