Catalyst System Improvements - IOG Forcing Proposal Reassignment

I just received an email from IOG where they are forcibly looking to migrate my proposal to another category

The email, some responses to the statements and follow up questions can be found here: Catalyst System Improvements - IOG Forcing Proposal Reassignment - Google Docs

The proposal clearly has good reason to be in Catalyst system improvements which makes this email very alarming to me.

Instead of asking for the proposers feedback to discuss this further, IOG instead stated the proposal will be moved to the other category, or if I prefer, it can be withdrawn.

This is a massive concern as IOG has a direct incentive to remove competition from categories they are competing in and appear to also be moderating and enforcing these proposal changes themselves.

I’d like to invite anyone who has received a similar email to comment below with the contents of that email to add this as an appendix item for the community to look at this process as well as the conflict of interest in more detail.

The immediate resolution to this problem and massive conflict of interest is IOG should not be taking any authoritative decisions for proposal changes to any category where the proposer provides sufficient justification for remaining in that category. I am not sure why this wasn’t the default approach being taken - this authoritative approach has only heightened my concern over the matter.

If you have also received this email it would be good to see the contents for the community to review. Post them in the comments so we can improve how this process is handled in the future.


I agree that this leaves a very bad taste…

Not really sure what people at IOG thought about that action, but in my opinion this was definitly not a good idea…


Mini Proposal Workshop was removed because a bounty system to onboard people to write good proposals is not technical enough to Improve the Catalyst System.
There is no focus on technical research, design, and development of the Catalyst innovation funding platform and its underlying technology primitives. Proposed project is a new community member onboarding, marketing, and education project

Doing interactive research about Catalyst System is not technical and academic enough for Catalyst Systems Improvements.
Proposal centres on delivering market research workshops and Miro content resources. There is no focus on technical or academic research, design, and development of the Catalyst innovation funding platform and its underlying technology primitives.


Yeah, same thing here. They’re moving my proposal (Community) to replace the Ideascale platform to Products&Integrations.

Here is the reasoning:

There is no focus on open source technical research, design, and development of the Catalyst innovation funding platform and its underlying technology primitives. Only to buy a Saas platform that other people cannot build upon (not open source).

The challenge doesn’t require a focus on technical research, design or development. It isn’t stated anywhere on the challenge. In fact, my proposal satisfies this area very well: Systemic improvements (Technical or Procedural) that streamline or otherwise enhances Project Catalyst processes.

The only flimsy argument that could have been made, but wasn’t clearly made in their email is this statement on the challenge:

All project output developed or used by the proposer for projects in this category must, as a minimum:
Be fully open source subject to the conditions of the following approved open source licences (Apache 2.0, MIT License, or equivalent for software code; CC-BY-4.0 Apache 2.0, MIT licenses or equivalent for documentation);

Which my proposal could fit completely by finding a solution that is open source and could be built upon. If there is none to find, then my proposal won’t go to through the second milestone anyway.


That is also interesting, because they not only have proposals in the same challenge, but a proposal for replacing Ideascale which directly competes with this one.

Who makes such calls? The shitstorm could have been predicted by a toddler and is well deserved.


This proposal that I submitted, admittedly last minute, was moved to open source OSDE challenge.

What’s notable is that the vast bulk of the work needed lies precisely in identifying the most viable governance models AND exploring its viability.

By requiring this as a pre-requisite for receiving funding, there will never be any robust community driven initiatives.

Here is their reason
Technical proposals that cannot prove that they are feasible in their state of project readiness or which do not demonstrate that high degrees of testing and validation can be, or have already been achieved are not eligible. Proposed project offers a technical solution from Milestone 4 and 5 onwards yet there are no concrete technical deliverables or information about the technical requirements to implement. Voter behaviour data is not available, which will materially and significantly impact the scope of research.

Here is my reply
“ I did not see that technical proposals that have not proven that they are feasible aren’t eligible. Apologies for that.

This is a foundational research proposal. Part of the milestone (albeit implicitly) is to figure out which alternative governance mechanisms are FEASIBLE and worth investigating further (in terms of theoretical soundness). The milestone based system would stop any funds distribution prior to this point either way.

Would you be okay if with the entire proposals being cut by 1/3 in scope and thus only constitute a feasibility study?

This would of course significantly reduce the speed of developing novel alternatives. Any normal grant application process would have informed this much earlier so that adjustments could be made to the proposal.

Please get back to me ASAP and I’ll happily reduce the scope.



This certainly does not seem fair. Catalyst is still very centralized.


Honestly, i also feel this is unfair to proposers. The timing of the reassignment is very bad in the sense that this should have been done before the project assessment took place, and moreover, this should not have been done by the catalyst team but rather by the community, which should be involved. This act brings about centralization, and we shouldn’t forget the new age of Cardano being Voltaire, which seeks to focus on decentralization and community involvement.