Omolola Tofade - Platform Statement

Do you have, at least 6 months, or more experience in Project Catalyst?

Describe the Community Roles in which you have participated at Project Catalyst (e.g. Voter, Proposer, PA, vPA, Challenge Team, etc.)
I have participated as the Catalyst Engagement Leader for Snapbrillia, a Catalyst funded organization that aims to increase global engagement in tech & web3. I have also engaged with proposals on Project Catalyst and have reached out to both funded and unfunded projects. In doing so, I was able to help propel their development using the tools and resources that Snapbrillia offers. Additionally, I have attended countless partnership calls and discussions with other members of the Catalyst Community. Through my work with Ninh and Tom of Snapbrillia, I have and will continue to grow my involvement in the Catalyst ecosystem.

What key ideas or issues would you like to champion as a representative at the Catalyst Circle?
When it comes to the topic of People & Culture, I feel that a strong African presence is lacking within the Catalyst community - and the presence that has taken hold is not correctly aligned with the ideals of our blockchain. It seems all to often that people from Africa engaging with Catalyst don’t understand the importance of Cardano’s overarching ‘North-star’ mission decentralization. As someone of a shared continental cultural background, I feel passionately that obtaining the right education and information will allow for a more effective communication of the benefits of this mission.

As a Nigerian, I often face cultural stigmatization due to the prevalence of corruption within the country I have lived in all my life. I feel it is vital for people from backgrounds as I have seen a positive role model within Catalyst to further reinforce our shared values of Decentralization, Self-Sovereignty, Honesty, and Integrity. My aim is to give people from otherwise marginalized backgrounds opportunities to thrive within our ecosystem and encouragement to conduct themselves for the good of the whole Cardano community.
This ties into my purpose of choosing Growth & Impact, I believe that it is of great importance that when bringing the solutions that our blockchain offers to the ears of common people we are able to re-enforce our communal values. This will result in both an expansion of engagement within the Catalyst community and setting the tone for projects within Catalyst - encouraging more credible projects to seek funding and discouraging the cash-grab proposals that have become all too prevalent in recent funding rounds.

How do you intend to measure your engagement?
When elected to Catalyst Circle, my first priority will be the establishment of a weekly Africa Catalyst Town Hall to match the other regions served by town halls. This will not only empower builders throughout Africa to access the skills and resources they need to thrive within our shared ecosystem, but also give us an additional platform for problem-sensing and communication directed from an African perspective. As opposed to a neo-colonial solution of being managed by those who are not attuned to the lived experience of the diverse array of African peoples. Through my work with Snapbrillia, I will continue to empower freelance entrepreneurs both locally and across the globe with new opportunities to engage in our rapidly evolving industry. This includes assisting people from all walks of life with finding freelance and employment opportunities within what I would consider a small yet rapidly growing ‘Cardano Industry’, unlocking the potential of people from all around the world while adding to the diversity of culture and insight within the core Catalyst Circle.
In addition to this, I will hold weekly office hours for people throughout the Cardano community to discuss the challenges they face with Catalyst and provide assistance and guidance with their proposals. Being a member of the Snapbrillia team I have substantial experience in both writing for and delivering on successfully funded projects and aim to use this success to assist others.

Working with my team at Snapbrillia I will host weekly Twitter spaces discussing Catalyst projects, and we will provide thoughts and insights into the state of Catalyst. Finally, in collaboration with the team as Snapbrillia I will work to arrange a publicly broadcast series of interviews between my team and both successful and unsuccessful Catalyst projects to discuss their proposals and discover new ways to engage with the community.

Is there anything else you would like voters to know as to why you would be a good fit for this seat on the Circle?
I grew up in Nigeria; a country where the centralization of corrupt government power (and a handful of private corporate entities) devastated the just access to fair opportunities for success for the common person. My lived experience of this corruption has enlightened me to the crucial importance of just, transparent, and decentralized governance structures. I faced countless challenges transitioning into tech due to the malign state of Nigeria’s education system, facing the uphill battle of policies designed to favor the wealthy and effectively hamstring the future of young Nigerians trying to break into the industry.
As a black woman working in the Cardano ecosystem striving to onboard 1 million people from underrepresented backgrounds into the tech that powers our blockchain, I feel I would be an ideal candidate to represent Catalyst Circle and hope to use the platform to bring new opportunities on a global scale.

I have always been fascinated by technology but never had the opportunity to learn a programming language due to the fact that the industry is often seen as a male dominated industry. Then I joined Snapbrillia and met a lot of women doing well in the industry, which inspired me to help and onboard a lot of women and young ones who are interested in technology, blockchain, and web3.