Note: this proposal was jointly prepared by @akrtws and @gideonro, with inspiration from @paulhaas.
A 4-month operating budget for both the Token Engineering Commons (TEC) and the Token Engineering Academy (TEA) to launch the first-ever Token Engineering Gitcoin Grants Round and explore AI-power token engineering as a public good.
Together, the TEA and TEC have an opportunity to paint an exciting shared vision for the future of token engineering – a vision to realize the potential of the Token Engineering Commons as an engine for solving the great social, economic, and ecological challenges of our times.
Token engineering expertise is the ultimate common pool resource of the Token Engineering Commons. It’s time to build crypto-economic systems for stewarding that expertise – both in humans as well as machines – on behalf of the public good.
This proposal presents the initial steps in a joint strategy for moving the TEA and TEC toward this powerful vision. It pays for four months of joint operating costs aligned around two goals:
- AI-powered TE: a token engineering copilot to develop AI-powered token design and optimization with GPT-4
- TE Grants Round: the first-ever Token Engineering Grants Program based on the Gitcoin Allo quadratic funding platform
This proposal starts the process of integrating TEA’s programs into the commons and paves the way for a merger with TEC. As such, it aligns with the TEC strategic framework, which was approved by token holders with over 98% support and highlights education as the greatest lever for fulfilling our mission. From an economic development lens, the TEA’s community of 2,000 token engineering students and professionals is ideal for accelerating $TEC token adoption. This group of people is the future of token engineering. They also represent a powerful resource for community-driven knowledge curation and model training for future AI-power token engineering systems. With $TEC tokenomic incentives and good token engineering, we can build community engagement processes that fuel development of these powerful AI systems while simultaneously ensuring that they are owned and governed by the community.
AI-Powered Token Engineering:
The launch of ChatGPT marked a new era in the field of natural language processing and AI. We expect AI in practical token engineering applications very soon. Typically, these applications are developed as proprietary services and tools. In electrical engineering and circuit design, AI-powered CAD is a multi-billion dollar industry.
Large Language Models (LLMs) like GPT-4 will enable human language interfaces and automation for sophisticated token engineering software applications like TokenSpice and cadCAD. Think of it as a copilot for AI-powered token engineering. If we move quickly, the TEA and TEC have a window of opportunity to catalyze this revolutionary technology and ensure it is owned and governed by the commons on behalf of the public good. Technology like this would also become an extremely valuable asset for growing income and token utility for the commons.
Over the course of this proposal, the TEA and the TEC will cooperate to:
- In April, convene a workshop with experts in the fields of token engineering and AI to provide insight into potential LLM applications for token engineering and the copilot idea in particular.
- In May and June, develop a plan and design a simple proof of concept (PoC) for a TE copilot, based on findings from the workshop.
- In May and June, work with TEA students/graduates and TE practitioners on the development of the PoC, identify and onboarding funding partners.
- By the end of July, have a PoC up and running and work with practitioner partners to begin testing the system in real-world scenarios.
This proposal covers the operational costs by both the TEC and the TEA for organizing this pilot. After the workshop we will come back with a proposal outlining the PoC, its costs, and a fundraising target.
The Gitcoin Token Engineering Grants Round
On April 25th, the TEC will launch the first-ever Token Engineering Grants Round on Gitcoin’s new Allo Protocol. This proposal covers the operational costs by both the TEC and the TEA for running this round.
In addition to our goals of expanding public goods funding and increasing awareness for token engineering, we plan to use the round to build utility for $TEC and TEA’s NFT proofs. We also intend to leverage the funding round to strengthen ties between the commons and the TEA’s community of 2,000 token engineering students and professionals. It is our intention to bring a token engineering mindset to building feedback loops and capturing value flows for the commons.
Above is a high-level look at how we plan to use token utility to create a feedback loop for continuously improving TEC’s grant making capacity. TEA NFT proofs (and $TEC) provide a quadratic funding boost to donors who hold them, which increases the token engineering expertise in our grant funding, which leads to more interest from matching fund partners (like ENS), which leads to more money attracting higher quality projects and more scholarships, which then closes the loop by creating more demand for NFTs and $TEC.
By integrating $TEC to as many of these steps as possible, we capture the value in the $TEC economy and grow the Common Pool:
- NFT Proofs purchasable in $TEC (later this year)
- Voting Boosts from $TEC held in a voting wallet (in addition to NFT boost)
- High-Quality Grant Curation students donate with $TEC (later this year)
- Matching Funds converted to $TEC
- High-Quality Grant Projects recipients receive funding in $TEC
- Scholarship Funding paid in $TEC to students
We kick off the cycle in April with a $TEC airdrop to activate TEA student and graduate giving in the funding round. (Note: this could take the form of Praise in future rounds). $TEC purchases of TEA NFTs requires software development for a TBD generic $TEC payments solution. Enabling donors to contribute to projects in $TEC happens once the Allo Protocol is ported to Gnosis Chain and implemented in our fall round.
With this Grants Round, the TEC begins putting token engineering to work for itself. Strengthening our capacity here is essential for ensuring the AI-powered token engineering services outlined above build positive feedback loops that capture token utility for the commons. This is the path to significant $TEC utility.
Our top income-generating priority in 2023 is fundraising. We aim to increase our effectiveness and efficiency by combining the efforts and reputation of TEA and TEC and possibly work with Giveth to strengthen our grant-writing capacity. Our near-term priorities are:
- Matching Funds: Large funders like ENS and Ethereum Foundation are interested in working with the TEC to more efficiently/effectively regrant their funds with a focus on token engineering. Matching fund partnerships will significantly reduce (and possibly eliminate) the drawdown on the TEC Common Pool, without sacrificing our commitment to token engineering public goods funding. Our grants program will become even more attractive to regranting partners as we integrate TEA’s NFT proofs and other signals of expertise and reputation in our voting signals. Our near-term priority is building credibility with these funders with an initial set of smaller-scale matching grants, in the $10-20K range.
- AI Proof of Concept: The goal is to secure outside funding for the AI-Powered Token Engineering proof of concept, rather than using TEC Common Pool funding. Exact funding requirements will be determined through scoping the project.
Additional information to add
How does this proposal benefit the community and/or the field of Token Engineering?
- Integrating the TEA into the TEC economy builds a sustainable foundation for token engineering education, which fulfills our mission and accelerates $TEC adoption with future token engineering practitioners.
- Gitcoin’s Allo Protocol turns our funding into matching grants that will catalyze much wider spread support for token engineering. Working with matching fund partners like ENS and Ethereum Foundation will reduce, and possibly eliminate, the drain of this funding on the Common Pool. As outlined above, the program will also build $TEC token utility and provide us with valuable experience for shaping the value flows in AI-powered TE.
- The AI-powered token engineering copilot PoC will test the viability of LLM technology in token engineering and possibly set the TEC up to own and govern a revolutionary new platform for serving the public good.
- By joining forces, the TEC and TEA will greatly improve our collective fundraising capacity.
Total request of 107,000 xDAI
How will these funds be used?
TEC staffing costs break into operational roles (60%) and project support (40%). Operational roles include: communications and community organizing, partnerships, strategy, organizational coordination and development, technology support, transparency, accountability and accounting. Project funding ebbs and flows as priorities change over time and is allocated at month-end by project managers on the TEC Coordination Team. For the sake of DAO transparency, total full-time equivalent (FTE) staffing is just 3 people, paid at an hourly rate of $21 DAI. “Misc” includes the $TEC airdrop mentioned above.
TEA operating costs split 85% for staffing (program, study groups, ecosystem, marketing/comms, strategy, fundraising, technology, and legal) and 15% for infrastructure (software licenses, servers, minting fees, etc.)
What does success look like?
By the end of July, we will have:
- Run the first Gitcoin quadratic funding round targeted exclusively at token engineering.
- Run a workshop with AI and token engineering experts to explore possibilities for the AI-Powered Token Engineering proof of concept (CoP), completing it by the end of July.
- Submitted at least two grant pitches to large matching fund partners for the grants program, like ENS and Ethereum Foundation.
- Integrated TEA’s NFT proofs into the new grant program and activated students in funding grant projects with quadratic funding.
- Developed a new set of processes for scalable, accountable community organizing and engagement, including the launch of a TEC advisory network.
How will you share progress?
Joint TEC x TEA progress will be shared through the Coordination Team Roadmap, which is updated every month.
Update (March 31)
- Program, Study Groups, Ecosystem, Marketing/Comms – @akrtws, @pat.zip, +1 TBD
- Strategy, PoC scope, fundraising – @akrtws, @roro
- TEA Tech – General Magic
- Legal – Ana