Stewards and Working Group Learnings

Last Friday we had a session with the stewards alumni group and working group participants to reflect on a few topics and draw learnings to our processes moving forward.
We covered 2 areas in this session: participatory decision making, transparency/ accountability and stewardship. We should still cover: contributor management/doocracy, celebration culture, inclusion/boundaries and economic management.

Here is the digest of the participatory decision making topic:

Positive points of participatory decision making:

  • Collaborative economics

    • Everyone was encouraged to participate at any level of the process
    • Historic to have a whole community understand about ABC and CV and TV
    • Fun and interactive education
    • There was space for all voices to be heard
  • Decision making culture

    • Great voter turnout for big decisions
    • Space was held for ideas, dialogues and debates
    • Compromising solutions for divergent proposals
    • Decision making transparency
  • Tools and processes

    • Tokenlog is a great tool
    • The forum is a central and accessible place for discussion
    • Polycentric governance model is comprehensive
    • Experimentation with voting mechanisms

Negative points of participatory decision making:

  • Advice Process

    • Confusion on how to use it
    • It was used to achieve consensus which is not its purpose
  • Voter Apathy

    • We didn’t explore the idea of delegated voting so much
    • No input from important members in the TE ecosystem
    • Lack of whales engagement
    • As the TEC was growing it was harder for folks on the fringe to feel like they had the power to participate
  • Quality of governance

    • Sometimes, not enough was shared for less active community members to have an informed opinion
    • Decision-making was often left to individuals without clarity on paths forward despite Advice Process.
    • Tokens with financial and governance power.
    • No quadratic voting favors whales
  • Gardens

    • Conviction Voting didn’t work well for treasury management
    • Tech issues with Gardens
    • Gardens is not intuitive
  • Accountability

    • Too many dependencies on others during tasks lead to conflict/non-productive outcomes.
    • No established process to follow up on proposals
  • Working groups

    • Fragmented decision making across working groups
    • Inefficient working group treasury management
  • Polycentric governance

    • Too complicated gov process
    • many decisions about decisions - which shows lack of clarity about the gov process
    • Lack of governance rituals

Conclusion

Education and ritual are successful ways to include and engage community members in governance, leveraging the quality of proposals, decisions and sense of belonging. Collaborative Economics was the most successful governance experiment in the TEC.
Having too many ways to make a decision can be confusing and paralyzing. Advice Process encounters a cultural block on divergence. Small groups tend to look for consensus and end up creating bureaucracies and blockers when different opinions arise.

Conviction Voting didn’t work as expected in the TEC, mainly because the volume of proposals and the TEC’s funding capacity wasn’t large enough. Basically all proposals passed. Depending on Celeste to block proposals that someone disagrees with is too radical and costly, so we had no clear ways to measure negative signals.

The lack of accountability processes and graduated sanctions contributes for many people to get involved in small projects which creates unnecessary dependencies. The experiment of having working groups as semi independent entities wasn’t very successful because it siloed accountability and governance from the core community, despite the presence of open spaces dedicated to updates and community sync.

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