Feedback requested: Kong Land org framework

Now that the inaugural $LAND token snapshot vote has successfully passed, I’ve been thinking more about the best way to self-organize ourselves and channel our collective energy, talent, knowledge, and experience to build out the Kong Land vision.

Looking at various DAO frameworks and contrasting them against our unique needs, I took a shot at drafting a core-DAO organizational framework for Kong Land. This framework reflects the org functions (committees) that I felt were needed right out of the gates (i.e. post $LAND distribution).

Feel free to comment here on the forum or directly in the diagram document itself :point_down:

Looking forward to hearing all your thoughts!

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This looks great Brent! Hoping you could link some of the DAO frameworks your mentioned so we could look over them and come to similar (or different) conclusions as you have.

should all functions be distinct from day one, or should they be combined?

I’m generally in favor of starting with fewer distinct teams/functions and branching as necessary. There’s less overhead, both in terms of org complexity and actual work that ppl need to do.

thank you for laying out all the distinct responsibilities. how do you feel about this simpler org structure:

  • product: engineering, manufacturing, design
  • growth: marketing, biz dev, community, immigration
  • governance: senate, treasury (could maybe split these if they’re done by totally different ppl)
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Hey Nico! It’s difficult to know how some of these DAOs are structured without actually being a part of them but here are some of the ones that I was able to reference :point_down: Additionally, there’s some general org intuition that I’ve picked up over my professional career sprinkled in.

If you’ve come across any other org frameworks, feel free to share!

IndexCoop

MetaFactory
https://sobol.io/d/mf/structure?view=circles

OlympusDAO

ShapeShift DAO

Sushi DAO (post 0xMaxi)

YFI

0xDAO (more of a grant program than a true DAO at this time)

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Thanks for the feedback! I’m leaning towards bundling functions to start too and like your suggested groupings. Design stands out as one function that would exist in both product & growth but with different skillsets (UX vs. digital & print). Updated to reflect this:

  • product: engineering, manufacturing, design (UX)
  • growth: marketing, biz dev, community, immigration, design (digital & print)
  • governance: senate, treasury (could maybe split these if they’re done by totally different ppl)
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I read through Orca’s pod structure mirror docs last year. Thought it was nice Orca Protocol allows for more competition with some pods competing for the same work. Best pod wins. Could be dangerous :slight_smile:

I think this streamlining/bundling makes sense.

Thanks all for your feedback! I took everyone’s input into consideration and updated the org diagram. Appreciate feedback on the V2 framework here or directly on the diagram.

Changes:

  • Grouped business functions - Product, People, and Growth
  • Added Product Design function focused on app and website UI/UX
  • Added People function focused on community and and support
  • Added the House of Representatives party which represents the voice of all citizens
  • Grouped governance functions - House of Representatives, Treasury, and Senate
  • Proposed multi-sig requirement
  • Added new business and governance responsibilities:
    • Hardware > Tier 2 hardware support
    • Software > Tier 2 software support
    • Support > support docs and FAQs
    • House of Representatives > capture meeting minutes and report back to citizens
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GM Citizens.

I think governance design and strategic roadmap will be one of the most important things we do.

Thus, I’m weighing in as an early Kong cash supporter and researcher in the area of DAO ethnography – specifically DAO vulnerabilities and resilience. I publish and practice on this around RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub, Metagov, and R&D engineering firm BlockScience.

Governance design depends on what the objective of the DAO is, and how it wants to go about achieving that objective (epistemology and cultural norms).

The goal of KONG Land is to manufacture, export, and catalyse the use of, opensource hardware microchips.

The political philosophy of how to go about this could vary (see difference community governance designs here).

So how do we go about pursuing our objective, whilst continuously adapting to manage vulnerabilities but staying true to the vision of an actually decentralised, autonomous, organisation?

Essential to the launch of a DAO is token distribution (which we’ve addressed) and capital allocation. we don’t want these to be co-opted through slow, reactive, progressive decentralisation (e.g. MakerDAO – pioneering project but went from “DAO”, to registered Foundation, and then back to a DAO. Tough for contributors…).

  1. I think transparent governance, that aligns with the KONG manifesto, and has accountability measures is possible to addresses the questions of treasury management and public goods spending.

1Hive does this very cleverly through a mix of human and automated components. They have a constitution, dynamic allocation of resources (based on conviction voting), and a decentralised court (Celeste). So far, this model has worked for their community, who have the goal of building decentralised software. This is something to consider for KONG treasury management.

This model has now been extrapolated in the “Gardens” framework, for governance proposal making, voting, and accountability. I very much like the model of constitution + proposal + commitment or conviction voting + celeste (decentralised court) as a continuous governance loop of treasury allocations. There’s a list of projects utilising this framework via the hyperlink.

  1. What the diagram here is referring to is organisation structure. So, what we’re really talking about is org structure, specifically, operations (the business functions).

From my research across numerous DAOs, those with a technical function (e.g. chip manufacturing) operate via subsidiarity, so they can scale operations in an efficient and sustainable manner.

Subsidiarity (in the way that I understand it) comes from economist Elinor Ostrom’s principles about how to collectively govern common pool resources. Some d-gov communities have caught onto this (e.g. Commons Stack has advocated for it for a while).

Ostrom refers to “nested enterprises” as a principle that recognises that long-enduring, complex resource systems are usually organised into many tiers of nested organisations that together perform provisioning, monitoring, enforcement, conflict resolution and governance activities.

Subsidiarity is the principle that decision-making rights each be assigned to the lowest level of a governance arrangement at which they can be exercised competently. Subsidiarity organizes according to organizational functions, rather than specific actors in a system (I have researched this approach in GitcoinDAO here). The goal of this is to not lose capabilities if people can no longer contribute to a role, to maintain the ability to perform core functions and adapt for resilience.

Thus, working groups are autonomous in operations, but accountable to report back to the broader DAO or they will not be funded next month (monthly not quarterly budget requests to start? Seems a reasonable timespan) when they make another budget request.

Structure with purpose:

The working groups have been set out in the above diagrams.

The Senate’s objective is strategic direction of KONG Land, and will be critical in this initial phase, and ongoing. Having historical core contributors here makes sense for now, as they have the experience with the project, strategic insights and leadership thus far, and governance is a lot of work…not necessarily a casual side engagement. We also want accountability (e.g. you may create a balance of power between Senate and treasury, or Senate could manage treasury but have an expiry date for re-election. A model for further investigation of this is Synthetix DAO and their “Spartan Council”).

Some of the working groups seem a bit traditional. Could we organise according to core functions? (e.g. “ecosystem growth” instead of “marketing” and “BD”).

Addressing vulnerabilities:

The problem with core working groups is they can collude to seek rent from the treasury aka. increase budget requests every month, and threaten to walk off the job if treasury does not comply so the DAO loses developers, communications, etc…

To address this risk, I propose core group contributors also have a base wage, based on their level of experience (a meritocracy). This works in other decentralisation focused DAOs e.g. DYDX and Synthetix, and will help reduce continual wage request increases in budget allocations, as long as there is a cap or reasonable justification for the number of contributors, accountable recruitment based on experience, peer accountability for the work done, and regular reporting before each budget request cycle. Someone / a remuneration committee would need to run the numbers on what the market will accept and what is sustainable to set salary brackets.

Next steps:

Once (1) governance processes (proposal making, voting, accountability) are sorted, budget cycles, and core organisation functions (working groups) are determined, we can establish a clear recruitment process (CTZN + immigrant) and onboard individual contributors straight away to get things done (i.e. X person is great at X. Hire them for X wage on the scale of experience).

Kong Senate is then strategically responsible for building organisational capacity via developing out the core working group operational functions over time in conjunction with individual contributors (eg. Ecosystem growth is responsible for xyz). this is imperative to not losing organisational capabilities over time.

This analysis leaves us with:

  1. Governance signalling process for whole-of-DAO accountability (via Gardens framework?).

  2. Senate (clearly defined scope and review points on if necessary or not. You always want strategic direction but this could be core team now + a council of community members, + elections at some point)

  3. Operational functions in working groups (e.g community management (hiring and immigration), ecosystem growth (external comms, subDAO engagement, etc), manufacturing.

  4. Working groups have people on base salaries, according to their level of experience (via an application for work). Need to think about how to limit working groups from having heaps of people in them on salaries. Need to think about accountability if work is not performed.

Note: this is a response to the initial diagram

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Thank you for sharing – a lot of fantastic resources to dig into here.

Once (1) governance processes (proposal making, voting, accountability) are sorted, budget cycles, and core organisation functions (working groups) are determined

I recommend folks here investigate the Gardens framework; I am a novice to conviction voting. My curiosity here is whether or not the existing tooling can accommodate conviction voting via the $CITIZEN erc721 or not. I believe that this is important to the premise of “one vote per one $CITIZEN” vs. using $LAND. This may be solvable via a synthetic $CITIZEN issued to each NFT holder (?) but I need to understand the technical side more directly.

From looking at other DAOs, my sense is that we could set up Gardens, although a more lightweight model mike work to being with. For example we can devise a proposal template for the forum (here) and carry out temperature voting via the Discord. Only after a template and/or temperature voting passes a certain time or quantity threshold would we upgrade to the Snapshot.

Re budget cycles – this will be dependent on the $LAND release, but are there rules of thumb here? Quarterly “seasons”?

I sense that we ought to select a number of parameters quickly despite the fact that they may be imperfect merely because most of us here don’t have the depth of knowledge w.r.t. what’s worked for DAOs.

  1. Senate (clearly defined scope and review points on if necessary or not. You always want strategic direction but this could be core team now + a council of community members, + elections at some point)

I agree with the implication that historical core contributors should not be given some special consideration here (and would prefer to further downplay this).

While I can see some value in the idea that an initial term may be granted to historical contributors, I also am a strong believer that a democratic vote for Senators should be held and that historical contributors may only be automatically nominated for a set of seats but not necessarily granted those seats automatically.

I would add a (2a.) point here: although the UNA allows us to create a Senate, we have yet to do so. I believe that we could create a Senate and introduce an initial set of Senators (perhaps via an off chain voting mechanism) in a single proposal.

From my research across numerous DAOs, those with a technical function (e.g. chip manufacturing) operate via subsidiarity, so they can scale operations in an efficient and sustainable manner.

I believe this is important to understand and carve out: it’s apparent that (1) ordering chips from factories and (2) fulfilling orders to end $CITIZENs and DAOs is easier with a traditional entity that has been tasked with that function from the DAO.

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Adding some feedback from the Kong community call this week, cc @brent-007. Per the call we honed in on next steps for the proposal:

  • Establish the Senate (including number of senators, terms, remit)
  • Establish an initial set of Senators; self-nomination on Discord for listing in the Snapshot?
  • Establish arbitration mechanisms

@kelsien we referenced some of your high level thoughts on the call w.r.t. arbitration and why it’s central to DAO governance, however, it would be great to get any additional resources you can share here.

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Sure, mostly, arbitration is a constitutional foundation of governance (or “natural law” of multi-agent systems).

Some resources on why it is a legal requirement:

  1. A summary of the COALA research group “DAO Model Law” with link to full report, which says for DAOs to have legal personality they must have an internal arbitration mechanism (between members) and an external arbitration mechanisms (DAO to other entities).

  2. A paper by colleagues on “The Governance of Blockchain Dispute Resolution” which finds that if dispute resolution is not clearly specified, “contracting parties will subjectively interpret their most effective governance mechanism to resolve disputes, and the costs of dispute resolution will change over time through a process of institutional innovation.” This is potentially catastrophic if unfavourable (to the constitution of KONG Land) precedents are set early, and then followed in later disputes.

  3. A very fresh paper which applies control theory principles from cybernetics to decentralised governance. It includes a case study on 1Hive Gardens framework as an example of a complex, adaptive system at work.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying Gardens is the solution (have people played with it? What did you think?) but arbitration processes that counteract the constitution are foundational principles of governance, to get right early

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Appreciate everyone’s feedback! :pray::pray::pray::pray::pray:

It feels like there is enough directional support to start putting together a formal proposal to vote on. The proposal would seek to establish Kong Land’s:

  • business functions
  • governance functions
  • nomination process for the initial set of members in each group
  • working and reporting structure between business and governance functions
  • compensation structure (including identifying salaried roles and establishing a contribution-based payments model)
  • budget process (forecasting, requesting, and reporting)
  • arbitration process
  • tooling required to support all of the above

Given the breadth of the proposal and its importance, I’d like to establish a working group that will help to create it. We’ll likely want to divide and conquer with contributors who have particular interests and expertise focusing on specific areas of the proposal. Once we establish the group, I’ll schedule an initial kick-off meeting so we can figure out how best to organize the work.

If you’re interested in joining the working group, please reply and let us know if there’s a specific area of the proposal that you’re particularly interested in contributing to.

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@brent-007 thanks for posting – I think that maybe we can slim down the proposal to get something through more quickly and task the newly created Senate with some of these other functions as they will carry them out, rather than have individual $CITIZENs vote on items that may be later be found to be unworkable. Let’s empower the Senate to this job.

Here is an outline I propose:

Section 4.2 - KONG Land Senate. Should Citizens vote for a proposal creating the KONG Land
Senate via the Designated Smart Contract, the structure, terms and means of selection of
members of the KONG Land Senate (“Senators”) shall be enumerated in said proposal and
recorded in the Codex. The KONG Land Senate structure, terms and means of selection of
Senators may be amended by a vote of Citizens.

  • Include an initial slate of Senators based on self or public nomination by a certain date
  • Name an arbitration process (and tooling required)
  • State that the Senate is capable of carrying out actions of up to $X dollar amount regarding the treasury without a $CITIZEN vote
  • State that the Senate is given a remit for all the other items you note (governance functions, compensation, budget process, tooling they select for their purposes)
  • State that the Senate should interpret the Constitution as needed to effect the goals of KONG Land:

Section 8.1 - Interpretation. The KONG Land Senate (if formed via vote of Citizens) shall have
the power to interpret this Constitution, apply them to particular circumstances, and adopt
policies in furtherance of them, provided that all such actions are reasonable and consistent.

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I have used Gardens and it’s inexpensive to set up and experiment with (~$300 USD for a GnosisSafe treasury and a new coin issuance on xDai/GnosisChain).

AFAIK, there’s no way to use an ERC721 to set your votes, but it would be easy to issue 1 xDai voting token to each NFT holder and let them vote fractionally with the token.

That being said, once you get through a few early snafus (it’s still clearly a product in beta), the experience is quite nice.

Anyway, I support @cameron’s thought here that getting the Senate up and running is most key, and then power can be re-delegated out in the spirit of @brent-007’s and @kelsien’s framework once the working body is in place.

For the purposes of proposing initial arbitration rules, I will suggest:

  • propose disputes and resolution terms via discord/forum/snapshot
  • require a minimum 72 hour vote window
  • a preponderance vote by quorum to pass
  • randomly select 9 justices by sortition from the voting quorum to sit on the arbitration committee
    • eg select a random voter via the 9 block hashes after the vote ends by 32bytes % voters where voters are ordered by ascending 32bytes public address
  • endorse the terms of the arbitration committee

Also, I was reminded of this useful DAO framework, could be nice to refer to when the Senate is proposing additional rules:

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FYI - just posted a proposal to form a Senate based on all the helpful feedback provided here (thank you! :pray:)

Would appreciate all of your feedback on it :point_down:

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