Community Governance Proposal #001 (CGP001)

Hello everyone!

We are excited to start working on our first community proposal to be voted on chain in the Stellar Network. The purpose of this first proposal, is to create guidelines on how governance would look like in our organization.

Community Governance Proposal #001 aims to set the basic structure of the governance process within Tellus Cooperative. In this document we will establish the goals of our governance workflow, make our organization’s vision public by explicitly stating the values we want to represent, as well as defining key concepts to understand cooperation in a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) setting.

Our motivation

Participants in an economic network are uncooperative in nature, unless there is an incentive to cooperate. A closed-loop economy provides with the necessary framework to proactively incorporate incentives that will benefit participants. We hope our governance process can eliminate friction on an incentive-based economic system that rewards sustainable practices and cooperation between its members.

Problem breakdown:

  • Unfair / Inaccessible banking system
  • Participation has no major influence in economic rewards or benefits
  • Lack of participatory democracy platforms
  • Lack of safety nets for everyday citizens

I envision the governance workflow starting in our informal discussion platforms and being formalized through our community page (right here!). Lastly, incorporated to the blockchain by being submitted as a vote in the Stellar Ledger. This workflow would be divided in 5 different phases:

Governance Process

  • Context-Building Phase: Review forum, interview stakeholders, identify scope of proposal.
    • Informal discussion and ideas begin forming in channels such as:
      • Discord
      • Keybase
      • Stellar Channels
  • Proposal Phase: Get initial feedback and post Proposal
  • Feedback Phase: Ask for formal feedback
  • Voting Phase
    • Proposal has been updated with latest changes and community input. Now is ready to be voted on-chain.
  • Implementation Phase: A proposal has passed and now is ready to be implemented to the overall governance protocol.

How would this look in practice?

The process would follow a flow similar to this:

In the following days I will be working with the Tellus Core team to finalize our beta voting platform and continue preparing what would be our first blockchain-backed governance proposal. I am really excited to see all of our hard work finding a logical path of development, and can’t wait to hear from the team, community members, and anyone interested in building a better democracy with opportunities for all. Feel free to comment your ideas, concerns, ANYTHING!

Thank you everyone

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Hey atl4s,

I think this is a solid starting point for a governance framework. I want to share a few thoughts to keep the discussion going:

  • Are there going to be economic incentives for active participants of the governance process? A lot of DAOs have low voting participation because it requires a lot of time to be involved in a relevant way.
  • Is there a system in place to prevent centralization of votes?
  • As the community grows, how can we make sure that new members aren’t overwhelmed by the amount of proposals if there aren’t restrictions to make one?
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These are great questions that I hope we can work through in this thread while getting input from the Stellar Development Foundation and our community!

I think is beneficial to start thinking about incentives within the governance process but it will depend mainly on the type of voting mechanisms and strategies we utilize within the DAO. I expect we will have different voting mechanisms and strategies for different scenarios. For this first proposal (CGP #1), we are focusing on designing the governance process for submitting and approving proposals within the organization. This means the initial process needed to get us voting on-chain. Given that we find ourselves in the introduction phase of these new governance tools and using a governance token (COOP) in the testnet with no economic value, we might want to focus on the voting mechanisms we want to utilize first. However, I am excited to keep exploring Soroban’s (Stellar’s Smart Contract Platform) as we go forward to implement a reputation/reward system that compliments this proposal.

Now, preventing centralization is one of the building blocks of a successful DAO and a coordination effort between parties. I believe basic voting might be too simple for decision-making that involves protocol changes in the future affecting things like token distribution, reward mechanisms, or treasury programming. For these cases, we might want to consider alternative voting systems such as ranked-choice voting, weighted voting, or quadratic voting. We must lay out an initial governance design that is modular and fluid, to allow for evolving changes as we grow.

I have updated the previous design with a more comprehensive diagram.

For a voting cycle to be successful, a minimum quorum must be met. This means a minimum of votes have to be cast to demonstrate sufficient participation in a proposal. In this type of voting system, each voter can select one out of 3 options:

  • Approve (YES)
  • Reject (NO)
  • Abstain (NEUTRAL) *

*Abstaining is a good way to demonstrate participation to meet a quorum, without compromising on a decision.

This preliminary mechanism can create a bottleneck in the number of proposals to be considered for voting. We can use parameters such as trust levels to gauge participation and restrict posting in proposal threads, the use of moderators to ensure proposals follow community guidelines and an off-chain voting system within the community platform as a filter.

We have implemented Basic Voting in our web app, allowing us to have a simple and streamlined process of on-chain voting. Thank you @nate-d3v for all your hard work!

What do you all think works and does not work on this mechanism?

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