[DRAFT] Research different approaches to scale badgeholders capacity to allocate RetroPGF

Edit 1/23 - Reduced grant amount from 80K to 40K

Delegate Mission Request Summary: Research, document & implement Proof Of Concepts of different approaches to scale the capacity of badgeholders to allocate Retroactive Public Good Funding (retroPGF) to an ever growing pool of applicants without losing confidence on the alignment of the allocation with the badgeholders perspectives.

This mission is stating the problem rather than focusing on a specific solution with the intention of attracting a diverse set of solutions that can offer novel approaches to make RetroPGF more efficient and less overwhelming for badgeholders.

S5 Intent 4: Improve governance accessibility

Proposing Delegate: 404 DAO

Proposal Tier 13: Ember

Baseline grant amount: 40K (Up to 20K per applicant)

Should this Foundation Mission be fulfilled by one or multiple applicants: Multiple.

Submit by: To be set by Grants Council

Selection by: To be set by Grants Council

Start date: ASAP

Completion date: 4 months would be ideal to draw insights for RetoPGF4


How will this Delegate Mission Request help accomplish the above Intent?

Ariiellus analysis from the feedback forum post of RetroPGF3 showed the number of projects as the most popular category for feedback. Several Badge Holders expressed feeling overwhelmed by the number of projects including @katie Katie’s feedback, @amer Amer’s feedback & @itublockchain itublockchain’s feedback

Here are a couple of screenshots from the feedback:

Optimism governance relies on the Optimism’s two-house system. There seems to be agreement in the citizen house on the need to scale the capacity of badgeholders to effectively vote for applicants to RetroPGF. Many solutions were suggested in the referenced forum post. The Optimism collective could benefit from deeper research & implementation of Proof Of Concepts of these or other novel solutions to improve one of the weakest elements of Optimsm governance.

What is required to execute this Delegate Mission Request?

  • Each team should have the capacity to both perform robust research of different solutions and implement a POC of one or more solutions.
  • Researchers are required to submit a comprehensive proposal, which should include:
    • A list of research topics.
    • Grant size justification for each topic.
    • The main researchers and developers’ relevant past experiences.
    • The potential uses and advantages of the proposed topics.
    • An initial plan for implementation, which may be modified during the project.
  • The implementation work should be carried out on a repository or forked repository that is open-sourced to the public.

Shamelessly taking well crafted elements of this Mission request

How should the Token House measure progress towards this Mission?

Each project may choose their own milestones. However, most applications should include the following.

  • An initial report of the approaches researched, an assessment of the most suitable solutions & one or more approaches selected to be implemented.
  • Implementation of the POC.
  • A well documented Github repo with all milestones completed.

How should badgeholders measure impact upon completion of this Mission?

  • Badgeholders may assess the quality of the research, the suitable solution and the approaches selected.
  • Badgeholders may test the POC and evaluate if it does scale their capacity to allocate RetroPGF.
  • Approaches should be contrasted to consider implementing one or multiple solution in a following round.

Have you engaged a Grant-as-a-service provider for this Mission Request? If so, please disclose the details of this arrangement, to the extent possible:

This mission request draft was written by Cotabe, a core contributor of General Magic, an organization that offers Grant Management services. Nor General Magic, nor myself are getting paid or expecting any compensation for this work. We are doubling down in supporting the Optimism Collective in its pursuit to build a better tech stack for the Optimism Collective and attract builders and projects more efficiently.

Has anyone other than the Proposing Delegate contributed to this Mission Request? If so, who, and what parts of this application did they contribute to?

No one else contributed to this proposal.


I represent Layer3 and we are an Optimism delegate with sufficient voting power and we believe this proposal is ready to move to a vote.


I find it hard to believe that you need four different teams each needing 20k OP committed to work on this in addition to the considerable work already being done by the Foundation, badgeholders, and concerned gadflies like me on this.


We would agree on this, 4 teams is likely not necessary with the other work being done. Do you think 2 teams would be sufficient? If so we’d be open to revising the baseline grant amount to 40k.

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I can provide possibly helpful context that the Foundation has hired a Citizenship PM, who dedicates 100% of their time to thinking about citizenship and related topics, and we have also opened a role for a Research and Experiments Lead, who will be tasked with thinking about research questions such as “what is the optimal number of Citizens to reduce the propensity for collusion in the Citizens’ House,” etc.


Thanks @404DAO @limes.eth @jackanorak @lavande for sponsoring, supporting and providing feedback for this Mission Request Proposal.

The rationale behind having multiple applicants, scoping the mission for research, and not specifying any solution was to crowdsource multiple approaches from the Optimism Collective & beyond. Based on the feedback from @jackanorak and @lavande, I agree with @404DAO that the grant amount should be reduced.

I still consider it valuable to have teams providing different solutions as part of their application and let the grants committee (maybe with the support of these new hires) choose a couple of solutions to be tried out. The “right” number of citizens is not an easy question to answer and this mission could bring some innovation from the edges if proven to be a good solution.


We have reduced the grant amount from 80K to 40K after feedback. We are excited to learn that the Foundation has already hired for a Citizenship PM role but agree with @Cotabe that this could still be a valuable intent to discover other solutions.

To me this kind of research is the exact kind of thing you’d expect people to just come up with in expectation of RPGF. It would be very difficult to suss out in advance which teams of researchers could credibly come up with something that becomes valuable — over and above the work that’s already being done by full-time Foundation staff.

This seems like a massive duplication of efforts for something that is already being managed by the Foundation and the budget is way too high so I will not be giving this proposal my approval.

This may be a long-term job. At present, we are all focused on how to judge the influence, but how to quantify the influence is a difficulty, which deserves continuous research.

Thanks @Cotabe and @404DAO for this proposal.

As the Foundation has hired a Citizenship PM (and potentially will hire a lead for research and experiments) and they will work on research around the mission in question, it would not be too late for the DAO to see the deliverables and decide if we need additional efforts with Mission Requests later.

Hey @Cotabe – just wanted to flag this as a proposal that still needs delegate approvals in order to move to a vote. If you are no longer interested in pursuing this proposal – please disregard this message. In order to see the delegates assigned to your proposal those can be found here. The deadline to provide feedback and approvals for Mission Requests is February 7th at 19:00


I tend to shy away from research-only proposals. I know this one includes “implementation” as well, but its a little hard for me to understand how that would work.

For now, I’m abstaining from giving approval to this proposal (although if it passes, I will do some deeper research before the vote that may change my opinion)

Thank you @404DAO for sponsoring the Mission Request Proposal and thank you to everyone who commented or engaged with it. This has been a process full of learning.

I didn’t know the foundation hired a Citizenship PM, that’s very exciting. I’m a huge fan of the two-houses approach that Optimism is taking for Governance. It makes sense that things are more rocky at the beginning. I’m looking forward to seeing new iterations that make governance smoother, more plural and capture-resistant.

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