Introducing Governance Committees

:laughing:

Yea, absolutely. I assume that part of the reason some delegates were not very active is that they have bigger time commitments to other projects. This might discourage some of the most experienced and knowledgeable people from wanting to commit to a probably very demanding workload from a broad ‘DeFi’ committee, but they might be willing to participate if the requirements for that category of proposal were split out between a larger number of smaller, more specialized teams.

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But I don’t want the consequence to be conflicts between delegates and this to influence the governance process or the vote

I didnt quite follow this ? conflict, how ?

If there are conflicts next season we will create the Sociology and Psychology Committee

making puns, straight to jail

That division would mean 7 committees

DeFi committee will obliviously getting more proposal, how about creating two DeFi subcommittee and limit the number of proposal they will review in one cycle ? Its not mandatory to review all of them in one, assign the proposal to DeFi committee on FiFo approach and put a max limit a committee will review in given cycle.
This limit will apply to all the committees.

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The introduction of committees is an ideal way to reduce friction for other delegates to get involved in governance, and I have outlined several thoughts below.

Committee communication:

  1. Using discourse to present their reasonings as we have done so in our thread.
  2. Discord channel for committee members to discuss (viewable but not writeable for non-committee members)

There shouldn’t be a need for non-committee members to discuss with committee members in a separate channel, as that should be in the forums.

Accountability:

  1. Reasonings for each recommendation

  2. Reflection on the previous season; summary, what went well, and what can be improved

  3. Infographic to show their votes for the past season.

  4. We could use health cards similar to gitcoin steward health cards to determine a committee members “health” using Karma as each member should be participating in the forums to make an informed opinion.

This would help delegates identify which committee members are active in the forum. It would help token holders understand which committee members should be replaced in future committees if their participation rate drops.

Payment concept:

DeFi is the most popular, so they are more likely to be overworked. Maybe it is possible to use a formula to decide payment for each committee retroactively.

i.e. $100k and 50 proposals: 30 defi, 10 NFTs, and 10 tooling

DeFi is 60% of the total proposals, so it should receive 60% of the total pot allocated to committees.

This is an example, but it does mean that these committee members would work without pay until the retroactive payment, which only those in a privileged position can do. This is just an idea, I’m not certain that it is the right way, but I thought I’d put it out there.

The proposal template should include the following:

  1. Committee Category
  2. Team roles - lead and reviewers
  3. Team background
  4. Each committee member’s current involvement in Optimism
  5. Their vision for optimism grants. (Are they going to be sparing or liberal?)
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I’m excited to see experimentation with governance committees. I think managing the workload for delegates and allowing them to focus on areas of specialty for proposal reviews would make for a more positive experience on both sides.

I like the proposal template that @Bobbay_StableLab suggested plus I would like to see similar information that @OPUser referenced on having committee proposers share their past voting record and rationale for season 1 to see if they were active participants and if they communicated their reasoning for votes.

Agree with @Bobbay_StableLab.

I know there was a comment made in the first governance call on wanting to move away from Discourse forums to Discord entirely but I find it really helpful to at least see rationales for final voting decisions on Discourse forums since reviewing Discord can be chaotic.

Agree with @Bobbay_StableLab on this again.

Additional feedback:

Regarding the split of committees into the 3 suggested categories, I echo what a few delegates said that based on Season 1 there was a heavy focus on DeFi so there does not seem to be an equal balance of workload for each committee. Ideally compensation levels for committees would reflect a major difference in workload and/or the DeFi category is further split up to subcommittees.

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Hey Ben - thanks for thinking about this in a novel way.

I enjoy the progressive deployment of different proposal types, forcing governance to stay engaging and fluid. At a glance - it seems to rally like-minded decision-making with similar values…

$20,000 feels fair - and is needed to maintain the time and attention of large delegates. We recently wrote a piece on this, conveying the benefit of compensating delegates: Should DAOs Pay Delegates?

One note - the rigidity of the suggested committees makes sense but is limiting. It would be more interesting to see committees aligned on values vs. sectors. Worth discussing more?

Will now answer the following questions:

  1. Decision-making process outlined, previous experience among committee members, and current relationship or role within Optimism.
  1. A model which we have discussed is NFTs for gated communities. Say as a delegate I vote to approve the ‘DeFi Committee’ I can receive an NFT via the address I’ve used on Snapshot. Here committee members can kit up a gated channel, relaying updates on their decision-making process and progress. Additionally, it drives support for committees which create a more tailored / value-add experience.

  2. A compensation model which rewards the best decision-making processes and communication. If a proposal endorsed by the DeFi committee is passed, then give them a multiple or a one-time bonus. This could also be true for committees who relay their rationale consistently, greater than other groups.

Hope this helps inform your thinking - excited to see how this discussion progresses.

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After a review of the proposal in discussion with our community contributors, we believe that the following points should be preserved:

  • Committees are there to reduce the workload and to try to ensure that the proposals arrive as suitable as possible for discussion and decision by the delegates and the community.

  • This means that committees should not feel like an intrusive role in which delegates may feel that their responsibilities are being diminished or lose their sense of self.

  • Committees should not be made up of members who have a greater voting power so as not to discourage participation (let’s say stop at >30%).

So the question is how to insert the role of the committees so that it is as useful as possible and does not disfigure the role of the delegates. For this we have the following procedural vision:

First of all, until now and as proposed in the Operating Manual v0.2:

  1. Project made a proposal, then
  2. A team post in #gov-temp-check (Discord) to receive feedback from the entire community.
  3. Then they post in #proposals:governance-fund-phase-1-proposals in DRAFT mode, receiving more feedback.
  4. Change DRAFT to REVIEW to receive more feedback in a formal way.
  5. Two delegates with >0.5% voting power approve the proposal for snapshot voting.

In this case, step 2 and 3 looks redundant and certainly the tempcheck # channel today does not fulfill its mission in most cases (for whatever reasons). Precisely we believe that committees can replace or lead this section in which delegates commit to making initial major reviews so that delegates can receive a clean proposal ready for final discussion. With the committee introduction, we propose:

  1. Project made a proposal, then
  2. A team post in #gov-commite-check (Discord by example) or another instance in the forum (focused in this initial discussion) to receive feedback from a committee in DRAFT mode.
  3. Committee and team work together to make changes and correct execution of the proposal in general. Committee here provides any sort of seal of approval to move to the following instance.
  4. Team post in #proposals:governance-fund-phase-1-proposals its proposal in REVIEW mode and committee post inmediately a final balance with recommendations, pros and cons about the proposal.
  5. Delegates and community review properly since here. Two delegates with >0.5% voting power approve the proposal for snapshot voting, as well committee members could also give the pass…

In this model review cycle can be reduced from 3 to 2 weeks as committee is working from day one. Please everyone feel free to discuss about if this could be an optimal approach to give range of action to a committee.


About number of committees, we agree that the DeFi category should be divided, for example, into 2 (seems better reach a consensus about splitting subcatterogies) and a kind of cross-audit in case the committees wish to do so. In this case we expect at leats 4 committee and then 20 delegates working (can a delegate be part of 2 topics?)

This is a good approach.


Another question to be clarified, in this case for @ben-chain is about the origin of the funds, provided by the foundation or what part of the allocation, if it would be OP or another asset, and if it were the first case (OP tokens) clarify once again the issue of self-delegation, if it will be well seen or not.

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Absolutely in favor of committees to reduce overhead & make proposal process more straighforward.

Committee categories:

We agree with the 3 proposed committees and would categorize proposals in the following way.:

  • DeFi: Finance, Staking, Liquidity Mining
  • NFT: Creator economy and Games
  • Tech: Infrastructure, Tooling & Public Goods
  • Other: Social, Identity, other apps (likely not needed yet, can be added to other categories for now)

We would NOT split up DeFi as previous proposals did not offer significant differences and it’s important to have 1 committee that is approachable and makes understandable decisions for new proposers.

Committee formation & proposal assessments:

We see it as necessary that there is some common understanding on how committees are to judge proposals. That will also help to avoid “unfair” assessments when we compare different categories and help other delegates to follow their recommendation or not. (The overall standpoint should be clear but small differences among committees are fine.)

In order to not over-engineer this, we’d recommend that interested delegates can simply sign up to one of the proposed committees and each potential committee should meet, form a committee (3-7 people) and share an updated 1-pager detailling

  • Focus area (e.g. DeFi)
  • Committee Lead + Members (incl. some (Op) background info; no need for spec. roles)
  • Contact
  • Proposal Work Flow
  • Judgement Criteria

To make judgement criteria better understandable, it might be helpful to offer one exemplary, quality proposal with feedback that helps proposers to see the

  • required detail in proposals
  • required alignment with Optimism
  • required cost-return understanding
  • criteria for assessments

Communication & Accountability:

  1. A private committee channel to discuss processes and all things re proposals openly but internally.
  2. Discussing draft proposals published to the forum with proposers openly in a Discord channel that is read-only for others
  3. Updating other delegates & community through a simple Committee thread in the forum and “official feedback” below the proposals
  4. Concluding cycle with a brief report on assessing proposals & internal processes would be great.

This offers extensive committee discussions AND a public track record for accountability of committees.

Utilizing health cards for delegates / committee members as @Bobbay_StableLab suggests is a great idea and could potentially be incorporated to Boardroom which is already working on delegate cards.

PS: Our biggest committee interests

  1. DeFi
  2. Analytics & DAO tooling
  3. Identity, Credentials, SocMedia & other apps
  4. Infrastructure & Web 3 projects
  5. (Public Goods)
  6. (NFTs & Gaming)
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Hey folks! Thanks for all the feedback, the engagement on this thread has been really helpful. We’ve made some updates, summarized below and viewable in their entirety via edit history, to incorporate your feedback:

  • Each committee must have a committee lead and may have up to 4 reviewers. Committee leads will be responsible for general coordination of the committee and publishing recommendation analyses on behalf of the committee. There is no requirement for all committee members to have >0.5% of votable supply, but at least one member must in order to submit the proposal.

  • We have updated the cap on the number of committees from 3 to 4 to accommodate the potential creation of two distinct DeFi committees. In the event that two DeFi committees are approved, each committee should handle proposals related to distinct focus areas. If >1 DeFi committee proposal is submitted, each committee should specify an area of specialization so that there would not be a case where two committees are making recommendations on the same proposal. In the event that there is a proposal that does not fall clearly within any of the approved committees, it will be up to the committees to decide which committee will provide a recommendation.

  • Each of 4 committees will received $10k equivalent in $OP, to be distributed among committee members. This budget is meant to support 5 committee members, including a committee lead. Since workload is unlikely to be standardized across committees, at the end of the season, an additional $40k equivalent in $OP will be allocated between committees based on relative workload and contribution during the season. These $OP rewards will come out of the Governance Fund.

  • Please note that all committee members that receive compensation will need to be KYC’d.

  • To address concerns around drop-off in non-committee delegate participation, the Optimism Foundation will track this data and re-evaluate the structure of committees if we see a meaningful decrease.

  • Committee formation proposals for Season 2 should follow this template and should be posted for feedback 1 week in advance of the start of Voting Cycle #5.

We’re excited to experiment with committees in Season 2 and are excited to see your proposals!

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Am I right to assume this just means KYC’d privately to the team, rather than in a public way. Outside of crypto I’ve been involved in some OsInt (Open source Intelligence) investigations around foreign Active Measures campaigns, Cambridge Analytica and some other stuff that means I really try pretty hard not to get ‘doxed’! Happy for the foundation to know my real details, but not if these have to be made publically available. In that has to be the case then if I get into a committee I’ll donate my pay.

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yes, KYC will be with OP Foundation as mentioned here.

I also assume it will be done by OF privately but comment from team could clear the assumption.

Will update to indicate KYC will be handled privately by the Foundation!

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Lovely, thanks for confirming.

I have noticed committee formation proposals have expired i planned on submitting one if thats not possible i am perfectly fine with giving feedback.

I recommend you to post it. No one is covering NFTs for example, better to have one late than none

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Any thought about having multiple person on same committee?

thank you i try but not many i know here

I like this framework:

I like the concept of committees, but I get the sense in this and related threads that a lot of the focus is on tactics of the final recommendation.

I’d like to see the committee value proposition center around (i) sector / subsector knowledge, (ii) balanced / objective case for and case against (or pros and cons list), and (iii) shaping the proposal funnel to push proposers to deliver to delegates a well organized, well supported, ready for review and vote proposal.

Receipt of a final recommendation is useful, but even a 3 of 5 committee member majority (assuming that is the definition of majority, one committee member one vote) shouldn’t be blindly followed in my view. That is a recommendation based on a very small number of thinkers.

I am concerned that delegates will blindly follow committee recommendations and not do the work. This might lead to the illusion of a diverse delegate base (i.e., lots of delegates with smaller $OP holdings, that just vote with committees which may be dominated by whale $OP holders).

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Hi all, I may have missed some things but I have a few questions/concerns:

  1. Are potential committees going to be voted on by the token house?

  2. Is there an open process for selecting committee members, or is this all based on a proposal submission? My concern is that these committees may be formed by groups who already know each other and therefore won’t have the diversity of thought required for such an outsized influence.

One suggestion would be to first propose a committee, and then propose members individually instead of having everything as a package deal. For example, I think everyone agrees that there should be a DeFi community but if there is only one or two proposals we might think that there are better members for the committee. How would we vote in that instance?

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I agree with the need to ensure groups are aligned more by expertise than by affinity. For what it’s worth, I can attest to the relative (if not perfect) independence of members on two of the three DeFi committee groups proposed. From what I can gather, the Tooling committee is similarly broad in its composition.

Although I believe with more participation and formalization in governance we could/should explore this format you’re proposed, I’m personally comfortable with the arrangement we currently have as a first step to evaluate later.

The defi group led by Katie Garcia - which has plenty of expertise - has a couple Maker vets, a seasoned defi investor and advisor in Linda Xie, Flipside Crypto, from whom I’ve personally seen some fantastic work, and Stablenode, which has broad governance & defi cred. My sense is that there’s enough diversity in background and interest here as well as deep commitment to best practices to more than ease fears about too tight a perspective.

My impression of the proposed tooling committee is that it’s similarly broad in its members’ range of backgrounds.

Although the proposed group led by sugma.eth has a few SNX ambassadors in Mastermojo and Matt, the members are in fact coming from several angles. Sugma has worked with a wide range of protocols and I don’t believe has any particular alignment within Optimism. As for me, I didn’t really know anybody before being asked by sugma to join this group, and in fact Solarcurve’s protocol, Beethoven, could in some respects be considered a competitor of Velodrome. This, by the way, ought to offset concerns about potential conflicts of interest.

However, one point that’s been raised a few times has been sticking in my head - including experts external to the immediate Optimism community, kind of like board advisors. I think strongly recommending the inclusion of such an outside expert could in one fell swoop limit fears about groupthink as well as conflicts of interest, and it could offer existing committees the ability to address perceived gaps in their expertise.

Could also do some member swaps after inking in the groups to ensure broad coverage (eg not multiple ppl from one protocol), though for this iteration I’d almost prioritize easy working relations over strict independence.

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