Introducing Governance Committees

The best way for committee’s and the community to communicate is likely discord, just keep both channels visible but only allow community typing permissions in the committee commune channel. On the topic of holding committees accountable I think we should hold votes and remove/replace committee members at the end of each cycle if necessary.


Hey thanks for the post @ben-chain.

I have a few questions.

  1. What is a committee supposed to be? Just a guidance for delegates on what they think should be voted for each type of proposal? So that delegates can have an easy way of voting?

So if a delegate wants to keep voting on their own they should vote against the committee formations?

That sounds like a more reasonable approach. Follow the committee unless you don’t want to for some reason in which case you should definitely explain why.

This amount is for the entire committee I suppose? So if a committee has 5 members this would be $4k monthly per member, correct?

For your Open Questions

It should revolve mainly around the subject of the committee and its definition in as detailed a way as possible. So say tooling, right? What is that? What is tooling in the context of Optimism and this governance forum. Example proposals that would fall under tooling etc.

Then a suggestion on amount of committee members and perhaps even proposal for the members themselves.

State if the committee would be open for “applications” or if the members would be hand-picked beforehand.

A publicly viewable but not publicly writable discord channel.

Discord and forum I guess.


If delegates vote against the recommendation of the committee, they will be expected to post their reasoning in the forum roundup thread.

This was quite important, one thing i would like to add, when providing your reasoning, try to explain by writing few line, focus on “why” part along with what change you will need to see in their next proposal and any recommendation from your side.

What would the community like to see in the proposal template for the creation of a new committee?

  • I would like to see their past voting record from season 1, i want to see how they have voted and what was their reasoning for voting against or otherwise. Was their a simple yes/no or silent vote or detailed reasoning was provided.
  • Their interest and projects they have been involved with.

What is the best way for committees to communicate with each other and with non-committee delegates to maximize transparency?

  • A discord channel for initial communication, once a committee is ready with their recommendation, it is mandatory to publish their report on this gov forum.

What is the best mechanism by which to hold committees accountable at the end of, and during, a season?

  • Now that reward is involved, first things comes to mind is some kind of reward ratio accountability. But, Ben, money is relative, most of us are taking part in this gov are motivated individual, believer is this cyber and decentralized space, we are here because we want to see some tangible change in DAO Gov, we believe in our two pillar gov model and we have a chance to be a part of this change with this DAO experiment by continuous iteration.

So what now ? One thing I like and would love to see is transparency, engagement and empathy from these committees. These committee should engage with the proposal proposer in timely manner, submits a proper recommendation report and document their view and opinion in public forum(committee as a whole and as a individual team member.)

Connect these point with some kind of score card/number system and at the end of the season give this as an NFT, consider this a stepping stone of digital gov identity. Take some feedback from Proposal team too, may be from other committee as well. Point is keeping the feedback channel open and focus on iteration.

This gov is a 4 year experiment, imagine if we iterate this just for few seasons, we will have an identity, an on-chain verifiable proof of trust. I believe, this identity can go long way and could be a major factor to keep this committee accountable.

Ohh and we can also connect this score card with reward in long term.


On one hand, the equal compensation for committees and decided by OF makes sense; on the other the DeFi committee is probably going to end up being overworked and unhappy given the proposal distribution we expect. Perhaps there can be more than one DeFi committee, as DeFi itself is a vast space with sub-genres with their own experts.


Lots to take in with this, so apologies in advance if this is a little bit disjointed, just wanted to put some initial thoughts out there.

Firstly, if the goal is to reduce delegate workload then having committees seems fantastically well aligned to that! Rather than deep diving into every proposal, those in a committee will only need to go deep into one segment of the proposals, and those not in a committee will have, it seems very little to do.

As everyone’s workload is going to be reducing the introduction of compensation seems interesting. Obviously no one would say no to getting paid, but I wonder how necessary it is to set this before we know what the level of workload will be. Thinking about your 3rd question of accountability, might it make more sense to allocate funds to the different teams at the end of the season? I’m thinking in particular that it might be that, for example, the DeFi committee has been going flat out with dozens and dozens of proposals to work through, while the Tooling team had a whole 2 weeks off with nothing that fitted into their specialism for a voting round?

Also worth considering is that there might be something of a centralization risk around giving the non-committee members too little to do. If delegates feel like they are effectively just rubber stamping the decisions of the committees then it seems likely we will see a drop off of engagement. If this occurs and we lose participants then next season there will be less people to chose committees from and it could end up ossifying into the same few people deciding everything. I don’t think that solving this is complex however, maybe just ensuring that there is a way for people in other committees (or not in a committee) to contribute to the discussion if they have some insight into a particular proposal.

With regards to the communication channels, I quite like the idea of having them here so that they are in the same place as proposals, though I don’t know if it’s possible to create threads which only allow write access for certain people. If no the Discord channels like we have for ‘delegate-discussion’ would probably be fine, I guess that gives the added advantage of ‘threads’ allowing for some level of organization of the conversations.

I’ll come back later with thoughts on the committee proposal templates format.


Indeed. I’m not inclined to committees because it seems we want decentralization but then we don’t like/want it. I understand the workload issue and why/how something like this can help but I also don’t really get where the issue is.

  • If a proposal goes into voting without enough support or feedback from the Collective or Committee the end result is the same.
  • Bad proposals from teams/projects that think their proposal is fine will not change much in either case.

I could say more but since I don’t want the responsibility to be a delegate I will move on and keep the rest for myself.

Edit: I will just add one note here for people thinking this is the only/best way to solve the workload issue. Why some delegates don’t just create small informal working groups (with people they trust) instead of this formal committees? Informal working groups and even delegates don’t need to be single entities (or just one person) they can be a superset of something else (people/teams/whatever). Team up and change your team as much as you like instead of:


I have another proposal instead of committees. Create Focus Group, for DeFi, NFTs & Identity, and Tooling, where all delegates (>0,5%) choose their area of expertise and be included in one of the Focus Group, and thus the delegates work will be segmented and more effective > delegates will focus on proposals where they have more knowledge.

Arguments: The committees are made up of 4-5 delegates, 15 delegates in total, and only these delegates will be rewarded. As a result the rest of the delegates and Token House members will not get involved in the process and will move away from Governance. Voting based on the recommendation of the committees (5 people) centralizes the decision making process, and we cannot expect delegates who vote against the committees’ recommendation to post the rationale for this decision because delegates are socially engaged and not obligated. Plus, on discord there are some small conflicts about active, inactive delegates… As a consequence delegates who are not included in committees may vote against just because they do not receive rewards or are not “privileged” to be part of the committee, thus they may compromise the vote for personal reasons.

*And without rewards.


I think that one of the advantages of smaller committees is that they can be more efficient at decision making, in a group of 5 people it’s easy to divide up tasks and for members to know their roles. It’s also much easier to schedule meetings if that is desired, and to keep track of progress/accountability.

On the other hand, I completely agree that having more opportunities for delegate participation is desirable. I think maybe the answer that serves both of these outcomes is simply to have more parallel committees.

I’m not sure exactly what the categories would be, but this seems like the most sensible option. Just as an example, we could have committees for:

  • Dex’s and liquidity farms;
  • Lending/borrowing platforms;
  • Futures (Options/Perpetuals etc);
  • Everything else that doesn’t fit into those.

I’d also separate NFTs and Identity, as I think understanding the value proposition for something like Proof of Humanity or BrightID for example is almost entirely unrelated to understanding the value proposition of Bored Ape Yacht Club etc. So in addition to the 4 above, we’d also have commiities for:

  • NFTs;
  • Identity;
  • Tooling.

That division would mean 7 committees, and while I still think that each of the DeFi groups would probably be busier than the other categories at least the division of labour would be a little less extreme.

In terms of engagement, if we stick to the 3-5 person limit, it would mean that up to 35 delegates could have a role, which coincidently works out just about the number of delegates with >0.5% of the vote. At the same time none of the committees would be any larger and so the benefits of small teams would be maintained.

If there is going to be a financial reward for participation, then as I suggested yesterday, I think it makes more sense to determine this retroactively when the season ends. For example: if the Dex team have had 5x the number of proposals to review than the Identity team then they probably spent a lot more time and effort reviewing them, and therefore could be rewarded appropriately more.

The disadvantage of this is that it doesn’t provide a reliable source of income, but none of the delegates will have yet set themselves up to rely on the financial compensation from participation here and so I don’t really see the harm. On the other hand it could be potentially much more disruptive to experiment with a variable reward in the future if delegates have got used to a regular income.


More committees would mean more engagement from delegates, more even distribution of workload and would not sacrifice the benefits of smaller team efficiency.


I support the creation of the committees, the delegates proposed to segment the work because they were too busy, and only a small number of delegates were actively involved in all the proposals. But I don’t want the consequence to be conflicts between delegates and this to influence the governance process or the vote. But as has been mentioned if committees are created then they will only be for one season, so if there are any negative issues, it will be decided to continue with the committees.
If there are conflicts next season we will create the Sociology and Psychology Committee)))



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.


  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?)

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.


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.


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.


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)

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!


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.


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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