Optimism Foundation Board Introductions ✨

Hi OP Community!

My name is Abbey, and I’m one of the Board Members of the Optimism Foundation. The rest of the board and I wanted to take some time to introduce ourselves to the community and share our own personal Optimistic visions. I’ll go first!

I began my journey into Web3 in venture capital, working at Underscore VC, an early-stage venture firm with a strong open-source investment philosophy and community-driven approach. From there, I spent my bull & bear market hacking (looking back, my Crowdfunding the Commons hack is incredibly relevant now), traveling, and working alongside the Ethereum ecosystem, driven by the community vibes and the New Hope™ of the Web3 vision.

I found my niche in the emerging DAO space, intrigued by the potential of cryptoeconomic primitives to bring about new forms of organizations & incentive models for online communities. This interest brought me to Radicle, a community-owned, free & open source network for decentralized code collaboration — IMO one of the most exciting opportunity spaces for cryptography & cryptoeconomic primitives (I think this talk sums it up well). Working at Radicle has embedded the belief that cryptography & peer-to-peer technologies have the potential to bring about a truly new paradigm for open-source software (and public goods in general!), where digital communities can be self-sustaining and community-owned/operated.

At Radicle, I lead the Community & Governance team and sit on the Council of the Radicle Foundation, the Swiss non-profit entity created to support the continued decentralization of the Radicle network.

At the moment, I am leading our transition to the RadicleDAO. While the Radicle Foundation currently funds and manages core Radicle development, the goal has always been to ultimately fund all project development via the Treasury of the RadicleDAO — aka “transition”. This transition has many dimensions (see the workstreams in the post below) and, similar to the Optimistic Collective, is a governance experiment in itself.

I’d say that my approach to governance is more “off-chain” vs. “on-chain” — I view on-chain governance mechanisms, such as token voting, as important mechanisms for ensuring fair & trustless governance. Governance, however, is an incredibly social concept that requires as much social engineering as it does technical (see quote below). I think my Denver Schelling Point talk sums up my current opinions quite well.

“OSS is best understood neither as primarily a technical development or social process perspective, but instead as an inherent network of interacting socio­technical processes, where its technical and social processes are intertwined, co­dependent, co­evolving, and thus inseparable in performance”

— Chris Jensen and Walt Scacchi, “Governance in Open Source Software Development Projects: A Comparative MultiLevel Analysis”

Now, taking from the Delegate Commitment template:

My view on the Optimistic Vision:

When it comes to the Optimistic vision, I’m incredibly excited for the journey ahead of us. I truly believe that building on-chain & off-chain governance mechanisms around social primitives like SBTs will enable us to move past the current plutocratic paradigm and empower us to realize our ambitious visions for funding public goods (and open-source software!)

My view on the first three articles of the Working Constitution:

  1. Experimentation is key. While immutability has its place, adaptability is a necessary aspect of resilience. Governance must be dynamic & flexible, especially at the earliest stages, to ensure a resilient and sustainable system.
  2. Yes, yes, yes and yes. There is a world beyond token voting.
  3. From personal experience with Radicle, progressive & intentional decentralization is an effective (some would say necessary) method for instantiating self-sustaining decentralized ecosystems.

That’s it from me. Excited to embark on this journey with you all.

Staying incredibly optimistic :sparkles:
Abbey

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Hi All,

My name is Brian Avello and I am a director with the Optimism Foundation’s board. Like Abbey, I wanted to take a few moments, and give some background on me, my earlier work and how I found myself in this amazing position with incredible colleagues!

About me :

Prior to joining the Optimism Foundation’s board, I was the General Counsel for the Maker Foundation, the entity responsible for launching multi-collateral Dai, and bootstrapping MakerDAO’s self-sustaining governance. While with Maker, I was responsible for everything legal and regulatory, and worked with my colleagues to dissolve the Foundation in late 2021, returning MakerDAO to its present fully decentralized state. I now am a partner with the UDHC, an investment fund focused on infrastructure investments connecting DeFi and TradFi. Before joining Maker, I was a practicing attorney for approximately ten years, and have represented various funds, founders, companies and investors in the blockchain space since early 2016.

I was drawn to the industry by following some of the most intelligent people I have ever met (early Maker founders and contributors) and then stayed while having the pleasure of working for years with others cut from that same cloth (former Maker Foundation team). I owe them all a debt of gratitude.

My reasons for joining the Optimism Foundation board:

I felt my time “re-decentralizing” MakerDAO laid the groundwork for where the DAO is now and that I could put this experience to good use by assisting the Optimism team through a similar journey. I’m truly honored and humbled to be on the board and have the chance to support Jing and Ben’s vision alongside Eva and Abbey.

My view on the Optimistic Vision:

The Optimistic Collective, particularly the bicameral legislature that will govern it, is an interesting next step in general governance for our industry. I hope and believe it represents a better functioning model over the oligarchic structures of some “governance 1.0/pure token weighted voting” DAOs and protects the Collective from state capture by any particular group (as I have seen in other DAOs).

My view on the first three articles of the Working Constitution:

This is a working constitution : A viable DAO governance model is a case-by-case specific matter where each project may have different needs. Not trying to lock in structures from the first go is wise, as things that work in theory may not fit with how a community evolves. Best to start flexible and then harden the governance core over the first two to three years of community governance.

OP Citizens and OP Holders will equally coexist within the Collective : The more evenly we divide power among citizens and holders, the better, in my opinion. Incenting long-term involvement here, rather than fly-by-night capital, ensures that the Collective survives not for five years but one hundred years.

The Optimism Foundation will be a steward of the Optimism Collective and its early governance model : Like the Maker Foundation, the Optimism Foundation’s role is to bootstrap and shepherd governance before gradually moving to irrelevance and dissolution. Having been deeply involved in the former, I’m happy to apply my experience in the latter.

My Web3 interests (non-Optimism related, of course)

Maker; DeFi protocols focused on bridging DeFi and TradFi like Maple Finance, Tokemak, Element, Sense Finance, Jet, Lido and Dapi, to name a few; Web 3 data analytics providers like Token Flow; TradFi-to-DeFi projects, like Oasis Pro Markets; and community operated NFT infrastructure, like Superrare.

Languages I speak and write:

I speak and write Spanish and Portuguese.

My favorite Web3 projects:

After Optimism…Maker, Superrare, Tokemak, Lido, Maple, Token Flow and Oasis.app.

Very happy to be on this voyage with you.

Brian

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Thank you for sharing your experience @BrianA & @abbey .

I am very much looking forward to seeing how Optimism progresses with the helping hand of the Foundation.

Onward & upward!

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Hello!

My name is Eva Beylin and I’m one of the Board Members of the Optimism Foundation alongside Abbey and Brian! Joining my board mates in sharing a bit of background about me and why I’m exciting to be contributing to the OP ecosystem. :red_circle::sparkles:

About me :

Currently I serve as Director of The Graph Foundation, the protocol for open data access and investing with eGirl Capital. Prior to these endeavors, I worked with MolochDAO, the Ethereum Foundation and started my crypto career at OmiseGO - where I met the initial Optimism founders. Before joining the Ethereum community I was a management consultant for banks and financial institutions.

While at OMG I had the pleasure of learning more about layer 2 scaling and working with the research and business teams that were envisioning Plasma (predecessor to roll-ups), that eventually became Plasma Group. Previously working with Ben Jones (Optimism Foundation) and Kelvin Fichter (OP Labs) has allowed me to stay close to the layer 2 vision and collaborative with the OP teams. Optimism is also an active member in The Graph ecosystem, supporting subgraphs to make it easier for devs to query data and build dapps on Optimism.

My experience with governance ranges from helping launch and grow MolochDAO, to stewarding The Graph Foundation and working with The Graph Council on all technical and community governance. Throughout, I’ve seen DAOs and governance types alike evolve governance to maintain scale. The most important element of successful governance is community empowerment. The beauty of protocols is that anyone can contribute and have their voices heard as long as they put in the effort, and I’m excited to bring this ethos to OP. I’ve also learned that decentralizing takes time, at The Graph we had a progressive decentralization path where we’ve gone from pre-network to network with hundreds of contributors, to decentralizing treasury and operations with the launch of new DAOs. This process takes time, with transparency and communication at the forefront.

My reasons for joining the Optimism Foundation board:

My mission in web3 has been to help build the critical infrastructure needed to serve the world at scale, that would sustain high pressure, trustless environments. Optimism is one of the most important protocols of our time and a significant contributor web3’s future success. In addition to working adjacent to many of the Optimism team for years, I’ve had the privilege to watch them grow as individuals, a team and a community. I’m intrinsically and extrinsically motivated by the success of this community and the opportunities Optimism creates for Ethereum. It’s an honor to be supporting Jing and Ben and the OP mission.

My view on the Optimistic Vision:

This is the age old problem right? Capitalism and public goods funding, like oil and liquid that needs to be rapidly whisked to make a mean salad dressing. Yet blockchains pose a new foundation for us to solve the main blockers to providing more public goods funding and seeing more fair capitalist outcomes. The Optimism Vision embodies our goals of balance on these permissionless systems that can be abused and can also be incredibly helpful. We are faced with the opportunity to contribute to balance-making at the global, political and socioeconomic scale by providing scaling support for web3.

My view on the first three articles of the Working Constitution:

This is a working constitution : In my opinion the next evolution of governance and DAOs is dynamic and Optimism is no different. Protocol governance should be agile and self-evolving as the community matures and protocol needs change. We’ve seen all too well in other defi and web3 ecosystems that moving too quickly or decentralizing too rapidly can have its qualms and vice versa, prioritizing centralization for efficiency gains usually doesn’t lead to the desire network effects. OP is a playground for ongoing experimentation.

OP Citizens and OP Holders will equally coexist within the Collective : I’m incredibly excited that OP is one of the first protocols to be experimenting with complex reputation systems. The concept of citizens is so innate to building open systems, states or societies with high-quality contributions are the forefront. This model also enables contributors of all kinds to have a say with varying degrees of commitment, eg. OP holder to delegate to citizen and beyond.

The Optimism Foundation will be a steward of the Optimism Collective and its early governance model : Similar to the Maker Foundation and The Graph Foundation, the Optimism Foundation will lead the bootstrapping of it’s ecosystem and growth efforts to support the various core OP developers and sustainability efforts. The process of starting up and transitioning governance to the community takes time and learning about what’s best for the protocol and community. This model ensures a progressive decentralization process.

My Web3 interests (non-Optimism related, of course)

Creating an collecting NFTs, learning about new dapps, investing and contributing to various protocols, casual degenerecy. When I’m not working full-time in web3, I’m playing full-time in web3.

Languages I speak and write:

Spanish, French, English and Russian but poorly

My favorite Web3 projects:

Zora, Gnosis Safe, Sablier, DeveloperDAO, Alchemix, Arweave

Can’t wait to see where this journey takes us, ready to pOP!

Eva

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Nice to meet you! Also thank you for your dedication to optimism!
I haven’t seen any information about the project investors on the official website of Optimism. Can you provide any information on institutions that have invested in Optimistic projects? Thanks!

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:muscle: Fantastic leadership!!

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I still hope that the project will spend a lot of money to recruit more marketing talents. A good project is not as good as a good marketing.

Great to meet you @abbey @BrianA and @eva

Thanks for the time you spent introducing yourselves and how you view your roles.
I look forward to seeing how this all progresses.

FYI, here are my own favourite sections of each of your posts.

Abbey :slightly_smiling_face:

Brian :slightly_smiling_face:

Eva :slightly_smiling_face:

Take care all!
Kind regards,
Axel

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