Season 4 Preview

Hi everyone! We’re taking a well deserved week long break after an action packed Season 3. In the meantime, we wanted to share a preview of what we’ve been working on before posting full details to the forum next Thursday, April 13th.

Season 4 Goals

  • Align the entire Collective (including the Optimism Foundation, OP Labs, and the DAO) around a shared strategy, via Collective Intents
  • Introduce the key building blocks of the Collective and bridge the Token House with the Citizens’ House
  • Use the Governance Fund to support a broader range of work and to bootstrap a profitable market for RetroPGF
    • Train investors to provide upfront capital with the expectation of receiving RetroPGF in the future
    • Provide contributors with upfront funding for a certain scope of work while we gradually increase the cadence of RetroPGF
  • Finally, Season 4 experiments have been designed very intentionally to avoid the challenges that commonly arise out of a fixed working group structure. These structures usually resemble persistent business units that are individually funded for an indefinite period of time. Individual budgets are allocated out of an unscoped treasury and consolidate into an overall budget that is unsustainable and tends to overfund non-core work and underfund strategic work (see slide 8.)

Season 3 Renewals

First things first. There are several experiments that ran in Season 3 and need to be re-evaluated if they are going to continue for another Season.

  • The Protocol Delegation Program: Delegates will vote to approve the final season of this program which enables the Foundation to delegate to active protocols in the Optimism ecosystem
  • The Grants Council: The process of renewing the Grants Council will tie into the Season 4 experiments outlined below and will allow delegates to vote to approve a budget for the Grants Council (or not).

Among any other feedback, we’d appreciate feedback on Code of Conduct enforcement and how the Foundation can phase itself out of the process while minimizing governance overhead.

Finally, delegates will receive retroactive rewards for their valuable contributions during Season 3. More details to follow.

Season 4 Experiments

In addition to re-evaluating the experiments run in Season 3, there are several additional experiments we’d like to run in Season 4. As always, the below initiatives will be run as experiments. If continued for future Seasons, Intent Budgeting and Proposed Missions will occur at a frequency which aligns with RetroPGF rounds. Full details will be provided on April 13th.

Season 4 introduces the key foundational concepts upon which the Collective will be built.

  • Intents are directional goals that allow the Collective to align and focus. All work supported or executed by the Collective should be in pursuit of our Collective Intents. You can think of an Intent as a near term target. Each Intent will be equipped with its own budget from the Governance Fund for Season 4.

    • Example Intent: “Decentralize the Core Protocol”
    • What does this mean for the Token House? Intents will be set by the Foundation initially. Future Intents will incorporate more and more input from the community, until these Intents are set collectively. The Token House will vote to approve budgets for each Intent in Season 4.
    • How does this relate to Citizens’ House? Over time, Intents and RetroPGF Scope become one and the same.
  • Token House Missions are proposals for specific initiatives that achieve an Intent. You can think of a Mission as an arrow aiming at the target (Intent). Just as there are many paths an arrow might take on its way to the target, there are many different Missions that might accomplish an Intent. Missions are specific initiatives that can be completed start-to-finish in a given timeframe. Missions expand the scope of funding from the Governance Fund to support a broader range of initiatives aligned with our Intents.

    • Example Mission:

      • “Ship Bedrock to Mainnet” NOT “Fund developers for 12 months”
    • What does this mean for the Token House?

      • There are two types of Missions:
        • Proposed Missions must be submitted under an Intent. The Token House will rank order Proposed Missions until the budget for each Intent is fully allocated. This creates a prioritization mechanism for initiatives aligned with Intents.
        • Alliances can also accept Foundation Missions, which must also be published under an Intent. Foundation Missions essentially open source the Partner Fund process and are akin to public Requests for Proposals in which the Foundation selects the winning proposal. The Token House will not vote on Foundation Missions but will have visibility into all RFP applications.
    • How does this relate to the Citizens’ House? Missions will also be assessed for RetroPGF and are strong candidates if their impact exceeds the original grant amount. Over time, the proportion of grant funding relative to RetroPGF received should shift more towards RetroPGF.
      This combination of funding mechanisms also enables the Governance Fund to teach contributors and investors that there is a reliable and investable market for RetroPGF.

    Missions are subject to the standard OP token lock requirements but will be eligible for upfront USDC funding via:

    • Automatic grant matching vaults that enable anyone to match grants made by the Token House. This will be powered by a custom grant-matching vault built by Syndicate.
    • Other in progress funding mechanisms, which may include investors that agree to invest upfront capital in exchange for a portion of future RetroPGF rewards (rather than equity).
  • Missions will be executed by Alliances, or groups of contributors that temporarily work together to accomplish a Mission start-to-finish. Alliances can be informal groups of Optimism contributors or well-established external parties. Alliances can execute Proposed Missions or apply to accept Foundation Missions.

  • Alliances submit proposals based on Collective Trust Tiers, the very first step towards a robust reputation system based on positive impact within the ecosystem. These Trust Tiers may be used to evaluate work executed or supported across the Collective.

    • What does this mean for Token House? Missions will be submitted based on Trust Tier.
    • How does this relate to Citizens’ House? Attestations will be given to several parties providing valuable contributions in Season 4, enabling Trust Tiers to become attestation-based Trust Scores in the future.

Season 4 is ambitious as it introduces many of the foundational concepts behind the Optimistic Vision. Collective Intents are the first step towards aligning the Token House and Citizens’ House in pursuit of shared strategic goals. Missions enable the Token House to support work aligned with these Intents and to start bootstrapping a profitable market for RetroPGF. Collective Trust Tiers hint at a future in which one’s positive impact in the ecosystem creates additional opportunity.

In designing Season 4 experiments, we’ve drawn inspiration from governance experiments run at several other DAOs - including Gitcoin, ENS, and CabinDAO. As tribute, these DAOs will be nominated in the next round of RetroPGF :red_circle: :sparkles:

We couldn’t be more excited for Season 4 and are looking forward to your feedback in the upcoming Reflection Period. Enjoy your week off and rest up!


Tentative schedule

  • April 6th - April 12th: Week off to rest! We’ve published this preview to give you an idea of what to expect, but please take the week off to recharge
  • April 13th - April 26th: Reflection Period (2 weeks)
  • April 27th - May 10th: Special Voting Cycle #12a (2 weeks) *Contingent on Special Voting Cycle #12a
  • May 11th - May 17th: Grants Council Reviewer self-nominations (1 week)
  • May 18th - May 24th: Special Voting Cycle #12b (1 week)
  • May 25th - May 31st: Grants Council grace period to publish/update internal operating procedures*
  • June 1st: Season 4 starts with Voting Cycle #13 and continues through Voting Cycle #15, ending on September 13th

Very interesting new way of thinking and acting ! Curious to see how it will work.

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