Proposal to establish a system for working groups

Hey all, GrantG here,

Today I wanted to broach the topic of community engagement, and furthering the protocol. My aim with this post is to create and standardize some kind of working group structure, or Tribe (we are one big Tribe, working together, comprised of smaller Tribes), for community members who wish to contribute to the protocol. Taking some inspiration from @arcology ‘s post here. These would be a more formalized system that should be taken very seriously by the team, and by the community. These Tribes serve several purposes, I see as core values.

  1. Enable community members to gain more autonomy & accountability.
  2. Ensure focus on high-impact work that addresses core needs and benefit the Tribe.
  3. Ensures that those contributors who make positive change are compensated
  4. Create a system for education and growth of the community.
  5. Be an ever evolving source of innovation.

They are more than just a forum post, involving dedicated channels on both the discord and discourse. Tribes would be community driven and determined. A few potential Tribes that immediately come to mind are:

  • PCV Management and Diversification

In this WG the primary goal would be to guide portions of the PCV to financial success, something to be considered here is proper staffing. A community led WG would want to have a dedicated risk management expert, finance expert… etc

  • Product integrations

An integration focused Tribe could serve the community in terms of advocacy, I.E reaching out to other projects, and championing Fei Protocol. Creating more significant use cases, and opportunities for members of the Tribe.

  • Product development

In terms of development, I envisioned this as building use cases from the ground up. For example: A product development team could seek to build an NFT platform that is integrated directly with Fei, to be used by the community at large.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that a portion of the PCV must be diversified for the longevity and safety of this project. Many users have advocated this (@eswak, @redball, @arcology, @Bruno, to name a few). Allowing community members to petition to create a funded Tribe, (done through snapshot) democratizes them, and ensures that there is adequate time for debate regarding the structure of the group to be implemented.

These Tribes would be responsible for their own success, and would be held to certain standards regarding communication and transparency. This would include hosting community calls highlighting the development of their projects, as well as delivering unto the community consistent progress reports and updates. I feel it is worth noting that Initiatives like those above, should they prove successful, could lead to further work directly with Fei Labs. Implementing a specific structure for these systems is important as well, as it standardizes them to some degree. In that vein, I propose that any petition to form a Tribe follow this outline:

First: The proposal must be discussed in depth before action is taken on it. Ensure that your idea is well thought out and discussed before submitting a proposal for the creation of a Tribe.

Second: Create a post in the discourse under the Proposals category, with the prefix [TCP] or, Tribe Creation Protocol, and answer these questions below.

  • What is the core problem(s) you want to solve? Define it.

  • What impact will this project have?

  • What does this group aim to accomplish (goals)

  • How will this task be accomplished (methodology)

  • What is the timeline for accomplishing this task?

  • What is needed to accomplish this task/project (proposed budget, use of funds)

  • Working Group Leader(s) Who manages the group?

  • How will you report your progress to the community (weekly calls, reports)?

Additionally, Include an initial poll in the proposal post for determining a base level of interest in supporting the Tribe, in conjunction with forum responsiveness.

One of my goals is to create a vibrant and diverse community for Fei Protocol, I believe this is one of the first steps needed to make that happen. In regards to community calls, I would like to volunteer to host them. Discord has built this functionality in and we should make use of it. Any feedback is appreciated, looking forward to your responses and building a great future with all of you.

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that’s a good name. smart. wish i came up with that. well regardless, here are a few of my own thoughts:

I would suggest bring some sort of requirement beyond just answering the questions. Qualifications for what defines ‘in depth’ and ‘well thought out’ I feel need to be set at some bar, even if not exactly concrete. Perhaps having N number of concrete realizable goals, some sort of shown community interest, etc. Especially with funding being tied to Tribes, it’s incredibly easy to imagine low-effort TCP’s being spun up just at a chance to grab some cash.

Additionally, I would say on the topic of commutation and transparency, something like a weekly/biweekly progress report which includes updates from all Tribes along with any needs they might have, so those looking to help with the protocol have an easy place to start and find a place to apply themselves.

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I like both the idea, the format, & the “branding” :slight_smile:

It seems mandatory to me that these groups coordinate with Fei Labs. They raised millions so they’ll probably hire a lot of people. Coordination is required to avoid duplicate work & stay relevant.

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Really like the idea of these work groups. It will be so exciting to see the different teams go out on their missions and report back.

Got some ideas for groups as well, I’ll brainstorm some with @DioDionysos and update later.

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Great idea, Grant.

This point makes me think that there needs to be a high levels of trust. If the core team is willing to fund a group, they should definitely be veteran community members or established people in the crypto scene. Just my 0.02 FEI.

This will be one of the most important aspects, but it could be difficult to track. Groups will have to come up with ways to present it properly.

I hope I will be able to contribute in some way. :wink:

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Great initiative, Grant!

Tribes with autonomy and agility to go deep in some subjects, analyze alternatives and bring proposals to community decision, will be key to advance FEI Protocol.

I see these working groups as way to empower community members and incentivize their long term engagement with FEI Protocol. I think we could begin with very few working groups to test the concept and then iterate based on the results. I am drafting a proposal for PCV Diversification Tribe with other community members and will share soon.

This is an important topic, I totally agree. We need evidences to trust the tribes member, either for participation in community or outside remarkable experience. Just adding one more point, we could also think about DAO funding the working groups not just FEI labs, as this would be more decentralized and sustainable for the long term. I am not sure what would be the best option here for this beginning.

In relation to working group members remuneration, I think we need to use crypto market references, but have in mind that to attract the best minds for our community, we need to be considered as a place that talents are well compensated.

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Trust would help to get the grant accepted, but if there are weekly interactions on the forum & monthly community calls, we’ll see if a team does not deliver. Grant could be awarded on a timelocked contract with an option for governor (the DAO) to take back part of (or the whole) award, if trust is not high enough or the amount is large etc.

Another advantage of going through the DAO is that the protocol could mint FEI for the grant awardees, if they are denominated in $. I believe the TRIBE token has a lot of room for growth so perhaps the DAO would like to “pay with % collateral” instead of “eroding the TRIBE treasury”.

People willing to apply for grants & spend time to improve the protocol would probably want some exposure to TRIBE though (that would be my case), & I think vested TRIBE is a good way to retain active community members in the long run, so the allocation between minted FEI & vested TRIBE could be left to the appreciation of the grantees.

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Hi Grant, Tribe,

Thank you for the detailed proposal for establishing these groups. I think that the core concepts are sound but the creation process of the working group and the ongoing operational aspects of this must be more clearly defined. I personally favour the ‘template’ from Index Coop because their operational metrics are well-defined. Using this as a starting point, here are some guidelines to get started, all working group proposals should answer the below questions:

Working Group Creation

  • Needs to have support and agreement consensus between a group of people (so one person cannot run a group by themselves). This is to ensure agreement between multiple people and allows for continuity in case someone drops out.
  • The working group proposal should be peer-reviewed by someone before proposed on Discourse. Perhaps a member of the core team or one of the mods?
  • A poll should be provided as a temperature check on whether the working group will gain traction amongst the wider community.

Viability/Motivation (Why it needs to be created)

  • An explanation of the current situation
  • What are the problems that needs to be solved?
  • Why are we solving this?
  • What makes addressing this problem timely? (In other words, why solve this now?)

Operations Methodology & Timeline

  • What are the WG’s activities?
  • How is this achieved?
  • How long does the WG intend to exist for? Is it time-limited or does this need continual upkeep?
  • What is the impact of the WG’s activities?
  • What are the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of this WG?
  • What are the desired outcomes of the WG’s activities?
  • How does the WG wind down and perhaps integrate into the core operations of the Protocol or absorbed by other WG’s, if applicable?

Funding

  • Proposed Budget
  • Who will be in charge of the funds? (Most likely implemented via multisig)
  • Any contingency for when funds run out? (We will want to avoid this situation)

Organizational Structure

  • Who is the group lead?
  • Who are the members, and what are their roles and responsibilities?
  • How can the group and team members ensure their commitment for the betterment of the protocol?
  • How can the community make an informed choice that the WG’s members are committed and competent? (There may be Snapshot/DAO votes on the selection and confirmation of these members. There may be grants to incentivise that their performance will be rightly rewarded)

Community Interfacing

  • How will the WG communicate with the core team and the wider community? What this be via weekly/bi-weekly health checks or status reports?
  • Will there a be a dedicated Discord channel or Discourse sub-category/forum set up for this?
  • How can the WG learn from other groups/core team/wider community and vice versa to channel synergies?

Here is an example of a recent post/proposal on Index Coop for the formation of a working group:

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Certainly, the direction we should be going, but I don’t like some red tape beginnings here. For example, this weekly calls, reports idea. Things get done at different paces. Results should be reported, when there is stuff to report. On the other hand, there could be some contract with conditional vesting: funds get unlocked once DAO votes to accept the product or some mid-way result.

And certainly, there should be freedom as per token of payment: a contractor should have full freedom to choose Fei, Tribe or both in some proportion. Maybe even some commitment to long-term vesting should be rewarded: like X Tribe now or X + X*0.1/month vested.

While I agree with you that we are merely in the beginning so that we may not have weekly calls and reports. But, the idea of reporting is so that we allow a degree of transparency and that there is a sense of progression in the project (if any). The community can then feedback to say that whether the group and its proposals are working as intended.
The reporting schedule can be rather flexible, but take the past few weeks, for example. Unfortunately there was a lot of criticism directed to the core team because they were (perceived to be) missing. We want to avoid that and give confidence to the community that something is being done.

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No, I disagree. This questionnaire is a disaster. Working group creation should be as easy as possible.

Working group created != money paid. Everybody works on whatever they deem necessary with some support from the community. Once DAO accepts some results, funds are paid. Plus, all this thought-out reasoning will change many times in the process of work, as it always happens.

For instance:

How will the WG communicate with the core team and the wider community?

The best viable way! What kind of question is that? This is pure red tape! Forget permissionless innovation. YC has a much shorter form, and they’ve come a long way from their humble beginnings.

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Guys, create a working group to make a first draft of how to manage working groups & establish a first set of rules / discourse template :stuck_out_tongue:

Meanwhile if some people want to apply for grants, it’s ok if the format is not 100% polished, we want to get things moving & get some code deployed anyway.

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I think we agree to disagree here. But I respect your opinions, so thank you for the conversation.

I’m open to any method to get things going, so I think we are on the same page.

There is no right or wrong way to start and run working groups, but my personal opinion and approach is something more structured, it will be easier to follow some type of protocol on the long run.

Also, simply by virtue of our conversation, there are differing opinions on how things can be done. So my question on ‘how will the WG communicate’ is valid. Some might opt for a simple Discourse post. Some might prefer discussion on Discord or other methods.

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Given how overloaded the core team is, I think everyone can agree that working groups are inevitably needed going forward.

With regards on how formal/regimented these working groups are; I think because of the DAO sponsored compensation, it is not wrong to demand of the contributors to adhere to some sort of strict reporting and accountability rules.

Though I would propose for a monitoring grace period for each new working group; that is to allow some days/weeks to brainstorm informally and get to know each other while building rapport first. After an initial starting period, with potentially some adjustment in membership, the working groups then should move on to a more regimented format.

I do believe a stricter reporting and monitoring is needed, if nothing else to allow the core team to easily understand the progress of every working group at a glance.

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An alternative proposal: anybody can work on whatever they deem necessary/interesting with no permission, at any pace and unite efforts in any form with other community members, or maybe works alone.

THEN AFTER

they have some viable (maybe, 1st stage, interim) result (code, blue paper, text, MVP, whatever), they present this result here, on the forum, and upon discussion a certain procedure (snapshot vote) is started for rewarding this result and stimulating further progress with conditionally vested reward. Let’s better design this procedure.

DAO can publish certain requests for R&D.

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Hi, thanks for this proposal @GrantG .

I love this idea, I think it is great to put this out now, as the answers are already exhibiting the need for it, and the challenges to have something like that going, and more importantly, lasting.

I agree on most points already highlighted by others, I just want to emphasize one point of your proposition that I see as essential/pivotal.

As it seems to me also a way to foster a strong community, your 4. is gold. From my little experience, I see the education and work on lowering the entry threshold, without lowering the final output of the tribes work, as one of the challenges that is mostly either ignored, or rarely achieved in the communities around projects.

I think working to enable new comers to catch up with the first wave of people involved would allow an organic growth of this community, and ultimately of the FEI adoptions, and overall diverse successes.

I saw too many projects put high expectations and eventually make any new comer someone who cannot be valuable to this project, and feeling overwhelmed or not even deemed to have a thought of his own and put it out there - you can see that in a lot of open source projects already.
The people coming in after the start of those projects are actually people who put a lot more efforts than the initial contributors had to ever put in it - they learned along the way, then they have, intentionally or not, a power position.
And it can “work” sometimes, but often by forgetting the number of motivated people who could have successfully contributed just by fostering a more welcoming mindset, still oriented to get the best output out of the work/contribution.

And you nailed it imo, it’s about producing educational content, but likely has to be extended so it turns in a p2p relationship faster, instead of insidiously becoming some sort of elitist/oligarchic power structure.

I am not saying 2 things (that I might not make clear): 1/ I am not diminishing the initial contributor’s work, not mentioning the risks, and the vision on which they bought first (somehting like the Constitution); 2/ educational content production, the overall feedback of the community on the work of those tribes, and possibly some positions comparable to an observer/trainee in the tribes, can assure that new comers have a space to contribute to the protocol and are not left on the sidelines, without diminishing the expectations on the quality of the output.

Hope i’m clear.

For all the governance details, I agree with @Eswak on the (only seemingly) redundant work of a tribe drawing the lines/processing it a bit so at least some incentives and consensus can be designed/formed right now (and I understand @pavel 's vantage, I just think there might be 2 different types of active contributions, one, spontaneous, that would work on a “I do and propose to the community and the team”, if they like it, an amount locked is then distributed, and another working on acknowledged priorities, where transparency along the process is paramount and delivery time-sensitive, hence some form of reporting - better separate those forms of contributions might be better, up to the tribe tasked to make a first draft of the governance required).

This first tribe should certainly be made of people like the ones in this thread (me not included, I’m there once in a while and that’s fine) and who has proven to be able to discuss and “to agree to disagree”, have proven repeatedly so far their commitment by their contributions on Discord and in this forum - I remember @GrantG mentioning he identified people already, and I think the quality of some of the contributions is obvious to those who have paid attention.

That would be a great start. I like where this is going, I hope it will gain some traction, even if not immediately.

Thanks all! A pleasure again to read everyone and learn from all of you!

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Hey @arcology !

I actually took a lot of inspiration from Index’s system. They have it down pat as far as contribution structure goes, and I feel implementing a similar structure to theirs is good.

Yes. Totally agree, in terms of formatting, I would almost expect this to be a whitepaper-esque. With a high level of analytical detail going into the proposal; expected outcomes, contingencies, etc.

In terms of funding, I suppose the main goal is for a Tribe to have a proper expectation of the cost prior, and complete their project within that assigned budget, being able to petition the community for additional funding though is something we must consider a structure for.

As @pavel pointed out, requiring weekly calls or reports when nothing has necessarily been accomplished is non productive, but I feel the point is that if the community is funding them, they deserve weekly updates. If a team requests 100k to accomplish a goal, goes radio silent for a while, then reports back that nothing has been done… I am still in favor of regularly scheduled reports in the form of Discord/Discourse updates. If these are pre funded projects, the team and community deserves a level of communication regarding the project.

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You have a point, no better way to learn than do just do it.

If anyone is down to start talking about a topic they’d like to work on, I’m all game on teaming up and seeing what sort of structure we come up with as we go along with our task. feel free to reply or hit me up on discord, i’m elee there.

I’ve been working on my solidity, and have been sorta looking for an excuse to start working on something beyond examples haha

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This is essentially what a working group is. People should go into the proposal to create stage with a highly detailed plan on what they want to accomplish and how.

I want to raise another important here: election and membership in these working groups.

We need to come up with an equitable method of electing a diverse set of people who can bring their skills and outlook to each and every working group, while avoiding making these groups unwieldy large and bloated.

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