Getting to Know the Ombuds Office | BanklessDAO Weekly Rollup
Catch Up With What Happened This Week in BanklessDAO
Dear Bankless Nation 🏴,
We are diving deeper into Season 6 with some bullish bDAO updates and new initiatives. Funding for this season has now been distributed to guilds, departments, and projects so get ready to build! There is no time like the present to collaborate, co-create, and communicate with each other as we continue to meet downright bizarre external conditions with a positive attitude.
It’s also time to Coordinape; the allocation period for Season 5’s final round is now open and it’s an opportunity to spread that positivity to members throughout the DAO who you feel deserve reward and recognition for their contribution. Sure, GIVE is great, but have you ever read an appreciation note from a fellow contributor? 😉
Earlier this week, Bankless Consulting launched the aptly titled Bankless Consulting Newsletter and the team is in the process of building an onboarding system on the Catapult platform. Speaking of building, the team working on the Mad Hatter Announcement System is currently looking for community feedback via this Forum post about the best approach for collecting updates.
You may have blinked and missed the first one, but Bankless HQ has launched a new product in collaboration with Sound.xyz — collectible podcasts — tokenizing the most iconic and popular podcasts for five weeks starting November 18. Each episode will be available for the first 100 mints, with the first 50 available early to bDAO members at a discount.
Regardless of what you’re working on as part of BanklessDAO, you can be sure the community appreciates your efforts. This is a busy, thriving, sometimes chaotic-feeling DAO but we always place a high value on recognition and attribution — so congratulations must go to our latest L2 nominees: Oluwasijibomi, MantisClone, and LordRanchoatos!
Getting To Know the Ombuds Office
Positive communication is key in any organization, including those that are decentralized. In the DAO space, where some folks battle with insecurity carried over from IRL jobs or personal experience, a difference of opinions could be interpreted as disrespect, which then results in conflict.
A common issue with asynchronous and text-based communication is that suggestions can be mistaken for being demeaning and a person’s manner of texting may be deemed hostile because basic non-verbal cues such as tone and body language are missing. This means there is always the possibility for individuals to lose their calm. When situations like these come up, a team designated to help resolve conflicts is always welcome.
Occasionally, we have seen matters such as these arise at BanklessDAO, and this served as the basis for the introduction of the Ombuds. The Ombuds, short for Ombudsmen, is a team of five people responsible for facilitating conflict resolution across bDAO. They are a team that is always ready to listen and help resolve members’ complaints and concerns without pointing fingers. The Ombuds office is a very important one in the DAO, and I’d like to tell you more about it.
It all started with a proposal on the Forum titled The Bankless DAO Ombuds: A confidential, informal, and off-chain dispute resolution mechanism that supports our social layer. This proposal was posted by Eagle, Larry_With_An_L, and thegoodnunes.eth in July 2021. There wasn’t much structure back then; the DAO was even still deciding how long a season would last. It was all new for everyone, but progress meant steps needed to be taken for the greater benefit of the DAO, its members, and contributors.
Creating a safe space for folks to participate was top priority, and setting up the Ombuds office ensured that the DAO would have a group of people always ready to listen to whatever problem or complaint members might have. The proposal was met with open arms, with 93% of voters in favor. There were some queries raised about the term limit and the stipulation that the office must remain independent from the Genesis Squad members and the Grants Committee. All of these questions were addressed in detail by Eagle in that initial proposal.
In December 2021, a follow-up proposal was posted on the Forum by the Ombuds office administrator, Katarina. This proposal looked to properly define the budget structure after a full season had been used to pilot the program. This also passed, and the payment structure is still followed to this day.
It would be disrespectful and outright wrong of me to introduce the current team without first showing gratitude to the Ombuds genesis squad members. Katarina, Marvel, Eagle, Rotorless, and Delgadoge really put in the work to create this office. Getting something this crucial and necessary started takes a lot of effort and commitment. It feels so good to know that, although we all have challenges of our own, there are still people who value and cherish the mental welfare of others. They made contributors feel safe, set subsequent team members on the right track to keep up the good work, and still serve as an inspiration to us.
With a year in the Ombuds office quickly approaching, Katarina established a Forum proposal to begin the election process for new team members as well as gauge the existing team's availability to continue in the position. Delgadoge decided to rerun, with the rest of the Genesis team choosing not to. This opened up four seats.
It is at this point that I will now formally thank Katarina and Og. They were the ones who gave me the courage to step up for this role. They might not know, but it was after reading Katarina’s candidacy from August 2021 and Og’s candidacy from July 2022 that I mustered the courage to raise my hand. I know Eagle stated in the Selection of members proposal that it is not necessary to have a legal background, but when you see the genesis squad members having 10, 15 years of experience as attorneys, you begin to wonder if you can truly apply without being a lawyer. Well, I thank Katarina and Og for not being lawyers and am glad I submitted my candidacy. Later in July the remaining four seats were then filled by Jawna, Og, Paulito, and me. Jawna picked up the mantle as Office administrator, setting up meetings, taking meeting notes, and all of the admin tasks, and the rest of the team settled in to learn about the Ombuds role. On September 1 2022, the new team took over and will be in office for one year.
I remember staring at Marvel’s lawn-green colored tag when I first joined the DAO. The tag looked so unique, it piqued my interest. I clicked on his PFP to see his profile and then saw the term “ombudsman." I found my way to the ombuds-start-here channel and familiarized myself with the work being done by the team. I was so happy this was happening. A few weeks later, I noticed a conflict brewing in one of bDAO's channels. The back-and-forth was getting out of hand, and things were becoming extremely heated. Still observing, I began to wonder if the Ombuds weren't seeing this situation and why they weren't responding. I was confused. When things finally settled without the intervention of the Ombuds, I became livid. "Why was there no reaction from the Ombuds?" "Is this not what they are here for?" I continued asking myself these questions.
Fast forward to my first week as an Ombudsman, and it all became clear. It all made sense.
Communication in this DAO space is everything. It's crazy how someone can mean one thing and it is translated as something else or say another thing but with destructive use of words. — WinVerse
This was what I came to realize after just a week in the office. Trying to settle disputes via text can be misinterpreted. You may be perceived as siding with one party at the expense of the other, or you may be completely misunderstood. It is for this reason that the Ombuds have a clearly defined process for how we approach cases. This is what it looks like:
Reaching out: This is the first step to getting your issues resolved with the help of the Ombuds. It is important for anyone seeking the Ombuds office to reach out in the ombuds-general channel. This will get things started and it helps the team understand the situation more quickly and therefore act faster. If you prefer to raise an issue without DAO-wide visibility, the Ombuds have an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can always reach out to any of the team members via DM.
Opening a case: After receiving a request, the Ombuds office starts a dialogue and opens a case for the party involved. We create a group DM, where we begin the intake process. This is a private chat with the five Ombuds team members where you are required to formally tell us your concern or issue. This helps with record keeping and ultimately helps us track the progress of the case.
Intake call: After giving us a quick rundown of what occurred, we send a lettucemeet poll for the best time to have a one-on-one call with the Ombuds. This is done to ensure we have a better understanding of your concerns. We also use this time to ask any questions we might have. It is paramount you are in the best position to speak calmly and openly so we try to keep you comfortable all the way through this process by taking things slowly and not bombarding you with many questions at a time.
Seeking permission to reach out: Towards the end of the intake call, we seek permission to reach out to the opposing party and any other involved parties. This is done to have a different outlook on things, as seeking different views on a topic helps us to gain complete understanding of the situation. Upon getting permission, we reach out and repeat the cycle all the way to the intake call.
Brainstorming/dialogue between Ombuds: After getting all the pieces together we have a call to brainstorm on the case and see the best way we can resolve the situation. We have a private group chat for Ombuds, so this is done there.
Final call: This is done with all the parties present. A call is held to bring the case to a close. We bring all our findings in the call and attempt to find common ground for both parties. When this is done, we call the case officially closed.
As with everyone across the DAO, finding suitable time zones to meet can be difficult. This has been the major challenge within the Ombuds, even with the previous team. Getting a time for at least two members to be present for an intake call might seem easy, but it doesn't usually happen. Designing a solution to this is one of our major goals this season, as delayed conversations tend to leave the case worse than its initial state.
The End Goal
The goal of the Ombuds Office has always been to create a safe space for DAO members and contributors to talk through their problems.
DAO life means we get to wake up and play. We get to experiment, try out new ideas, and form teams around a collective mission. We also get to laugh loudly and share proudly. And as we chase the land where the sun sets, we encounter people to tell about the adventures we've had, and the promise of more. We make a compelling argument for them to join us and help build a future of autonomy, freedom, and positive community vibes. — The DAO Culture
We strive to maintain the DAO culture by keeping the positive vibes alive. To quote some feedback about the Ombuds service:
My initial response to being invited to my first meeting with Ombuds was some shock and some anxiety, but I soon realized Ombuds is here to help find solutions, not to chastise or punish. My second meeting solidified that realization. Please keep up the work you do, as it is vital to the success of BanklessDAO.
The Ombudsman service is very important in the Bankless DAO, they give everyone opportunities to explain their side of the story and judge accordingly. Personally, I would have been out of BanklessDAO if not for the time the Ombudsman made for me to explain myself.
This is what we are all about. This is what we want to keep doing for the DAO. This is who we are!
🗓 Weekly Recap
🎥 New bDAO YouTube Series: Engage
Join bDAO veterans NF Thinker and jarisjames as they launch a new series titled Engage. The series will feature interviews with the founders and contributors of some of web3s most famous projects. In the first episode, the hosts chat with the founders of one of the leading projects for liquid staking derivates, Rocket Pool.
🎙️ Fight Club Founder AMA
Each month, Fight Club highlights a project that is making waves in the web3 space. This month, there’s an interview with Chris Gale, co-founder of NFT marketplace Few and Far which is built on Near Protocol. Few and Far is a community-first DeFi NFT market that rewards users for participation.
🤔 What the Devil Are Moloch DAOs?
🔔 Push It Real Good
DAOlationships has a new demo presentation from Push.org happening on Wednesday, November 21 at 19:30 UTC in the Discord watercooler voice channel. Push Protocol, formerly known as Ethereum Push Notification Service (EPNS), is a web3 communication network, enabling cross-chain notifications and messaging for dApps, wallets, and services. To set a reminder, RSVP to the event.
Index Coop recently passed a proposal to deprecate nine Index Coop products, including the Bankless DeFi Innovation Index (GMI). Until November 27, 2022, token holders with smaller positions can utilize a decentralized exchange (DEX) to perform a swap.
On November 27, Phase 2 of deprecation begins, whereby the underlying tokens of each product will be rebalanced into a single asset; in the case of GMI this will be to USDC. For further details, please read the Index Coop Forum post or reach out in the Index Coop Discord for assistance.
🎙 BanklessDAO Podcasts
💻 Participate in Europe’s Biggest Crypto Hackathon
HackOnChain, Europe’s biggest crypto conference, will be hosting developers in Berlin on November 23 and 24 to test their hacking and coding skills. The best projects arising from this hackathon, both online and onsite, will share a prize pool of $30,000 and NFTs. BanklessDAO is a hackathon media partner and the team will cover the event and showcase interesting talks and projects from the event.
If you want to test your coding skills or meet fellow BanklessDAO members, do participate in the hackathon! Members receive a 10% discount on the ticket price. Book your tickets here!
✍🏻 Level Up Your Writing Skills
The Writers Guild has just launched its third Writers Cohort. The aim of this cohort is to help you develop a writing habit, grow your online presence, and find the confidence to hit publish. Participants will publish a 1,000 word post every week for 4 weeks. It’s not too late to join!
Did you miss the first mint of the HQ collectibles? Whether you were lucky enough to mint one of the 100 limited edition NFTs or not, your feedback is welcome. 0xLucas will be hosting a roundtable on Monday, November 21 at 16:00 UTC in the Community Calls channel.
This will be an opportunity to discuss collectibles and more broadly, how HQ and the DAO can work more closely together and align on direction!
Coordinape is a platform that enables peers in the DAO to reward each other for their contributions in the previous month. But, how does it work? And how can you be a part of it? If you would love to get answers, join Warrior on Thursday, November 24 at 14:00 UTC in the watercooler voice channel as he takes you through the basics of Coordinape. To set a reminder, RSVP to the event.
Have you been wondering what HODL and Staking mean in web3? Would you love to learn how you can hodl and stake your cryptocurrencies? If yes, then this session is for you. Join Aloy on Wednesday, November 23 at 14:00 UTC in the watercooler voice channel as he takes you on a learning journey into the DeFi world. To set a reminder, RSVP to the event.
Gnosis Safe is a smart contract wallet running on Ethereum which requires a minimum number of pre-designated people to approve a transaction before it can proceed. If you’d like to learn more, join Ernest_of_Gaia on Tuesday, November 22 at 14:00 UTC in the watercooler voice channel for a session on how to use Safe. To set a reminder, RSVP to the event.
Cross-DAO relationships involve client management, partnership creation, and ongoing maintenance. This educational session is one of its kind. If you wish to learn, understand, and get involved with DAOlationships, then this is a great opportunity for you. Join anointingthompson1.eth on Tuesday, November 22 at 14:00 UTC in the DAOlationships voice channel. To set a reminder, RSVP to the event.
Grants Committee Update
The Grants Committee (GC) started its work with the first meeting on November 8, 2022. Two members — Jengajojo and p8ul.eth — are entering their second season as GC members and five members joined the Grants Committee this season: Bananachain, Senad.eth, Sprinklesforwinners, Tesa_fc, and thinkDecade.
Going forward the Grants Committee will be meeting twice a week:
Monday at 19:00 UTC for the Weekly Grants Committee Meeting.
Tuesday at 18:00 UTC for the Weekly Grants Committee Strategy Meeting.
Grants Committee Lead Election
The Grants Committee unanimously elected Sprinklesforwinners and p8ul.eth as the two Season 6 Grants Committee Leads.
Podcast Hatchery Funding Disbursement
Podcast Hatchery requested its Season 6 budget to be disbursed with a single payment as it accounts for their half-season budget.
The motion passed with 5 yes / 1 no / 0 abstain.
Bankless Labs aims to produce the highest quality research content in web3 that helps customers to cut through the noise and make smart decisions.
Funding: 780,000 BANK.
The motion passed with 3 yes / 1 no / 2 abstain.
This proposal aims to compensate MantisClone for 40 hours of unpaid work for updating the BanklessDAO Snapshot strategy.
Funding: 40,000 BANK.
The motion passed with 6 yes / 0 no / 0 abstain.
After changing up the funding process for Season 6, some growing pains have appeared. Although almost all seasonal funding was approved last week, a few items were missed. Funding for both the Grants Committee and Coordinape previously would have been included in the Seasonal Specification but should have been included in this season’s Funding Request.
Voting on the proposal ends on Tuesday, November 22 at 05:00 UTC. In addition to the 12,202,000 total BANK for the usually expected items, there is 1,700 USDC included to pay for bDAO’s digital asset repository provided by Dash.
Following last week’s discussion in the Forum bDIP-01 has been added to Snapshot for the DAO’s vote of approval, closing November 24 at 23:00 UTC. This is a small patch to our Constitution, making some corrections to the Grant Proposal process.
Proposals in Discussion
In the last couple weeks many of us experienced the bi-annual ritual of setting our clocks back an hour for daylight-saving time. This routinely causes scheduling conflicts and general confusion across the DAO, not only because not every country recognizes this practice but also because the countries that do don’t all make the change at the same time. To eliminate the problem, our third bDIP proposal, authored by chunz (a.k.a Rowan#3669), has been posted to the Forum.
This proposal suggests the following text be added to our Constitution:
BanklessDAO coordinates around Universal Coordinated Time (UTC). Wherever possible, meeting and event times are expressed in this time zone.
By using UTC we will have a shared standard frame of reference that remains the same year round, leaving it up to each individual to know the equivalent time at their own location. The sesh bot has a handy tool in the calendar that will do this translation for you so you’re never late for a meeting.
Following up from a previous Forum thread, the discussion continues surrounding a pilot implementation of Otterspace. By implementing Otterspace’s non-transferable NFTs for Level 1 and Level 2, it will allow the DAO to off-board dormant L2 members who have dipped below 35K BANK, in addition to other automated role functions.
This proposal comes at no additional cost to the DAO and would integrate with existing Ops Guild and bDAO Cartography work streams.
Last season the team behind the Web3 Professionals podcast received a 52,000 BANK internal grant from the AV Guild to produce the first five episodes as a way to explore the idea and test out the format of the project. This is a video production podcast to be hosted on the BanklessDAO YouTube channel with the purpose of shining a spotlight on the founders and professionals working in the the web3 space. This proposal is asking for 310,000 BANK to fund five more interview episodes.
Following the SAFE token airdrop distributed to all Gnosis Safe contracts, the DAOStewards working group was established with the purpose of voting on Safe DAO proposals. In the process of setting the scope of this new working group it quickly became apparent that there were some ‘loose ends’ regarding bDAO’s governance structure.
DAOStewards is a proposal aimed at formalizing bDAO’s governance in two work streams: BanklessDAO Governance and Governing DAOspace. The former is aimed internally, the latter aimed externally, and the proposal asks for a total of 300,000 BANK to fund the initiative.
✅ Action Items
🗳️ Vote: Head over to Snapshot and vote on the final round of funding for the start of S6.
✍️ Share: Bring your thoughts and feedback to this week’s Forum proposals.
🦍 GIVE: Coordinape GIVE allocation is live from November 18 at 15:00 UTC until November 23 at 15:00 UTC.
🏃♀️ Catch up: Review this week's Community Call by listening to the recording.
🤣 Meme of the Week