OIP - X1 Treasury Management

TL;DR

With OIP 0, the Orcanauts for the first time have funds (15 ETH), and need to decide what to do with these funds. This proposal details several actions to support & document decision-making for these funds during X1 from a perspective of “sense & respond”, in order to learn and improve for X2 and beyond.

Review Date & Participation

Objections are welcome, that’s how we make proposals better!

Please share objections with radical levels of candour by responding to this post ahead of the Gov-naut weekly sync on Thursday March 24th. That includes objecting to the time limit, if you believe more time should be given to consider objections.

If you don’t have objections, please click the :heart: below to indicate your consent.

My hope is to hold a brief sync conversation for those interested in participating in this initiative either immediately following the gov-naut sync on March 24th, or at another mutually convenient time soon thereafter. To be coordinated in discord.

Background

When thinking of Treasury Management most broadly, it can be divided into 4 key questions:

  1. How do funds come in?
  2. How do we allocate/distribute incoming funds across pods, treasury & contributors?
  3. How do we manage assets held in the treasury? (ie hold, invest, etc)
  4. How do we compensate contributors?

For the specific situation we find ourselves in during X1, question #1 above does not require any action for X1, and #2 and #3 can be supported with minimal actions. For more background, see the temperature check post here:

https://forum.orcanauts.community/t/x1-gov-naut-treasury-management-allocation-temp-check

Proposed Actions

Given the above, I propose to take the following actions with support from other members of gov-naut, to support & document actions & decision-making during X1 that is relevant to the above 4 questions:

  1. Briefly interview Appt_Pupil now & near the end of X1, regarding his experience and thought process with the X1 Fund Distribution Proposal and execution
  2. Create & disseminate a brief anonymous survey about the X1 Fund Distribution process, both now & near the end of X1
  3. Summarize findings and present them for discussion at the end of X1 / start of X2, for consideration for future allocation decisions
  4. Create a “1-pager” document with a series of simple prompts that support meaningful discussions on compensation in each pod. Examples:
    • How do we determine pricing for different kinds of work in our pod?
    • What are we trying to incentivize with compensation in our pod?
    • Is compensation role-based or employment-based? (ie bounties, salaries, somewhere in between)
    • Is compensation contingent or guaranteed? (no matter what or based on something)
  5. Offer to each pod to facilitate a discussion on compensation using the above 1-pager as a guide, live and/or async here in discourse (abstaining from opining unless explicitly asked)
  6. Documenting compensation processes and perspectives in each pod during X1, in order to near the end of X1:
    • briefly summarize them, and
    • propose minimum viable structure MVS and/or “recommended best practices” for X2.
  7. Propose to gov-naut the compensation for the above actions, according to the conclusions of the gov-naut X1 compensation process.

Compensation

Given that this proposal directly supports compensation, I propose (as previously stated) that the corresponding compensation be determined “a posteriori” the gov-naut compensation process, in context with the other projects and available funds.

4 Likes

That sounds like a good plan. There are always risks to both parties in compensation. I expect there to be some feelings of fairness / equity to come up around issues of money, time, effort, expertise, and value created. I hope we can navigate this with compassion for each other, and the long term success of our team in mind. I have witnessed and come to expect this level of maturity in the Orcanauts. All ahead full!

2 Likes

This looks good to me. I agree that a minimum viable structure and a mechanism for improvement is the right focus versus trying to create a robust solution, as it’s too early to determine what that might look like. We’ll also need to coordinate this with any compensation actions that come out of the governance charter and related work that Chase Chapman is facilitating.

2 Likes

Good point, thanks @Appt_Pupil!

@chase: Do you see any overlap happening with this and the gov charter / facilitation work you’re doing?

The hot topic of compensation. I know I am coming from a different perspective, so I will own that to start.

I think at this point in time, the use of the word “compensation” is a mistake. Orcanauts are a far cry from being an asset generating organization and “compensating” people based on “market” rates or perceptions of “value” brought by them I think will only lead to a lot of disagreement, and eventually wasted time.

If instead of “compensation” funds distributed were seen more as stipends to help people have more time to make their robust but essentially voluntary contributions than I think we will start off better as well as continue to attract people that are more committed to what Orca is about.

Perceptions of actual value will always be arguable, and in different markets, or different times, people will be able to receive different levels of compensation from the market. Even with formal DAOs that have significant assets, compensation conversations can be hard to have, and are often time consuming.

If we consider our current proposals more like internal to Orca grant requests, and stipends in acknowledgement of taking people’s real time and energy I think we will have a more productive conversation. I argue from “Good enough for now”, and “Safe to try,” perspective that this is a better frame of reference, than compensation, which is tied very directly to our thinking about work in a “capitalist” system predicated on hierarchy, and valuations for work that are frequently not in alignment with greater community interests, but maintaining oligarchic structures that hurt all of life, including real people in real communities daily.

3 Likes

This looks great and thank you @Appt_Pupil for flagging this!

There is no overlap between the Governance Charter and how the treasury is managed (and the Charter does not include anything about compensation).

3 Likes

I think this is a really powerful point, thank you for bringing it up, aia!

Compensation is definitely a “loaded” word, so I will do some additional thinking about how to “neutralize” the language I use in the 1-pager and facilitated conversations. It seems to me that there may be some other loaded language that could easily appear in this conversation as well, and we’ll likely be better served by avoiding these biases up front.

Now that you’ve highlighted this idea, my initial take is that even words like “grants” can carry with them baggage of power dynamics and approvals. “Stipend” comes from “soldier’s pay” and may have other associations for other people. I will find a way to design questions such that any framing and filtering implied by the wording is made explicit and optional.

4 Likes

Thanks for the education. On research I see “stipend” has in some cultural contexts the exact same meaning that I was trying to avoid with “compensation.” I am literally used to it in the context of graduate school work and/or intern work. Often with very competent people who are not being “compensated” at market rates for their value, but getting something that helps them essentially live.

I am grateful you caught my real point, and had the background to see what I missed about even using the word “stipend.”
:pray:t5::sparkling_heart::sparkles:

2 Likes