Community Oversight Member Elections: Meet the Candidates

Update 09/05: Uploaded Proposal Text here.

GM Cosmos Community,

We are thrilled to finally be able to convey some exciting updates from our Community Elected Oversight member initiative.

Since the process began in early February, we have received many applications. Unfortunately, to not burden Cosmos Hub governance with a barrage of on-chain votes, we had the unfortunate job of cutting down the list of applicants to 3 finalists who will be presented to the community.

After conducting an internal election in which every AADAO contributor voted on their preferred ranking, we are happy to present the 3 candidates who are in contention to become Community Elected Oversight members.

Meet the applicants

  • Matt Brown: Strong background in Crypto and Cosmos with a strong accounting background (CPA certified) which will aid the Financial Controller with money flow. No affiliations with anything within Cosmos so brings a neutral perspective to the Oversight.

  • Clyde Carver: Cosmos OG with a great understanding of the ecosystem and Community, thanks to his role as DevOps Architect at SG-1. Brings a credible yet neutral voice to the Oversight.

  • Grace (Cosmos Nanny): Cosmos OG with a great understanding of the Community, thanks to her previous role as Head of Growth & Strategy at All in Bits. Brings a strong voice to the Oversight.

In the replies below you will find each candidate’s Pitch to the community. Please use this forum thread to ask questions directly to the candidates.

Next week, on the 30th of April at 5 PM UTC, we will be hosting a Twitter Space as a platform for the candidates to discuss why they are best suited and to take any questions from the community.

https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1DXxyjYbjYEKM

The week after the Space, following proper Cosmos Hub governance procedures, we (the AADAO), will place 3 On-chain proposals (1 representing each candidate).

We ask the community (and validators) to vote YES on their only preferred choice. The other proposals should be voted as an ABSTAIN.

While we understand that the 3 proposals may not “pass” or even meet quorum, we plan to tally the final “Yes” votes for each candidate, considering the number of ATOM (not the number of wallets voting).

To all the candidates, we are thankful for you taking the initiative to join our team and showcasing your desire to ensure that the Cosmos Hub is well represented!

The role of the Community Elected Oversight Member:

The elected member would be working alongside the Oversight Coordinator and the Internal Auditor and Controller.

The role is a Part-Time (PT) role with max. 35% FTE.

The duties and responsibilities of the community-elected member are as follows:

  • To oversee the overall community sentiment, to interface, alongside the Coordinator, with the community, and to address community concerns.
  • Attend internal AADAO meetings (strategy committee, grant committee) and share outputs with the community on the relevant channels whenever needed.
  • Providing feedback on internal protocols for AADAO, and ensuring AADAO adheres to its protocols.
  • Signing off on grantee payment TXs with best faith (2 out of 3 oversight members).
  • To support the Coordinator with the content to be included in all Transparency Reports, ensuring all relevant aspects are disclosed.

What is NOT part of the role and therefore out of scope:

  • Under the defined roles within the Oversight Committee, it is understood that all areas of responsibility designated for Oversight Committee #1 (Coordinator) and Oversight Committee #2 (Internal Auditor/Controller) are expressly excluded from the scope of responsibilities for Oversight Member #3.
  • Payment processing.
  • HR-related topics such as, but not limited to hiring and termination.
  • Internal processes implementation given this falls under the Internal Auditor role. Suggestions on process improvements will be discussed among the 3 members, while their supervision is assigned to the Internal Auditor.

Learn more about the role here:

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Hello Cosmos Community!

My name is Matt Brown, and I’m honoured that the AADAO has chosen me to be a final candidate. I wanted to share a bit more of my background and what I spend a large portion of my day working on in the hopes that it translates to how I can be best suited for this community position.

For starters, I have a bit of a different background than the 2 other very talented candidates, but I think that my unique approach to leadership and my desire to be a strategic partner in whatever role I take on in a team environment, makes me a great candidate to best represent the Cosmos’ communities needs.

A significant portion of my day is spent understanding users’ needs, whether its a salesperson, a warehouse foreman, or our president, and I often spend my time providing leadership to team members, helping them understand core concepts and translating information in a concise way for them to understand what we are aiming to accomplish as a team, so that we both feel aligned to the vision.

In November 2023, our CFO unexpectedly departed and the organization chose not to fill the role as they believed I was capable of providing that leadership. Since that time, I dedicated myself to better understand what struggles our teams around us were dealing with, what we were doing well, what issues that we might have caused ourselves, and how do we provide the best service possible. I had the opportunity to communicate with stakeholders, listen to what their needs are, and deliver information that meets those needs, and our team has worked in service of those needs. Last week at our management meeting, our team received unanimous feedback that the finance team has been the best service anyone has ever experienced, and that it is attributed primarily to how well our team is communicating and providing leadership for the rest of our teammates.

Outside of my traditional employment, amongst the passion for blockchain, I have also developed a passion for the concept of Socionomics (Understanding Social Mood and emotions) and to better understand people, what motivates individuals, their moods, and how this can translate to better decision making, communication, and alignment for an organization.

In Summary, I think that if you chose me as the successful candidate, that I would listen to those around me to better understand their needs, engage in open dialogue to ensure we meet those needs together, and provide a strategic partnership between the community and the AADAO.

As an added bonus with my professional background as a CPA, I can always be there to support Patricia, should she ever need it.

I look forward to engaging with you all and hearing what the community is looking for in this role!

Matt

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GM Cosmos :sunglasses:

I’m Clyde (clydedev), and I believe my technical experience in Cosmos, personal ATOM alignment, and involvement across the interchain ecosystem make me the ideal candidate for the Oversight member role at AADAO.

My Journey in Cosmos

  • Started in 2021: initially as an $ATOM hodl’er, when I quickly recognized the potential that the Cosmos Hub and its community has.
  • Transitioned to full-time: by the beginning of 2022 as a DevOps Engineer for SG-1 Validator, supporting and building out critical infra for the Cosmos Hub.
  • Technical Contributions: I’ve helped bring innovation to the Hub through implementing many upgrades we’ve had over the years, including testing and deploying Interchain Security from its initial stages all the way to getting ICS live on Mainnet.

Experiences and Achievements

  • Community Involvement: I’m an active participant in Cosmos events and hackathons, including clinching 1st place at HackMos Istanbul.
  • Cosmos Ecosystem Collabs: I’ve worked with Akash to create AI Model deployments and tutorials, and most recently I took on a new challenge at Evmos as a DevOps Engineer.
  • Networking: I’ve also done my fair share of networking and enjoying at various Cosmoverses

Vision and Goals

  • Urgency of Affairs: I am of the growing opinion that the Cosmos Hub faces an array of existential threats. While the AADAO has been effective in its tenure thus far, I think bringing further innovation to the Hub remains an urgent matter.
  • Engagement and Transparency: I promise to keep the community involved in the happenings of AADAO, to constantly gather input and sentiment, and to ensure a high level of transparency of the DAO as a whole.
  • Leadership: I believe that the AADAO is in a unique position to bring the Hub to its fullest potential. For this reason, I ask the community to support my candidacy as Oversight Member in order to ensure that AADAO accomplishes this goal exactly.

Why Clyde?

  • Deep personal investment: I have a great personal stake in the Hub’s success and I understand the Hub’s technology and its history
  • Community-Focused: I think the Hub’s potential lies not only in its strong technical foundation, but also in its uniquely dedicated community of investors and builders, and in order for the value of the Cosmos community to be captured, they must be involved.
  • Proven Cosmos Track Record: My breadth of experience not just with the Cosmos Hub but with the broader Cosmos ecosystem makes me a unique candidate to effectively represent the community and lead within AADAO

I think with my knowledge and experience I’ll be highly effective in gauging and gathering the community’s feedback, and also a top contributor to AADAO’s success as a whole.

ATOM to the moon :rocket:

Clyde

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Hi,
I’m Grace.

Thank you to the AADAO members for advancing me to the finals!

Whether happy or unhappy with AADAO, every Cosmonaut should care for oversight in how 980k $ATOM is managed/used. Particularly when AADAO is evolving to include early venture financing in their activities.

The elected member shouldn’t be a Dao shill or simp. But a reasonable skeptic. Not a micromanager. Rather, a guardrail.

There’s only one candidate in this race with direct experience in advocating concerns productively on behalf of the community, resulting in discontinuation of funding for a problematic grantee. And that candidate is me.

In the interest of transparency and full disclosure, last December, AADAO reached out to me to gauge my interest in joining their Oversight Committee. Given my history of forthright criticism—ranging from semi-pathological skepticism to substantiated doubts re their programming and operations, their exploratory invite to chat was definitely unexpected and surprising.

Despite our polite, yet awkward relationship, discussions proceeded with the involvement of @Better_Future and @Youssef. During these talks, I asked them to allow the community to express its preference for the third member of the Oversight Committee through a more democratic process.

Now, four months later, we’re on the cusp of Cosmos’ first election! I applaud AADAO for its dedication to enhance its accountability, with the added relationship goal of strengthening ties with community stakeholders. Regardless of the outcome, I am confident that the committee will gain a highly qualified member (see above and see below).

The prevalent mistrust within our ecosystem cripples organizational effectiveness and is a kind of net negative for Cosmos brand equity and culture. If we want $ATOM to do better, we need to remove distrust driven operational inefficiencies and negative feedback loops. I see this role as pivotal in restoring confidence in Cosmos’ institutions, and I appreciate your consideration of my candidacy for Community Liaison on AADAO’s Oversight Committee.

Introduction

I was drawn to blockchain because I believe decentralized and permissionless tech can redo value chains, providing greater distributive justice for creatives and securing creators’ control over their intellectual properties.

My journey with Cosmos began as Head of Product Strategy, for Pylons Tech, Tendermint Ventures’ first incubated project. Subsequently, I was Head of Growth at NFTOasis, and Vice President of Public Pressure an NFT music marketplace building in Kusama/Polkadot. I was lured back to Cosmos with the opportunity to serve as Head of Growth & Strategy for Ignite, Inc., which was (then) constituted as an independent product division to be spun out of All in Bits (AIB).

Although my stint at Ignite proved to be challenging — Hobbes might describe it as “nasty, brutish, and short” — I value the trials and experiences that fortified my resolve and character.

Last April, AIB filed a federal lawsuit, which I contend was a meritless SLAPP designed to silence and intimidate. Four months later, the lawsuit was withdrawn with prejudice, preventing any refiling of the same “claim.”

I share this experience as proof of my commitment to advocating for evidence-based truths, even against powerful adversaries. If we aim to develop superior distributed and decentralized systems, we must cultivate not only better practices and processes but also foster a community capable of rigorous oversight that doesn’t depend on moral courage to get the job done.

Transparency without accountability is a car without wheels—it won’t go anywhere. And accountability hinges on having the right information, readily available, not just when someone shouts loud enough to be heard.

I’d like to see AADAO turn “transparency” and “accountability” from compulsory buzzwords into benchmarks. It would be great to see AADAO “incubate” practices that evince standards that can be applied for accountability regimes where they remain primitive or non existent (e.g., $ATOM Community Pool).

Below, some of my ideas on how I intend to serve effectively if elected as your community liaison to the Oversight Committee.

I. Provide Sharper, Smarter, Cleaner Information

  1. Improvements to AADAO website: Enhance navigation for intuitive information discovery, especially on the dashboard page. Synchronize dashboard data with significant quarterly announcements.
  2. Create Applicant/Grantee specific dashboards. Dashboards will clearly display each applicant’s/grantee’s details, including name, entity, designated POC, purpose of grant, requested funding amount, approved funding amount, status and etc. Additionally, pending on applicant/grantee consent, links to complete or redacted applications can be provided. Making this information publicly available ensures that the organization’s processes are open and accountable, allowing everyone to understand Grant Committee’s selection history and criteria. For more on what can be done with dashboards, please see: Community Oversight Member Elections: Meet the Candidates - #18 by Cosmos_Nanny
  3. DaoDao integration – link all grant disbursement information on dashboards with DaoDao for on chain verification.
  4. Boost data visibility and functionality: Make buttons actually do something useful. Implement keyword searches to navigate multiple dashboards
  5. Visual analytics: Create interactive dashboards. Create better visualizations for KPIs, and supermetrics.
  6. Create an AADAO Oversight Github – upload datasets for all AADAO applicants and grantees.

If AADAO’s too stretched to glow up the dashboard page with design and navigation improvements, I can do it, and keep the dashboard page up to date.

II. Improve Support & Resources for Unsuccessful Grant Applicants
AADAO can improve its support for unsuccessful grant applicants by adopting policies that boost transparency of its selection process while educating future applicants. Here are some suggestions to consider for implementation:

  1. Provide Constructive and Targeted Feedback. Commit to offering detailed feedback to unsuccessful applicants (especially when prompted). Provide focused answers explaining where and how the application the application materials are weak.
  2. Host Educational Webinars/“Clinics.” Schedule quarterly webinars or workshops aimed specifically at those whose proposals were not funded. These sessions should cover common errors, effective practices, and key elements of successful applications. Share reference examples of P/F submissions (with consent for release).
  3. Offer Resubmission Opportunities. Allow unsuccessful applicants to revise and resubmit their proposals based on the feedback received. Facilitate a designated period for resubmission and provide access to mentorship from experienced members of the DAO or past successful grantees.
  4. Develop an Applicant Support Portal or Chat. Create a comprehensive online portal (or host a chat) where applicants can find resources, ask questions, and get guidance. This portal should include FAQs, guides, and direct links to application tools, plus options for scheduling consultations with DAO staff or volunteers from successful past applicants. An AADAO chat can help build a community forum and or network where current and prospective applicants can share ideas, receive peer feedback, and collaborate.

III. Standardize and Communicate the Process for Reassessing Grant Awards

Last September, AADAO tasked me to gather and address both personal and community concerns regarding the joint grant approved for Missions Publiques and RnDAO (category: governance, tooling, and infrastructure).

My report detailed the significant challenges and potential untenability of the grantees’ proposal to use sortition-based methods to form “deliberative” citizen assemblies. This analysis was presented to the Grants and Oversight Committee members on September 19th. I do not know, and will not assume how much the report factored into the subsequent decision to halt grantees’ funding. The discontinuation decision was announced in AADAO’s 4th Transparency Report, citing the project team’s failure to publish its participant selection methodology on time and a lack of community support as key reasons for discontinuation.

Section 10 of the referenced Transparency Report also condemned “Ad hominem attacks, baseless criticisms, and conspiracy theories,” noting that such behavior detracts from a constructive community atmosphere. I concur and believe that such attacks have no place. However, these attacks are also symptomatic of community frustration over feeling unheard. Currently, the absence of a formal grant reassessment process exacerbates this issue. The role of the Third Member is to bridge this gap by vetting and verifying substantive concerns with prioritized review and attention from AADAO.

To improve speed to transparency and accountability in funding processes, I propose the following enhancements:

  1. Identify and Articulate Events Triggering Reassessment: Precisely delineate the circumstances that may precipitate a reassessment of funding, including instances of performance deficiencies, ethical violations, or misrepresentations by grantees.
  2. Create a Reassessment Template: Develop a standardized template for users to formally request a reassessment of a grant. This template will guide users through the necessary documentation and rationale needed to initiate a review.
  3. Establish AADAO Oversight Github Repository : This repository will not only house SQL files for the dashboards we create but also serve as a public database containing all pertinent information about applicants and grantees. Encourage community members to utilize the Reassessment Template available in the repository to systematically structure and submit substantiated concerns about applicants or grantees, whether pre-award or post-award, through the ‘Issues’ feature.

These measures are suggested to streamline the reassessment process, ensuring that it is transparent, orderly, fair, and responsive to various stakeholder needs. By organizing these steps, we can mitigate frustration and encourage more constructive conversations in our ecosystem.

IV. Availability & Communication with the Community

  • Will provide written monthly updates in the AADAO Oversight Github repo, and share links here in forum and other relevant community channels I help manage, Cosmonaut HQ chat in Telegram, in particular.

  • I have been managing and moderating the Cosmonaut HQ chat in Telegram for the past 13 months. This chat has evolved to be an adjacent forum for community members, particularly as it relates to AADAO announcements and operations. While I will continue to monitor and be present in this chat – if elected, I will publish a fixed schedule for “oversight office hours.” This organized approach ensures consistent and predictable accessibility for the community, while helping me manage my time commitments efficiently. Of course, in the event of an urgent issues arise, I will attend to the relevant issue as soon as possible.

Looking forward to discussing any and all of the above in forthcoming spaces.

Should you be an AADAO grantee, or past grant applicant – curious to hear about your experience, and any constructive feedback you may have to improve the oversight function.

I can be reached at TG, @CosmosNanny.

Cheers,
Grace

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As we proposed a candidate for this position, our validator will abstain from participating in this election. Good luck to the chosen ones!

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I personally think you should still vote - you proposed someone cause you care + think someone is a good fit - your vote should then follow too.

Govmos is an active voice in governance - It’d be sad if you abstain from the Hub’s first on-chain election!

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@Govmos, I agree with Syed.
That said, it’d be prudent to think of circumstances under which a validator should exercise recusal, and how such recusal is best expressed – for instance, not voting versus voting ‘abstain.’

P.S.: Imo, the ‘Abstain’ vote option should be renamed. Abstention technically refers to “the withholding of a vote." If one wishes to truly abstain, the correct expression of abstention is not to vote at all. In Cosmos Gov, while voting ‘Abstain’ withholds expression of Yes/No selection, an ‘Abstain’ still counts towards achieving quorum. The true application of abstention means it need not be a vote option at all. Or, if Abstain remains as a vote option, abstain votes should not count towards quorum.

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You’re absolutely right, we should have been clearer in our initial post! Let us rephrase thoughts:
We (as a validator) will cast an abstain vote, but we will all vote individually of course. Our policy regarding our delegators is that anytime we abstain from a vote, either because it is politically divisive or in this case, because there might be conflict of interest, then we inform our community via our regular channels and invite them to cast independent vote themselves.

This is the commitment we have defined regarding our delegators and we will obide by that rule. To conclude, our delegators will be informed and will vote themselves as this election proposal constitute a potential conflict of interest for the validator itself. We would feel uncomfortable picking a candidate on their behalf when we were part of the competition in the first place. Sorry for the potential misunderstanding, we hope things are clearer now!

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Hey Govmos!

Thanks for clarifying!

From an individual voter perspective, what are you and some of the others looking for in terms of the successful candidate?

I’d love to hear what members of the community are looking for, to have a voice that’s heard, and have a positive relationship with the AADAO.

Look forward to hearing from you all!

Matt

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Hey Matt, nice to meet you and welcome to cosmos. Could you tell us the name of the entity you work/worked for?

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Hi LitBit!

In an effort of maximum transparency, here is my linkedin profile so that you can have a detailed understanding of my professional summary: linkedIn Profile - /in/matt-brown-cpa-66ba8348/ (I cant post links in this forum, so a copy+paste is necessary. I promise its worth it, its much better written!)

In short, I am currently acting VP Finance at a Manufacturing and Distribution company of approximately $100 Million (Formations), and have previously worked in the cannabis space in the public markets (Atlas Global Brands) and am responsible for Finance, IT, and Innovation functions. I have been involved with the Cosmos ecosystem since 2021 primarily through voting in governance proposals. I think I can offer an unbiased perspective in this role as I do not have any attachments to any projects or functions of the cosmos blockchain.

What is something that you think would be paramount for the successful candidate to understand in this role?

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Hey @Damien just some follow up questions to clarify what is and is not in scope re elected member’s duties and responsibilities.

Excluded Duties/Responsibilities for #3 Oversight Member

Given that Matt is a CPA, in the event he is elected, makes sense for him to lean in and help Patricia. However, the first bullet point under “What is NOT part of the role and therefore out of scope” reads that “all areas of responsibility designated for…Oversight Committee #2 (Internal Auditor/Controller) are expressly excluded…”

Some clarification is needed here.
Is it an absolute exclusion, or more of a de-facto exclusion from which exceptions can be made, per discretion of Committee Member #1 or #2 (and relevant qualifications of Committee Member #3)?

If Committee Member #3 is signing payment transactions for Grantees, is this not payment processing?

Are you still using CLI for signing?

Finally, I take this to mean that Committee Member #3 is not involved in AADAO’s HR decisions, such as hiring and firing, and therefore does not participate in internal HR deliberations or decision-making. However, this does not preclude Committee Member #3 from remitting substantiated community concerns regarding AADAO’s personnel decisions. Please confirm if my reading here is correct. Thank you!

Hello AAO Candidates! (I can only tag two members as a new user :frowning: )
Reading through the entries, I see that Cosmos_Nanny has listed ideas and suggestions that she is wanting to bring as an oversight member.

@Matt_Brown @clydedev
What are your ideas and suggestions that you would like to bring as a potential AAO oversight member?

Questions for all 3 of you:
It is important as a Validator to stay up to date on information that uses CP funds like grants or general requests so that funds aren’t needlessly given away. I believe many in the community think that this is the case and that CP funds are just given away to those holding the right power.

How can we help inform validators with updated information that would be pertinent in knowing prior to a governance vote?
How can we prevent further abuse of CP granted funds? IE: some groups in the past have been awarded a lot of value and ended up providing very little, like in their youtube content or whatever was promised.

Cosmos_Nanny
I think the 4 items you listed on how you’d like to alter the website and make changes are great and will be a great addition.
Stats, it’s what we all want. :smiley:

Lastly, something for the 3 of you to answer.
I have applied for a grant in the past, but not on Atom. I personally found it hard to gauge what to ask for in a grant. Knowing what some were approved for, I felt like I was low balling myself or asking way too high.
How would you help this type of scenario? I think there could be plenty of people like myself who have no idea how to come up with a number to request, but have been encouraged to file for a grant.

Thank you! I look forward to reading your responses and learning more about the AADAO.
-Erialos

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@Cosmos_Nanny I couldn’t tag you, as new users are limited to tagging 2 people.
Tagging here as my remaining option. :smiley:

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hi there

glad to see this happening,

i’d have loved this process -the first cut- to be more “open”, i mean with some spaces or public discussions and proposals from candidates, but anyway it’s cool we arrive to this point.

While i’m at criticisms, that’s a bit sad, even if understandable as our “space” is still niche, that we only get candidates who are former validators’ employees and/or core teams/orgs employees. I personnaly wish we had more true degens and purely nerds people :smiley: and more complete disclosures and “neutrality” commitments.

As of today, i believe Grace is the most representative candidate. A cosmos lover undoubtedly, while a tought and independent thinker. And to be fair the only one who made concrete proposals. Really glad you made the cut Grace! My vote is for you. o/

Good luck everyone.

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I agree with you Tom. From what I have seen in the space over the last couple of years, Grace stands out as someone I feel like I can trust to fight in the right ways when dealing with these types of things.

She’s articulate and thorough. She’s been attacked by the mighty, survived, and has shown it’s not enough to make her quit. Her existing knowledge and involvement within, makes her the top choice IMHO.

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Hey Tom,

Thanks for replying! I can definitely understand where you are coming from on the first part of the process, and I appreciate you sharing that feedback!

Would you be willing to expand on your feedback/criticisms, either on here or in private message ? I would love to better understand your perspective.

I will say, as a final candidate, that I do not have any affiliation with any Cosmos teams, organizations, or validators, and as a candidate I will pledge to the community that I will never be affiliated with any organization as long as I partake in the AADAO community oversight roles. I think transparency and unbiased approaches are important, and I can promise that I do not have any conflicts of interest with this position.

As for the best candidate, while I have tremendous respect for them both, I’d like to challenge you a bit. If I was the successful candidate, what is something you’d like me to prioritize? From my perspective, I intentionally didn’t propose anything, as I want to hear from stakeholders like yourself, and hear what you would like to see accomplished by the AADAO and how I could help in this role. In order for the candidate to be successful, I think the proposals need to come after getting a better understanding of what the community feedback offers. I’ll formulate some proposals of what I think we (the oversight committee) should focus on, but I think it would be premature for me to offer an opinion or proposals, without hearing from the community first.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Matt

ps - @erialos im formulating a response to your question, and I want to take the time it deserves, so please be patient with me here :slight_smile:

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Erialos,
Thank you very much for your questions, and your early support.
Will consider any support as merely preliminary as minds can change! But very much appreciated.

I agree. Again, will emphasize the need for updated, comprehensive, and user-friendly dashboards.
Currently, within AADAO’s primary and secondary channels (e.g., Twitter, Forum, Cosmonaut HQ/AADAO), we frequently encounter inquiries such as:

  • “How much funding did X receive?”
  • “How much funding is X seeking?”
  • “When did X apply?”
  • “What is X’s proposed scope?”
  • “What are X’s deliverables? What’s the projected delivery timeline?”

Often, due to the lack of synchronized updates on the dashboard page alongside AADAO announcements, AADAO members, find themselves directing community members to various Medium blogs, tweets, and or transparency reports. This approach is highly inefficient and the fragmentation across different channels leads to frustration. This can be remedied.

The solution lies in committing to maintaining a “single source of truth.” I propose that AADAO’s website (as the primary channel) and a corresponding Oversight Github repository serve as definitive, and mutually supportive sources of truth.

Prior to posting announcements for batch grants and transparency reports, all relevant and new information that can be captured on dashboards should be updated to reflect the latest information shared across various communication channels.

To illustrate, please refer to the layout of the current dashboard page

Create an intuitive interface that allows users from the top to navigate through different categories easily: [Applications Received], [Applications in Progress], [Accepted], [Rejected].

Clicking on [Applications Received], for instance, would direct the user to a dashboard specifically designed for displaying this category.

The Applications Received dashboard would effectively present essential information organized in columns, such as:

  • Applicant Name
  • Applicant Entity
  • Applicant’s Point of Contact (This facilitates direct communication between applicants and the community, ensuring AADAO does not become a communication bottleneck.)
  • Application Submission Date
  • Requested Funding Amount
  • Link to Application (This would be provided upon consent from the applicant to share a complete or redacted version of their application.)
  • Funding Category: e.g., Applied R&D, Interchain Public Goods, etc.
  • Status: e.g., Under Review, Interview, Approved, or Rejected.

Dashboards are just visual extensions of a datasets, and as such, the underlying data should be openly accessible.

The dataset or SQL files used for creating the dashboards should be shared in a public AADAO Oversight Github repository.

Further integrating with Github, we could link to Applicant/Grantee Github orgs and pages.

The Gitthub platform could also facilitate community engagement, allowing members to raise ‘issues’ to address concerns with rejected or approved grants or other relevant matters pre- and post-award.

For us to enhance the quality of our deliberations on funding decisions—who receives funding, for what projects, and why—having precise and readily accessible information is crucial. I also believe that organizing applicant and grantee information serves significant internal value, particularly for the Grants, Strategy, and Oversight committees.

This structured approach not only fosters transparency but also streamlines internal operations, with enhancing collective consideration in shared decision-making processes.

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Tom, thanks so much for your support.

@Matt_Brown is neither a current validator employee or former core team/org member!

Wholeheartedly agree.
The elected #3 Oversight Member should sign a commitment to maintain neutrality. During my interview, both @Damien and Patricia inquired about any existing or potential conflicts of interest (COIs), to which I confidently responded in the negative. I believe this question was uniformly posed to all candidates.

In my experience, the concept of COIs is often misunderstood in our space.
Especially by grant making organizations themselves! Anyway, the purpose and implications of these policies are not always clear. So I think it’s essential that every grant-making organization clearly defines, and adopts a consistent and comprehensive definition of COIs applicable to them.

Personally, I have no COIs re the oversight role. To me, this means I’m devoid of any circumstances, relationships (romantic, relational, financial), or incentives that might unduly compromise my judgment or function.

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Excellent question.

The challenge of navigating grant applications, particularly in determining the right amount to request, is difficult and can be overwhelming—especially when historical data on funding categories and amounts are not well organized. While AADAO has published information on both funding categories and amounts, as I’ve noted before, there is room for improvement in how this information is presented.

The cost principles also vary depending on whether you are applying to a government entity, a private foundation, or an NGO (with endowments or annual budgets being additional factors). I believe AADAO most closely resembles a private grant-making foundation (perhaps @Better_Future @Youssef can confirm this).

From my experience serving on fellowship/grant selection committees, I can say that decisions are not made based merely on the category of your request or on historical allocations received by similarly situated applicants (professional experience and credentials).
Cosimo Medici gave an unknown, untested Filippo Brunelleschi near unlimited budget and creative license to build the dome of Florence’s Cathedral after all, but I digress.

I believe you are ultimately the best resource in determining an appropriate ask, as the logic behind a legitimate request will emerge through thorough project planning and budgeting. You know best what you want to do, and if you are clear on what you want to do, you should know how much it costs – including the reasonable and associated costs of your own time.

So, here are some strategies and principles to guide you and others in making more informed and effective grant requests: (my opinion)

  1. Research Previous Grants: Start by examining what similar projects or teams have received from AADAO in the past. This can provide a reasonable estimate of what might be considered an appropriate request.
  2. Understand AADAO’s Funding Priorities and Limits: Specific areas of interest and funding thresholds, including possible maximum or minimum grant sizes are published. Currently, I believe grants range from $10k to $1M, and are paid in $USDC to a Noble address. I’d also review any additional guidelines and relevant grant-making literature published via their transparency/annual reports and Twitter.
  3. Develop a Detailed Project Budget: Clearly itemize the costs associated with your project, covering both direct costs and indirect costs. A detailed budget not only justifies your funding request but also showcases your project’s feasibility.
  4. Request Guidance from AADAO: Take advantage of the program officers who can offer assistance. Provide them with a concise description of your project and seek feedback on your budget proposal.
  5. Consider Phased Funding: If estimating long-term costs is challenging or if you’re uncertain about requesting a large sum upfront, think about proposing phased funding. This allows you to secure initial funding for early project phases and seek additional funds as needs evolve. (Personally a big fan of phased funding, it’s great for accountability on the grant-making and grant-receiving side)
  6. Review and Revise: Carefully review your budget and funding request to ensure alignment with your project goals and AADAO selection criteria. Peer feedback can also be invaluable here.
  7. Be Transparent: If unsure, clearly explain how you arrived at your funding request in your proposal.

All that said, I also feel the post-application follow up service for rejected applicants can improve.
Rejection is an experience applicants learn from, and with helpful feedback, may translate to successful applications in the future.

Resources for Grant Applicants:
AADAO FAQ Page
Grants Issued
Guidance on how AADAO rates applications
Rating Sheet
AADAO Funding Strategy

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