Community Oversight Member Elections: Meet the Candidates

First off, I would like to say that AADao has done a fine job of giving a list of seemingly qualified and diverse list of candidates and I want to applaud them for that.

Initial thoughts - Cosmos Nanny has already been a beast doing much of these roles in an unpaid capacity, asking challenging yet fair questions and I fully support her candidacy.

As this is a Community Oversight Role, I think the objectives are quite clear. This role should bridge the trust gap between AADao and the Community. That means having professional skepticism and a trust but verify mindset, meaning to be a good teammate yet still asking the tough questions.

Some of you have already answered some of these questions (and others I have direct knowledge of) but I would like to ask each candidate:

  1. what has your involvement with AADao been to date? As part of this, please describe your current knowledge of AAdao?

  2. Describe your involvement with the larger community to date (how do gauge sentiment/communicate within community?),

  3. What challenges do you foresee in this role?

  4. How would you handle a difficult situation (such as potential conflict of interest situation of an AADao spend?)

  5. What are your plans to communicate with the community in this role?


Hey Matt,

Thanks for your response (:
I’m sorry i must have misunderstood something initially, i thought for a second you were the one candidate from the Govmos team.

I’m sorry it’s difficult for me to speak english x) so i can’t really go into details. But anyway thanks again, it’s more clear in my mind now and your point of view is fair (on the fact you wait before proposing anything).

To your question i would answer the top priority is as the hero (:p) of the community, you’d have first to build a solid bridge between the sceptics and AADAO. Atom Hub suffered for too long from conspiracy theories and “devs eat everything”'s kind of community’s philosophy. I guess we need to have more factual and objective conversations in between the decision making while granting teams etc. In the same spirit, AADAO’s transparency reports and more broadly its website should be way more interactive.

Here are some things i can think about rn.

It would be nice AADAO sets some “meetings” up prior to the vote, with some Twitter spaces or something. Because if we quite all know who is Grace and what are her strengths, we don’t really know you and the other candidate. Maybe it’s planned?

btw @Cosmos_Nanny, do you still have a role as an advisor for Notional?

Thanks to both of you for your messages.

edit: it’s planned! (and it’s cool)
Twitter space

1 Like

Hey Tom,
I provided Notional paid consulting services from December 2023 - February 29th this year.
I’m not an “advisor” so to speak. I’m not a shareholder nor do I have a seat on their (to be formed) Board of Advisors. Full disclosure – I was offered equity and an ongoing advisory role and I refused both.

The purpose of my 3 month engagement had two parts:

  • Negotiate the return of company (Notional PTE Ltd) owned working tools and property (eg validator signing keys) without involving local law enforcement; decriminalize former employee’s unauthorized possession as “inadvertent possession” to establish conditions under which a potential settlement for outstanding disputes can begin.
  • Navigate various cross jurisdictional issues relating to Notional PTE (a Singapore company) operating in Vietnam.

One month prior to applying for the Oversight position, I had already communicated to Notional that my engagement could not be extended beyond end of Feb.

More context and details re my engagement can be found here:


Thank you very much Grace. (:

See, when i tell you i massively lack vocabulary, here we are!

1 Like

Hey Tom,

Happy to answer all of your questions! And don’t worry about the language barrier, my first language was french so Id like to think I understand :slight_smile:

Thats some great feedback - Its making me think that if I was the successful candidate, that I want to have routine “office hours” for the community where they can provide feedback, but where I can also provide updates on action items. I might even be willing to suggest having a forum where I can give updates on progress as well so that its easily shared with the community. Thoughts on this?


1 Like

Your vocab is great!
I just wanted to be super clear about the nature of my engagement. Esp bc an “advisor” implies a longer, and more substantial relationship with a client.


Hey @erialos - I spent some time thinking about your questions, and here is where my head is at:

I think your comments regarding validators are pertinent, and ones are hopeful to be self enforced. I would imagine if someone is choosing a validator, that they choose one that aligns with their core values and meets their needs in terms of the type of validator they want to pay fees to and ultimately support.

In terms of informing validators, I think we want to ensure we get the information so that all can use it to be informed of a vote. Perhaps this is something that can be taken back to the team say, for example, in order to suggest a proposal on the blockchain, the policy dictates that it must come with this information, because collectively we have decided as a community that is what is the minimum threshold to make a decision.

I’d be interested to hear more about the misuse of grant funds that has happened to date? For myself personally and in my experience, robust policy framework dictating use of funds and creating legal mechanisms of accountability, along with specific agreed upon deliverables for milestone payments has been effective the numerous times that I have had to deploy this in my career. That being said, misuse has a very fine line to it because misuse and failure can often be conflated, and in the digital asset space failure rates are high, and therefore leads to the idea that in order to achieve growth, risk is always a factor when trying to grow, and the best we can do is use agreed upon frameworks to try and mitigate the risk as best we can.
(As a potential solution here - perhaps we(the AADAO) should share what a high quality submission, as well as a rejected one, looks like in the scoring criteria, to create a better level of transparency.)

Your last question regarding funds, is tricky, but I do have a sustainable answer. When filing for a grant, I think both the applicant(s) and the granting committee should have communication about the validity of the execution of their funds. In the past when I have applied for government grants(municipal), I would engage with the stakeholders before submission, let them know what I was trying to accomplish, and it became a collaborative effort. To help in this case, as the successful candidate, I can offer that business acumen as a skillset so that future applicants can have someone to collaborate with and make sure that they submit the best grant proposal possible.

1 Like

Throughout the past year, the community has frequently asked for this information. However, it was refused due to confidentiality concerns. A simple workaround is seeking and obtaining consent from applicants to publish complete or redacted examples of P/F applications. Ideally, reference examples should exist for each grant category type.


Thanks for asking questions - Im always excited to make my case as the best candidate for the role here.

To your point, I think the hardest gap to clear in anything involving multiple stakeholders, is to trust each other. As someone who has routinely worked in the finance department and has to be the leader delivering sub-optimal reports, I believe my skillset is perfectly aligned to help build the bridge, and lead everyone to having more trust in each other.

In fairness, I have limited involvement with AADAO. I haven’t applied for grants, I have merely been a user of the transparency reports, and a passive curiosity in the recipients of the grants along with the products created from this grant. My understanding of the vision and mission are extremely clear, and its core values are the main reason for me getting involved in this role at this time, with the aim of being able to contribute more to the space in the future. My involvement in the larger community has been neutral, I vote on governance proposals and keep up to date on the iterations of ATOM(2.0 and 3.0) as well as a strong user and advocate of the products on the blockchain.

Regarding the challenges, I think the biggest one will be making sure the community feels like making progress towards the needs and goals of this role. I will re-iterate that I didnt put together a proposal for my tenure in this role, because large in part, I wanted to create it together with the community, as I’m ultimately here to represent all of yours’ interests. Keep in mind that the role is 35% FTE (maximum) or at most 12 hours per week. With 2 of those hours being meetings, I only have 10 hours (again, maximum) to accomplish what is most critical for the community. With that in mind, I want to make sure that as the successful candidate, I spend the most time I can on items that are most pressing for the community. So far from what i’ve heard from the contributors is that time spent with regular office hours to have open communication as well as being support liasion for potential grant applicants seems like a great place to start! I would love to hear more of your thoughts on this if you are willing to share!

Difficult situations are very routine for me, I often deal with sensitive information in my role and have to be very mindful of how to deal with it, and I would say I take my roles, whatever they may be, very seriously. As a CPA, I am also bound to a code of ethics as long as I am a member, and that framework helps me navigate any difficult situation.

I think i noted in the middle paragraph here, but I think a regular “office community hours” would be of great benefits to hear what is happening, what concerns the community has, what we can improve, as well as a frequent update on the action items and the status of them so that you can be able to hold me accountable, but also be satisfied that things are being accomplished that are a priority.

I do hope this answers your questions and I would love to hear more from you and/or clarify any of my answers for you.

All the best,



I tend to agree with you here - if you are submitting funding, I would imagine part of the application agreement would be to consent to having your project shared with the public? For what its worth, if you’re going to ask for a monetary grant, you should be okay with information being disclosed. This is how it works with most existing government grant recipients.

1 Like

My feeling is that the awareness and education function of publishing grant guidelines, and related application literature is the primary responsibility of the Marketing and Grant Committees. Oversight plays a supporting role in ensuring that the information provided is updated, comprehensive, and equally accessible to all.

While tempting, offering future applicants personal help on their grant applications is not the function of the elected Oversight member. In fact, doing so would breach what I view as the non-negotiable duty and need for oversight to operate with impartiality. I think the only time it may be permissible for any Oversight member to be involved in the pre-application period may relate to helping applicants navigate potential conflicts of interest.

That said, I firmly believe that oversight members offering personalized assistance is outside the scope of our responsibility. Offering incidental and customized help can and will perpetuate perceptions of favoritism. In fact, the uneven support program officers and Grant Committee members have offered applicants in the past have made the DAO vulnerable to charges of favoritism and corruption. Something to avoid!

Our job is to combat the perception of favoritism, and minimize risks of favoritism — we do so through holding the DAO members accountable so they thoroughly and consistently avoid situations and behavior that can be perceived as such. As oversight, we must absolutely do the same – actually we must aim to do better, operate beyond reproach. The job, in part, is to model impartiality and fairness–make sure that resources are offered evenly, openly and fairly. Not selectively (even if such is not the intent).

If there is application assistance provided, imv there must be an effort to make this service available to everyone. Of course, in view of resource constraints, this is challenging.

As a partial solution, AADAO can host “application clinics” each quarter, and establish a publicized window of time when grant officers are available to provide feedback to potential applicants via Calendly appt. Would be good to involve participation from successful applicants in previous batches as well.

Correct. And this argument has been made. Therefore, I consider this as a key deliverable for the future elected member to implement. Glad we agree.

Hey all.

I feel I have a responsibility to comment here. I am probably mostly known as the guy that spams cat gifs on like 95 different Telegram groups, and that’s pretty accurate. That being said, I do actually have a real job here and I actually probably get involved with a lot of things nobody including my colleagues have any clue about. I don’t think many people have quite the level of outlook and experience that I do with all layers of what goes on in this crazy and interesting place.

For some background, for those who might not know me and have probably stopped reading past the first paragraph: I have been a pretty active member of several communities in this space, am a sitting member of multiple DAOs. I’m a validator.
Sure, so are a thousand other people, but I think this is really important context for what is probably not a very pleasant bunch of points near the end, so please…bear with me.

Among my myriad of roles [both official, and assumed], the most notable one is that of being among the founding members of what has been a large and massively positive contributor as well as a driving force for interchain community support, education and supporter of true decentralization in this ecosystem.

Osmosis Support Lab, or “OSL” – a brand and service synonymous with interchain public service. One that I can proudly say that in my 2.5 year membership has never discriminated against any project within this ecosystem, and extends frequently to entirely unrelated projects and issues.

The fact that to this day the OSL is one of the longest standing, successful and arguably the most universally supported DAO operation in this ecosystem is a testament to our integrity, our dedication and our ethics.


To the point:

The duties and responsibilities are obvious and non-negotiable in my opinion. There’s no need to shop for an agenda or a platform.
If you don’t know what you need to do, you applied for the wrong job.
I myself considered vying this position for a short time before considering that the mere fact I had any doubt meant I was not the right person for it.

This position is not, nor was it ever meant or even implied to be one such as is intended to “help” any potential grantees, or the granters.
The intent is simple: to be the eyes and the voice of the community that elects them.
To provide oversight.

To allow an oversight member to further muddy ugly waters by getting involved in grant application is actually worse than simply eliminating the role entirely. At least if it were eliminated the community pool wouldn’t be burdened by another net-negative contributor.
Ask yourself, “What purpose is served by an auditor who before even being elected has shown clear intent, or alignment issues?”
We don’t need an elected floater of questionable intent, or some rubber stamp specialist moonlighting as ‘ez-grants’ helpdesk.
W e n e e d o v e r s i g h t.
I cannot say this enough.
Oversight is meant to be an impartial guard. One who knows that acting in their duty may very well may mean the end of the very thing they have been tasked with overseeing, and their role along with it. Oversight has no agenda or goal, and in an ideal world is unnecessary overhead.

The ideal candidate shall:

  • Be given full access and ability to oversee the entire process from application to funding and completion of projects
  • Have access to entire grant processes and procedures—from application review to project completion review—acting as a vigilant overseer to detect and prevent any fraudulent or unethical conduct by any of the involved parties.
  • Be of the ability to act as a “community health check”, gauging or if needed actively canvassing public opinion in regards to the actual want/need/value of these projects. To do this, the candidate must already know the community. You can’t learn about the community on the job.

The ideal candidate shall, to the best of their abilities:

  • Represent and advance the interests of the community exclusively, ensuring that the allocation and expenditure of funds are conducted with integrity and with transparency, not as venture capitalists.
  • Remain impartial as to the group or the prospective grantees, prioritizing the welfare of the community and stakeholders over any personal or external affiliations.
  • Serve as a watchdog against corruption or mishandling of what are essentially “public funding” grants involving substantial amounts.

The ideal candidate shall at all times act in good faith toward:

  • The community whose assets and very existence and active engagement quite literally underpin the value of the funds being distributed.
  • The community who has time and time again demanded answers, change and accountability from the day AADAO was launched.
  • The community who continuously sees recycled deliverables that nobody asked for in the first place, vaporware or worse being funded to the tune of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • The community that remains helpless but to shout from the sidelines while this same group takes home extremely handsome salaries, yet to this day remains largely unaccountable for both their performance, and for their overall attitudes and intentions.
  • The community that has expressed a clear distain for the perceived lack of engagement and transparency, as well as repeated examples of complacency and questionable decision-making by the renewed group.

The ideal candidate should, after careful consideration:

  • Step down if they feel like any of this is compromised or deemed not possible for any reason at any point during their tenure

This role is for a community selected representative who has strong experience and expertise on multiple levels in this field, and who has proven ethics. Ethics are proven by the way with actions, not through the use of an obscene number and frequency of abstract concepts [bullshit buzzwords, to put it simply] as if it were a timeshare marketing pitch to a room of suckers who just wanted the free margeritas and 3 hours on the beach.

I don’t know if this “Matt” can’t read the room, or if he is truly so clueless and/or obnoxious to be so egregiously overstepping the boundaries of a role to which he has not yet been appointed, but nothing here really surprises me in these matters.

Yes, self promotion and platitudes are unavoidable in campaigns, but why are you even running?.
Stop asking what we want you to do.
It’s already known.
If you need it defined, reconsider your place and give the spot to someone who understands the job. Apparently there were an “overwhelming” number of candidates.

Regardless, I can already tell at least one is totally unsuitable for the role. One appears to be indifferent…the one who has ideas and probably can do the job is likely non viable because of the validator mobs…and this ecosystem will continue to go downhill until it is entirely lost.

These ignorant and insincere self promoting pitches made without a single thought toward the project or the people that continue to put their trust, their faith and their hard-earned assets into are a clear cancer on this entire ecosystem in my opinion, and are by far the largest factor in why most of the crypto space in general considers the “Cosmos ecosystem” to be an absolute abomination and its communities an incurable, niche joke. This isn’t something I believe to be true, so please prove me wrong.

Candidates – if you don’t care, step out. If you don’t know, get out of the line and let someone who cares step in to share ideas from a place of experience and conviction.

P.S. AADAO, please define validator recusal policy.

TL:DR, stop giving away this chain or the oversight of its value to a bunch of mid self promoters. You aren’t this stupid, so stop pretending to be.


Oops I left about half of that message off, that’s embarassing.

The job that you applied is a result of community feedback that went on for months and has been discussed by various community members.

Asking the community what they expect from you if you were elected gives me a really strange feeling:

1.) you seem like you just joined cosmos and learned about AADAO just recently. The Job you applied for was born out of community feedback. Asking the community what they expect from you if you get the job is like asking them to educate you about why we wanted this role at AADAO to even exist. Feel free to study the AADAO channel in the CosmonautHQ group on tg.

2.) ideally, the candidate that succeeds has been in touch with the community since AADAO and aware of their sentiment about AADAO, in order to improve sentiment. In other words - be part of the community.

Also, I really don’t think your job would be helping people with their application. Sorry, but reading that drives me nuts. Happy to elaborate in DMs.


Hey Cordtus,

Apologies for taking so long to respond, I wanted to make sure I gave the best answer that I can.

I agree, the duties and responsibilities are clearly set out. As per Damien’s post, the AADAO has set out the duties and responsibilities as follows:

  • To oversee the overall community sentiment, to interface, alongside the Coordinator, with the community, and to address community concerns.
    • My approach of listening to all community members and going in with a curious mindset has worked in the past environments, and has shifted culture into ways that I’m extremely proud of. I understand this approach may not work for all, but it has served me well in my endeavours. I don’t want to just hear what the communities problems are, I want to understand why they exist. Understanding why they are problems help lead to the best and most sustainable solutions.
  • Attend internal AADAO meetings (strategy committee, grant committee) and share outputs with the community on the relevant channels whenever needed.
    • I’ve been part of a board - I lead the treasury function so transparency is top of mind for me, and I’m familiar with meeting structures and relaying communication from said meetings.
  • Providing feedback on internal protocols for AADAO, and ensuring AADAO adheres to its protocols.
    • My decade of experience as a CPA has made me well suited for this. Its a large part of my current role - developing policies, and including very recently, a fraud policy for our organization.
  • Signing off on grantee payment TXs with best faith (2 out of 3 oversight members).
    • Again, internal controls are an accountants forte. Never to be complacent, but I am confidant in my abilities.
  • To support the Coordinator with the content to be included in all Transparency Reports, ensuring all relevant aspects are disclosed.
    • I’ve written many reports, both financial and non-financial in my time, and they have been used to make decisions within senior leadership teams, I would say that makes me reasonably qualified to satisfy this criteria.

Additionally, the AADAO members seemed to think I was reasonably qualified to rank me in their final submissions therefore I must have some value I can add, otherwise they would not have selected me as a final candidate.

In short, I would say that I meet all or at least substantially all to be a qualified candidate. I am an independant candidate with a neutral and unbiased view, and I’m a user and advocate for the entire Cosmos ecosystem. Where could my application use some improvement? Probably having a deeper understanding of the entire Cosmos community and the specific challenges that has lead to the creation of this position, no arguments with you there. I understand that the community asked for this position, and as a candidate, I’m doing my best to prove to the community what strengths I have, where my weaknesses are, and what I’m going to try and accomplish.

Lets quickly talk about Community. There is lots of community members, some that don’t know about this group, or the telegram group either. As a proxy for community size, there are over 23K daily active wallets transacting on Cosmos alone. (I know this isin’t a perfect measure, but I think its a fair approximation). That is a massive community, and I don’t know a better way other than listening to every voice that wants to be heard, including yours. And to say only certain voices in the community matter goes. Perhaps I’m being unreasonable, but expectations that any candidate should be able to perfectly understand the concerns of this volume of community members a couple weeks’ into applying for a position seems untenable.

I would say my asking and engaging with people is caring a lot about the position. I’m not ignoring the room, I am simply trying to hear from as many people as I possibly can, and give everyone equal opportunity to voice their opinion, just as you and others have through this forum. There are lots of people, including ones beyond this forum, that deserve to be hear from as well, and I’m doing my best to share that I am committed to doing that. If you have constructive ideas on how I can do that better, I would genuinely like to understand and try do do as much as I can. Happy to continue the dialogue in a productive manner.


Hey @StunZeed,

I just joined the tg a couple days ago, and im trying to catch up on that. If you have specific examples on, I’d definitely appreciate if you could share them with my via DM if you’d like. Im committed to learning as best I can.

I understand that point of view, and it makes sense. I think someone could also learn about the sentitment and do an equally proficient job. Totally understand how if someone was already in touch and had strong suits for the other requests form the position that would be ideal, and I would vote for that person as well.,

I agree with you on the helping people with their application part. Definitely not part of the job. The question I answered regarding this based on my understanding was making sure that their grant application was ready for submission and to make sure they had everything ready, and that I do think that provides lots of value for the AADAO as a whole to ensure the best applicants possible. So that’s where the response came from, but I completely agree that is not part of the job nor would it be something I would do. I apologize if that’s how it sounded when I responded but I would never help someone complete their grant application, as that wasn’t the intent of my comment.


You entirely missed the point of just about everything I said, further reinfocing that very point. Congratulations.

1 Like

Sorry, but that does sound like you’d help with their grant = not doing what your job is.

Don’t be sorry, btw, for what you said and how it sounded. To me it’s clear how it sounded.

And yeah, we agree that someone who has to catch up on a lot of things isn’t a good choice. Sure you could learn, but one doesn’t become part of the community just by reading what they wrote in a chat. So I can’t see how you can represent the community when you’ve not been part of it.
Also, it would slow down the whole process. We really don’t need someone who seems like an extern for a job the involves the word ‚community‘.

Also agree with the previous commentators. Feel like you missed his point.

1 Like

Enhancing the caliber of applicants certainly contributes value. However, in my experience, this is not a function of oversight.

Rather, the responsibility for improving the applicant pool belongs to the marketing and strategy teams. And AADAO has recently hired a new marketing lead, @Syed.

I believe the primary role of oversight is to ensure that the entire process, post application submission (including grant reassessment) —remains vigilantly fair. It seems to me that oversight members should not engage with applicants directly regarding their applications unless oversight is asked to help evaluate potential conflicts of interest.

Keen to hear the perspectives of other AADAO members on this issue:

  • Do you think it is appropriate for an oversight member to be actively and or directly involved with an applicant during the application solicitation/application preparation phase? @Syed @Better_Future @Youssef @Damien @CuriousJ

P.S. @Damien can you address my questions above re elected member’s duties and responsibilities