[GWG] - A charter for the Cosmos Governance Working Group

Hey all!

Here’s an initial draft for the Cosmos Governance Working Group (GWG). Please discuss here and/or make suggestions in the Google Doc (link at the bottom). My goal is to refer to this in order to keep us focused on what’s important and to cite it when governance discussions veer off track.

Cosmos Governance Working Group Charter


Make Cosmos governance easy and desirable for those acting to improve the network as a common good, while making Cosmos governance difficult and undesirable for those prioritizing anything else.


A diverse Cosmos working group group that develops and communicates decentralized community governance efforts alongside the Hub’s governance development, and a Cosmos community that’s capable of identifying and assessing the key components of a proposal.


We value our reputation, competence, objectivity & rationality, communication skills, and diversity. We devalue self-promotion and efforts to further self-interests at the cost of Cosmos stakeholders.


Hey everyone, this is Connor with Consensus Networks. We run a validator on Cosmos and have been validating since early in Cosmos Hub 2. We have been wanting to get more involved in the community and felt that this is an area we can really add some value to the community. We support quite a few different networks with different governance structures and approaches and hope to bring the lessons learned and best practices we have found across all of our experiences to the Cosmos.

Governance is closely intertwined with the decentralization of any network and bringing in a diverse range of stakeholders is critical to creating any effective governing body. We have been conducting a lot of research on decentralization and governance across multiple networks and believe a working group like this is necessary, especially as a network becomes more decentralized. If economic incentives are coupled too closely with governance, then you run the risk of a handful of network participants essentially dictating the network. We believe decoupling the two is the only way to ensure that checks and balances are kept between the different participants in a decentralized network, community interests are reflected, and the network will continue to act in the best interest of all parties.

Additionally, without a dedicated group focused on governance, the process can be arduous and the network can fall into the ‘tragedy of the commons’ dilemma wherein those responsible for governance let there responsibility slide, trusting that others will pick up the slack. Having a dedicated group responsible for governance allows those who are passionate about the protocol and how it evolves in a way beneficial to the community as a whole to efficiently and effectively coordinate proposals, refine them, and then proceed with implementation.

We support Gavin’s Charter for the Cosmos Governance Working Group and are eager to contribute in any capacity we can. For what is worth, and any who are interested, I have been conducting research about the evolution of decentralized networks, how the interplay between governance and decentralization influence one another, the issues networks have had and some of the pros and cons of different approaches. I have been publishing the findings here. These findings coupled with our experience in governing across other networks are what have fueled my belief of the importance of having a separate community focused governance group like Gavin is proposing.


Thanks Connor! Happy to see Consensus Networks participating on the Cosmos Hub.

For anyone interested, please me know if there’s anything that you think should be added to, changed about, or removed from the initial GWG charter posted above.


I would like to propose that the GWG charter is a major deliverable of your work, along with the group, such that we lay the foundation of the GWG for the long term. It would be great if the outcome of these 3 months is a charter that is voted on by the community, giving the GWG a form of legitimacy by the Cosmos ecosystem.

Overall, the charter should include the following sections, which can be discussed in the group:

  • Mission
  • Objectives and goals
  • In / out of scope
  • Stakeholders
  • Deliverables with plan
  • Risks (if any)
  • Budget

Each of these sections relates to questions that have been discussed recently following the submission of the proposal for voting and specifying them for the long term would help bring the community together and help keep the GWG focused, as you rightly point out. Once the community has voted on this we can easily stick to the details of the charter. I will comment separately on my ideas of the details of each section.


Hey Gavin, Sergey from cyber~Congress here. I took part in the call and here are some points I build upon, that might be of interest to the mission and the actual delivery of that mission:

(In no particular order of importance)

  1. I believe it’s uber important to be aware of the dangers that any working group in a decentralized project can have. Hence, it is vital, IMO, to get across the message that the mission of the group is by no mean “to govern”, but “to listen”
  1. I think that 2 of the most important parts are, of course, education and participation of the whole community in governance
  2. It is vital IMO to think of the working group, not just in terms of the cosmos hub, but to be able to listen across the whole ecosystem, especially with the coming of the IBC (for example, right now in cyber, we are trying to solve the puzzle of having our community to take part in having a vote with our cosmos validator, even though theoretically that would mean off-chain voting ((although this process can later be formalized through the local chain governance or IBC))
  3. Someone mentioned manuals. I think manuals do exist. They are called democracy, communism, marxism, capitalism, etc - and they have all failed in one way or the other, hence we are all here. And I agree with Sunny here, rather than making manuals and going the bureaucratic way, we need to think of how to achieve what was said during the call
  4. I like what Hyung and yourself proposed - GitHub as a backend and a front for greater participation. I will share the idea here, hopefully, @b-harvest will not mind, as this is great for “delivering” rather than discussing:
  • create an issue
  • discussion continues on the issue
  • “someone” takes the job to create well descriptive documentation on the issue with clear pros/cons explanation(like ADR in github repo)
  • the issue becomes “pull request” with actual codebase implementation. it is the actual proposal phase in governance process
  • extra) the worker “someone” should have some incentives to work on the selected issue?

I would just add to this another role:

  • listener/feedbacker. A person from the working group who can be motivated and goes to the communities to get not just simply feedback on what the working group proposes, but actual ideas for proposals, and formalises those into something the working group can discuss, document as per above and deliver as a proposal for the community to decide on (my idea behind this a) participation is weak b) governance as “speaking”, even in democracy, rather than “listening” has failed
  1. Lastly, about increasing participation. I am not going to go into details. Will drop a link, which hopefully you can check out in your spare time. This idea is called holographic consensus, and it’s been talked about on an ETH based project and is in work, AFAIK. The idea is to mix governance with prediction markets. I strongly advise to check this out (its two parts):

Hope this helps!