Retrospective of CityDAO’s 2022

As the end of the year approaches, I propose to use this discussion to discuss learnings from the last 12 months and ways to move forward. If you have thoughts on what went well, and what could be done better, please post them below.

I’m placing mine below.

Looking back on what learnings from the last 6 months of the guild structure, we started off with the goal of creating a more organized approach to operations and process in CityDAO.

The goal of the planning guild was to continue the process of streamlining how the DAO works and thus making it easier for work to get done. Those things included cleaning up the way that the discord works, re-working the CityDAO notion and knowledge base, as well as streamlining the CIP process and making it more transparent and understandable.

I was a big advocate of reducing the expenses of the DAO and increasing the amount of money that is flowing back to the treasury. I remain dedicated to those goals so that we can increase the impact that CityDAO has while continuing the longevity of the organization.

The current format of the planning guild (and other guilds) is not optimal for continuing those goals for multiple reasons:

  1. Nobody on the team is fully dedicated to maintenance and development of the DAO ops tools. This leads to gaps in support (like not having correct permissions in certain channels or the notion not being fully understood by the community due to lack of walkthrough on it). It also causes problems where there isn’t a single person responsible for execution of tasks.
  2. DAOs aim to be decentralized, but there are varying and inconsistent interpretations of how to implement. In practice, it means that anyone that has admin access on a tool feels they can do whatever they like in terms of edits without consulting a group and communicating it clearly to the DAO community. This causes further confusion in how tools work as they change seemingly arbitrarily without communication out about changes that are being made. This is made worse because of #1 since it makes it harder to communicate about such changes.
  3. CIPs get moved arbitrarily through the process of passing without following clear criteria as the process of moving them forward depends on who has admin access to the snapshot platform and what they think is accurate, rather than a clear set of guidelines.

Because of that:

  1. My personal focus as part of the planning guild has shifted from maintenance of DAO tools and shepherding of the CIP process to working on reforming DAO governance to address the real challenges above.
  2. I have come to believe that the most important challenges facing this DAO are those of the core governance structure as the rest are just symptoms. e.g. the bickering, unclear info in tools, etc… all rise from the fact that there are not clear stewards of the DAO who are accountable and the process is not clearly defined.

With that in mind, I’ve worked to update the operating agreement with a group of others which lead to:

  1. This information gathering exercise.
  2. This updated operating agreement forum post.
  3. This updated operating agreement from that post after addressing the concerns raised in the post and after.
  4. This proposal for a DAO governance convention to move this process forward as there has not been high participation in the previous 3 exercises.

My proposal for how we should move forward (which I will submit to the convention if it happens) is that:

  1. No longer pass guilds as bundles, if any guilds want to exist they should CIP on their own.
  2. Fund 3 main roles for full time in the DAO:
    1. Finance Lead
    2. Operations Lead
    3. Legal Lead
  3. Fix CIP governance through convention with the result of an elected multisig that acts as stewards of the DAO.
  4. Re-commit to a CityDAO mission through convention.
  5. CIPs should not fund outside entities, but rather projects that are wholly owned by CityDAO.

What learnings do you have?


This is great Konrad!! I’d be happy to offer up my own learnings as well:

  1. The Mission Guild should have been implemented and executed. The original council created a Mission Guild for the purpose of assisting CIPs through governance while keeping them reasonably “mission-aligned”. The charter did a nice job of spelling out key functions of the Mission Guild. Unfortunately, it was never implemented, and many of its original members left the DAO entirely - in some cases as soon as their council comp had been paid out or in the weeks thereafter. In other cases, members of that original mission guild decided to focus on their own external projects and interests, and in some cases, have led proposals where money has been requested to be removed from the citydao ecosystem entirely - with no strings attached, no commitments, and an expectation that CityDAO should bear all risks associated with their external proposals. Some of these proposers who were Mission Guild members have gone so far as to argue that they should be given money without even needing a legal entity or basic grant agreement. So it seems that the Mission Guild was a great idea, but the people chosen to implement it were likely not the best fit, and as a result, the Mission Guild failed to consummate.

Solution: Reinstate Mission Guild (or its functions anyway), make it an elected position, and require real accountability. You could even bridge it and use the same group as the multisig (which should also be elected anyway). It could be comprised solely of individuals who do not want to run projects or accept grants and can commit to mission-focused role only - CityDAO big-picture focused contributors who would be elected and have clear guidelines/responsibilities.

  1. In Person > Virtual. We need more irl time. Relationships are not built over keyboards, and trust is not built on Discord. To an extent, one major concept underpinning web3 is trustlessness - but the reality is that the teams around CityDAO have never worked as efficiently or effectively as they could have - had there been more irl time (or any at all). Anyone who has met irl through web3 knows how powerful it is for learning about one another and getting to a community-focused mindset. Its also just far too easy to be a keyboard warrior or to adopt a “troll” mindset on Discord, or to otherwise be unwilling to humanize the other party in a conversation appropriately solely through digital communications. Voice calls help but clearly do not solve for this either.

Solution: More CityDAO sponsored IRL spaces & events.

  1. We need to align as a community on how the next chapter of CityDAO will look. This one seems pretty self-evident but CityDAO is suffering from a disparity of opinions on what projects to pursue and how to best use DAO resources. The “what” is the MISSION and the “how” is the CORE GOVERNANCE FUNCTIONS that Konrad alluded to… As Konrad astutely pointed out above:

Solution: Convene at an event (IRL + Virtual) to align on (i) mission statement/goals/criteria for CityDAO in the big picture, and (ii) core governance issues (including CIP template and process, announcement standardization, and clarity around votes/quorum/all other key governance considerations, etc.).

No - I do not think fixing CityDAO will be “easy” - but there is nothing worth accomplishing that has ever been easy. We set out to use the resources that CityDAO pooled to make the world a better place and we are slightly off that track now. Lets get back on the right path, lets align on how the next chapter of CityDAO should be written. Lets find a path to less risky treasury sustainability than investments. If we are a grant-giving organization - lets align on the projects and manner in which grants are given, and then standardize it like Gitcoin did. If projects need to be internal and public-good building focused - lets get back to that! If CityDAO is now the startup fund for everyone’s external pet project - lets get together and agree that’s what this is… Either way - Lets get together, agree on the next chapter, and ideally, get back to using this technology and our collective energy to benefit the world, instead of bickering through keyboards! :slight_smile:


One of my takeaways is the challenging of paying for work without a system of accountability. We essentially give money to people and then just hope they do the work. If they don’t, there are no consequences. This incentivizes big asks and small returns.

My other takeaway is the importance of regular debate and discussion, in other words, communication. I personally don’t think the problem is just a lack of clarity on mission, or a lack of face-to-face IRL time. I think it’s just making time to get together in groups and talk - not sell our projects. A convention would be great, but if we then return to a state of not really communicating, the problem will not have been addressed at the root.


Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays.

It’s interesting. A lot of the issues you outlined here have many paralells in governance over at Proof of Humanity DAO the past two years, and some aspects of Kleros DAO. After so much time spent in them, I realize a lot of DAOs share common challenges.

  • Governance processes
  • Accountability
  • Grant processes
  • Effort relevance and effort duplication
  • Awareness of active projects in the ecosystem
  • Spending money haphazardly

I’ve read through a lot of debate on the forum about narrowing vision, defining goals etc. In all honesty, the goal is quite clear - Build a blockchain native city

The secondary goal would be for that city to be green, clean, well structured, and essentially transcending the limitations of current world city design using innovative technology. (Otherwise what is the point?)

This is a glaring isssue. This means CIPs do not represent a comprehensive interest of the DAO, but rather the interest of whoever authored and signed the CIPs. Decentralization doesn’t have to mean anarchy. That also makes it very hard to ensure the treasury is being used effectively.

Would you like me to create a CIP framework, or improve on whichever framework exists?

I don’t see how the DAO could progress forward otherwise. Monuments, convention budgets, all these ‘CIPs’ I see that request exhuberant quantities of money for things that may or may not actually even benefit the DAO - These things aren’t the focus right now.

Here is how I have set up the Notion for Proof of Humanity. Scroll down the page and you’ll find a project dashboard. I update this as new projects in the DAO come to my attention. It functions as a central location of all information. It is, however, not centralized, as I simply maintain it. If a project exists and the DAO is working on it, it is on there. Regardless of whether or not I approve of the project or not.

In terms of financials, the easiest thing to do at this stage is to prepare a document on all the assets the DAO has and what is being spent on them. In every DAO i’ve participated in, there is always lots of work spread out across many ‘bubbles’ and an overall lack of coherence about how to unify that work. It would look a little like this:

  • What is the asset?
  • Who is organizing the project for the asset?
  • What were the set up costs?
  • What are the maintenance costs?
  • How does it contribute to the goal of ‘building a blockchain native city’
  • How much money is left in the treasury?
  • Where is funding for the treasury coming from and how much?

With this done, it’ll become very clear very quickly what assets & projects are actually contributing to the goal of the DAO. What is too expensive? Who is actually working on something? What projects should we cut, or maintain?

I can put this together if desired.

I think the main thing here is to remember what CIP stands for. Proposals about funding integrations, or funding projects that don’t even contribute to the DAO’s goal shouldn’t even recieve funding in the first place. But then what constitutes as contributing to the DAO must be formally established to actually improve the funding process.

If the two documents I mentioned, a CIP ‘constitution’ (Both forks of PoH are building this right now as they realized a constitution is necessary to operate), and an ‘Asset Document’ will help avoid this kind of haphazard spending and plethora of irrelevant projects.

In terms of people being paid for things and then the money and effort trail going dark - PoH utilizes retroactive grants. These work relatively well, but do also need improvement.

If someone requests a grant for a viable project, it should be costed appropriately

  • Start up costs
  • Time and effort
  • Work that will be achieved
  • Milestones.

Start up costs could be given in the early stage, and a pre-agreed retroactive grant is given upon delivery of work. This isn’t too dissimilar to UpWork, for example.

You could also utilize Kleros Escrow to help manage project funds as a neutral third party that is both blockchain native and operates as DAO with similar shared visions of the future. Once more, this is similar to UpWork and the overall gig economy.

Hopefully some of these ideas help, and if they are believed to be useful, I am happy to begin drafting the documents I outlined in this post. I just need to find the relevant information. :slightly_smiling_face:


There is an old saying that goes “a volunteer is worth 1000 draftees”

If this is something you are willing to take on and help solve for, I think a lot of people would be interested in working with you and helping you find the relevant information. I for one am happy to “volunteer” to do so :wink: and I am sure others will too!

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Much of the documents you outlined already exist on the Notion, they are just not regularly maintained.

CityDAO does need an operations lead / secretary who will do this maintenance. If you’re up to be that person then definitely post a proposal to that effect would be great to have more organization there.

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So I can see a lot of the documents in one form or another. They either seem to need updating or improving upon.

There are sections that appear somewhat redundant also. I think some harmonization would be good here.

The main areas to address:

  • Ensuring the initiatives section is up to date, in addition to a clear costing tab associated with each initiative
  • Assessing the assets each initiative has and the stage they are at
  • Which guilds are active
  • If there is any work duplication between projects
  • Ensuring all CIPs adhere to the same template
  • Enhancing democratic voice and decision making
  • Creating formal grant structures
  • Electing a delegated multi-sig to trusted individuals to increase accountability
  • Creating a formal document of what constitutes as ‘contributing to the goal of CityDAO’ for CIPs

With all that in place it should be a little easier to assess the value of projects in the ecosystem and put focus on achieving the vision.

It seems CityDAO is in need of something between a DAO Lead and Operations Lead, as you mentioned.

There is A LOT of information scattered around, so it may take me some time to synthesize it all.

Lastly, out of curiosity, why the need for multiple parcels/land at such an early stage? Surely it would be better to have a single, functional site being developed, instead of multiple semi-functional/dysfunctional ones?

Edit: I’d be interested in filling the role of a DAO Lead / Ops Lead, should CityDAO be interested in hiring for such a role. I’m happy to post a formal role proposal (as strange as that feels), or if someone on the team wants to discuss it, I can do it here, on Discord, or you can message me on Telegram @TaraSavannah :slightly_smiling_face:

That might be good. I’d be happy to discuss this with you. I had started writing a draft CIP of this role and I was originally going to offer to do it, but maybe we could do it together? Or maybe we could use coordinape, along with anyone else who contributes?

Some people have suggested that this should be an election, which is fine except for the fact that (1) that would take more time and (2) someone might be elected who promises to do things and then doesn’t do them. Then we’d have to start all over again.

Here’s what I originally wrote. All are welcome to comment on this. However we do it, let’s find a way to organize all documents and get a transparency dashboard for projects going! CIP - XX: DAO Secretary - Google Docs

What did i learn so far ?

If everyone worked as hard as they should and showed their results, we would be talking about different things today.

You may see community guild’s works in here. Not saying that others did just sit there and watch but we didnt act fast, we didnt question ourselves & others, we didnt show what we have done or achieved to others.

Thats why we’re losing blood.

So many things to write down, but i’m sure you all know them very well.

DAO is a new thing, its not easy.

Still, we could have done better. Yet i still believe that WGMI (be degen :slight_smile: )

Ah! Wish I had seen this sooner. I would have had at least some framework to go off of before I posted my own. Oh well, its done now haha :sweat_smile:

Looking through the draft you and others composed, it seems the majority of proposed responsibilities actually pertain to community management, rather than DAO governance, policy, and project management. This significantly differs from my own interpretation of a DAO Lead in my proposal.

I believe a seperate role should be sought that pertains to your draft, such as a Community Manager, that directly manages the communication channels, community support, onboarding, signposting, and social media. They can communicate opinions and challenges from those platforms to the DAO and DAO Lead, and allows the DAO Lead to focus on projects, policy, integrations, and democracy.

I feel that would be a better approach than employing two DAO Leads competing for the same responsibilities. Judging from the work that currently needs to be done and the skills needed to do it, I am pretty confident it can be done by a single, well-versed individual without issue. If anything, I believe fragmenting the role between two individuals would be more of a hamper than a benefit, as additional effort has to go in to splitting work up, making sure each person is doing equal work, etc. That isn’t really where time should be spent in my opinion, at least at this early stage.

My year in review.

I learned that the DAO must have met the requirements for Wyoming Statute 17-31-106(c) on the Smart Contract. If it did not, they must be met in the OA per -108. After internal discussions and searches with the DAO, and its outside counsel, it appears to me that the DAO does not have the -106(c) requirements met in its Smart Contract, or an executed OA (publicly or privately). Until we can find an executed OA, or get one blessed by a Wy. attorney, I request that we all stop promoting any further CIPs (except to fix this problem, perhaps). The multi-sig should probably stop authorizing non-mission critical spends. Maybe there is something hiding in the smart contract about enacting or amending the OA I am not smart enough to decipher.