Governance & Identity

Governance & Identity category proposal

Category Title

Governance & Identity

Category question

What tools, processes and research will improve how we integrate governance or identity solutions both in Catalyst and the wider Cardano ecosystem?

Why is it important?

Cardano needs effective governance & identity tools, processes and experiments to make it easier to develop and scale community solutions

What does success look like?

Evolution of the governance and identity tools, processes and resources to improve Catalyst and applications building on Cardano

Key Metrics to measure

Tracking success for this category will mean:

  • Increasing the number or quality of tools, libraries & SDKs that can help improve areas around governance, identity and DAOs.

  • Solutions and processes for the Catalyst ecosystem that improve the overall process, tools being used, decision making, ability to deliver rapid funding or auditing of proposals.

  • An increased amount of support in the forms of research, educational resources, hosted discussions, mentors or accelerators that help support and improve areas around Catalyst, identity or governance.

  • Increasing the number of governance experiments and enactment of governance by the community to discover best practices and learn from failed experiences.

  • Increasing the quality and diversity of community voices being shared and heard to inform governance decisions.

Individual success metrics are added for the different types of proposal in the category brief. These metrics provide suggestions for how different proposal types could be audited.

Category brief


Governance & Identity is focused on the following areas:

  • Tools, libraries and SDKs that help with improving governance and identity around the systems used in Catalyst or for applications in the wider ecosystem.

  • Resources, processes, documentation, mentors and accelerators that make it easier to participate and engage in the Catalyst governance process.

  • Research, analysis and reports that help drive novel or improved approaches for governance or identity that can be used in Catalyst or the wider ecosystem.

  • Experiments in governance through practical enactment and action, putting ideas into practice.

Why this category is important

Catalyst provides the governance process for the distribution of funding from the Cardano treasury.

To maximize the potential of the ecosystem there is a need for effective and robust governance and identity tools that help with determining how to distribute treasury funding. Achieving this will create a thriving community, an easier to use development ecosystem and nurture a growing list of products and integrations.

This category also concerns any identity or governance solutions used in the wider ecosystem that will help the ecosystem to thrive.

The better that Catalyst and applications in the wider community are able to effectively govern and apply identity to their applications and processes the more the ecosystem can thrive on reliable and trustable infrastructure. More open source tools for governance and identity within the ecosystem will help with increasing the rate of people developing novel solutions to different problems.

It's also time to enact and do governance through experiments and trials and share what we learn. It's time to put the ideas into practice and to reflect, iterate, and improve.

Types of proposals to include

  • Governance tools & software - Tools, libraries and SDKs that help with governance participation and decision making that can be used by Catalyst but also could be used by other teams building in the ecosystem. Tools for governance will help the Catalyst function more effectively as a DAO.

  • DAO tools & software - Development tools, libraries and SDKs that help the wider community to build DAOs for their own projects.

  • Identity tools & software - Identity tools, libraries and SDKs that help with Catalyst governance or that could be used in other applications across the wider ecosystem. Identity solutions could be Atala PRISM focussed but could also be integrations of other identity systems into the Cardano ecosystem.

  • Rapid funding mechanisms - New rapid funding mechanisms looking at improving the distribution of funding of the Cardano treasury.

  • Auditing tools or processes - Tools and process improvements that help with auditing funded proposals to help ensure they have the support needed to maximize the impact produced.

  • Catalyst tools & processes - Tools and processes that help to improve the Catalyst ecosystem in effectively governing the Cardano treasury.

  • Catalyst accelerators & mentors - Tools, guides, mentors and programs that help people with going through the Catalyst funding process and working on their project.

  • Collaborations & hosted discussions - Initiatives that improve the idea flow, training, processes or discussions around governance and identity within the Catalyst or Cardano ecosystem. Can include mentorship from industry professionals or efforts to build more welcoming spaces for open discussion.

  • Governance research - Research and analysis projects that will help improve how the community can approach governance such as decision making, voter participation or voting models. This can include exploring existing or new governance models that could improve how the community approaches distributed governance.

  • Governance & identity education - Demos, guides, videos, presentations or documentation as education resources about the different governance and identity tools, libraries and processes available in the ecosystem.

  • Governance in action - Groups and communities forming governance groups to find better ways of problem sensing, collaborating, and making decisions. Taking research and theory into practice and running real experiments in community governance. Example experiments could cover sociocracy, holacracy, human behavior, governance strategies, consensus-building mechanisms, voting (e.g. Quadratic voting), on-chain voting or reputation building.

  • Events - Any events or meet ups that are about any of the focus areas in this governance and identity category.

  • Hackathons - Hackathons aimed at helping improve the governance and identity tools, software and resources available in the ecosystem.

Potential success metrics for proposal types

This list is not exhaustive but does provide some ideas for proposers to consider.

  • Governance tools & software - Amount of adoption from other projects, improvement metrics from any adoption in the Catalyst ecosystem.

  • DAO tools & software - Amount of adoption from other projects, improvement metrics from any adoption in the Catalyst ecosystem.

  • Identity tools & software - Amount of adoption from other projects, improvement metrics from any adoption in the Catalyst ecosystem.

  • Rapid funding mechanisms - Number of participants involved in the governance process, speed of funding distribution, number of projects supported through mechanism.

  • Auditing tools or processes - Amount of adoption from other projects, number of projects being audited, number of projects receiving extra support, number of projects having funding halted due to lack of execution.

  • Catalyst tools & processes - Number of participants participating in the funding process with quality engagement, time saved going through the funding process.

  • Catalyst accelerators & mentors - Number of projects onboarded onto support programs, number of projects supported.

  • Collaborations & hosted discussions - Number of attendees or engaged community members in initiatives, percentage increases in community participation on important topics.

  • Governance research - Number of citations, number of projects utilising research or analysis in their execution.

  • Governance & identity education - Number of viewers or participants of education resources, testimonies on the quality of the resources made from community feedback.

  • Governance in action - Number of participants involved and shared lessons learnt or hypotheses answered through community initiatives and experiments.

  • Events - Number of locations covered, number of attendees, open feedback from attendees about the event.

  • Hackathons - Number of projects created, number of novel solutions, number of teams formed, number of projects initiated that continue after the hackathon.

Category guidelines

  • Open source - Any tools, libraries or SDKs are encouraged to be open source either from the start or as soon as possible. There is no requirement to be open source immediately however proposers should include the details of their plan towards open sourcing the project. Proposers should explain what makes their solution unique if existing open source solutions already exist for what they are proposing so that the impact and potential value to the community is clear.

  • Commercial projects - Commercial projects should support other builders in the ecosystem by making it easier for them to build solutions on Cardano. Solutions should improve the developer ecosystem around governance and identity. Commercial projects looking to target the end user should be submitted in the Products & Integrations category. Commercial projects are encouraged to make proposals in this category for development parts of their project that can be open sourced for the benefit of the builders across the ecosystem.

Considerations for proposers

  • Governance experiments - Experiments in governance are encouraged to be open, participatory, and welcoming. Diversity of participation across time zones, cultures, and languages is preferred. Decentralized and emergent governance is naturally preferred over centralised experiments. How can decision making be pushed as far to the edges as possible? How can collaboration and communication be increased so decisions are made? How can the community move fast, yet ensure people are heard? Who should be represented in governance?

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