The Wisdom of a Council

On FWB’s newly created Community Council

In the early days of fledgling tribes, decisions often come down from on high. For centuries, wisdom has been handed down by elders who tend the communal fire, their knowledge guiding the community. But at some point, voices raise up from the people: "Let us share in shaping our destiny."

We now live in an age of decentralization, where top-down leadership is able to give way to collective decision-making — and DAOs like FWB have the opportunity to lead the way. For years, a small and dedicated team has steered the community forward, and while this approach undeniably played a crucial role in sustaining FWB's relevance (consider the fate of fully decentralized organizations that have faded into obscurity), it also poses a very obvious dilemma: How can a community-powered project be truly community-run?

Empowering individuals with meaningful roles and tangible rewards is vital. It's challenging for anyone to feel the desire to provide input when it seems like a part-time commitment with no compensation or clear ability to contribute. Incentives are paramount.

This is why FWB has moved to elect a Community Council: A governing body of five community members elected by their peers and entrusted with representing the collective's wishes. After an open call, over a dozen people stepped up to run. I am personally encouraged by the diverse array of talented people who stepped up. Builders, marketers, designers, legal experts — all brought unique skills to help positively shape the future.

Here are a few technical observations:

  • The election used single transferable vote ranked choice voting. While ranked choice voting can be divisive, it ultimately felt like the right decision. Each voter was forced to really consider the entire diverse list of candidates, and thoughtfully ranking each and every one of them meant that the vote's outcome defended against polarization.

  • Each member of FWB was given a single vote. However, there was no way to stop members who held multiple wallets from voting multiple times. While this was likely not a major issue thanks to the aforementioned ranked choice system, it’s clear that ‘onchain identity’ is still in an early stage.

  • We employed Snapshot and Shutter for shielded voting. In retrospect, I wish that people’s votes would have been anonymized forever. Seeing your name ranked last on a list is always going to be painful. I’m all for transparency, but I’m also for decency and being considerate of how people feel. Details that don't uplift us aren't worth knowing.

  • Snapshot broke! Because of an error, delegated votes did not get turned into a single vote, meaning that two members had way too many votes and skewed the results. This was slightly irrelevant because Snapshot’s implementation of Ranked Choice was not ideal anyways (Instant Runoff voting as opposed to Single Transferable Vote) and would have been invalidated in any case.

This transition marks a milestone in FWB's evolution into a decentralized DAO, and the process proved remarkably transparent and enlightening, albeit stressful. The elected council members now shoulder the responsibility of being our collective voice, passionately advocating for our interests, and ensuring that the core team's decisions align with the community's vision. They serve as a vital bridge, proactively connecting the core team with the wider community, safeguarding the community's values, and keeping objectives in harmony.

Like all things at FWB, the Council shows our power when bonded by purpose. Together around the fire, we shape our future.

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