[temp check] make working group terms to a full year

I would like to propose a few changes on working groups and stewardship roles on the DAO. These stem from these perceived issues:

  • Short term time frame: the six month time frame and the unpredictability of the next election makes it hard for someone to actually not take other commitments or quit more stable jobs just for the DAO.
  • Unclear rules on compensation: Traditionally it has been decided previously by ENS Labs governance, which is not ideal. It’s also not clear there is a compensation at the moment were stewards are selected which is not ideal for attracting talent.
  • High overhead: Total compensation for the stewards has ranged between 15-17% of the total budget requested in the recent terms. At the last term it amounted to over half a million dollars per year. This might be lower than in some academic circles, in which for every 100k in grants given, 50k goes to the grant management, but can still seem excessive for some. Of course, “any measure that becomes a target ceases being a good measure” so it’s hard to put a precise goal on what that number should be, but it should be considered when debating compensation budget.

I would suggest the following improvements for working groups, starting next term:

  • One year terms. I would advocate that working groups have a term of 1 year. This allow better personal planning in the part of the newly elected stewards and a stable and predictable income for a longer period for which they can commit more.
  • Steward compensation rules declared at steward selection. Since the goal would be to attract great talent with a one year commitment, we should clarify the compensation during election. This not only is fairer with the overall community which is voting but also helps attract great and dedicated talent.
  • Compensation per roles. Not all stewards are expected to have the same responsibilities and commitment and therefore compensation. The Metagov group would have a responsibility of setting which roles would be needed and what how compensation would work. At election time steward candidates would declare their intent and commitment: ideally we want to elect a nice balance of some steward being available for a deep commitment while others wanting to offer advisory on the matters while retaining flexibility with their own other work commitments. Compensation should be based on responsibility and commitment and should NOT discriminate based on factors like gender or country of residence.
  • In order to prevent the DAO double spending, stewards who are already indirectly compensated by the DAO should abstain from compensation. This rule should take in consideration multiple factors, since much of the greater talent in the ecosystem works or has worked at some point with companies receiving some sort of grants.
  • Final decisions on roles and compensation will fall on the metagov working group. Once an election is decided, stewards should discuss among themselves on who will play each role and the final decision on role distribution and compensation should fall on Metagov, which is subject to a budget request. Metagov budget does not need to disclose individual compensation, but should disclose total budget dedicated to compensation as well as the lowest and highest paid salaries.

I hope these changes would allow working groups to be more competitive and attract and retain even greater talent in the ENS DAO. How would you all feel about them?


Maybe increase compensation, too, to keep & attract talented individuals within the ENS DAO.

[edit, update and reorder to add]

Continuing the discussion from [4.4.2] [Social] Funding Request: ENS Meta-Goverance Working Group:

On the note of privacy and the foundational fundamentals of Ethereum and public blockchain ledgers:

I understand that it is reasonable for a person(s), i.e, steward or other compensation recipients to not want to disclose being paid. In the grand scheme and like most other public good entities which receive funding from the service it provides to the public, are almost always disclosed. I assume that in any organization that has similar funding mechanisms that any persons compensated by such organizations should be blatantly aware of this. Again, yeah people have the right to privacy but this seems like it is obvious ‘shoe-in’ knowledge when person(s) nominate themselves for this sort of position.

Largely, transparency is arguably one of the most common arguments for using decenetralized systems as opposed to closed loop data gated institutions. Transparency is trust. For the most part, Ethereum users want the ability to be included in a hassle-free trusted environment as it inherently creates a checks and balances system to a degree that; yes we are all responsible for the management of our funds on a personal level but that transparency also teaches how to responsibly manage funding streams appropriately by redirecting allocation to endpoints have contributed to supporting and upholding the paradigms on which the system was built for. That being said, in the midst of compensation conversation; I believe it’s important to consider the balance of trust from the greater network with the transparency the network gives us.

[original, order moved]

By increasing compensation; are you referring to the increase of individual comps based on their roles or increasing comps for individuals who commit time in support of the DAO? i.e, adding additional stream recipients.

On Working Group Terms
In the event that the DAO decides to continue with 6 month terms and considering that the stewards of each working group are vital to totality of the DAOs mechanisms; maybe we should consider steward elections to be offset of each other. Having the entire steward council up for rotation at one time causes stress on the DAO. It seems to me that; half way through the term, there is much more activity within the DAO. We should aim to compress interaction, submissions, grants, funding streams and other initiatives to try reduce the amplitude of activity over a longer period.

Collaborate Setting Rules for Update
I would like to request to merge the topic I created ‘Ammend Working Group Rules’ to this topic to include your mentions when I finish a cleaner presentation. I could even pass a version to you for review beforehand. Would that be okay?

Agree with all these.

Compensation for roles I also agree partially, I’d say, that everyone have the same base salary, with a justification on why there will more on top of that base, publicly stated.

I was thinking based on core-official roles, initially.

Note: I want the DAO to be as lean as possible,
but I do think a lot more people can be compensated,
…for both direct-and-ancillary support for our industry.

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Fully agree on the set of changes and the sentiment behind them - thank you for this @AvsA

One-year terms is a great idea, mainly re what space for long-term and strategic planning/executing and solid contextual understanding bring in. Couple that with better comp modelling and the improved commitment that might mean from stewards would move us closer to stewardship being a more defined and highly skilled + valued role. *Transparency in compensation will be a key element in building trust here.


@garypalmerjr disagree. Compensation is between 3-7k per month for a job that is fully remote and has no requirement for full dedication. It’s not the opinion of everyone but I think it’s enough to get great talent if we do it properly.

@accessor.eth also disagree: my proposal asks for a clear rules on what’s the compensation, and to divulge only the minimum, maximum comp and total budget allocated to it (which they do now). I believe this would be a fair compromise.

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Which part are you referring to because I agree with your view.

I mentioned as part of my previous topic post that it should be decided in the outgoing term before the roles are then passed to potential new stewards, but doesn’t clearly define specification on the value of each responsibility being assumed. ( which again, still needs a readability assessment and getting around to to that. :grimacing:)

Also, it is kind of amazing how concepts become documented and reviewed yet still occur throughout different systems. The ‘See Also’ in Goodharts Law wiki you cited eveals a disappointing reference to the the current state, contextually. All of which applies whether intentional or unintentional. I mean…finding and correcting instances like this is a good reason for a DAO to exist.

The Metagov stewards have posted a suggested comp structure for the Working Group Stewards and supporting roles in this thread: ENS DAO Steward Compensation

Increasing term length is really good idea to work full year peacefully… but it’ll be funny governance/state capture on long run without term limits.

I disagree it is “good enough”;
Of course, I do not want to overpay in business,
but this seems to be on the lower-end for great talent;
…great talent, whom could over-deliver on expectations.

If the higher-ends are nonexistent, then some will not apply.
From the total compensation amount, per Steward,
most Stewards have tax obligations & COB,
which decreases the net compensation.

Even with part-time considerations,
lower compensation amounts may be fine for most talent, but IMO,
we are seeking for great talent with “specific experience”, to resume,
…for these strategically and high-impact Stewardship roles.

Note: Higher-end compensation amounts
are reserved for Stewards who have targeted
high-end “provable and referenceable” experience.