S+ Foundation: Proposal [V1]

Working Title

S+ Foundation

Team

@guiltyparties

Executive Summary

The S+ Foundation is a decentralized, on-chain entity. The executive summary will be compiled at the conclusion of the drafting process.

Purpose

The purpose of this Foundation model is to inspire and support positive, ecosystem-inclusive, dedicated and viable projects on the Steem blockchain. It's structure is designed to inspire cohesiveness across a decentralized landscape.

Primary Benefits

  • Inclusive
  • Decentralized
  • Ethical
  • Accountable
  • Steem-based

Mission

To create a unified Foundation that champions the values of and empowers the Steem ecosystem.

Vision

A clear and transparent Foundation benefiting the Steem ecosystem.


Organizational Structure

The proposed Foundation is made up of 15 active working members. The structure is as follows:

Voting Members

Executive (5)

Co-Chair Community / Co-Chair Development
Secretary
Treasurer (Liaison)
Legal (Liaison)

Stakeholders (5)

Corporate Representative (Steemit Inc)
Witness Representative (Technical)
Stakeholder 1
Stakeholder 2
Stakeholder 3

Board Members (5)

Board Member 1
Board Member 2
Board Member 3
Board Member 4
Board Member 5

Non-Voting Members

Committee volunteers. Active and productive committee volunteers hold the rank of Member.

Committees

Marketing & Communications

Responsibilities

  • Create and action marketing plan
  • Create and action communications plan
  • Develop pieces of communication
  • Source vendors for promotional materials
  • Oversee all promotions

Fundraising

Responsibilities

  • Develop fundraising plan and goals
  • Develop fundraising budget
  • Establish relationship with donors
  • Maintain donor database

Legal

Responsibilities

  • Keep abreast of relevant legal developments
  • Vet all projects for legal implications
  • Maintain liaison with 3rd party legal vendor
  • Develop legal guidelines

Human Resources

Responsibilities

  • Develop job descriptions
  • Develop vendor selection processes
  • Keep all vendor-related records
  • Handle in-foundation disputes
  • Process member replacements

Financial/Audit

Responsibilities

  • Produce quarterly and year-end reports
  • Retain and catalog all receipts and financial records
  • Present foundation members with regular statements

Development Audit

Responsibilities

  • Quality control of projects
  • Produce quarterly and year-end reports of project milestones
  • Code review where necessary
  • Ensure all development is legitimate and unique

Dual Chair Model

The dual chair model is proposed to increase fairness and productivity while mitigating leadership shortfalls by introducing redundancy.

Service Terms

Foundation positions would be based on terms of service. No term should be indefinite. Voting membership should rotate to prevent stagnation and allow for a healthy atmosphere.

PositionTerm LengthMax TermsElection
Executive12 months1Yes
Stakeholders6 months1Rotating Appointment
Board Members12 months2Yes

Nomination

All Foundation members should be selected for the nomination process solely based on their skills, competencies and proficiencies. All skills are to be verifiable and self-evident. Self-identification of skills is vital.

Tools:

Engagement

Foundation members would be required to maintain an active participation rate of 80%, including the attendance of 8/10 meetings, and serve on no less than 2 committees each. No member should serve on more than 3 committees to prevent both monopoly and burnout.

Remuneration

Board members and volunteers are expected to operate pro-bono without receiving financial compensation in the official capacity. Official compensation includes upvotes, delegation or anything else monetary in nature.


Voting for Foundation Members

Stake Tiers

Tiered voting merges the current stake-based model with a representative model. Grouping investors into tiers ensures that no one account can dominate the voting outcome while respecting the stake-based system and length of investment.

SP (Locked Investment) RangeStake Tier (STier)
5SP - 1,000SP1
1,000SP - 10,000SP2
10,000SP - 100,000SP3
100,000SP - 500,000SP4
500,000SP - 1,000,000SP5
1,000,000 SP +6

"Founder" accounts (and miners) are treated the same as the accounts of early adopters.

Account Creation DateTime Tier (TTier)
20191
2018 - 20192
2017 - 20183
2016 - 20174

Weighted Model

Usage example: Alice is a Whale (STier 6) and has been a member since 2016 (TTier 4). Her vote holds the highest weight (x).Bob is a new member (TTier 1) who invested in STEEM (STier 2). His vote holds the base weight (y).

The highest weighted vote is worth 16 points, the base weighted vote is 1.

Total Vote Impact (TVI) Value

1 vote = 1 account → split into 4 → 0.25 vote → 1 account
0.25 x point weight → ie. 0.25 x 16 → 4. Ie. 0.25 x 4 → 1.

Case: Alice has 100 accounts as follows: 1 x 16 points, 19 x 4 points, 80 x 1 point. Her communal impact could be 4 + 19 + 20 = 43. This is a lot of points. Mitigation is needed.

Mitigation: Alice has 2 x Discord accounts verified by Gina. The above accounts that make up the points are reduced in number by Gina verification. If Alice only verified her 16 point and 4 point accounts, her total vote impact becomes 4 + 1 = 5.

.: The Total Vote Impact must be calculated.


Community Engagement Opportunities

No stakeholder shall be excluded from taking part in the Foundation or benefiting from the existence of the Foundation, where in accordance with ethic and legitimate practices, for any reason including: the size of their stake, their popularity or lack thereof, their ethnicity, gender, primary language, or any other frivolous reason.

Definitions

Community

The community consists of users with accounts of all sizes, from minnows to whales. All individuals who hold the keys to a Steem account are part of the community. The contents of a wallet, no matter how large or small, do not preclude the owner from being a member of the community.

Stakeholders

All individuals who hold the keys to a Steem account are stakeholders, even in the case where their accounts have zero STEEM or SBD. This is because the account itself has a cost associated with its creation and base existence. Stakeholders are ranked based on the size of their stake on the Steem blockchain.

This proposal rejects any perceived opinions that some are more or less of community members than others and "deserve" anything other than to be treated as equals.

2-Way Communication

Communication between Foundation members and the general userbase will be facilitated at regular intervals through accessible methods of scheduled public forums.

All communication should be kept professional and free of biases.

Tools shall be granted to the Foundation for the purposes of facilitating communication and managing the flow of work where necessary.

Tools:

Accountability

Accounts / Wallets

All Steem accounts owned by the Foundation should be set to @steem as Trustee and monitored for unauthorized advanced changes (ie. vesting route, trustee account, active authority) as well as unauthorized use of third party services. To mitigate inadvertent loss of control, third party services should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. No individual user should ever be set as Trustee for a Foundation account.

Ethics

Foundation board members found to be engaged in unethical practices will be expected to immediately resign or will be removed from their positions of trust. This includes stakeholders.

  • Offering or receiving benefits or favors of any kind in return for certain actions.
  • Offering or receiving witness votes in return for certain actions.
  • Offering or receiving curation votes in return for certain actions.

The board and body of the Foundation are to remain separate from any and all non-Foundation leadership and governance structures including but not limited to witnessing, major project ownership, community leadership or business ventures. No board member will introduce him or herself as a board member and witness/etc. No board member will attempt to leverage his or her position to gain favor, support or otherwise promotion for any activity outside of the foundation.

Witness Bias

Support for individual witnesses should never be implied, directly or indirectly, by any Foundation account or active board member unless said member is a witness themselves and are speaking from a non-Foundation standpoint.

Foundation accounts should not be voting for witnesses or curating content.

Ethical Foundation Interactions and Mindset

Irrevocability and Continuous Improvement

At some point, all decisions and votes made for the purpose of creating the Foundation must have a degree of irrevocability. When the Foundation deals with external contractors, donor or third parties of any kind, the expected relationship is one with decisions of minimal adjustment if any. The irrevocability of decisions must be respected as it directly translates to contractual obligation. The Foundation must have the support mechanisms to act in accordance of irrevocability, which is a feature required for external interactions.

The second and more pertinent element of finality is the fact that cryptocurrency funds will be transferred for the purposes of operating the Foundation and utilizing it. Transfers to exchanges and to wallets are final. Manipulating the Steem blockchain code to react to an erroneous transaction is unrealistic. The Foundation must recognize the irrevocability of its actions and decisions in that regard.

Continuous Improvement, on the other hand, is a feature of internal interactions. The Foundation would be constantly engaged in two-way conversation with its members and stakeholders. The goal would be optimise its processes, keep up to date with expectations and demands, and deliver the service that the Foundation was set up to deliver. Continuous improvement is not a counter to decisiveness and should not be seen as such. It is a point of optimization designed to support the confidence in all decisions involving irrevocability.

Risk vs Responsibility

No amount of hiring external parties to regulate and oversee the Foundation will absolve the Foundation of the responsibility associated with those specific tasks or jobs. The Foundation is still responsible and thus liable for them as it would be if Foundation members undertook those tasks and jobs themselves.

The only element that can be transferred is the risk associated with the competency of performance of said tasks and functions. It would be supposed that the contracted external party would mitigate that risk through its own means and competencies. What that does is amplify the means of the Foundation through the use of that external party. The amplification transfers the risk but it cannot transfer responsibility. Therefore the focus on Foundation building should not be the act of transfer but support for managing responsibility.


Fiat Legal Structure/Foundation Funding

Entity Type

Fully decentralized.

KYC

None.

Outside Party Engagement

As needed. Vendor selection and vetting process to be determined.

Funding

The Foundation will be funded through on-chain donations. Donors do not need to own Steem accounts or to hold STEEM or SBD themselves. Donors can be both internal and external to the ecosystem.

Donor portals automatically converting fiat and cryptocurrency donations to STEEM will need to be set up by the Foundation. Existing structures (ie. Blocktrades, Bitshares) should be leveraged where possible. Donor resources should be made available to all prospective donors to make donating a simple and clear matter.

No wallets, accounts or funds, outside of a predetermined “petty cash” amount necessary for minor operational expenses, will be held or stored by the Foundation anywhere external to Steem.

Burn Feature

In lieu of tax receipts, 10% of each contribution will be burned by being automatically sent to @null on behalf of the donor. The donor will include a post to “promote” under the Promoted tab on Steemit.com via this burn.

The donation transaction would resemble the following, whereas the “accountname” is the account name on behalf of which the donation is made and “post” is the url of the post to be promoted through the burn process. Where no url is provided, no promotion will occur. Donors may choose to promote a post that is not their own.
{“donor”:”accountname”,”post”:”urlhere”}

This benefits the ecosystem and rewards the donor for their kind donation. Front-ends and projects would be encouraged to use the formatted transactions to thank donors in their own ways.

Funding Distribution

Beneficiaries

All funding beneficiaries should have projects/services that are:

  • Universally inclusive (treat all individuals as equals)
  • Are accessible to all in an equal manner to the best of their ability (ie. language barriers)
  • Have submitted metrics, milestones, accounting records and a clear disclosure of ownership accounts
  • Are accountable and auditable
  • Self-funded and viable
  • Are not exploitative of the Reward Pool or the health of the ecosystem

Acceptable Case: Alice has invested in a new front-end and has hired her own team of developers who have completed most of the work. She asks the Foundation for a small grant to help offset her costs and presents the appropriate documentation and accounting statements.

Unacceptable Case: Bob wants to finance a new on-chain game for which he covertly forked the code for from a different project. He did not invest anything nor does he intend to. He seeks a small grant from the Foundation to pay for his server costs and to buy delegation with.

No Incubator Services

The lack of an incubator feature ensures that funding is not distributed based on ideas or minimal viable products (MVPs). Incubators should remain autonomous from the Foundation. Funding may be granted to an incubator by the Foundation.

Collaborations

The Foundation will decide on and facilitate collaborations with major features as part of its regular activities. A "major feature" must be public, non-profit, existent, accessible and universal. Private projects do not fall under the scope of "major features".

All proposals and funding requests will be called for, accepted and processed in an open and public manner. Favoritism and nepotism will be investigated and addressed.

This section of the Proposal will be significantly expanded in V2.


Plan

This Foundation structure and proposal are in need of:

  • This is a live document and will be edited as necessary
  • Edits will be marked
  • Review by any and all community members
  • Completion by the final submission date
  • Translations as possible
  • If you're looking for fancy graphics or anything other than raw input you've come to the wrong place

Feedback

Here in comments. You may use whatever language you feel necessary to express your point. DO NOT upvote your comments or the comments of those you consider as influencers to the top please. I will mark all comments read/addressed with a 1% upvote.

Flagging me or any of my projects will do nothing to influence this proposal or any part of my activities.


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This looks to be a great entry, thanks! One point though, I think this might get some negative feedback - it's a bit controversial ;)

Foundation board members found to be engaged in ethical practices will be expected to immediately resign

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I don't think even GrammerlyTM would have caught that one! lol @guiltyparties you may wish to change ethical to unethical. We knew what you meant.

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LOL thanks

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!author

well done!

I like much of what you are writing here.
It's a great proposal, so far. Cannot wait to see how this entire process plays out.

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Thanks man

Out of all the proposals I have reflected on (and they are all excellent), this particular proposal is very well thought out and addresses many concerns that I have had regarding possible unethical behavior by future Foundation Directors/Members, whether that behavior might be intentional or unintentional.

As I understand, through reviewing the proposals so far submitted, most members of the Foundation will work pro-bono. Even so; those distributing and proposing funding for projects will have a great deal of influence and could be subject to bribery, extortion, etc. @ura-soul's Proposal Introduction includes an image (a very funny one at that) addressing the inherent issues when dealing with the duality that is part of the human condition.

There is no doubt in my mind that everyone involved in this process has very good intentions for the most part. Then again; historically we have seen that some have followed the thought process that the ends justify the means.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.   — Groucho Marx

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DO NOT upvote your comments or the comments of those you consider as influencers to the top please. I will mark all comments read/addressed with a 1% upvote.

While I appreciate your voting my comment @ura-soul, please remove the vote. It will make it easier for @guiltyparties to review the comments (when he sees a comment has been upvoted, he then knows he has read the comment). Once again, thank you for the vote of confidence. I appreciate it greatly.

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Oh ok, I missed that

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All good.

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That's absolutely correct. There's always that concern, particularly for honest individuals unused to dealing with less than honest offers. I think a revision will have to address attempted outside manipulation of the Foundation members and attacks on Foundation members, which may preclude those members from doing their jobs.

Seems to be a well thought out structure with an interesting vote weighting concept that makes sense. Look forward to its progress for the ecosystem! Thanks for sharing!

Posted using Partiko iOS

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Thank you, will keep hammering away at it.

This post has been included in the latest edition of SoS Daily News - a digest of all you need to know about the State of Steem.

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Much appreciated