DAO Board Composition: should the board have an independent board member? How many?

Context:

As per General Guidelines “1. Every year, there is a DAO-wide vote to determine which DAO members will serve on a special council on the APE Foundation (the DAO’s “Board”). The purpose of the Board is to administer DAO proposals and serve the vision of the community. This initial Board will only serve six months.”

Motivation:

With one of the purposes of the Board being to serve the vision of the community, shouldn’t the Board include an independent member? Possibly even more than one.

While all current members play key relevant roles in the industry, one thing in common between all Board members is that, either explicitly or implicitly, all of them represent their respective investment institution / have their own agendas making the DAO Board 100% VC controlled with 0% community / independent representation - putting at risk the true nature of being a DAO.

Keen to hear everyone’s comments on this and hope to help with a fruitful debate.

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It looks like this was pulled from the ApeCoin website, under “Board”. See here:

However, this is interesting as this same thing is not explicitly defined in AIP-1, which reads as:

There’s no mention of the six month initial term.

Perhaps there can be an informational AIP that we put forth to codify that six-month term limit.

I like this proposal, and I do wonder if there is a mechanism by which we can do this now.

In reading back through AIP-1 a few times I see nothing that defines a specific board size. (Maybe yet another AIP that’s needed). So perhaps with the support of the current board (@maariab @yatsiu etc.) we could see about:

  1. Clarifying the board size (I’ve drafted an idea for this here and will be submitting it formally tomorrow).
  2. Perhaps adding a slot for 1-2 non-appointed community members
  3. Setting up a vote for those 1-2 members, who would also be subject to the six month term.
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I can appreciate the sentiment of this for sure, but to be honest, I like the idea (at least currently) of having the board members be people who have already previously been behind the scenes building, and who have good experience actually running this or other projects.

We’ll be voting on new board members within 6 months I believe, but even then, I’m wary of a popularity contest from the community replacing teams with actual experience and proven long-term vision in building.

I understand it’s important not to blindly trust anyone, but my initial reaction is to assume good intent. I don’t think any of these people have given us any reason to think that they’re solely acting in their own interests, or don’t care about the greater community, and I’ve seen a lot of that sentiment floating around on twitter. I’m not implying that’s what you mean here, but I know I’ve seen that out there.

Frankly, I personally trust the people more who have experience building and have already been doing so, and think we should consider them team members and partners rather than outsiders only trying to line their pockets.

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FWIW I don’t think that yours and @OneApe’s concerns are at odds.

I too prefer to see some subject matter experts on the board, and don’t believe it would benefit the DAO to vote in people on a pure popularity contest-basis.

Perhaps in another proposal we might be able to define the construction of the board, and have separate seat counts for different types of board members: e.g. builders, community members, etc.

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Ya know I agree with many things you post @brendan but here is where we disagree! And that’s not a bad thing. Hi there, fella!

I think that a few board members that aren’t APEs or creators of this is a good idea to have. And I think it should be from day one. Right now!

Especially for people who follow the project and have disagreements on certain things it would be beneficial. Beyond just staking and current AIPs but DAO direction as a whole!

Plus if ApeCoin holders come together and want to put their trust in people like you and I, conversation creators and idea presenters, that’s an opportunity for larger community to get excited and involved backing someone!

I just think we shouldn’t wait 6 months.

Does that make sense?
Am I thinkin wrong on it?

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Yeah I hear ya, I think that you and @mg are right - our two points of view aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. I’m comfortable with how it is at the moment, but understand your point in thinking at least one “normal” community member could be part of the board.

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Thank you @mg @0xSword and @Brendan for the debate. Indeed the intent is good and to defend the great reputation around the project.

This discussion is probably an early discussion foreseeing the next Board election. However one could point to this as a matter of priority given the media and sentiment around the Apecoin governance as pointed by @Brendan. Surely a process of bring the community together in the formation, or next step in formation is an important one to demonstrate the openness and transparency of the project.

For the sake of clarity - I do believe that current board members are capable, very reputable for their achievements and have proven track records.

@Brendan I don’t think necessarily it’s about a “normal” community member at the Board. It’s about community appointing the member, and that such member fulfils the criteria (maybe even discussed by the community). I’d expect the community to want someone with relevant knowledge and skills to be a board remember.

@mg Since you mentioned the ability to draft something - possibly adjacent to the Board composition topic, other Board related topics to be clarified or determined are the Board meetings (frequency) and decision-making.

I also believe that over complicating DAO process may cause more harm than good. In the end the objective is to get the most participation of the community as possible but an overly bureaucratic and complex process will deter most people. DAOs can sure can get a lot from existing governance best practices from around the world related to private / public companies - but mindful not to turn the DAOs into a corporate entities themselves and losing the spirit binds community together.

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Brainstorming here…what about having a written code of ethics that the board has to adhere to?

This would give credence for when we vote for board member, and relevant to their behavior (if they may be considered for a second term). The first ethical codes would be,

  1. Always do what is in the best interest of the DOA, for its contiuned sustainablility and betterment.

  2. Never allow personal interests or invesestment to weigh on your decision making as it concerns the interest of the DAO.

Etc…

I come from an engineering background, and without my code of ethics, I would be at a loss many many times daily, as to who’s interests should be considered and how to prioritize them. Without this code, I could not do my job in an ethical manner.

Since we are trying to be the best of the best here…lets set a high standard for those in charge…

What do others here think?

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! This keeps conversations active on the forums. It’s alright to talk about this stuff early. Let’s see what comes of it and we’re definitely all looking in similar directions. Thanks @OneApe.

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I don’t think it would hurt to have some independence but I also think Apes who have been here since day 1 as well as companies Yuga is working with should make up a mix on the board.

I for one may run for a seat. One other point about the board is I think we should handle seats like most companies do with board members rolling off one at a time instead of all seats being up for vote every time. That will provide us more stability and less constant change of direction. I will likely be proposing this as a process change soon.

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How would you feel about a separate governing body to provide checks and balances to the board. An ape Senate if you will. Smaller and shorter terms, with the focus on putting community members on that governing body that do well at engaging and discussion with the community. We would need to hammer out what authority this senate would have, terms, who can run, process for running etc.

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I agree with this, also considering a presidential elections is a good thing

I made a topic around that before I read this one, how we can make proposals to be voted on?

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Starting later today we will be able to post AIP-IDEAS to their respective categories and get the ball rolling.

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What would you propose this separate governing body does that’s different from the board, or the DAO members collectively.

Note that the board is already limited in its function. From AIP-1:

I would assume the above would be a safeguard against the DAO voting in favor of something that might be problematic, such as unintended legal consequences.

The board must provide clear reasoning for any actions it takes on pending AIPs

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In my opinion the main purpose would be to allow the smaller voices to provide checks to the power of whales and the board. Each member should serve short terms and be people that spend a good deal of time in this discourse discussing.

It would prevent any hostile take overs of the DAO by corporations and make sure the board gives up power when their term is up. I do currently fear they will try to push an initiative to elongate their terms. Each proposal would need to pass through the board, the vote, then be approved by this final governing body. Or it could be in a different order, I heavily believe that any successful government that plans to survive long term needs 3 governing bodies.

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I’d like to see another few members on the board.

Here are the current:

These Ape Foundation members are responsible for leading conversations and guiding us forward. I recommend following them on Twitter!

I think that a few more who are dedicated strictly to Apecoin (I.e. not involved in other projects) is a good idea.

I’ve seen an alternative option presented where we create lower level “executives,” and that may be the best choice.

Ideally we avoid creating a senate and more governing bodies. I think it would be best if we had full time positions like is done in corporate organizations: Administration, Customer Service, Development and Marketing, Operations…etc etc.

Some of my sentiments have been echoed by community members who say they want people who wake up everyday and focus on Apecoin only.

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Interesting thought, I actually hadn’t considered the idea of increasing the size of the board. This could actually be preferable, if we could get say three community members installed to the board who keep the community updated and lead these conversations that would be ideal.

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Just calling out that there’s an AIP Idea that I’ve submitted around board size that hasn’t been approved just yet, but here’s the language:

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Again I’d like to see one or two more OR focus being put on creating full time jobs such as administration and customer service. There’s options here. Thanks for chiming in!

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lol this is relevant to conversation:

Election season is coming!!!

Here’s my pitch… :wink:
“All paying jobs created by Apecoin should require full time commitment and an understanding of what this coin can do!”

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