ICDevs.org - DAOs Project

I’m very excited to publish the first draft of our DAOs project paper. Through a grant from the DFINITY foundation, I’ve been doing research, interviews, and analysis of the DAO landscape. What works? What doesn’t? How can we do things better? All of these are questions I’ve been trying to answer.

This is an ongoing project and grant that should ultimately result in software and tools to help DAOs on the Internet Computer and beyond. Today’s release is a first step in publishing the findings so far. It is version 0.0.1 and there is still a good bit of work to do, but it is meant to be an open-source, community document and it needs to make its way out into the world sooner than later.

You can browse web version at https://daos.icdevs.org, download a pdf version, or explore the github project at GitHub - icdevsorg/icdevs_dao_lang: A Generative, Pattern, and Form Language for DAOs

In this document, I identify 104 Patterns and 56 Forms that we can use to discuss DAOs. This is far from an exhaustive list and I’m excited to get fresh eyes on the project so that I can identify items that may have been missed.

The patterns follow the traditional format put forward by Christopher Alexander and emulated across software development and many other areas. They typically look something like the following. There is more explanation in the document.

The goal of this phase was to develop and document a common language that we can use to discuss DAOs and how they shoud/could work as a community.

The following todos are still on my plate to finish in the short term:

  1. Summarize the interviews I did and get permission to include them in the paper.
  2. Flesh out the findings section.
  3. I want to expand the FORMS section as ultimately this research needs to make it into real objects that exist in the world, but I think there needs to be more outward collaboration before adding too much more detail.

Longer term we’ll be seeking to annotate the forms with implementations and the patterns with references to real-world use cases and case studies. This will be a living document.

The next steps in the grant are to build a standard and library for managing lists of identities, accounts, lists, and, and data for the IC in general. This standard will provide a consistent way of having these lists issue various forms of credentials such as JWTs, Verifiable Credentials, and Subnet Certificates that can be used to prove membership to other IC based DAO services and web2 systems that DAO members may need to access with reduced lantency and complexity. As an added bonus, this service is needed many other places on the IC and should contribute to a number of needs that we’ve seen developers looking for solutions for. This key building block will then be an input into building out some of the Forms listed in the document as add on canisters or libraries that DAOs, including SNS DAOs can easily deploy and add to their governance workflows.

Please feel free to use this thread or the issues tab of the git repo for feedback. We will eagerly accept pull requests if they enrich the document.

We also have a brief intro video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY-BDERoGzY


PS. I’m posting this late on Sunday because we have a hurricane pointed at my hometown. Hopefully I have power tomorrow to respond, but I’ve been trying to get this out for a week or so and felt that getting it out sooner than later was better. Cheers! See you ont he other side of the storm.