When planning to set up the Stacks Foundation as an Delaware nonprofit, we wanted to create the MVP - minimal viable product - to stand up trustworthy, independent organization that could begin work with the community to support it’s mission of a user owned internet.
One requirement to set up the Foundation was a board of directors, a key part of the nonprofits infrastructure. It’s ultimate goal is to support the Foundation in pursuit of it’s mission. Operationally, the Board of Directors oversees the affairs of the nonprofit corporation, including foundation operations, staffing, and corporate financials. However, the board does not control the future of the technology or control the governance of protocol upgrades.
Role of the Board of Directors
Board operations are determined by the Bylaws of the organization, which include it’s ability to add more directors, accept the organization’s bylaws, alter the bylaws, and determine the number of directors. Bylaws also determine the term limits for board members and how board members can be removed. The community governance group is reviewing the default nonprofit bylaws so we welcome additional comments and feedback.
We are now taking nominations to add new members to the Board. We welcome community input and feedback on new board directors who support our mission of a user owned internet, allowing internet users to own their own data and capture more of the value they create online.
Initial Foundation Board
The initial Stacks Foundation Board of Directors is composed of the Executive Director and two Board Members. This minimum-viable board is essential to set up Foundation operations, build early trust with the community, and create space to conduct a community-supported process to add more board members.
The initial board sets the stage for future success, including building trust and accountability between the Foundation and the community. We looked for directors who have excellent track records of board service, high integrity, and are experienced fiduciaries. We also looked for candidates who align with the foundation’s mission, uphold our values of transparency and accountability, have a strong vision for the future of Web 3, and bring blockchain expertise so they can help future board members from different industries get up the learning curve. This was a closed process, but the requirements and values were led by the community.
We’re excited to have Zav Dar, Partner at Lux Capital, and Rodolfo Gonzalez, Partner at Foundation Capital as the Stacks Foundation’s first board members. Both Zav and Rodolfo believe in the mission of a user owned internet and have a strong understanding of Blockstack’s technology. They are long time supporters of Blockstack and current STX holders through their firms. Each has many years of experience holding board seats and serving as fiduciaries for large, cutting edge technology companies. We’re excited to have them both as part of the initial team.
The third board seat will be held by myself, the Executive Director of the Stacks Foundation. The Stacks Foundation also plans to search for a foundation chair in the coming months. I will serve as the interim chair initially. Muneeb Ali, CEO of Blockstack PBC will serve as a board observer in the beginning. He can attend meetings but he will not hold any voting power, nor anyone from Blockstack PBC.
Nominate a New Board Member
As for the rest of the board seats, we want to hear from you. The foundation was built by the community, for the community, so it’s a high priority to run a more open process. We are opening nominations for Board members who bring additional skill sets to the board.
Nominations are open for individuals who can bring expertise in one or more of following areas:
- Open source software development
- Blockchain development
- Foundation or nonprofit experience in the areas of data, privacy, and digital rights
- Crypto and token economics
- Governance mechanisms and architecture
- Community development and public policy
Nominations can be submitted through Blocksurvey here.
All Nominees will be reviewed and those who are interested in being considered will be interviewed. The community will then be able to provide feedback and input on the selection. Board member voting or approval voting are being considered but have not been finalized yet. According to the bylaws, new board members are added during board meetings through quorum of the board.
The number of board seats is not fixed, but will likely be between three and nine, given recommendations from peers. This leaves a lot of opportunity to bring great talent into the ecosystem in service of the mission now and over time.
Potential for a Community Board Seat
Another way to add representation is through a dedicated community board seat. This idea was first proposed in the community governance working group, where a board seat would be held for a representative from the community. The member may change over time but serve as the voice of the community to the board. The exact structure is still a work in progress but it aligns with our goals of the Board to be represent the ecosystem. If you’ve done work in this space or know of further research, we’re happy to take a look.
All of this would not be possible without community collaboration. Thank you to the researchers, peers, and the working group for making this possible. I look forward to building the future of a user owned internet together.
Please join the foundation newsletter for updates (stacks.org) and join our discord community to contribute your thoughts and expertise.
*… Important Disclaimers … *
This communication contains forward-looking statements that are based on our beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to us. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the following words: “will,” “expect,” “would,” “intend,” “believe,” or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements in this document include, but are not limited to, statements about future governance of the Blockstack ecosystem and plans for a potential Stacks Foundation. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different. More information on the factors, risks and uncertainties that could cause or contribute to such differences is included in our filings with the SEC, including in the “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion & Analysis” sections of our offering statement on Form 1-A. We cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. We disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.