Governance Working Group Update - April 29, 2020

The following is a recap of this week’s governance working group call. The call is open to everyone in the community. Please join us next Wednesday.

Community Survey

The current status of responses to the Governance Survey as of the date of the call was 52. It was included in the newsletter last week which pushed up the numbers. An end of month deadline was set for May 1, 2020 with review during the working group call the following week. Suggestions were made about next steps.

Lane reported that Jenny suggested a potential “survey sprint and kind of focusing more efforts on various channels to try to get more responses, and I think she has some ideas about how we might do that.”

Jason raised a good point about how we analyze the results. He referenced community survey issue #1 ( and asked if “there is a threshold where we want to look at the data, what do we want to do with the data and how do we want to look at it. So I think we can start game planning some of that…”

Kieran followed up with an important question: “When will the goals of the survey be met?”

Here are Lane’s initial thoughts on the survey for review: Community Governance Survey

Blog Post Outline

Jenny created an open call for blog contributions on the StacksGov github repo. The call to action is to create blog posts that showcase the work of the governance working group.

Jason followed up by creating a GitHub project board that lives in the project management repository. The governance working group members and community can contribute to the future blog by posting notes, topics and ideas on the repo. He emphasized that “anything is welcomed. Honestly, you know, a comment to an issue or a new issue or anything like that.”

Please add your ideas here:

Community observer role (#17)

The community observer role was initially suggested by Dan with a nomination of Juliet. The purpose of the role was to give the community insight to research calls conducted on behalf of the Foundation outside of the working group. Juliet accepted the nomination. Brittany welcomed a community observer.

At this time, there remains an open issue (#17) which Jason suggested should be closed. A further comment was raised by Terje that the nomination and subsequent events should be made part of the historical Github record.

Brittany reiterated welcoming a community observer as we move forward

Jason wondered if the SIP process could be used with respect to closing this issue.

Lane suggested a future process in cases like this where “Something that we started doing about a year ago as part of the regular governance calls for Ethereum is exactly this, is identifying specific action items at the end of each of these calls and just highlighting them.”

Governance and due process

The working groups discussed due process in connection with (blockstack/stacks-blockchain#1436) regarding a code of conduct implemented by Blockstack without community participation.

Juliet asked “how do we handle when some issues come up that impact the entire ecosystem, even though they’re very acceptable and everyone would probably vote yes on it.”

Kieran suggested a mechanism that could be invoked for “system wide issues that aren’t necessarily, but they could include technical issues… So I’m thinking in terms of how you might invoke a decision making process, that the span of a particular amount of time to deal with a particular topic, then was able to be resolved and then uninvoked, something like that.”

Brittany suggested creation of a forum or shared document that would allow members and others to discuss these topics with more time than allowed in a one hour call.

Lane discussed using the SIP process to make decisions as a community. “But what I wanted to share is that one way we could approach this is through the SIP process right we could sort of decide as a group, as a community that like we do have the process and this process is called the SIP process. And maybe not everything has to go through that process.”

Philip commented on how our conception of life focuses on the material or social. Governments and business often ignore the ethical, spiritual or heart centered approach to decision making. He proposed that “Because each one will have different ways of doing so if we have a kind of a universal way of at least you know treating each other that will be just some principles that will help us to to maintain unity in the commons.”

SIPs process proposal

Lane introduced the SIP process: “we are looking for something… concrete for the foundation, whatever it will be called to…take ownership of in the very beginning and I think that the SIP process… is a good starting point, because it’s relatively clearly defined. It’s very important that it sort of seems to me like a very natural thing for the foundation to take stewardship of because that is sort of its role in ecosystem.”

Brittany commented on decentralization of the SIP process: “I think the SIP process, you know, today has mainly been owned by blockstack PBC and so it isn’t very decentralized, and so I think it’s a place where there has been a traditional process that these these proposals are submitted. And, you know, anyone can comment and then they’re either accepted or rejected and then implemented if they’re accepted. So I think that process has been there. But I think what we can do to improve it is just having the community actually be more involved and then an independent organization like the foundation to actually help facilitate that.”

Lane requested that the community review the SIP proposal :

Stacks Foundation update (from PBC)

The Foundation now has an official name! The State of Delaware has approved the name, Stacks Open Internet Foundation.

Brittany reported on the status: “So with the foundation, the good news is that the new entity exists, so we applied last week…So what we ended up with was the Stacks Open Internet Foundation is the full name of the organization…And but the actual foundation will probably just call it the Stacks Foundation so we can do that legally as doing business as or we can sort of informally refer to it as that. But the goal was to get it separate, and it’s own EIN, and then the next step is to actually move some funding to initiate the organization over from PBC. So that’s what the legal and accounting team are working on here at Blockstack, it will also be discussed at this week’s board meeting at PBC kind of the amount and and all that.”

You can register here for the community call discussing the Blockstack Board meeting:

Any other updates/topics?

Kieran raised the issue of languages used on working group documents like the survey. This will be added to the agenda for next Wednesday.


Please watch the video and review the notes for full and complete information on the discussions of the Governance working group.

Edited Zoom notes of the call:

Video of the call: