Proposal for Funding Allocation: 8-Week UBI + CredEquate experiment & org systems building

This is a proposal for allocating funds and focusing collective attention for 8 weeks (March 7-May 2) through a UBI (universal basic income) model, launching a new instance and experimentation with CredEquate.

This proposal has two basic pillars: (1) building systems of care and (2) iterative two-week cycles of experimentation for a defined set of time in which we choose to receive compensation to support devoted, focused organizational structure building and CredEquate experimentation.

The goal of this short-term allocation model is not to create a system that will last forever. This is to pay ourselves reliably while we experiment with the new algorithm and begin some big-time organizational development (defining membership, governance, mission/vision and feedback/accountability systems), all of which require stable communal engagement and folks being paid to turn attention toward larger systems-building initiatives.

This proposal proposes some basic sanitation we need to do as an organization so we’re not sitting in our $hit, including holding explicitly articulated responsibility for ourselves, each other and the org itself for a certain amount of time, supported by a needs-based membership/UBI model, commensurate with our individual capacity for engagement during this 8-week period.

This proposal outlines a tiered experiment where the UBI model will be gradually shifted and experimented with together as we launch CredEquate and try out new ways to value and reward contribution, while ideally supporting the forming of more delineated squads of work that folks can be reliably compensated for.

Recap/How’d we get here?

For the newbies: the CredSperiment (aka: using CredRank as the sole algorithm to pay and govern ourselves) was always meant to be an experiment… but we have not had the organizational coherence to do the regular reflection and data-gathering required for true experimentation.

The rollercoaster of 2021 left us hobbled and fatigued by the departure of Dandelion and others, a resulting uncertain relationship with our funder (Protocol Labs), the community’s moves into experimental governance models, abundant and unmetabolized interpersonal conflict, and near existential collapse due to the community’s lack of adequate support for developers to focus on their work and be well-compensated.

In terms of our current treasury: we’ve received $200k in a lump sum from PL. We used ~$65k of that money to pay people via airdrop for Winter Break (More info on that [here]), another $20k for our January airdrop, [details here], and another $24k for heads-down development to support Thena’s exit plan [details here], leaving our treasury with ~$91k.

**We haven’t yet decided how we’re going to pay ourselves moving forward, and there are several grants and additional funding possibilities on the table that must be completed by March 31st in order to receive Protocol Lab’s 4x matching funding, (drops to 1x matching for another quarter; 4/1-6/31) and to set ourselves up to steward the product itself as the product team transitions.

(Thena’s (@blueridger) proposal from 1/19 [here] is no longer in play because the product circle has officially dissolved. No other funding allocation plans have been proposed.)

So! The CredSperiment, as it was, is over. Airdrops are temporary and unsustainable. We need a new funding allocation model to support the organization and its contributors to transition into a new and ideally more coherent phase in 2022. We’re creating new scaffolding, and we need financial stability to do so.

A new proposal:

An overview: How do we grow a thriving future garden of trust?

We will directly address financial stress/unpredictability so we can orient toward the longer-term org building activities that will provide sustainability [eg: mission and vision! Experimenting with CredEquate! conflict systems! feedback systems! and orienting around big decisions like token launch or other configurations for this org’s future.] In order to do this, we propose a phased approach:

  • For the first phase, we would separate our experimentation with CredEquate (upon launch, only Discord interactions are weighted) and our payment structure. We would use a temporary membership definition to pay ourselves regularly via UBI, calculated according to needs (individual and organizational), instead of simply rewarding labor. That would allow us to intentionally and iteratively experiment with CredEquare from a space of having our needs met instead of scarcity.
  • In order to move forward after this short-term experiment with clearer membership thresholds, squads of focalized work (aka ‘sub-DAOs’, “sub-circles”, “pods”), and more easeful and clearly-articulated governance for the organization, we will launch activities like self-assessments, membership definition, clear structures for experimenting with CredEqate, and giving/receiving feedback to all members who choose to participate in the UBI membership.
  • Then gradually we will layer in CredEquate contributions, first 20% then perhaps 40% and we’ll continue to check-in and see whether the base UBI is still needed, or perhaps only for certain squads etc as we each get clearer on the work we want to do and align to emerging mission/vision clarity.
  • We propose starting with a UBI questionnaire that asks folks who meet a certain membership threshold to include a weekly UBI moving forward into this 2-mo experiment based on how much you plan to engage.

The nitty-gritty: How do we plant seeds now for this future garden?

We propose an eight week (March 7–May 2) UBI payment structure in 2-week cycles with check-ins/assessments (for CredEquate and ourselves), experimenting with increasing CredEquate reliance and working on our mission/vision and defining membership.

Some of these suggestions might feel tightly structured and potentially edgy for some of us anarchist cats to take in… but sharing money together in radical ways that meet our needs, without articulating our custodial responsibilities to each other and to the organizational body, isn’t sustainable and can breed chaos and lack of cohesion.

Keep in mind: these timelines aren’t hard deadlines. They are flexible to change depending on emerging needs, but we do deliberately advocate starting with two week iterative cycles, where each cycle ends with a retro: “what’s going well (do more of that), what’s not going so well (do less!), and what might we do differently next cycle?” [The Hum]

Week 0: Now–End of Feb

  • Align on a temporary membership definition to determine who qualifies for this 2-mo. UBI experiment. A quick and dirty version could be anyone who has contributed < this much cred > in the past < this many weeks > qualifies.
  • Organize Allocation Proposal Town Hall to discuss + arrive at a temporary membership definition (which might include reaching out for folks who might be waiting in wings for a proper salary to come back like devs or others.)
  • Prepare UBI questionnaire/form and supporting documents [Care Team will own this] to support individuals to arrive at weekly UBI March 7-May 2 based on need x whatever level of engagement/ attention that salary would support you to devote to this experiment.
  • [Care Team] Offer a feelings jam and 1:1 availability to support folks to process capitalist valuation fuckery as we move into submitting our UBI number. In a context with more time, these would be individual interviews - we totally acknowledge this + offer a best-attempt to swiftly define temporary numbers.
  • Articulate agreements required to participate in membership/UBI (eg - active engagement in CredEquate experiment, governance, mission/values and self-assessment and practice in conscious giving/receiving feedback).
  • Ratify proposal to begin payouts March 7, either bi-weekly or monthly

March: Week 1+2: Launch UBI + 0 % CredEquate

  • Officially launch CredEquate on new instance, which Thena has already set up, using Thena’s proposed configurations [here]. Ryeder offered to host this jam.
  • Folks are paid UBI with no reliance on CredEquate for financial contribution.
  • Care Team creates and proposes self-reflection and self-assessment questions as part of this experiment and alongside mission/vision convo’s (eg: what would you love to offer and do here? what roles do you perceive to be needed in the organization at this time? what kinds of roles you have the skills to fill, and where you’d like to grow/receive mentorship? Where do you most see a need for personal shadow work and how are you orienting to that? What do you want to be engaged in for the remainder of this 2-mo experiment?)
  • Consider clearing SC calendar of other meetings that aren’t directly serving this experiment, to free us up for education/emoji use, sessions to orient folks to this experiment and other community discussions on CredEquate
  • Each two week cycle each cycle ends with a retro: “what’s going well (do more of that), what’s not going so well (do less!), and what might we do differently next cycle?”
  • Care Team offers conscious feedback workshops and skill-building practice times to begin the tricky process of speaking our truth without condemning others, and building somatic resilience to hard-to-hear feedback.
  • Learning how to be a member of this organization within the context of this proposal is education and skill-building. We might collectively ask ourselves:
    • Are you a safe person to approach with something that might upset you? What trauma stories/behavioral strategies make this hard for you?
    • Can you perceive the value of the honesty and work it takes for someone to give you feedback? Can you track positionalities?
    • How oriented can we be to the possibility that these gifts of vulnerability are the very thing that builds trust?
    • How present can we be to humility and curiosity? Acknowledging the limitation of our knowledge: we can’t do this without all of our inputs.

Week 3+4: Assess UBI + 0 % CredEquate

This phase (might come earlier/later depending on how we’re orienting to CredEquate) allows us to ask ourselves, individually and collectively, “what is needed here?” as we begin to have data on how contributions are being valued w/ new emojis. This will allow for experimentation and autonomous creativity, as well as collective moments to slow, metabolize, and pivot as needed.

Part of this proposal is an invitation to orient toward building instance maintainers within SourceCred (this should be easier once Config UI is launched?) If we focus on some/many folks learning this, it might:

  • Supporting CredEquate to get better, faster
  • Community members to gain skills that could be valuable in other ecosystems
  • SC gets more valuable to ecosystem with more folks trained up who can support new instance set ups/configs,
  • Makes devs lives easier cuz they can talk with folks who have some understanding of how to adjust configs for various community needs
  • Reinforces more sovereignty/autonomy for folks using it to point to the broken spots b/c we’ll have enough orientation.
  • End cycle with retro/process improvements and new agreements for the next cycle.
  • Enable community members to train others and answer maintainer-level questions in #tech-support, alleviating burden on devs**

Other possible activities during this phase:

  • Self-inquiry (desired roles, gifts. skills) and org roles mapping process
  • Care Team continue to offer skill-building practice giving/receiving feedback
  • CredEquate Reflection/Config adjustments/education/check-ins (frequency TBD/as neeed)
  • Journaling and recording pain points (eg: what feels good and easy? Do your props feel appropriate for the work you’re doing? Note how you feel when you receive them? Are you being accurately seen by this algorithm?)
  • Bug-hunting for more technical folks
  • Providing useful insights to the dev team (I notice this feature, is it possible to do x, y and z?)
  • Data-gathering and tweaking algorithm and culture/emoji use
  • Adjacent to mission/vision conversations, begin data-gathering and tweaking

Week 5+6: 20% CredEquate + UBI

Based on the above data-gathering, in this phase we could gradually increase our reliance on CredEquate to accurately reflect our work. This could look like either:

  1. begin to reduce what folks are getting from UBI and begin to pay some amounts using CredEquate, OR
  2. everyone keeps baseline and we add extra money flowing in based on CredEquate (based on projects/contributions;

Either way, we might now begin to possibly focalize squads of work and map potential decentralized governance model for sub-circles and collectively governed treasury circle that approves/denies funding pitches form sub-circles

Another key step at this phase is beginning to talk about UBI/Membership renewal, developing community agreement (eg: do we each buy in again for another term, and folks have to approve you? and for where there are no’s, you must show up for feedback? Lots to consider.)

Week 7+8: 40% CredEquate + UBI

Continuing to data-gather, tweak, review new algorithm, adjacent to mission/vision conversations, increase the amount we’re paying ourselves with CredEquate and reduce UBI. This phase might include:

  • Collective metabolization and re-assess this threshold: we will hopefully have enough data to consider next steps, eg: continue to remove portions of UBI? Squad budgets? Other models?

  • Consider taking in new UBI members or folks who want to come back now that we’ve stabilized systems and have clear financial

Requirements for this proposal to work

This proposal requires a high level of coordination to create the conditions for individual and collective assessment, iteration, and pivoting. That’s easier to do with a small squad leading the way. Likely a smaller squad within the care team will be focused on these structure-building pieces and supportive group-cohesion moments that are required for increasing cohesion over time. It also requires buy-in from the whole org, including a willingness to meet regularly to actively reflect and experiment.

Remaining Questions

  • Who will be included in the UBI experiment, and how are we deciding that?
  • How much money do our contributors need?
  • Is the UBI based on need, or on work done over the past month? This proposal advocates for a UBI number that is solely based on need, multiplied by a function of how much attention you can actually contribute to fully participate in this experiment. So a “half-time” engagement should meet half of your actual needs.
  • How often will we send UBI payments?
  • How will we assess CredEquate?
  • How will we assess ourselves?
  • How will we set-up feedback processes?
  • Should there be an income cap on income for when we begin to trickle in CredEquate valuations and contributions? (Given competition in DAO space especially for experienced folks esp devs we may not want an income cap?)
  • Might we need a mutual aid airdrop before we begin payouts March 7? Per scrum Feb 22, this is in progress to pay folks retroactively for work done thru nowish.
  • How will we cover tech support? (Thena’s documentation will help, and they are still addressing some questions but over time the deep-dive debug requests from communities that aren’t paying us won’t be addressed without additional devs)
  • Consider updating website (other comms too, including server’s Start Here) that we have closed membership temporarily and are no longer paying out via algorithm? But that folks are welcome to join us and participate in experiments? We could also just payout out a smaller amount via the agorithm to non-members. Perhaps put a min cap on the payout amount, as Maker does (it’s $20 currently). It could be a nice recruiting tool unless we’re not trying to onboard ppl rn.
  • Consider whether we are open to additional salary proposals w/ associated taks/deliverables for those who do not wish to participate in this level of commitment? It adds complexity to the compensation model, as well as governance overhead reviewing and approving ‘contractors’. We may end up needing this to recruit/keep some people, but/and/also governance minimization = good design principle

What do y’all think? Looking forward to hearing folks thoughts and will organize a community meeting next week to discuss this proposal if there is enough yes to considering.


That’s a data point that may be secondary to the following nugget:

What would the allocations be based on the last month, if its close to meeting peoples needs can we trust each other enough to redistribute amongst ourselves if it could be off to some degree?

Airdrops have felt like such a band-aid, I have been grateful for them and I would much rather prefer we had something consistent and at some point, automated.

I think I good deal of this could be done via thoughtful searches into what has already been answered in the threads of our server. Down the road perhaps @topocount or @hz might want be up for consulting.


@rachel This is a truly stunning proposal, and I’m so grateful for your thoughtfulness and care in every step of the proposal. Thank you for your leadership and willingness to dig deep and convert our community’s needs, into a followable game plan.


Feb 22 - I edited the proposal to push out one week (begin March 7 - May 2) and to remove the portions about getting paid for February. This will be addressed through a potential air drop and will simplify this proposal to be providing clarity for how we move forward starting with March.

I also clarified that this proposal is advocating a UBI based on actual need and the level of engagement we can each commit to, not on allocations based on the past month.


Feeling very good about this proposal! I can sense the amount of work that went into it, and it feels in-line with conversations/sentiment in the community. The plan outlined seems feasible, and I think it will get us where we want to go as an org. Including making space for emergence and pivoting as we cohere around structure.

A few concerns/suggestions:

I think Cred is the best starting point for defining membership. It provides a relatively credibly neutral reference point. The Cred scores are temporarily “whack”, but not due to limitations in the core algorithm (CredRank). This is more due to recent volatility and attrition, lack of support/training around props/didathings for new people, frustration with props/didathings generally under CredRank (CredEquate is designed to be better at this, but will not be ready to carry weight for a few weeks as we experiment and learn). That said, Cred scores don’t have to be perfect here. Or even good. Just get us a general sense of who has been contributing over the last couple months. I plan to create some charts of people’s Cred over the last couple months using the old instance (CredRank), and post them here later today or tomorrow. Potentially reducing weight on props/didathing to capture engagement on other, more active channels. I suspect there will be a clear threshold for defining temporary membership. Or at least get us 80% there, and give folx a starting place to weigh in with other factors.

I think this will work OK considering our relatively high trust group. I also trust the care team’s deep experience in need-based systems (mutual aid, etc.). Apparently people just saying the number they need is an efficient, effective method. I am wary of people being able to accurately estimate their level of engagement/attention in the future however. DAOs generally (and SC is more of a DAO than most DAOs, even it it doesn’t call itself that), are struggling with retention and accountability. Even when offering high/stable salaries, retention is difficult. Given the freedom to contribute to an exploding universe of DAOs, people bounce around. They’re also humans in a stressful environment. They run into mental health issues, take mental health days/weeks, have other unexpected life events, have changes of heart about the project, etc. Even with good faith estimates (which I think we can assume here with current contributors), I worry we’ll see some cases where we significantly overpay people that don’t work, and underpay those that work more than expected. This imbalance is often unpleasant for everybody, and in the past (at SC and in other DAOs I’ve witnessed) I’ve seen this reliably give rise to people expressing guilt that they are overpaid or resentment that others are overpaid. SourceCred’s superpower is accurately paying retrospectively, based on community consensus. I think that over time this provides stronger guarantees of contributors being fairly rewarded, and over time provides more stability. I would propose we do this experiment, as meeting basic needs and providing stability is our most pressing priority. But suggest we either:

a) Be ready to adjust/pivot to other formulas (e.g. higher base-line UBI for people that show steady contribution).

b) Accept that for the length of this trial payouts are going to be noisy, and do a good job communicating that to participants and managing expectations.

Bi-weekly? We’ve been doing weekly for a couple months now due to general volatility, and wanting to ease anxiety from contributors with less financial stability. I think we’ve accomplished that. But I suggest decreasing frequency moving forward. Coordinating payouts has very high coordination costs, from high-context individuals that are already doing a lot of other things and facing burnout. Typically payouts in companies and DAOs go out monthly. We’ve been fairly generous with our airdrops, and I think it’s reasonable to expect people have a longer than a week’s runway at this point. If they don’t, people in acute need have access to mutual aid, which afaik has been active and functional.


all of that is of interest to me; i’m not sure how fresh/deep any wounds are tied to all that, but is it ok to ask where i can go for a (not as) quick run-down of any and all relevant “drama”?

in particular, i’d like to know what happened to dandelion and then peruse any of their work in order to help rescue any value they might have stopped bringing…

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There isnt particularly a manifesto for conflict…yet. [i am in the process of timelining the project though, conflict will be a part of the event mapping]

I want to be clear about my personal observations, i think @decentralion and a handful of other contributors were energetically bullied out by a scared and wounded contributor. I think theres ghosts of generational trauma are at play here.

Any value dandelion didnt create was not necessarily because they lacked the desire my assumption is because they could no longer communicate with the team. The team was drinking bad water. Buying into the bullshit spells being cast into the container. [We turned our backs on a friend, witch hunts have a way of bringing out the worst in people]

Basically we have wasted a lot of time in the last year supporting someones projections of fear. This persons avoidance and volatile responses and general social engineering has been slowly drilling holes in the vessel of the project. This persons great at manifesting chaos energy. I get the sense that they pride themselves on being a trickster, my sense of humor has not peaked once through any of this. Master bullshitter! Looks good on paper, says all the right things = only exhibits terribly performative behavior. People are naïve and fall for this stuff because they want to believe the best in people. Naivety has been s a blindspot within the collective community body.

Ive carried a significant load of emotional load through of all the conflict over the past year. [I doubt im alone] Im upset that we are at the vantage we are at, any support would be appreciated, the people here, myself included are passionate about what we are trying to build.

I am available to give brief context/timeline for the compounding past conflicts, how those impacted development and where things are at currently if its desired.

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thanks for this elaboration; i imagine it’s not fun to relive, so i’ll come back to it without asking for much more any time soon. i’ll look around for more info about the history prior to last year and see where that takes me…

anyway, opining more to the topic at hand: "articulating our custodial responsibilities to each other and to the organizational body, " tall order: i love it, but woowee! that’s where the cats come back in, isn’t it? nevertheless, obviously it represents the ethos of the organization, so well worth working on, i think.

staying tuned (generally in the discord more than here).

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