The Better Internet Foundation was started in 2020 (as the “Radicle Foundation”) with the purpose of supporting the development of resilient and humane software infrastructures. In March 2023, the Foundation Council submitted a grant proposal to the Radworks (then “RadicleDAO”) community, to conduct work that would further drive the Foundation’s purpose forward.
These critical objectives included:
- Managing Drips and Radicle development through April 2023
- Supporting the transition of Drips and Radicle development outside the Foundation
- Stewarding the evolution of the Radworks ecosystem alongside its community
- Maintaining the integrity of the Foundation’s operations
The Foundation Council continued to successfully guide the development of Radicle and Drips through 15 May 2023. From this point, Radicle and Drips were directly funded by their own, individual grants from Radworks and this technical and product development was no longer under the management of the Foundation and its Council.
While the Foundation Council was (and remains) responsible to assure that all funds are used within the Foundation’s purpose, the Foundation’s three committees drove the majority of day-to-day work. Accordingly, the Foundation’s retrospective regarding its work conducted as part of the Foundation Org 2023 Proposal, includes a retrospective from each of its committees.
The Operations Committee’s main focus was transitioning Drips and Radicle into their own Orgs by assisting in the setup of these new Orgs; finalizing new contributor agreements and policies for their websites (as needed); transferring their contributors to the new Orgs; setting up self-sustaining operations and processes (including facilitation of agreements with service providers); and implementing financial reporting practices that improve transparency on Orgs’ use of Radworks grants. The Committee completed this effort successfully.
However, the Ops Committee will work in Q1 and Q2 2024 to develop processes and resources for Orgs’ expense payment and reporting to successfully transition financial reporting and subscription payment responsibilities to Orgs (see the Committee’s 2024 Objectives) - meaning that the Orgs are in a position to be self-sufficient by end of Q2 2024. Additionally, the Committee created budget templates to make reporting easier and provided reports to Orgs about their use of Foundation direct support (in the areas of Ops and Marketing). This enabled Orgs to start managing their budgets better with additional hands-on support from the Ops Committee members and thinking more critically about the support they would need in 2024.
The Operations Committee created and published (to community.radworks.org) monthly reports to bring transparency to Org Leads and the greater community on the use of Radworks funds by Orgs, including better analytics. It continues to work with legal partners to complete the filing of Drips, Radworks, and Radworks trademarks internationally - this is a slow process, but an initiative that the Committee continues to drive forward. Unfortunately, the 2023 objective to provide “A financial report with how funds were spent as well as the status of the Foundation’s funds from the RadicleDAO, focusing on the Foundation’s expenses related to the RadicleDAO (Q4 2023)” was misinformed. The Foundation’s accounting for 2023 won’t be finalized until February 2024, so this objective is moved to Q1 2024 (see the Committee’s 2024 Objectives).
The Operations Committee was able to not only meet its operational and accounting requirements, but it was able to onboard new contributors (experts) to further streamline the operations of the Foundation. Furthermore, the Committee was able to 1. consolidate much of the Foundation’s accounting and bookkeeping internally and 2. reduce the costs (and number) of financial partners the Foundation works with. The result is lowered costs and less space for human error and coordination issues.
Importantly, the Foundation successfully completed its 2022 audit and submitted its 2022 activity report to ESA (its supervisory authority in Switzerland) by the 30 June deadline. The Committee created regular (monthly) expense reports to support the work of the Council and Committee Leads as well as budget templates to make Foundation and Committee level reporting easier and clearer going forward.
The Operations Committee generally was challenged by 1. the speed of government authorities, when it comes to the creation or changing of entities and 2. last minute travel, which triggered complicated logistics. While there is little that could be done with regards to #1, the team did find ways to move forward with some efforts in the meantime - with others, the team simply had to be patient and keep communicating clearly with stakeholders. With regards to #2, the Ops Committee will be driving better timelines and planning meetings for the whole year throughout the Foundation, so that contributors can plan farther in advance.
The Operations Committee has received positive feedback from internal and external stakeholders. The Committee has further strengthened existing relationships with external partners we trust and have worked with for a while (our legal and accounting firms). Internally, Committee members have listened to Orgs and other Foundation committees to understand their needs, in order to set them (the entities and their contributors) up with operational systems, processes, and reports that support their work.
The Governance Committee’s mandate for 2023 was to support the Foundation’s three categories of initiatives, by:
- (Org Support) Stewarding governance processes between Orgs and the greater DAO with facilitation, documentation, and communication.
- (DAO Support) Supporting stakeholders & participants in the DAO with facilitation, documentation, and communication, while iterating and improving on governance processes as the need arises.
- (DAO Support) Prioritizing, coordinating and project-managing community-led initiatives that strengthen the resilience of the DAO, including (but not limited to) decentralization efforts, treasury management, and mechanism design & research.
The most significant accomplishment of 2023 was completing our “transition to the DAO” and evolution into Radworks. This marked a massive milestone for the community, as we witnessed Radicle and Drips successfully spin out into their own, autonomous entities and our community come together to form a new purpose and identity to take the project into this next chapter.
Our priority objectives were to:
Support Orgs to complete their “transition to the DAO” and their first yearly Org cycle
Refine DAO <> Org governance processes (e.g. budget disbursements, requirements & expectations, proposal templates etc…) for next year Org cycle
Source and orient an expert(s) to coordinate the DAO’s treasury diversification and management strategies
Facilitate the formalization of DAO purpose, vision, and mission
Develop a mission-aligned approach, strategy, and recommendation for evolving ecosystem governance
- Completed decision-making map & stakeholder analysis
- Scoped major governance goals for the next two years
Support & execute DAO rebrand alongside Marketing Committee
As one can see from above, we met almost all of our milestones for 2023. The milestones that were not fully met — sourcing experts for treasury management strategy and evolving our ecosystem governance strategy — still saw major steps forward, but were diverted or paused due to other strategy work that took priority. Specifically:
With regards to treasury management and diversification, we decided that having a clear understanding of runway needs from the newly formed Orgs was crucial before moving forward with any treasury management proposal. We also realized that introducing better security tools and protocols for analyzing and responding to on-chain emergency scenarios (e.g. governance attacks) should take priority before introducing more risk into the system.
With regards to developing a mission-aligned approach and strategy for evolving ecosystem governance, we were able to map out our general decentralization and governance goals for Radworks over the next two years with the help of Apiary. While a complete strategy is still in development, these goals are a strong foundation to build off of. Read more here.
“Strategy” vs. “Governance”
Alongside the formation of Radworks, one of the main challenges was managing the resulting organizational development support & facilitation work that surfaced throughout the course of the year. This included clarifying Radworks’ new organizational structure via documentation, formalizing Radworks’ relationship with its Orgs via partnership agreements (also referred to as MOUs), facilitating strategic discussions around sustainability & runway, as well as thinking more long-term about Radworks’ strategy & vision. This “strategic” work fell into the hands of the Governance team because it was necessary to address before developing a mission-aligned approach, strategy, and recommendation for evolving ecosystem governance (see Objectives). Leading this work took away from our ability to execute completely on our governance objectives but also provided much needed clarity & direction for our own work. Throughout the year we:
- Conducted a treasury runway analysis
- Facilitated two workshops on Radworks’ sustainability model
- Facilitated two workshops on Org sustainability models with leads
- Developed MoUs for Radicle & Drips
In 2024, this strategy work will transition to the newly formed Strategy Committee, led by Abbey, Julien, and Camille. This committee will prioritize the development of Radworks’ strategy by incubating community proposals to enable Radworks to fund new, resilient, permissionless technologies, achieve self-sustainability, and steward mission-aligned governance. It will be responsible for creating the necessary strategic, operational, and financial container for others to contribute to stewarding Radworks into the future. This will allow the Governance Committee to refocus its efforts on improving governance design and facilitation.
Sourcing and orienting an expert to coordinate Radworks’ treasury management was a difficult task and we after embarking on this objective, we quickly realized that we needed a clearer understanding of runway needs from the newly formed Orgs was crucial before moving forward with any treasury management proposal. We also realized that introducing better security tools and protocols for analyzing and responding to on-chain emergency scenarios (e.g. governance attacks) should take priority before introducing more risk into the system.
In this light, one of the Strategy Committee’s priority objectives is to orient and activate Radworks’ treasury management goals & strategies alongside the Governance Committee in 2024. This will include conducting an additional treasury runway analysis, coordinating associated legal work, defining treasury objectives, and identifying missing expertise to develop treasury strategy.
In 2024, the Governance Committee will be refocused on governance-specific initiatives, with higher-level strategy and organizational development shifting into the hands of the newly formed Strategy Committee. We think this will greatly increase our capacity for delivering on our 2024 objectives and completing the work of our two unfinished initiatives from 2023.
The Marketing Committee’s purpose for 2023 was to create awareness, generate interest, and drive demand among the target audiences for the three primary “clients” - Radworks, the Drips Org and the Radicle Org.
Gain buy-in for comprehensive 2023 DAO marketing strategy, including new brand hierarchy and ecosystem approach, positioning & core messaging, and guiding strategies for Drips and Radicle orgs
- Articulated the new guiding strategy for the orgs & brands of the Radworks ecosystem in the brand evolution post
Coordinate the launch & birth of Radworks
- Launched a new home for our community-led network brand at radworks.org, using the new purpose we co-created in conjunction with the governance committee and other DAO leaders.
- Drafted, published and promoted the launch of Radworks, which was our biggest marketing moment of the year, and serves as the foundation for future brand-building efforts
Plan, manage & execute coordinated in-person and online events/sponsorships for Radworks, Drips and Radicle
- Successful activations at Berlin Blockchain Week, ETHCC in Paris, and ETHDenver with two activations left (DevConnect in Istanbul in November & Taipei Blockchain Week in December)
Set up distribution channels to leverage for DAO-wide and Org-specific marketing campaigns
- Launched new social channels with new visual identity, bios
Formulate brand & messaging framework for RadicleDAO based on its formalized purpose, vision, and mission
- Created foundational brand guide, boilerplates for each org, messaging guidebook, content style guide which will help us with our developing content marketing strategy (see below)
There were a couple ongoing responsibilities outlined for 2023 that saw less progress than expected:
Develop competitive landscapes, marketing strategies, target audience profiles, messaging guidelines, and launch plans for Drips and Radicle as needed
- We have developed initial versions and will continue to iterate on these as needed and prioritized
Coordinate content creation & delivery through primary channels to drive awareness, consideration, and usage for Drips and Radicle orgs as needed
- We published a foundational longform piece on internet freedom (and an accompanying NFT/collectible) and have several additional pieces of content in the works that we expect to publish in the next month
- We are now hiring a social media manager (and received over 800 applications before closing the role!)
Collect and deliver market feedback back to Drips and Radicle in support of their go-to-market strategies and product positioning
- Not yet fully operationalized, initial work with Drips in progress, not yet fully engaged by Radicle org, no dedicated product marketing manager has been prioritized/resourced to date, postponed hire to 2024
Moving forward, Marketing contributors won’t exist as a Committee within the Foundation Org. Instead, each Org will maintain their own marketing budget, which will be scoped directly with @sean and other marketing contributors. This change corresponds to the transition of Radicle and Drips outside of the Foundation — now, each Org coordinates their marketing independently. The Foundation Org’s 2024 marketing objectives will be managed under the Radworks Strategy Committee.