[Org Design Update] An Evolution of Radicle’s Org(s)

:bulb: TL:DR; Instead of moving forward with instantiating a Core Development Org that encompasses all Core Teams, we will support the Radicle and Drips decision to spin-out into their own independent Orgs. We propose that the rest of contributors stay within the Radicle Foundation, as part of the emerging Foundation Org. Within the Foundation Org, these contributors will be organized under their domain (e.g. Marketing, Community, Operations). Once these teams are mature enough to operate independently as an Org, the Foundation will support their “transition to the DAO”, similar to Radicle and Drips.


The Radicle project has always navigated a “dual product vision” (e.g. decentralized code collab & funding for open source). While attempts were made to build under a cohesive product vision (e.g. Upstream, Radicle Funding), its been decided by the teams that the best way forward is to lead their own individual paths to “product-market fit” and adoption. By allowing the two teams to drive two separate value propositions, they will have more autonomy over their development goals and strategy, which in turn will create a more conducive environment (e.g. faster decision-making, better focus, more organizational clarity etc…) for building towards product-market fit.

There is value, however, in keeping cohesion among the parts of the organization that are still budding. For contributors under newly-formed (e.g. Marketing) and interdependent (e.g. Operations, Community) domains, organizational cohesion is an advantage. This is mainly because the identity of the organization they service is constantly shifting, and being able coordinate with others helps them adapt.

With this decision, followed by the new proposed brand evolution An Evolution of Radicle’s Brand(s), it becomes harder to see the proposed Core Development Org working in practice. While the proposal made sense when our product/engineering were striving towards a more cohesive product vision and coordinated product market fit, it loses applicability with two teams striving towards two separate value propositions. We need an organizational design that enables the autonomy of the product/engineering teams (Radicle and Drips) while continuing to support the emergence of the service teams (Marketing, Community, Operations). In that light, below is our revised proposed plan of action to support this org shift during the transition to the DAO.

Org Shift

Instead of one Org (Core Development Org) that encompasses all Core Teams as planned, we envision five Orgs being funded by the RadicleDAO* in this initial phase:

  1. Radicle
  2. Drips
  3. Foundation — includes Marketing, Community, Operations
  4. Governance
  5. Grants

*Note: that the term “RadicleDAO” will be replaced by some other term once we choose a name for the emerging DAO brand (as mentioned in An Evolution of Radicle’s Brand(s).

The Drips (funding) and Radicle (code collab) product/engineering teams will split from the Foundation into their own separate Orgs. Each will choose governance models and manage their own funds. They are predominantly product/engineering Orgs, but have the autonomy to hire non-product/engineering roles if expertise is needed outside of the services other Orgs provide.

The Foundation will become an Org as well. Its purpose has been and will continue to be “to support the development of resilient and humane software infrastructures…[and] to fund projects and people that develop non-extractive peer-to-peer technologies that promote internet freedom.” In line with this purpose, it will work on the continued decentralization of the DAO and coordinate and organize the “support teams” required by the Radicle and Drips Orgs. These support teams — to start — will be Marketing, Operations, and Community. These domain-specific functions will not only focus on Radicle and Drips but conduct work in support of the DAO and its other Orgs. Orgs like Radicle & Drips will work closely with these function areas to define their needs and the deliverables best suited to support the goals of the Orgs and the DAO. Once a support teams is mature enough to operate autonomously within the DAO, they can be spun out into their own independent Org similar to Radicle and Drips.

As planned, Governance will move from the Foundation into its own Org to remove governance from the responsibility of the Foundation. It will serve the DAO and its participants. Grants will operate as its own Org as well, as it already operates as a DAO-funded initiative with an autonomous purpose, pool of capital, and governance model.

In the following weeks, these Orgs will submit proposals to the DAO that further elaborates on their purpose, goals, budget, and team.

Foundation Org

With this new direction, more contributors will remain “with the Foundation” than originally scoped. The upcoming Foundation Org proposal will include the budgets for these teams, the scope of their work, and more on how they will support the DAO’s Orgs.

It will also explore the ways these groups can be structured within the Foundation Org. We’d like to prioritize greater autonomy for these domain-specific groups and think it’s ideal for these teams to have control over their own budget, instead of relying on Foundation Council approval for each expense. The Foundation Council would approve the amount of funds for the year that this group would control as it will be a component of the Foundation Org budget, but we’d like to move away from the current “top-down” budget approval model we currently have.


  • Complete the brand evolution and rebrand RadicleDAO [by end of February]
  • Submit Foundation Org Proposal to the DAO [March 1st]
    • This includes yearly plans for Marketing, Operations, and Community
  • Submit Radicle, Drips, Grants, and Governance Org Proposals to the DAO [March 16th]
  • If passed, launch Orgs with their own budgets [~April 16th]

While this proposed model deviates from the CDO model originally proposed, the work done by the CDO Working Group and core contributors will still be extremely valuable for coordinating this new Org shift. We believe the research and design that went into the CDO proposal can definitely be used to set the Radicle, Drips, and other Orgs up for success. We’re excited to support the formation of these Orgs over the next month.

Onwards! :seedling:

Org Design Working Group


Thanks for the update!

This pivot in the org design makes a lot of sense to me - great to see !


I might have missed it, but where and how were those decisions made?

I’ve been trying to understand the organization of Radicle for a while. The thing I haven’t been able to understand is cash flow. I can understand where the money is going, but where is the money coming from now and where will it come from in the future? Is there a plan to achieve sustainable funding?

If this topic to too far out of scope, I’m fine tabling it. I don’t want to derail any discussion about this important re-org. It’s just something I’ve always been curious about.

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This post should explain where the Radicle Treasury got its funding from: Introducing RAD

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Sorry @fintohaps, I missed this message! The decision was made within the Foundation Council, driven by the team leads. @cloudhead and @lftherios could provide more context here (their offsite presentations reflected on this change as well!) on their reasoning for bringing the decision forward.

As a Council member myself, my own personal opinion on the matter was based in observations of how the Clients & Drips teams have been evolving over the last six months. I think it’s clear that both teams have different product needs spawning from different user segments. I support empowering the teams with autonomy so they can independently pursue those value propositions.

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Hey @christroutner ! Also apologies for the late reply here. As @bordumb wrote, I think the Introducing RAD project paints a good picture of how and why the DAO was formed, but I would also point you to The Next Phase of the RadicleDAO which discusses how the project will continue to be funded in the future.

Let me know if you have any additional questions!

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Thanks for the answer @abbey :blush: I was interested in the use of the word “teams” in “decided by the teams” because it only came to my attention when it started happening.

That being said, I think it’s a positive transition and there’s definitely a feeling of reinvigoration, at least personally :slight_smile:


Good day wish to ask the following questions

  1. If the whole idea for this transition is to pick up a DAO type of governance, why aren’t organizations managed as a DAO ?

  2. In cases contributors or teams aren’t delivering on community expectation or any form of fraudulent activities, how will the core contributor or team be replaced ?

  3. It seems all Orgs have chosen individuals or teams and with my observations from the community and on-chain voting it seems many of the contributors have been below standard in their duties, wont it be better for all contributors and anyone interested to apply as a contributor in each of the orgs?