Decentralized Futures: Sustained Growth for the Polkadot Ecosystem Community, Developers, & Ambassadors with ThrivEco
ThrivEco is committed to catalyzing the expansion of the Polkadot Ecosystem Community. Through the strategic evolution of the Polkadot Ambassador Program and the establishment of a sustainable business arm, we are poised to unite ecosystem-wide hackathons, and to usher in new community members into the ecosystem. Our overarching goal is to enhance social interoperability and foster cohesion, primarily within the developer community, thereby fortifying its foundations, empowering the network’s established and future Ambassadors, and propelling technology & the broader ecosystem community to unprecedented heights.
ThrivEco brings a distinctive approach to the Polkadot ecosystem, focusing on embracing and promoting the varied projects and talents within the community. We aim to present a balanced and comprehensive view, reflecting the diverse contributions and achievements across the network. This inclusive perspective is key to our mission, helping to foster a collaborative and vibrant ecosystem.
Ezio Rojas, LATAM Community Manager:
5 years working in Web3
Currently Parity CM for LATAM
Organizes major events like Caracas Blockchain Week
Patricia Arro, APAC Community Manager:
6 years in Blockchain Community Management
Currently Parity CM for APAC
Bybit and Crypto(.)com
Expertise in local community activation, engagement and planning
A.J. Recana, North America Community Manager, Team Lead:
3+ years in Community Management & Consulting & Consulting; extensive marketing experience
Currently Parity CM for North America
Active in regional network activation and event management
Samy Mendiburo, Europe & Africa Community Manager, Events Manager, Co-Team Lead:
6 years in Web3
Currently managing events at Parity
Formerly led marketing and global events at NEM Foundation
Chris Hutchison, Team Advisor:
- 7 years in crypto
- Early involvement in Ethereum’s startup status
- Pioneered community initiatives at Web3 Foundation and Polkadot Ambassador Program
- CMO of Zeitgeist
- Supporting & Evolving the current Polkadot Ambassador Program
At ThrivEco, we intend to focus on two important objectives with our first vertical–the Polkadot Ambassador Program: 1) To continue: what has been working well and who has proven to be a great, contributing assets, and 2) To spearhead its advancement by innovating the program’s culture, incentives, bringing about a more lasting, sustainable impact throughout the network
- Launching a Cutting Edge, Ecosystem-wide Hackathon Coalition
Under ThrivEco, our second vertical would be to evolve into a coalition that oversees and supports ecosystem-wide hackathons that focus on interoperable cross-chain solutions, dApp development and acceleration, and increasing meaningful collaboration that leads to true community inclusivity, leveraging Polkadot’s multi-chain infrastructure.
As ThrivEco, we are committed to leading the charge of community & hackathon cohesiveness, to truly prompt the further evolution of the Polkadot ecosystem community. By establishing a hackathon coalition that transcends traditional boundaries, fosters quality collaboration, advances sustainability, and leveraging established Polkadot Ambassadors with demonstrated experience and significant contributions, we are confident that we can herald in a new era, characterized by cross-chain synergy and transformative development.
Amidst Parity Technologies’ ongoing decentralization efforts, the current community team is set to fulfill its duties until January 2024. Unfortunately, from February 2024, there will be a great void in community management and community growth responsibilities.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the web3 space is experiencing unprecedented growth, both in terms of developer engagement and company investment. This expansion offers a significant opportunity for the Polkadot ecosystem to position itself as a leader in this new era of the internet.
Rapid Growth of Web3 Developers and Companies: The number of developers diving into blockchain and decentralized technology is skyrocketing. With this influx, there’s a burgeoning pool of talent eager to contribute to innovative projects. Polkadot, with its unique interoperability and scalability features, stands out as an attractive platform for these developers. By harnessing this growing talent, Polkadot can further its technological advancements and strengthen its position in the market.
Increasing Company Interest in Decentralized Technologies: Not just small startups but also established tech giants are turning their focus to blockchain and decentralized systems. This shift indicates a broader industry recognition of the potential of web3 technologies. By actively engaging with these companies, either as partners, collaborators, or through the Ambassador Program and Hackathon Coalition, the Polkadot ecosystem can leverage their resources, expertise, and networks, to foster growth and innovation.
The Need for Robust Ecosystem Development: With the growing interest in web3, there is a pressing need for robust and well-supported ecosystems that can nurture and sustain this interest. This is where programs like the Polkadot Ambassador Program and the effort to unify ecosystem-wide hackathons become crucial. By refining these initiatives, Polkadot can ensure that it remains at the forefront of this technological revolution, offering a welcoming and supportive environment for both new and established web3 builders and enthusiasts.
Conclusion: The expansion of the web3 space presents a golden opportunity for the Polkadot ecosystem. By capitalizing on the increasing number of web3 developers and the growing interest of companies in decentralized technologies, Polkadot can enhance its ecosystem, drive innovation, and maintain its status as a leader in the blockchain world. Our proposal aims to harness this opportunity, setting the stage for a more vibrant, inclusive, and innovative Polkadot ecosystem.
The Total Addressable Market (TAM) for Web3, which includes the blockchain technology and digital assets sectors that Web3 developers contribute to, is expected to experience significant growth. According to Emergen Research, the global Web 3.0 market was valued at USD 3.2 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to reach USD 81.5 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 43.7%. Grand View Research further supports this, indicating a market size value of USD 2.25 billion in 2023 for the Web 3.0 blockchain market, with a forecast to reach USD 33.53 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 47.1% from 2023 to 2030.
This growth is being driven by various factors, including the increasing adoption of digital assets, the rising demand for more secure and decentralized digital platforms, and technological advancements on the internet. Moreover, the application of Web3 technologies spans multiple sectors, including cryptocurrency, conversational AI, data and transaction storage, and smart contracts, to name a few.
Additionally, the public’s growing interest in cryptocurrencies and the adoption of Web3 technologies further fuel this market growth. For instance, a survey by Klaviyo indicated that 54% of participants wanted more companies to accept cryptocurrencies, reflecting a growing mainstream adoption.
CitiGroup has also estimated the potential market for Web3 to be between $8 trillion and $13 trillion by 2030, indicating the vast economic potential that this sector holds.
These statistics and projections highlight the expanding opportunity for developers and companies in the Web3 space, particularly in the context of the Polkadot ecosystem, which is well-positioned to capitalize on this growth.
THE POLKADOT AMBASSADOR PROGRAM
Since 2019, the Polkadot Ambassador Program has served as the network’s primary platform of onboarding individuals from various walks of life–from developers, technologists, and crypto enthusiasts, to marketers, event organizers, content creators, and more, molding them into the experienced and capable Polkadot Ambassadors known today. The program has grown to over 2000 members from over 50 countries around the world. Since its inception, the Polkadot Ambassador Program has achieved a series of worldwide meetups, preparing and transitioning individuals that were hired by renowned organizations such as Parity Technologies, to bringing together like-minded individuals who have gone to launch and contribute to successful parachains in the ecosystem. Although, regardless of the many things that the program has accomplished, it has not been without challenges and flaws that have been addressed by past/current concerned Polkadot Ambassadors and ecosystem community members, of which we would like to address:
There are more specific cons of the program, but below we have identified the main issues to address:
→ Unclear Direction of the Program
- The direction of the Polkadot Ambassador Program has remained more or less the same since its inception, and has not truly evolved into one that ideally could make the program become an impactful foundation for ecosystem growth and expansion.
→ Lack of Quality Ambassadors
- Various individuals have been identified as “low-quality,” “uneducated,” and “misinformed” ambassadors, and thus have misrepresented and/or poorly advocated for the network, its projects and parachains, and even ecosystem initiatives.
→ Inadequate Track & Topic Guidance
- There has been a lack of guidance when it comes to tracks and other topics that Ambassadors should be 1. Covering within their own regions, and 2. Aware of, which has led to missed opportunities to educate the community and bring more awareness in a timely manner (i.e., when a particular event or campaign is taking place.)
→ Deficient Incentivization
- The incentivization of Polkadot Ambassadors has been recognized as lackluster and unclear.
→ Inadequate Education
- Education regarding the Polkadot technology stack, governance mechanisms, and ecosystem projects and parachains has been reported to be insufficient, leading to lower quality Ambassadors and broader advocates for the ecosystem.
→ Adjusting Focus to Grow Communities in Overlooked Regions
- Regions such as North America, Africa, Latin America, etc., have not been given proper attention; such regions have shown great ranges of potential and much of this has been untapped.
UNIFYING ECOSYSTEM HACKATHONS (SECOND VERTICAL)
The current state of hackathons within the Polkadot Ecosystem is fractured, with little synergy in between. This is not to imply that the past & current hackathon efforts have been short of effective. Past hackathons such as Polkadot Buildathon India, Encode Hack Club, Polkadot Global Series by AngelHack, are just a few of many hackathon initiatives that not only do we acknowledge, but also have interest in emulating and providing support for across many facets. Currently, the perceived ecosystem sentiment around hackathons is not ideal because interest fluctuates and there is a lack of a unifying direction.
We at ThrivEco are passionate about turning hackathons around in the ecosystem by creating a coalition that would be responsible for coordinating and supporting ecosystem-wide hackathons centered around the following: developing interoperable cross-chain solutions, accelerating dApp development, and fostering meaningful collaborations that promote genuine community inclusivity, and utilizing the multi-chain infrastructure of Polkadot.
In preparation for potential approval of our proposal, we have already confirmed partnerships and collaboration opportunities with the following hackathon entities:
At ThrivEco, we envision a transformative approach to hackathons within the Polkadot ecosystem, one that challenges participants and nurtures their development through strategic partnerships and educational resources. Imagine a hackathon series centered on the development of interoperable cross-chain solutions. For this, we could leverage a prominent Polkadot product (i.e., an existing, well-received wallet) and get more developers educated and familiar with Polkadot technology.
Furthermore, participants could be encouraged to deploy Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible smart contracts on a parachain like Moonbeam, which seamlessly integrates with existing Ethereum-based projects, while also offering the benefits of Polkadot’s multi-chain architecture. This would provide a practical, hands-on experience for developers looking to explore cross-chain functionalities.
Additionally, incorporating a social networking platform like Subsocial would allow participants to explore decentralized social networking concepts. Subsocial’s unique approach to decentralized social media, built on Substrate, could inspire innovative ideas for community engagement and decentralized content management in the Web3 space.
To support this vision, ThrivEco plans to build & offer a comprehensive suite of resources, including workshops led by experts in these areas, mentorship programs with seasoned Polkadot developers, and a curated idea bank to spark creativity and guide project development. This holistic approach aims to not only foster technical skills, but also to build a cohesive community of innovators and enthusiasts dedicated to advancing the Polkadot ecosystem.
→ Other entities interested in being part of this ecosystem hackathon vertical are welcome to reach out!
THE POLKADOT AMBASSADOR PROGRAM & COMMUNITY GROWTH
We are committed to transform the Polkadot Ambassador Program into one of Polkadot’s most successful funnels of talent, business, and innovation, thus expanding the ecosystem community. Our proposed team pledges to do the following:
- Supervise, manage, and support our community of ambassadors, nurturing ecosystem growth
Currently, we have 50+ ambassadors actively engaged in community initiatives. Our goal is to increase this number to 200 within the next six months, fostering a more vibrant and diverse ambassador network; we will use the following main metrics to measure success: # of new Ambassadors, # of community interactions, retention rate, social media impressions and reach, number of ambassadors hosting meetups/community initiatives, number of feedback submissions, Ambassador satisfaction surveys, number of new Ambassadors referred by current Ambassadors
Address the existing issues within the ambassador program structure based on feedback from the community. Conduct regular surveys and act upon the insights to enhance the program’s effectiveness
- Becoming a main, active champion of the Polkadot Ambassador On-Chain Collective
- This team is determined to make certain that the Polkadot Ambassador On-Chain Collective is properly and strongly supported
- We are determined to ensure that through the Ambassador On-Chain Collective, Ambassadors are: (1) able to receive on-chain funding for initiatives that contributes to their growth and development, and for the broader community, (2) are completely heard, and (3) there is adequate awareness of their presence, goals, and achievements
3. Enhancing incentives in the Polkadot Ambassador Program
- We aim to elevate the effectiveness and enthusiasm of the Polkadot Ambassador Program by reassessing its incentives for Ambassadors and introducing innovative strategies
- Enhancing the incentives will not only revolve around rewarding Ambassadors but to also create a more dynamic and driven Ambassador Community in the Polkadot ecosystem
4. Encourage online and offline events via meetups in Polkadot
- Increase the reach and impact of Polkadot meetups by optimizing the various cities that have already proven to be substantial
- We will work with the Ambassadors and the ecosystem community to deliver more online events, improve cities with potential, catering to various regions and time zones to ensure maximum community engagement
5. Formulate strategies for forging community partnerships with teams outside of Polkadot, and bring them into the ecosystem
- Establish collaborations with 5-10 external projects within the blockchain space within the year (upon approval), fostering a broader network of partnerships.
- Facilitate the integration of 5+ non-Polkadot teams into our ecosystem through joint initiatives and co-promotion, contributing to cross-chain synergy.
6. Facilitate coordination of network changes through community initiatives, ensuring transparency. Including participating in new proposals and Polkadot OpenGov
- Actively engage in 5+ network proposals per month, providing comprehensive community input and feedback
- Support the Polkadot OpenGov initiative, ensuring that the community’s voice is heard and considered in all network governance decisions
7. Grow a new brand in the Polkadot ecosystem which will help hackathon teams ensuring clear messaging across our network
- Develop and establish the new brand via our hackathon coalition, aiming to reach 100 new developers across Polkadot-related platforms within the first quarter of its launch
- Collaborate with 5 hackathon teams within the ecosystem, offering marketing support, and ensuring clear and consistent messaging
- To fix existing problems with current ambassador program structure, listen to and execute on feedback given from teams and members in the program (*Below are some problems that have been acknowledged)
Redefining the direction, including the mission and vision of the Polkadot Ambassador Program (post-proposal approval)
Building a robust process for recruiting and selecting individuals who truly deserve to be a Polkadot Ambassador
Structuring and innovating an incentivization infrastructure that sustainably empowers Polkadot Ambassadors that recognizes their contributions and aligns with the program’s goals and direction
Designing a holistic and engaging education system that empowers Polkadot Ambassadors to harness the knowledge and skills required to effectively contribute to the ecosystem
The aim is to address such identified issues within the next 4 months upon acceptance of our proposal, ensuring a more efficient and rewarding experience for program members. This includes acting upon the results of feedback given, improving program features and benefits that are in alignment with community feedback.
9. Grow the Polkadot Ambassador Hub to 300+ members, which allows members to gain points for completing tasks regarding Polkadot education
- Presently, the Polkadot Ambassador Hub has 183 members actively participating. We aim to achieve a membership of 300+ within one year, offering even more opportunities for community members to gain valuable points through educational tasks
10. Help parachains & ecosystem projects that need support to send ambassadors to do user testing, participate in campaigns, etc.
- Facilitate partnerships between ecosystem teams and our ambassadors to conduct user testing and participate in campaigns, aiming to support 3 new projects in the next six months.
- Ensure that our ambassadors actively engage with multiple parachain projects, helping them gain user insights and feedback.
11. Report back growth stats to the ecosystem and community of which make the ambassador program a powerful force
- Regularly publish detailed growth statistics of the ambassador program, including metrics such as the number of new sign-ups, completed tasks, and community engagement levels, ensuring transparency and accountability.
12. Bring new projects into the Polkadot Ecosystem with Partners
- At least 5 new projects within the Polkadot ecosystem which have been incubated via various hackathons that are happening in the ecosystem.
- 100 New devs building in or on teams in the Polkadot ecosystem.
13. Expanding the footprint of the Polkadot Community in North America
- North America (United States and Canada) holds high economic activity that’s incredible market potential for Polkadot.
- North America is known for technology innovation and collaboration.
- North America is also home to an immense talent pool with various individuals who have expertise in areas such as technology, engineering, finance, and marketing.
- Having a thriving Polkadot Community in North America can enhance the network’s global influence and recognition and we are determined, alongside with partners and collaborators, to tap into this region further to position Polkadot for newfound global success.
14. Empowering blockchain development clubs across U.S. and Canadian universities
- North America has many blockchain clubs across universities across the U.S, and Canada, we are determined to partner with a select few of them to deliver value back to the hackathon ecosystems.
15. Expanding the footprint of the Polkadot Community in Africa
- Africa hosts a variety of emerging markets experiencing swift economic expansion; involving the Polkadot community in this area has the potential to harness the possibilities for economic development and encourage progress in technology.
- The decentralized characteristics of blockchain technology hold promise; the growing population and youth demographic within the technology space is unique compared to other continents, thus Africa is an untapped hub for exploring and developing use-cases leveraging blockchain technology.
16. Expanding Polkadot’s presence in Latin America and the Spanish-speaking ecosystem
- Latin America is one of the most vibrant crypto ecosystems in the world, Polkadot can secure significant adoption space in the region.
- In recent years Polkadot has had a strong presence in the region, with one edition of Polkadot Decoded, and one edition of the PBA taking place in the region.
- Continuing to build in Latin America and in the Spanish-speaking ecosystem will truly help Polkadot to achieve more opportunities.
Moreover, in light of the growing consensus for a decentralized entity to coordinate Polkadot’s marketing and communications efforts, as experienced members of the ecosystem, we offer our support in decision-making and community coordination as necessary.
THRIVECO’S HACKATHONS VERTICAL
In recognizing the diverse capabilities within the Polkadot ecosystem, we at ThrivEco understand that not all parachains and startups possess the necessary knowledge, resources, or bandwidth to actively participate, manage, or contribute effectively to hackathons. To bridge this gap, we are committed to extending our support to these entities. Our approach involves working collaboratively with their marketing, Developer Relations (DevRel), and engineering teams.
Our aim is to enhance their ability to engage in these events meaningfully and constructively. Drawing inspiration from established ecosystems like Ethereum and Solana, which have successfully integrated a wide array of contributors into their hackathons, we plan to offer tailored assistance. This includes strategic planning, resource allocation, and technical guidance to ensure that these parachains and startups not only participate but also add significant value to the hackathons.
By providing this level of support, we believe we can elevate the overall quality and impact of Polkadot hackathons. Our initiative will not only foster inclusivity but also ensure that a broader spectrum of the Polkadot ecosystem can showcase their innovations and contribute to the community’s growth. This holistic approach is crucial for building a more vibrant, collaborative, and successful ecosystem, benefiting all stakeholders involved.
In addition to our core responsibilities, we propose the creation of a dedicated coalition that will serve as a all-around supportive hub for all Polkadot hackathon teams. Drawing inspiration from the successful model established by ETHGlobal, this coalition will provide several valuable functions:
- One Hub for Collaboration: Our primary objective is to create a cohesive space where all Polkadot hackathon teams can congregate under a unified banner. This hub will serve as a valuable resource for individual ambassadors on the ground who can contribute their expertise and support as volunteers, and for developers at in-person hackathons and related events. This unified coalition will foster collaboration, knowledge sharing, and networking opportunities among Polkadot enthusiasts and developers.
- Unification of Polkadot Hackathons: Under this initiative, we aim to unify all Polkadot hackathon teams under a single, cohesive name and brand. By doing so, we can streamline the promotion of all Polkadot-related hackathon events, enhancing their visibility and impact within the community. This unified approach will help generate more significant interest and participation in these events.
- Sponsorship Opportunities: One of the key benefits of our proposed hackathon coalition is the potential for hackathon teams to gain access to sponsors. This includes the opportunity to collaborate with Parachain & ecosystem project founders and attract sponsors from outside the Polkadot ecosystem. By funneling our efforts and pooling resources, we can create a more compelling value proposition for potential sponsors, thereby facilitating greater support for Polkadot hackathons.
- Playbook for Future Success: To ensure the sustained growth and success of Polkadot hackathons, we will develop a comprehensive playbook. This playbook will serve as a valuable resource for hackathon teams, offering guidance, best practices, and a standard framework for planning and executing future events. By establishing clear guidelines and standards, we can elevate the quality and impact of Polkadot hackathons, making them even more attractive to participants and sponsors alike.
- Providing qualified leads to hackathon teams: With the scope of the proposal we want to create as many positive loops as possible and make sure community members can get involved in initiatives easily and quickly. As part of this proposal we will open up opportunity applications for members of the ambassador program to apply as volunteers & hackers to help the existing hackathon programs get qualified community members in their respective pipelines.
Incorporating this initiative into our proposal aligns with our goal of fostering community growth, cohesion, and excellence within the Polkadot ecosystem. We believe that by creating a unified coalition for hackathon teams, we can amplify the impact of these events, facilitate collaboration, and establish a strong foundation for the future. We kindly request your support in implementing this crucial aspect of our proposal. Together, we can propel Polkadot’s hackathon ecosystem to new heights!
We firmly believe that our proposal outlines a comprehensive and ambitious plan to elevate the Polkadot Ambassador program and to set the ecosystem community up for newfound success & prosperity. Below we have identified and explained key reasons why this proposal is valuable and important for the Polkadot ecosystem:
- Continuity with the Ambassadors and the broader community: Our work is known and appreciated by Polkadot’s ambassadors and community members. Maintaining our current functions and existing relationships is vital so that the program continues to run smoothly.
- Growth of the Polkadot community: With an experienced team, we can guide the community toward continued growth while maintaining quality and efficiency standards.
- Establishing a significant, sustainable unifying-hackathon coalition to benefit the ecosystem: Historically, hackathons have demonstrated to be a proven method to gather developers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts, to collaborate, innovate, and contribute to the development of blockchain technologies. By focusing on this vertical, we are committed to ensuring that the developer community thrives, more emerging technologies advances for the network, and thus the overall ecosystem community expands. We want to provide a route for valuable community members to become volunteers, to participate as builders in hackathons, and more!
We plan on taking care of the following internal initiatives that will contribute to the maintenance and longevity of the team, and to the diversification of the business and the community:
Team Expansion: will (tentatively) begin within 3-6 months; adding more roles and hiring the right individuals to fill in such roles will help with focusing on specific aspects of the business and balance the team workload
- The team is looking at two main recruitment sources when the time for expansion comes: 1) The Ambassador On-Chain Collective: there are many talented and experienced Ambassadors who deserve to be taken on at a professional level, 2) Team referrals: various Polkadot Ecosystem agents within our respective networks
- We want to emphasize that ThrivEco is committed to first prioritizing talent development within the Polkadot ecosystem, ensuring that a culture of support and growth is cultivated
Roadmap: within the first 1-2 months, we are determined to finalize and share a roadmap with the Polkadot Ecosystem Community that outlines our key milestones, goals, and deliverables, in order to communicate our objectives, keep us accountable, and track our progress
- We are very interested in integrating the Polkadot Developer Heroes Program with our community efforts and the Polkadot Ambassador Program
- We are determined to have platforms such as Hubspot and Influitive, transitioned into ThrivEco, after the business has been fully established and main priorities have been taken care of