Head Ambassador Election Process - Discussion

Dear Polkadot Community!

As you might have seen, referenda 487 passed: Polkadot Ambassador Program

This rewrites the rules and dynamics of the previous Polkadot Ambassador Program and as the community we need to address the next steps. The Fellowship is already working on the technical implementation and our task together is the create a decentralized, democratic process for the “appointment”/“election”.

The referenda’s text do not propose the exact process, so we need to figure this out. There were already ideations and discussions on the how to actually make it happen. I am posting this thread, so we can push it forward and put the process in place: transparently and as a community.

What we have currently

  1. Description of the Ambassador Program: original link / ipfs upload
    sha512sum - 0299c6c5e27fe482ba8f93ecb35eafaece9eb1c24b1b1c5f2e5a93b204eed19e9a2addf056b988ef0fefd2f46687fd5bdfa6f9f3ecd553211b6484fcb6a7eb04
  2. Head Ambassador profiles: Slides with all Head Ambassadors who were active before
  3. Six’s process on how to introduce someone to the ecosystem as a Head Ambassador: live example of steps here
  4. Partizia’s template: she will add the link on her own.
  5. Defiguy’s template: link

Proposed process

Kindly propose your process ideas or expand on those that are posted here. My proposal for the process is the following:

  1. Each applicant needs to have a verified on-chain identity.
  2. Each applicant needs to create a Polkadot Forum post about themselves (similar to DV process, but more detailed and needs to include actual actions that are going to be taken in case of successful election)
  3. The on-chain identity will be used a based of information on background (website, contact, on-chain activity, etc)
  4. Voting starts at a predefined time - and here we have the system lacking. Right now Polkadot cannot really make decentralized decisions, only through the Treasury and some web2-like interfaces.
  5. Voting concludes and the approved Head Ambassadors will be added to the Collective on-chain.

As you can see, this seems very simple, but we have a couple of things to be addressed. Specifically point 2 and 4 are the hard ones here.

Tax implications after election

Before applying, please make sure to understand the following: anyone who’ll get paid by Polkadot (and not a registered legal entity), will very likely need to pay tax on the amount. You need to do your own research. This is not an easy process to handle in most countries and be prepared for talking to your tax authorities!

What to include in the application for the election?

Based on the discussions before (Telegram, Discord, personal), I have compiled a list of what would be interesting in such an application:

  1. Name
  2. Country
  3. Political and philosophical views
  4. Background and experience
  5. Focus of activity: example BD / Community Management / Events / etc
  6. Web3 and technical skills (you will need to use Polkadot wallets a lot)
  7. List of tasks and related responsibilities that are going to be done by application. This will need to be overseen by the community, and period reports are a must in my opinion.
  8. Who you are working with? Could be your team or strong individuals.

Contribute

My job here is to start the discussion, please add your thoughts, propose on the process and tools to use.

Looking forward to hearing the Community’s Voices!

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This is the link to the document you mentioned in the post, this is what I thought of for my presentation:
here

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On what level should that focus of activity be defined? It’s super important there’s both diversity/balance and collaboration/sharing between different types of “Ambassadors”.

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I think the best would be to use a public task tracking system. So it can be followed who does what and the achievements.

The Adoption Fellowship is also an interesting idea, G6 is basically doing that already on its own. Thank you for bringing these up.

While some of this is relevant, as a voter it’s about 10% of what I’m interested in when considering someone for a Head Ambassador program. The HAs are the leaders of the organization, and as such I am less interested in some of these “bullet point” type facts, but rather each person’s vision of their future contributions, what they hope to accomplish with the program, what they offer that’s unique, how they plan to empower Ambassadors/Senior Ambassadors to be effective for Polkadot, etc.

Then naturally some things like background and experience become relevant, but specifically, what experience does the applicant have that provides evidence that they can realize said vision (and that it’s not just fantasizing)? What similar things have they accomplished? That is, there are only 21 HA positions available; why is this applicant one of the best choices to make this program successful?

Besides their capacity of leading the program, HAs should be able to represent Polkadot effectively to new people and businesses and be able to speak fluently on the philosophy underpinning Web3 technologies, on Polkadot and its high-level design decisions, how Polkadot compares to other blockchain tech stacks, and typical user stories like staking, participating in governance, or building parachains. They may not be (and probably are not) developers, but they should demonstrate sufficient skill, understanding, and communication ability to be trusted to work autonomously in the best interest of Polkadot.

Likewise, w/r/t this section of the proposal, what evidence does one have that demonstrates these qualities, e.g. have they spoken or written about these topics before? What gives people confidence that the applicant is the best choice for one of the HA positions?

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These all are being worked on in the far corners of the community, and there’s quite a bit of duplicate work being done: multiple marketing and BD bounties, for instance. No one, however, is approaching this strategically.

Well, no one, except @alice_und_bob and @jeeper. They have similar categories, yet they have named them HR, operations/research, development and outreach. Whatever they are called doesn’t matter, as long as we guarantee a balanced approach in selecting the Top 21 Most Amazing Individuals of the year*.

If we get 21 salespeople, and forget about everything else, you know it ain’t gonna end well. Also, even if we categorized the roles and chose e.g. four candidates from each category, it still needs someone to coordinate their work and to ensure synergies between them.

*Yes, it’s a snide remark meaning we should hire teams, not individuals, who are in it for the right reasons: the best of the community rather than self-interest in mind. For a fleeting moment, I was considering applying as a (pure proxy) multisig, volunteering my efforts and dividing the $10,000 USD among 5-10 people who contribute to these categories. Then I heard it’s not allowed to apply as a team.

Sigh.

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I asked Gemini how it would approach implementing 487.

Choosing Ambassadors:

  • Tiered Application Process:
    • Establish a tiered application process with clear requirements for each level (Head Ambassador, Senior Ambassador, Ambassador).
    • Applications could be submitted through Join the Polkadot Ambassador Program
  • Community Review:
    • Allow the community to review applications based on pre-defined criteria like experience, skills, and contributions to the Polkadot ecosystem. This could involve online voting or community discussions.
  • Selection Committee:
    • Form a selection committee composed of current Polkadot leaders, core team members, and representatives from existing working groups. They can shortlist candidates based on community review and conduct interviews.

→ Indeed, if we follow the original proposal, these will be probably the first ever 21 people who can land a $10K job without ever being interviewed or tested. A mere brown-nosing competition: those who can sell themselves the best get selected, not the best team.

Honestly, I don’t think it should be the job of a centralized working group to make the decision. That power should still be in the hands of the community.

However, should there be an extra step?

Write a proposal to OpenGov to form a Selection Working Group who has no power to make decisions but who will be compensated to a) create a selection/testing process, b) grill the candidates for their suitability, c) put them through a series of tests, and d) present the candidate applications to the community, complete with their non-biased reviews, on a suitable platform (e.g. Townhall), where they then can be voted on by the community.

Finally, in person-elections open and transparent plutocratic voting onchain might not be ideal. Not sure if that can be circumnavigated around, though… Would it be blasphemy to ask for voters to register on a separate platform to ensure sybil resistance? Or can @ntn_x2 and the KILT team come into rescue?

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FYI we have created a new category on the forum for Ambassador discussion / posts etc

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Tomi, from what I heard, it is allowed to apply as a group.

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Thank you for starting this discussion and topic.

First of all, let’s clarify. We are just starting something really new, a new form of operation, a new way of working together, co-creating. This is not set in stone yet, and this passed proposal is only meant to set some basic principles that we will all follow.

1.We need to approach this as a group. As initially planned, we have built a team of Head Ambassadors, and we want this team to be Polkadot Ambassador Collective. Technically, it is possible, and we can propose voting on the initial list of Head Ambassador candidates. These are people who have contributed voluntarily over the years and deserve to be founding members of the Ambassador Collective.

2. The initial seeding list for Head Ambassadors: Head Ambassadors are long-term contributors ONLY. We currently have around 12-14 active Head Ambassadors. Those who was not active can be excluded. We can use this initial list and fast track Senior Ambassadors to Head Ambassador status , in 3-6 months. It would not be appropriate to appoint those who have skipped the Ambassador and Senior roles as Head Ambassadors!

This will preserve continuity and create a wonderful precedent in the ecosystem. Do not forget that the practices that we will develop will be used as precedent and by analogy. How it is applied, for example, in the English legal system.

3. Let’s build a fair idea of rewards. We don’t need big rewards, because it is NOT Full Time Job, but we need to encourage all Ambassadors by providing stimulations and reward their previous contributions. We need to recognize and value the previous voluntary contributions made by those who were active for years without any promises from the Core Team. Similar to Polkadot Fellowship, we need to keep the vibe and spirit of Fellowship in our work and traditions we create.

Initially, there were talks about $2K for HA, $500 for SA, and $150 for Amb per month. However, for everyone, not just the 10-20 people, that would be better and more fair. We can figure out how to implement these new terms regarding the $10K reward. We could use it for both HA and SA working teams and create some proposals during the HA Initial Seeding Campaign.

4. Recently, there was a discussion about the Ambassador collective. You can read it here: Polkadot Ambassadors call to return to Gavin’s Vision of the Program

5. The proposal has been passed and the Collective is being implemented. Our goal is to preserve the best practices of the Polkadot Ambassador Program and improve the efficiency and bureaucracy of the previous vision of the program.

6. Ambassadors should know that we, as HA, care about the ambassador community and every long-term contributor. To include them in the new program, we would collect the data from Discord and asked them to apply via Discord or Google Forms, with their contributions, plans (similar to those of HA), and addresses. Then, we slowly imported all this data into the Onchain Collective.

7. HA 10K rewards can be distributed among Head Ambassadors to share with Senior Ambassadors they choose to be part of their regional/direction teams.

8. I would like to become a Polkadot Head Ambassador and associate myself with this beautiful and powerful project. I don’t want to be associated with whales or bad players of the Ecosystem.

The program must be passed on to the current Head Ambassadors.

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“We can use this initial list and fast track Senior Ambassadors to Head Ambassador status , in 3-6 months.”

Not all Senior Ambassadors want to become Head Ambassadors.

None of the current Head Ambassadors are seeded.

We need to avoid a situation where unhealthy competitive traits could emerge to fight for the limited number of HA seats (21). We’ve seen enough bribery, blackmailing, smear campaigns and personal attacks in the conventional politics. This shouldn’t become the same.

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