Polkadot Summit - Ecosystem Technical Fellowship Workshop Notes

Hi all, thanks to those that attended the Polkadot summit in Copenhagen prior to decoded.

One of the sessions that was held was to discuss a new proposed initiative called the Ecosystem Technical Fellowship. An initial discussion has been created here → Technical Fellowship Manifesto how ever I wanted to kick off a new thread to first capture the notes from the session and allow people to read and contribute with context.

Please see a high level summary and notes from the session below.

Attendees/key participants:

Lead by: @gavofyork (Parity)

Key Participants: @gavofyork (Parity) @sam (Imbue), Zoe (Phala), @lucasvo (Centrifuge), @bjorn (Parity), @joepetrowski (W3F), @nino_apillon (Apillion)

High level summary

The workshop was set up to discuss creating a technical fellowship for Polkadot, different from the existing fellowship which is solely focused on Polkadot’s runtime code.

This technical fellowship would seek to recognize generalists with technical expertise who understand the complexities of tasks such as building parachains and infrastructure, and can provide support to the Polkadot ecosystem. However, we don’t want this group to turn into a trade body, this fellowship is not just for parachain team members, for example, technical educators could also fit into this collective. This proposed fellowship would also have levels and be an on-chain collective.

There is a huge opportunity to give informed individuals stronger voices and to help build individual reputation, with the thought that this group would be best at coming to consensus about what’s required for the ecosystem.

The discussion yielded an aligned view that a fellowship of this nature would be needed for the ecosystem and there was agreement that this would be a net positive for the ecosystem with the next steps being for several individuals to start drafting a manifesto for the fellowship.

Discussion points:

The current fellowship has 45 approx core devs, with a plan to grow this further to at least 100+. Given this team is solely focused on substrate core technology, would it make sense to create an ecosystem / technical fellowship to help the ecosystem?
The code to create fellowships is written and a new group could easily be created - the majority of the work required is the social construct, including items like the:

  • Manifesto / purpose / goal of this fellowship
  • Specific levels / grades / ranks
  • Entry criteria to join and how individuals progress through the ranks

The fellowship could be used for the following uses:

  • Social capital / reputation

  • Governance body

  • Parachain rescues

  • Speed up / whitelist upgrades

  • Adoption of Polkadot

  • An on-ramp into the core runtime fellowship

  • Technical support e.g. answering questions on stackexchange.

  • Levels / grades / ranks

    • This will probably be the hardest social contract to work out as part of the manifesto, as we’re seeing with the discussion surrounding the ranks for the new ambassador program
    • Should there be a 1 year per rank as a baseline?
    • What is the minimum contribution required to keep your rank
    • We need to formalising the ranks in the manifesto, so it’s clear based on reputation and skill where people sit.
    • Potential accomplishments for defining ranks
      • Launching a parachain
      • Upgrading a chain
      • Compile / build a runtime
      • Build a pallet used by other teams
      • Build tooling that’s used by other parachains / parties (that’s deployed in production)
      • Build something that captures liquidity / users
      • A measurable contribution could be, developed a standard, worked on developing a standard. E.g. users that help standardise how governance messaging / data should be stored.

Next steps:

  • Post these notes on the Polkadot forum
  • Community to create a draft manifesto with the levels/ranks documented

Thank you for delivering this summary Birdo!

I welcome any steps that bring in more opinions and will help the process of shaping the future of the ecosystem.

It will be interesting to see how this will turn out at the end of the day and who will be part of the fellowship.


I would like to see inspiration from Go ranks and ratings; it’s probably the best one. Rank goes down if you stop contributing.

It’s an incentive to keep those motivated in the playground and those who have been contributing in the early stage and stopped avoid to surf on reputation on past achievements for whatever reason.


When you write the community may come up with a draft manifesto, is this an open call to anyone or how was that imagined to happen during the workshop?


The above makes sense.

One of my key conclusion from Decoded was that Parachains are meeting similar challenges and have similar demands to Parity. However, because we often speak to different people or don’t speak at all for some, this feedback is not bubbled up as much as it could to the Substrate / Polkadot maintainers.

Creating a Parachain / Ecosystem fellowship could be a nice way to ensure Parachains speak with a singular voice and help move the ecosystem forward.

In regards to the manifesto, I’d be very much interested in knowing more about the writing process envisioned. For instance, it might be smart to put key stakeholders from most Parachains in a call and have them discuss the structure of this manifesto. Eventually, some writers could be pulled in to help in the formalisation of this document. I believe this is something we discussed with @torsten. I would certainly look forward to contribute to this process and can come up with a more ironed out suggestion if necessary.


Open call to anyone, yes!

We’d love some of the CTOs or technical folk like yourself to start collaborating on a manifesto for this group, and post it back here. I’d suggest creating a working group in telegram/element for anyone interested and kicking off a google doc.

anyone wanting to start a thing, shoot me a DM and we’ll set up a telegram group - @alice_und_bob

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@alice_und_bob DMing you.

We are well inclined to presume all members will produce quality input. I think this is a good approach but the mentioned model (correct me if I misunderstood, please) also stimulates the production of, among others, contributions solely for the sake of maintaining a reputation. Which is a conundrum, i.e. creatting chatter is not real contribution (heh, if anyone here witnessed a Discord channel NFT minting whitelist spamlike activity has an idea of what it looks like). So how do we align quality of contribution with input? One way would be to rely on the likes. But that initself presents a problem. Who is to say that a controversial unliked position is not a quality contribution? It just might be the counterintuitive approach that bears great value and insight. I hate to leave open qs without proposals - one thing pops up as a solution, but it also introduces yet another problem: a fellowship within a fellowship that asseses the quality of contributions? :grin:

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Somehow totally missed the invite for the Parachain Summit, even being at Decoded. Your High level summary resonates a lot and I think there is some untapped potential in the ecosystem and beyond capable to contribute. Would be reasonable if this would not end in a coding competition to get up the ranks in favour of e.g. value creation aspects for the whole ecosystem. I like the use it or lose it approach suggested by yangwao and agree with ElectroCosmic, that the highest conviction not always represents the best for long term growth, but that is part of game theory :slight_smile:

Happy to learn more.

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@torsten / @alice_und_bob / @eliott / @2075

Just checking to see if a TG group was setup or any further action took place ?

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@Birdo confirming this has been taken care of. If you are aware of anyone else interested in the above, route them our way!

We are tentatively planning to organize a call to kickstart things.


Love to see it, it would be great if you can share with the community in this thread as you progress with the manifesto etc.
Thanks for the update Eliott! :star_struck:

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bump!! any updates on this? :eyes:

I would like to give this another push to see if we can make it happen.

I do have some questions that I would like to seek for clarifications:

  • What are the benefits of the onchain collective?
  • What are the additional permission that this onchain collective may have? e.g. The Core Fellowship can whitelist calls. What can The Ecosystem Fellowship do?
  • What are the responsibilities for the members of this collective? e.g. Do we want this collective to govern all the ecosystem tools development? i.e. Tools seeking for funding should talk with this collective instead of the main treasury.
  • What is the next step to make this happen? Make a room? Start a RFC?
  • Anyone else wants to help leading this effort?

Build skills matrices, RACI chart, risk and opportunity matrices, stakeholder communications matrix.

In terms of permissions, consider this DAA mentioned in Ethereum Magicians

Hire a junior collectives program manager with treasury funds. I would be interested in possibly mentoring and reviewing their work.

I’m suggesting these five Fellowships. The Adoption Fellowship can be called Ecosystem Fellowship, too.


I am a ecosystem agent and this fellowship would be very helpful. I am opening up discussions with mostly governmental institutions and it would be very helpful to have the ecosystem fellowship as a singular body where I could point the representatives of institutions to discuss their usecases and how different parachains could help them make it happen. Is there any progress on this? Who should I contact?

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