Trust and impact in the Index Coop

Hi owls,

I’ve created this post to explore “impact” and “trust” in a DAO.

This conversation may have some interesting implications on how we organise ourselves going forward - and how we promote certain behaviours in the community.

Reminder on current approach

Currently, contribution reward and “owl level” are allocated based on impact for that month. This means that both reward and “owl level” may change significantly from month to month - as individuals’ impact changes.

As we move towards a more Working Group centric focus, this begs the question, what is the value of the “owl level” in its current form?

What happens if we disentangle “Owl level” from “Monthly Contributions”?

Whilst contribution might change from month to month, trust is gradually built over time and does not quickly decay.

What about if we instead use “owl level” to serve as a proxy for trust? Being awarded gold / silver owl level would therefore indicate an individual has demonstrated substantive sustained contributions and built up a high degree of trust from the community. This is more than simply having one high impact month (which is our current approach).

Why does identifying trust matter?

In a DAO trust is everything. As you gain trust, you gain more responsibility, more exposure and more opportunity to direct our strategy. Currently Index Coop has no way of quantifying this degree of trust.

Trust levels tied to access rights

Trust could be tied to system access/admin rights. Under this system, once someone has moved up an “owl level” they would unlock certain privileges.

Some ideas for how this could work are shown below:

For example, when someone moves to Silver Owl, they would receive an Index Coop email address, be able to edit the shared drive and have their calendar privileges updated.

Using trust to denominate access rights would also increase efficiencies operationally as each month everyone who has changed an owl level could would have their access details updated.

This would be a much cleaner process, and cut out the ad-hoc approach to license requests currently in place - which involves more chasing of @puniaviision than we would probably like. It would also help from a budgetting perspective as all licenses and could be purchased centrally.

This only scratches the surface of what we could achieve with a trust based role framework. We could get super creative with this model when applying it to benefit more widely, for example:

  • Yearly travel allowance for gold & silver owls.
  • Discord roles and access based on trust (see the sister post to this here)
  • Tax / accounting services to gold owls

Trust based roles to incentivize key behaviors
Having clearly defined trust levels, and identifying what it required to move to the next level could be a powerful support for behavioral change.

For example, to be a Silver Owl you should be demonstrating participation in governance votes. This expectations, coupled with the desirability of becoming a Silver Owl could encourage our Bronze Owl community to be more proactive in voting.

There are plenty of open questions on this, such as how / who determine owl trust levels - and there is no specific ask from this post. Instead I hope this can spark some interesting discussion on how we want manage trust within the community.