The Forta Proposal Process (or FPP) was created by the Forta Foundation as a prototype of the community governance process for Forta, with the goal of creating a more formal public framework that will empower the growing Forta community to further contribute to the evolution of the Forta Network and its ecosystem.
The FPP not only defines a way for community members to champion a given idea for the Forta ecosystem, but also gives the Forta Governance Council (the “Council”) a way to gauge the viability and community support for a proposal through a FORT token holder vote on Snapshot. Like other governance processes in the decentralized ecosystem, the FPP process is a only starting point and is expected to itself evolve over time. The four phases of the FPP include:
- Phase 1: Ideate
- Phase 2: Consolidate
- Phase 3: Community Vote
- Phase 4: Council Review
Although the FPP is broken out into four distinct phases (set out in more detail below), it is not a rigid framework that must strictly be followed in order for a proposal to be implemented in the Forta ecosystem. Rather, the FPP is just a suggested template for community proposals. The Council may also act independently of the FPP under the bylaws, as set out in further detail in this blog post.
Phase 3 (Community Vote) is the most consequential phase of the FPP, because if a proposal successfully passes this “Community Vote” phase, the Council must deliberate and decide on whether or not to implement the respective proposal. Some experienced community members may choose to bring a “fully-baked” proposal right to the Community Vote stage, while others may begin in Phase 1, by simply posting a new idea in the Forum seeking feedback from others, for example. Since a Community Vote requires the Forta community to get out and vote, to increase chances of success for a Forta Proposal (or “FP”) and to ensure it can receive the support and signal it deserves, proponents will likely need to engage the community in at least some aspects of Phase 1 and 2.
The Forta Forum
The Forta Forum was created on Discourse as a public space for all things Forta, where the community can have considered, long-form discussions, share best practices, and shape ideas for the future of the Network. Based on experience with other decentralized communities, it is likely that the Forta Forum becomes the home for formalizing Forta Proposals, or FPs.
A dedicated space in the Forta Forum called “Proposals” has been created for discussing and formalizing FPs at every stage. Although the Forta Discord server is active and engaged, the Forum provides an alternative medium of communication that allows for longer-form content and considered collaboration over time. Comments should be high in information content, moving an idea or proposal forward (rather than just signaling interest or agreement). To indicate agreement with an existing comment, try throwing in a instead of cluttering the threads in the Forum.
Phase 1: Ideate
The first phase of the FPP is exploratory, where members of the community can advance ideas that could improve the Forta Network or some aspect of its ecosystem. The goal in Phase 1 is to formalize a problem or opportunity within the Forta ecosystem, but having a clear solution is not necessary at this phase.
For example, you might post in the forum presenting your idea to the community, soliciting feedback to gauge interest, need and sentiment for the idea. You may identify opportunities to take advantage of, issues that have presented themselves in the ecosystem that could be solved, or new features or capabilities of the network. For example, discussions regarding new application interfaces you’ve identified or improvements to existing ones, how protocol parameters could be fine-tuned, issues with software functionality, or applications and tools that could be built on top of Forta. Even improvements to the governance process itself! Some potential areas of focus could be:
- Coverage - broadening Forta monitoring coverage of Web3
- Tooling - improving the node and bot developer experience
- Economics - developing a sustainable long-term model for the protocol
- Community - growing the ecosystem
- Machine Learning - how ML/AI could advance Forta alerting
- RFPs and Contests
If your idea is gaining traction and resonates with other members of the community, it may be time for the Proponent to move an idea from Phase 1 into Phase 2 to consolidate.
Phase 2: Consolidate
In Phase 2, a proponent should look for in-depth feedback and support from other members of the community for the idea. Proponents may form working groups, build an MVP, conduct community polling, or enter a hackathon. Proponents will likely have compiled a lot of data and insights regarding the idea and the scale has tipped from having more questions to having more answers regarding an idea.
Proponents (and maybe those who have banded around the idea!) have identified clear action items that need to be undertaken to advance further. At this point, the idea will have taken shape as a consolidated and cohesive proposal. Likely in a forum post, the proposal should be articulated in a concise summary followed by an in-depth presentation of the reasoning behind the proposal, with clear actionable items that could be executed upon that could achieve the goal of the proposal if it is approved. At this stage, it likely makes sense to give the proposal a concise name and a unique FPP identifier by following the “FP-#” format so that it is easy to reference and track in the community.
Phase 3: Community Vote
Phase 3 of the FPP has formal requirements, since a proposal that passes the Community Vote phase must be deliberated and decided upon by the Forta Governance Council (the “Council”).
In order to submit a Community Vote a Snapshot Vote will need to be initiated. The Council will determine the initial parameters required in order to initiate a community vote in the Forta Snapshot Space. A proposal will pass for Council review if it receives a simple majority approval of FORT token holders that vote on such proposal. The Council may decide to implement a minimum quorum for voter turnout and/or a minimum FORT token threshold that must be met, in order to prevent spam and ensure that Community Votes do carry meaningful signal, however this should take into account the nature and materiality of the various proposals that could be submitted to Community Vote. These Snapshot voting parameters will be set and announced in an update to this post following the election of the initial Governance council and will take into account any initial voting behavior of FORT token holders.
Great care should be taken in drafting a proposal for a community vote. It is crucial that a proposal presents clear actionable items for FORT holders to decide upon by voting, usually presented as a simple “yes” or “no” vote.
Full details and discussions relating to the proposal do not need to be included in a Snapshot proposal, and best practice is to link to these materials (e.g. to a forum post). However, enough information should be provided within the proposal itself so that the community has answers to the following types of questions:
- What are you hoping to accomplish with this proposal, or what is the end goal?
- How do you define and how will you measure success for this proposal?
- What is the timeline for completion and what are the key milestones along the way?
- What are the biggest challenges and obstacles to success?
- What resources are required and have you adequately budgeted for them?
- Have you suggested community members or other vendors who can undertake the action items?
Phase 4: Council Review
Following a successful Community Vote on a proposal, as set out in Phase 3 above, the Council must deliberate and decide on implementation of the proposal in a Council meeting.
Although a proposal that has passed the Community Vote phase is persuasive on the Council, it is not strictly binding. The Council will produce meeting notes to provide disclosure to the community about any such deliberation and decisions, in accordance with the Council Bylaws. If a proposal is not viable, the Council may choose to issue feedback so that the proponents can incorporate learnings into their proposal and/or the community can learn best practices for future proposals. The Council may also act independently of the FPP under the bylaws. You can read further about the Council and its authority in this blog post.
The Future of the FPP
This initial version of the Forta Proposal Process borrows from the best practices from the pioneers of decentralized governance and incorporates the lessons learned. However, the form and function of the FPP is intentionally open-ended and will evolve with community participation, growth, and learning. As always, community feedback is encouraged.