Sociocratic DReps : A representation framework for Democratic Pluralism
Current Project Status
In Progress

Provide the community with a framework for DReps which will enable exceptional representation. Including a 3 person DRep team with subcircle expertise in governance, blockchain development, & DeFi.


The DRep role requires a range of skills that one individual cannot fulfill. There is no clear framework in place to define how the CIP 1694 DRep program will address this concern.

Impact Alignment
Value for money
  • Project Information
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  • Team Information
Sociocratic DReps : A representation framework for Democratic Pluralism

Please describe your proposed solution.

We seek to create a community around Democratic Pluralism, and to give that community a voice in Cardano governance. The first mission of our community will be to create and manage a Delegated Representative (DRep). For the DRep team to be successful we will create a sociocratic circle with subcircles of expertise.

Our objective is not only to set up a team-managed DRep, but to educate the Cardano community on how to establish a team-managed DRep themselves. A DRep should gain delegates based on common principles and priorities, so it is important that each community be successful in running a DRep. Our model will create an opening for community members who agree with our methodologies but have different priorities, to set up their own DRep team based on their own values and priorities.

We will use sociocratic principles in the decision-making processes and structural formation of the DRep team. Sociocracy is built upon four basic principles:

  1. organized by peer-to-peer circles;
  2. interlinking of circles by two reciprocal representatives;
  3. consent decision-making; “good enough for now and safe to try”;
  4. continuous feedback and improvement.

Eventually, we seek to build a DAO to support Democratic Pluralism. We plan to do this deliberately with the engagement of this new community that is growing. We seek to set this up as a Sociocratic organization that focuses on good governance for decentralized communities. The sociocratic methods emphasize autonomy and alignment as teams decide on appropriate actions. In future grant rounds, we will explore how blockchain technology can support sociocratic decision-making.

Please define the positive impact your project will have on the wider Cardano community.

A DRep needs to make informed decisions across a variety of domains, including but not limited to technology, governance, network parameters, treasury oversight, ecosystem development. To manage all these responsibilities, it is important that the Cardano community have the option to delegate to a DRep with exceptional team management. The principles of democratic pluralism and sociocracy will assure that these duties can be carried out in the best interest of the delegates and ecosystem.

If we are successful with this approach, then it will serve as a role model for other communities to develop exceptional team-managed DReps.

We will measure impact by tracking the following:

  • Number of members who have joined the community
  • Initial establishment of organization structure and template
  • Number of interested sub-circles and members
  • Article describing our DRep management strategy
  • A preliminary report that outlines the strategies for implementation
  • Number of interested potential DReps

This is an initiative we are passionate about. For anyone reading this proposal, if you are interested in joining this initiative, please reach out to us either in the comments or via direct message to be involved.

What is your capability to deliver your project with high levels of trust and accountability? How do you intend to validate if your approach is feasible?

Photrek is an innovation company specializing in machine intelligence for complex systems, environmental risk assessment, as well as governance of cryptocurrency DAOs.

Photrek is leading an initiative to create a community around the concept of Democratic Pluralism, what we have accomplished recently:

  • [Published](<<member id='195347' communityId='163'>photrek</member>>) collaborative research papers advocating for quadratic funding
  • Led numerous governance workshops through Cardano related to CIP 1694
  • Built reputation system for SingularityNet

Megan, Juana, Jose, Eystein, and Kenric are all long time active members of the Catalyst and Cardano community and funded Catalyst proposers. They are also currently taking part in a Sociocracy training program together.

Kenric is a Working Member of Sociocracy for All where he leads the Sociocracy @ Work Circle.

What are the key milestones you need to achieve in order to complete your project successfully?

  1. Initial Democratic Pluralism DRep Circle (Megan, Juana, and Jose) will develop Vision, Mission, Aim for Dem Plur DRep Circle. Criteria established for focus and criteria for a subcircle; each led by one of the initial three members.
  2. Review Democratic Pluralism paper in preparation for submission to scientific journal (Kenric, Eystein, and Eric)

>1. Town Halls conducted to recruit expert volunteers to participate in a subcircles, Presentations at alternate Town Halls: Africa Town Hall, LATAM Town Hall, MENA Town Hall 2. Strengthen background and literature review for paper submission.

>1. DRep node launched on SanchoNET 2. Add context of polycentric governance to paper, including use of sociocratic circles.

>1. 3 subcircles set-up off of parent circle (Democratic Pluralism DRep Circle) 2. Subcircles select delegate, facilitator, and secretary. 3. Subcircles write their Aims and Objectives, 4. Delegates added to the Democratic Pluralism DRep Circle (parent circle) 5. Submit paper to journal.

>Present methodology and working example at Town Halls. Methodology will focus on the organization that is being built and how it’s going to serve the DRep requirements: Technology, Governance, Network Parameters, Financial Oversight, etc.

>Publishing of methodology (Final Report incorporating feedback from working example and community feedback)

  • Publish in French and Spanish as well as English

Who is in the project team and what are their roles?

Photrek Team:

  • Megan Hess Communications Lead at Photrek, serves as the facilitator in Photrek’s Cardano Circle, coordinating initiatives supporting governance and risk intelligence. Megan collaborated with Photrek on their first Catalyst project, Diversifying Voting Influence. She was selected by her Photrek colleagues to represent the contracting team on Photrek’s Advisory Circle. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Denver and has taught Middle/High School Math and Physics.
  • Juana Attieh product lead at Photrek, leading the Cardano circle and facilitating the SNET circle. Co-founder of Cardano MENA and LALKUL Stake Pool. Interim chair at the Membership and Community Committee at Intersect. Advisor at Juana is committed to fostering decentralized governance and contributing towards optimal solutions for self-organizing systems. With her work, Juana seeks to reimagine societies, unlock untapped potential, and provide inclusive opportunities to those who need them most.
  • Kenric Nelson is the Founder and President of Photrek, LLC which is developing novel approaches to Complex Decision Systems, including risk-aware machine intelligence, particularly for environmental risks, and governance policies for decentralized communities. He served on the Cardano Catalyst Circle governance council and is leading a revitalization of Sociocracy for All’s @work circle. Prior to launching Photrek, Nelson was a Research Professor with Boston University Electrical & Computer Engineering (2014-2019) and Sr. Principal Systems Engineer with Raytheon Company (2007-2019). He has pioneered novel information metrics that are improving the training of machine learning alogrithms. His education in electrical engineering includes a B.S. degree Summa Cum Laude from Tulane University, a M.S. degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a Ph.D. degree from Boston University. His management education includes an Executive Certificate from MIT Sloan and participation in NSF’s I-Corp program.


  • Jose Miguel De Gamboa Management, Economics and HR strategic management from CESA, UWS and Cornell University. He is an experienced professional with 25 years in the corporate world specializing in culture and catalytic leadership. He currently teaches blockchain at CESA. In the Cardano community, he serves on Intersect’s Civics committee, is a founding member of the Latam Cardano Community, has contributed to Catalyst as Challenge team member/leader and Community reviewer since fund 7 and has co-authored several governance related papers. His work aims to capture collective intelligence at the service of common growth.
  • Eystein Magnus Hansen is Co-founder of the Nordic Cardano Community (NADA), CEO of North Block AS, Intersect Civics committee member, Co-Host of DRep workshop as well as CIP 1694 workshop, SPO of Ada North Pool owned by Norwegian Block Exchange. Presenter, panel debater, and panel leader on multiple Cardano summits and community events. Maven Cardano Ambassador. Masters degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Law both from the University of Tromsoe, Norway.
  • Eric Alston is a Scholar in Residence in the Finance Division and the Faculty Director of the Hernando de Soto Capital Markets Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. Eric’s research and teaching is centered in the fields of law and economics and institutional and organizational analysis, which he applies to research questions in the development of rights along frontiers, the design and implementation of constitutions, and digital governance challenges with an emphasis on cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks. Eric also consults with numerous cryptocurrency networks and DAOs on their specific governance design challenges.

We propose: Megan, Jose, and Juana to serve as the initial 3 person circle. Their contributions will focus on community engagement, education and outreach. This team is also unique in its reach across the global Cardano community. Megan is connected with the Africa community, Juana with the MENA community, and Jose with the LATAM community. We are also all currently involved in a Sociocracy training course which will be completed by the time we are looking to start this work. This training will help us to enhance and refine our practice of Sociocratic principles and give us the tools to apply this to the DRep role.

Eystein, Kenric and Eric 's main contributions will be towards the technical components of this proposal including literature review, publications and other content creation.

Eystein, as co-founder of the Nordic Cardano Community (NADA) is passionate about this process, and will seek to use the learnings and tools we develop in this proposal to form his own DRep representing the NADA community.

Please provide a cost breakdown of the proposed work and resources.

Milestone 1: ₳ 35,100

Milestone 2: ₳ 29,300

Milestone 3: ₳ 23,500

Milestone 4: ₳ 26,100

Milestone 5: ₳ 41,100

Final Milestone: ₳ 38,300

Total Funds requested: ₳ 193,400

How does the cost of the project represent value for money for the Cardano ecosystem?

Photrek is led by a five person Leadership Circle that uses consent-based decision making to make sure that our policies, objectives, and execution are consistent with building a collaborative environment for our team, our partners, and our customers. We work to develop Enlightened Pathways that enhance the intelligence and sustainability of the planet. Our approach to corporate governance is specified in the Photrek Sociocratic Operating Agreement.

Towards that end, we utilize competitive pricing methods that provide the highest value to our customers and support our team members with fulfilling lives. Our rates are based on self-employment in the US & Canada. The rates take into account the employment overheads of the resources contracted. The amounts are calculated for each milestone based on the hours to complete. For example the chart for engineering and scientific salaries in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is provided here:

Funding this project will not only go towards the development and research of setting up one DRep, but for how other DReps could also function, therefore multiplying the value from just one use case to infinite others.



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