not approved
Consenz: Community Consensus Measurement & Optimization
Current Project Status
Unfunded
Amount
Received
₳0
Amount
Requested
₳152,000
Percentage
Received
0.00%
Solution

Consenz is Agreement Building Platform. It uses the “consensus-meter” - an algorithm for consensus calculation. We wish to open-source its code to invite researchers and developers to optimize it.

Problem

Forming consensus in large communities is essential for building trust and allowing collaboration, but it is hard to measure and to be standardized.

Feasibility
Value for money
Impact / Alignment

Nosotros

3 members

  • Project Information
  • Community Reviews
  • Team Information
Consenz: Community Consensus Measurement & Optimization

Please describe your proposed solution.

The Problem

Forming consensus in large groups and communities by using online channels for communication can be a very elusive process. The default strategy is to put decisions to a vote, but this raises questions such as - which decisions? How to frame and write the proposals and their details before putting them to a vote? Who can take part in voting? How should we calculate influence power? What is a sufficient quorum? etc.

Putting too many decisions to a vote will create voter fatigue and harm participation and engagement. Putting too little will create centralization of control. If we wish to build decentralized human systems and organizations we have to solve these huge challenges.

Our Solution

The Consenz Agreement Building Platform was built to allow an open, transparent and accessible way for participation in decision-making processes. The platform allows continuous participation in drafting agreement documents that can be used for different aspects of governance processes.

The following discussion features make Consenz unique, compared to other platforms:

  • Instead of an endless and chaotic thread of comments, there is a focus and a product to the process: A document that can be discussed and edited by the participants and reflect their agreements.
  • There is a clear structure to the content: comments are attributed to a specific section and function as arguments for or against it; sections are attributed to a specific topic; topics are attributed to the document.
  • There is a voting system that allows the users to express their opinion without adding noise to the discussion.
  • The voting system also creates a method to deal with conflicts and determine which opinion has the majority of participants’ agreement.
  • These agreements are separated from the noise by the "consensus meter" - an algorithm that determines which section received enough support and can be added to the document automatically.

The platform's core logic is based on allowing the users to suggest improvements to an agreement document by publishing edit suggestions to the sections of the document. Then other participants can discuss these suggestions, and express their approval or disapproval of the suggestion by voting on them. Improvement suggestions that will stand in an approval threshold will be added to the draft automatically. The approval threshold is dynamic, and adjusted to the number of participants and to the consensus level that was reached so far, as shown in this diagram:

Image file

The process on Consenz creates a “micro-democracy” system – an option to discuss the details of a proposal by all members of the DAOs community without limiting it to a small group of representatives. Consenz combines elements of – and is inspired by – liquid democracy, direct democracy, deliberative democracy and sociocracy.

---

The Project Status

This proposal is a continuation of our Fund 7 proposal - "Agreements Building Platform".

The funding for our previews proposal was used for building an MVP version of the Consenz platform, that you can see and use here - app.consenz.io.

You can read the F7 proposal completion report here and watch its close-out video here.

This proposal will be also a continuation of our previews work for establishing a theoretical ground for the Consenz technology, which was done in collaboration with Photrek, Wolfram Alpha, IOHK and QA-DAO on a paper for reviewing Delegated Representation in Project Catalyst Governance. You can read the results of this work here.

For the MVP version of the Consenz we have developed a preliminary version of the "consensus meter". You can read about the consensus meter here, and check its simulator here, (a work that also awarded third place in the DAOs hackathon of milkomeda).

Now we wish to invite researchers, open source developers and the wide Cardano community to take part in improving and optimizing the algorithm.

Our intention is to build a tool that will be:

  • Publicly owned
  • Trustworthy
  • Transparent

For it to be used in different governance and decision-making process by the Cardano community and by communities that are part of the Cardano ecosystem.

We also have a few funded proposals from fund 8, still in progress.

How does your proposed solution address the challenge and what benefits will this bring to the Cardano ecosystem?

This project can bring practical implementation to an important theoretical discussion that is most relevant to the Cardano ecosystem, spatially as we are moving ahead into the Voltaire era.

The Consenz platform can be used in this project as a playground for experimenting with different voting methods and decision-making algorithms on real-life issues, and by that to help validate theoretical work, with collaboration between open source communities, software engineers and researchers from diverse disciplines and academic backgrounds.

The challenge that is at the core of Consenz is also of interest to the scientific community. In particular, in Artificial Intelligence – most specifically in Computational Social Choice (see, e.g., https://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~haziz/comsoc.pdf) – researchers are interested in designing algorithms and protocols that enable groups to collaboratively make decisions and create content. In this context, the challenge of collaboratively creating text documents is a challenge that is relevant to the scientific community at large and for which the Consenz solution and approach are of great value.

As an open source project it can be a hub for advanced thinking, publications and research, with practical implications that will be used for improving governance processes, decision making and communication in the Cardano ecosystem, the Crypto industry, traditional government agencies and more.

How do you intend to measure the success of your project?

Main KPIs:

  • Number of researchers taking part in the project
  • Number of publications that will mention the Consenz platform and the consensus-meter
  • Number of scientific outlets in which the Consenz platform and the consensus meter is mentioned (e.g., presentations in academic workshops and conferences
  • Number of developers
  • Number of forks of the project's main branch
  • Number of pull requests for the project's main branch
  • Number of commits

Please describe your plans to share the outputs and results of your project?

We will update the Project Catalyst and Cardano Community on the progress and outcomes of the Consenz project in all available channels:

  • After Town Hall breakout room: We find these opportunities to be the best way to engage face to face the members of Catalyst, show our work products and get feedback. We have already hosted a few sessions and workshops on ATH breakout rooms (#1, #2, #3, #4), and we plan to initiate and host more in the future.
  • Consenz GitHub account for tracking the progress of our developers' teamwork - <https://github.com/consenz-io/>
  • Twitter account: This will be used to engage with the wide Cardano/ADA holders community - https://twitter.com/consenz_io
  • Other channels:
  • The project youtube channel - were will upload team meeting recordings and other updates.
  • The Consenz website
  • We will use Medium to publish and/or refer to scientific papers that we will produce
  • Existing project catalyst community channels, such as Telegram groups, discord channels, forums, etc.

What is your capability to deliver your project with high levels of trust and accountability?

The Consenz team has a proven record of completing funded proposal, building new products, and delivering.

Over the last months, we have expanded the team, and recruited new members that are needed for the next iteration of the project, such as - product manager, marketing manager, and UX designer.

For this proposal, we have teamed up with two researchers with expertise in relevant fields:

Kenric Nelson, Ph.D.

Scientist Engineer Educator * Executive | Photrek

An innovative leader in the research, development, and deployment of systems for complex decision-making. Proven record of creative research, team building, and customer-focused development spanning materials, electro-optic devices, signal-processing algorithms, and AI/ML decision systems.

Cardano experience includes initial investment in 2017, ITN stakepool operator, F4 Diversify Voting Influence, Catalyst Circle v2 representative for Community Advisors, F7 Community Governance Oversight, and Forecasting Cardano Native Tokens.

<https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenric-nelson-ph-d-7495b77/>

Nimrod Talmon, Ph.D.

Nimrod is an assistant professor at Ben-Gurion University with a proven track record in performing high-quality research at the intersection of game theory and crypto, in particular computational social choice, mechanism design, and cryptoeconomics for decentralized governance.

<https://www.linkedin.com/in/nimrod-talmon-08841210/>

<https://in.bgu.ac.il/en/Pages/Nimrod-Talmon.aspx>

https://dblp.org/pid/53/11268.html

In the "team" section below you can more read about the Consenz the team members, their experience and their capabilities.

What are the main goals for the project and how will you validate if your approach is feasible?

The main goal of this project is to set the theoretical framework and code files and libraries for the researchers and developers' communities.

This will include -

  • Research paper/s that provides the following:
  • A rigorous, formal mathematical model corresponding to our suggested approach (this is already in the making).
  • Positioning of the formal model and the approach within the scientific state of the art, in particular within the subfield of computational social choice.
  • A careful analysis of the possible solutions that correspond to our suggested approach, ultimately offering a principled way of selecting particular, efficiently-computable ways of defining consensus meters.
  • Design and plan Consenz API endpoints and functionality, including webhooks that will allow plugins for different voting algorithm
  • Documentation of the Consenz source code for easy access for new developers

Please provide a detailed breakdown of your project’s milestones and each of the main tasks or activities to reach the milestone plus the expected timeline for the delivery.

Milestone 1: Consensus Meter API

  • Duration: Month 1-2
  • Deliverables:
  • Building and deploying API for the Cosnenz Platform and for the consensus-meter algorithm for allowing third parties applications to access voting stats
  • Developing webhooks to allow creation of plugins for modular voting systems and methods.

Milestone 2: Source Code Documentation

  • Duration: Month 2-3
  • Deliverables:
  • Detailed "ReadMe" markdown file on the Consenz repositories for Walkthrough documentation
  • Existing code documentation improvements
  • Automatic tests system

Milestone 2: Research Paper

Please describe the deliverables, outputs and intended outcomes of each milestone.

Milestone 1: consensus-meter API

  • Duration: Month 1-2
  • Deliverables:
  • API for the Cosnenz Platform and for the consensus-meter algorithm
  • Including: webhooks that will allow plugins for modular voting systems and methods.

Milestone 2: Source Code Documentation

  • Duration: Month 2
  • Deliverables:
  • Detailed "ReadMe" markdown file on the Consenz repositories for Walkthrough documentation
  • Existing code documentation improvements
  • Automatic tests system

Milestone 2: Research Paper

Please provide a detailed budget breakdown of the proposed work and resources.

Milestone 1: consensus-meter API

  • Design and plan API endpoints, webhooks and functionality: ₳10,000
  • Develop API infrastructure and architecture ₳20,000
  • Implement authentication and authorization mechanisms ₳10,000
  • Build API endpoints for accessing voting data ₳10,000
  • Test API functionality ₳10,000
  • Total cost: ₳60,000

Milestone 2: Source Code Documentation

  1. Document API usage and provide developer resources: ₳15,000
  • Document Consensus-Meter Functionality and Usage: ₳10,000
  • Document Code Structure, Database, and Languages: ₳15,000
  • Total cost: ₳40,000

Milestone 3: Research Paper

  • Writing: ₳25,000
  • Editing: ₳15,000
  • Scientific consulting by Photrek: ₳12,000
  • Total cost: ₳52,000

Total:152,000

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

Consenz founder and project manager: Aharon Porath, a techno-social entrepreneur, worked with governmental and municipal agencies, a work that includes promoting legislation. Since 2011, Aharon has been involved in a few tech and non-tech ventures to develop consensus-based decision-making methods and platforms for distributed public participation goals.

Aharon has 7 years of experience as a project manager of web platforms and apps, among them - "Open Committee", a web app that enables environmental activists, NGOs and citizens to participate in the decision-making process of Israel's planning department, funded by the government's Israel Innovation Authority.

<https://www.linkedin.com/in/aharon-porath-90158962>

Research: Dr. Nimrod Talmon - a researcher consulter at the intersection of game theory and crypto, in particular computational social choice, mechanism design, and cryptoeconomics for decentralized governance.

<https://www.linkedin.com/in/nimrod-talmon-08841210/>

<https://in.bgu.ac.il/en/Pages/Nimrod-Talmon.aspx>

Product Manager: Erez Feigenberg, "MVP HOUSE Founder", Providing product management services, Software and applications planning and design.

<https://www.linkedin.com/in/erez-feigenberg-9849942/>

Marketing: Rotem Rosensweig

Experienced Product Marketer, leading strategic products & teams in fast-paced environments.

With a background in creative and marketing, I create stickiness & growth by innovative strategy and deep understanding of businesses and users.

Specialties: Product Marketing • Branding & Identity • Web Accessibility • Growth • Non-Profits • Art Directing • Public Speaking

<https://www.linkedin.com/in/rotem-rosensweig/>

Community and Social media management: Elias Aires

Design and Development: Sofi is a software cooperative that provides solutions for municipalities, universities, startups, well-established companies, entrepreneurs and NGOs.

The coop model relies on decentralized, consensus-based decision making, as well as total influence and wage equality for all present and future members.

https://www.soficoop.com

UI Designer: Tzur Sherzer. After managing a big design department, Tzur has joined the team as a lead designer, and is dedicated to the challenge of making the advanced deliberative democratic discussion interface accessible for people from all communities and backgrounds.

<https://www.linkedin.com/in/tzursher>

Developers Head Team: Yonatan Yatuv

<https://www.linkedin.com/in/yonatan-yatuv-72745a11/>

Software Architects and Developers: Aviran Katz, Nadav Moreno. With vast experience from dozens of projects, Aviran and Nadav will be leading the development team, with the backup of the entire Sofi development department, as well as external developers.

<https://www.linkedin.com/in/aviran-katz-491163b3>

Scientific Advisor: Kenric Nelson, Ph.D.

Scientist Engineer Educator * Executive | Photrek

Innovative leader in the research, development, and deployment of systems for complex decision-making. Proven record of creative research, team building, and customer-focused development spanning materials, electro-optic devices, signal-processing algorithms, and AI/ML decision systems.

Cardano experience includes initial investment in 2017, ITN stakepool operator, F4 Diversify Voting Influence, Catalyst Circle v2 representative for Community Advisors, F7 Community Governance Oversight, and Forecasting Cardano Native Tokens.

<https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenric-nelson-ph-d-7495b77/>

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

Catalyst is almost the only source of funding for the Consenz project (alongside the DeepFunding project).

As such, we are dependent on the Catalyst funding for all the costs of the project, including:

  • Management
  • Legal
  • Account Management
  • Third-party services - servers, authentication, etc.
  • Marketing
  • And others

While most of the funding will be dedicated to development and design, we have to take into account overhead costs.

The budget requested here will be used for research and development. The main benefit will be the writers and editors of the paper + 30% for overheads and management costs.

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