not approved
Governance Hackathon: Cardano DRep Teams
Current Project Status

A hackathon platform for development of governance capabilities. Utilize plural voting with payment & rewards to facilitate the community in deciding the winning awards. Run a DRep team hackathon.


DRep responsibilities are still a mystery. Training, education, and onboarding are critical. A governance platform and process is needed to accelerate community capabilities.

  • Project Information
  • Community Reviews
  • Team Information
Governance Hackathon: Cardano DRep Teams

Please describe your proposed solution.

We propose to develop a Governance Hackathon platform to drive development of exceptional teams contributing to improvements in Cardano’s governance tools. Our first hackathon will focus on developing teams that are prepared to run a successful Voltaire Delegated Representative (DRep). The outcome of the effort will be both a platform for running hackathons which are responsive to Cardano ecosystem requirements and a group of teams prepared for Voltaire governance.

Our approach to governance is based on the principles of Democratic Pluralism which include:

  • Democratic respect for individual rights of a person facilitated by self-sovereign digital identity;
  • Plural values that utilize methods such as quadratic voting to assure that different communities within the Cardano ecosystem have a meaningful voice in decision-making;
  • Sociocratic peer-to-peer circles so that groups of people can execute on projects in a manner that aligns vision and mission while allowing people and teams to have autonomy in how they contribute to the vision and mission.

These principles will guide how we develop and run the Governance Hackathon; however, hackathon participants will be encouraged to develop and communicate their own governing principles for management of a Voltaire DRep.. Each hackathon team will be required to complete a project that consists of:

  • Developing a policy regarding how the team will make decisions regarding DRep voting.
  • Develop a website that explains the vision, mission, and aims of the DRep.
  • Registers on SanchoNet and begins testing their DRep capability.

There will be a committee of five individuals to approve participation for both voters and community members into the hackathon program. Both parties will be vetted to secure quadratic voting and will require one out of the following three requirements:

  • Full KYC
  • Proof of Humanity
  • Verifiable Credentials

Hackathon participants will be required to complete their project prior to the Plural Voting to be eligible for selection to receive a funding award. The Plural Voting will be conducted using the methodology originally published in a series of publications by Glen Weyl, Eric Posner, and Steven Lally. As described in the Photrek led white paper on Democratic Pluralism, this method is unique in incentivizing voters to accurately report the marginal value of the project to them.

Plural Voting achieves accurate allocation of public funds and high-quality decisions by

  • recognizing the individuality of people through requirements of secure identity and discounting of correlation in voting patterns;
  • quadratic scaling of the price for a conviction vote, which incentivizes voters to accurately report the marginal utility of each choice;
  • distributing equally the vote payments to all participants, effectively compensating the public for the service of allowing individuals to express the strength of their opinion.


Nelson, et. al, “Democratic Pluralism: A White Paper on Cardano Governance”, Medium 2023. [<member communityid="163" id="195347">photrek</member>/democratic-pluralism-a-white-paper-on-cardano-governance-c63389cd6d41](<<member id='195347' communityId='163'>photrek</member>/democratic-pluralism-a-white-paper-on-cardano-governance-c63389cd6d41>)

Posner, Eric A, and E Glen Weyl. 2015. “Voting Squared: Quadratic Voting in Democratic Politics.” Vanderbilt Law Review 68 (2).

Lalley, Steven P., and E. Glen Weyl. 2016. “Quadratic Voting.” Available at SSRN.

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

Voltaire governance depends on delegated representatives successfully communicating with the community how they will manage their responsibility. By encouraging community members to form competent teams, prepare the publicity and policies required for success, and begin testing on SanchoNET this hackathon program will support the success of Voltaire governance.

Plural Voting has achieved significant utilization by both nation states (e.g. Colorado State Legislature and European Union) and cryptocurrency communities (e.g. Gitcoin and SingularityNET). Nevertheless, Glen Weyl has communicated during RadicalxChange meetings that his original proposal to allow individuals to pay for votes and receive an equal distribution as a reward has never been implemented. This approach has unique features that could dramatically improve Cardano’s governance. Eliminating the snapshot of equity approach to voting would remove legal questions about ADA being treated as an investment security. Equal distribution of payment rewards would encourage modesty in opinions and encourage participation in governance and circulation of the currency. Thus completion of this first-ever experiment will provide important evidence in evaluating the properties of Plural Voting.

It is worth noting that this project will set up a framework for potential future hackathons to be run for other various types of challenges, extending the value of this project beyond the 9 months being funded here.

<u>How we intent do measure success of our project:</u>

Essentially we want to stimulate community members to organize excellent plans for creating and managing a community DRep. This will be validated by the number and quality of the plans submitted to the hackathon program. Additionally, we will provide evaluation of the ability of quadratic voting and rewards to encourage Cardano community members to participate in project evaluation and to accurately report the value of each project. This will be validated by the voting participation rate and comparison of rankings with an independent expert team.

Other KPIs we will use to track success:

  • Number of program applications
  • Number of teams that complete a DRep management plan
  • Number of approved voters
  • Successful implementation of quadratic voting mechanism
  • Amount of quadratic rewards distributed

The community will be open to the wider community through Discord, and we will plan to share our progress at After Town Halls as well as in the MENA, LATAM and Africa Town Halls, and potentially other Town halls across the globe.

Photrek will also be utilizing their own mediums and social media to publish outputs and results.

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 of Innovation to develop Democratic Pluralism. In preparation we have:

  • [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;
  • Design an MVP and developed a prototype reputation system for SingularityNet;
  • Photrek implemented Sociocratic Operating Agreement, is leading Sociocracy for All’s @ Work Circle, and is completing AZ Sociocracy Journey;
  • Photrek is a founding member of Intersect and Attieh is Acting-Chair of the Membership & Community Committee

Snapbrillia has fully functional services for web-based Plural Funding and a Discord app for quadratic voting.

Here is the link to install and play around with the prototype of the Snapbrillia Discord Voting Bot that features different governance systems like plural voting, one going one vote, as well as one wallet one vote.

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

Hackathon Planning:

  • Deliverables: Project plan outlining the objectives, timelines and resources required. Guidelines and criteria for applications and the voting process.
  • Outputs: Documentation on hackathon strategy
  • Intended Outcomes: Roadmap, criteria and procedures for the program

>Recruiting Hackathon Participants:

  • Deliverables: Community outreach initiatives and an application form.
  • Outputs: A pool of applicants from interested participants
  • Intended Outcomes: High engagement from the community

>Marketing to engage voting participation:

  • Deliverables: Community outreach initiatives and voter sign-up process
  • Outputs: A pool of voters registered and engaged in the hackathon platform
  • Intended Outcomes: High engagement from the community

>Monitoring Progress of Hackathon Participants:

  • Deliverables: Regular status reports from teams
  • Outputs: Regular feedback and support meetings with teams
  • Intended Outcomes: Early identification and resolution of issues

>Plural Voting to select winners and reward voters:

  • Deliverables: A configuration of Snapbrillia’s plural funding technology
  • Outputs: A list of winning solutions and rewarded voters
  • Intended Outcomes: Validation of the ability of quadratic voting

>Dissemination of Hackathon Results:

  • Deliverables: A report outlining results
  • Outputs: Published article on Photrek accounts and community updates through the participation in Town Halls
  • Intended Outcomes: Insight, learnings and increased awareness of community DReps and quadratic voting

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


Photrek’s most recent collaboration with the Cardano community involved attending the Voltaire Governance workshops and publishing a series of reports. This effort culminated in an approach to cryptocurrency governance we call[ Democratic Pluralism](<<member id='195347' communityId='163'>photrek</member>/democratic-pluralism-a-white-paper-on-cardano-governance-c63389cd6d41>). Photrek maintains a Zotero literature database on DAO Governance.

  • Dr. 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 algorithms. 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.
  • 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.


  • Ninh Tran is the CEO and Co-founder of Snapbrillia and Google alumni. Ninh brings his expertise in product management, business development, and startup execution. As UC Berkeley alumni, Ninh founded Trucksome to empower emerging local food economies to thrive and create jobs for the previously incarcerated. After joining Google, Ninh co-founded an executive search firm HireTeamMate placing hundreds in a year while building HireEZ (formerly Hiretual), an AI recruiting platform used by Google, Facebook, Amazon, and thousands of others, to hire millions of people every year. Reach Ninh anywhere:

Photrek will oversee the project. Snapbrillia will develop the hackathon voting platform. Photrek will validate community applications by administering an example hackathon regarding DRep team.

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

<u>Cost Breakdown by Milestones</u>

  1. Hackathon Planning - ₳ 15,000
  2. Recruiting Hackathon Participants - ₳ 39,000
  3. Includes initial development of hackathon platform
  4. Marketing to Engage Voting Participation- 76,000
  5. Includes finalizing development of hackathon platform
  6. Monitoring Progress of Hackathon Participants - ₳ 40,000
  7. Plural Voting to Select Winners and Reward Voters - ₳ 120,000
  8. Includes ₳ 100,000 for Hackathon prizes
  9. Dissemination of Hackathon Results - ₳ 10,000

<u>Approximate Cost Breakdown by Functions:</u>

Development of Hackathon and hosting costs: ₳ 100,000

Management of Hackathon: ₳ 100,000

Reward to Participants: ₳ 100,000

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:

This Use Case: Solutions proposal builds upon the Snapbrillia’s product: Snapbrillia Grants and Photrek’s Concept Development work on Governance. Snapbrillia Grants is a full-featured product but to date has only attracted a small group of investors. With this Solutions proposal we seek to reconfigure the platform for managing hackathons. This approach, leveraging Plural Voting rather than Plural Funding is expected to attract a larger group of participants. Our advisor, Dhiv Govender will be observing the project from the perspective of an investor interested in funding future hackathons.

Photrek’s Governance Concept Development prior work includes:

  • Catalyst Fund 4: Diversify Voting Influence which introduced quadratic voting to the Cardano community;
  • Kenric Nelson’s participation in Catalyst Circle v2 which provided an introduction to peer-to-peer teams;
  • Catalyst Fund 7 & 8: Community Governance Oversight; Nelson led a literature review and edited a report on Delegated Representatives.
  • Nelson presented at the 2022 Cardano Summit, Washington, DC. Conversations with John Buck led to Photrek adopting a Sociocratic Operating Agreement and joining Sociocracy for All.
  • Cardano CIP-1694 Workshops and Reports: The Photrek team participated in and led CIP-1694 workshops. The team produced [three reports](<<member id='195347' communityId='163'>photrek</member>/democratic-pluralism-a-white-paper-on-cardano-governance-c63389cd6d41>) recommending improvements to the CIP-1694 design incuding use of Sociocratic Circles and Plural Voting


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