How does a DAO go fractal? D2D interaction, onboarding

I’d like offer this post as space to continue discussing about DAOs “fractalizing”, mostly on two things:

  1. the how - this proposal for designing a procedure to onboard DAOs inside genDAO
  2. the why - implications and overall rationale, starting from today’s weekly call breakout room.

Summarizing the takeaways from 2)

  • Topology, how do DAOs understand their own nature as entities in face of others, and how they understand possible interactions with other DAOs?
  • A problem and solution proposition, clear and concise statement about what problem DAO fractilization solves and how.

I am supportive of a proposal to onboard new DAOs into the DAOstack ecosystem. I would be interested in providing feedback to this process.

At this time I am not sold on the idea of DAOs becoming members of other DAOs. Reading the DAO to DAO Reputation Sharing article by Rawson and Weller really helped me think about this topic and IMO is a must read to add to this discussion.The three Rep Sharing models they discuss pose different pros and cons given assumptions on the membership/REP allocations in each DAO. Since Rep allocations can change within a DAO do the risks change as DAOs evolve and can the sharing model change on the fly to compensate? Maybe they can but it opens up a lot of messy scenarios. For example, a poorly structured sharing model and a low voter turnout could make it easier for a group to work within these ‘Shared REP DAOS’ and take control over the parent DAO. I think it is difficult enough for one DAO to genuinely question if their own REP allocation is properly mitigating risks, never mind making that judgement of another DAO before deciding to give them a lump sum allocation of Rep and deciding the best model usage for it.

But before we even get into a deep discussion on the challenges and risks, I think we should discuss the benefits of the scenario where DAOa gives DAOb 20% of its rep. The paper claims REP is a resource that can be used for barter. Walk me through some scenarios where this could work. What does DAOa get in this exchange and how does DAOb value the 20% REP they receive?


From these notes.

…the genDAO has 3 main objectives: 1) Test and foster the use of alchemy and other DAOstack solutions. 2) Help develop the DAO ecosystem around those tools. 3) Collaborate with the overall dgov landscape. With that understanding, genDAO could be an ecosystem hub, and as a hub we would be part of a place where DAOs can collaborate together and with individuals to work together and make decisions together…

This isn’t a hypothetical: an explicit aim of the GenDAO will be to become an Alliance DAO; to facilitate the coordination of the DAOstack ecosystem. This is discussed at length here. With this understanding, I am very much for this preProposal; formalizing this “DAO onboarding” is of immense importance in order to make sure things don’t get too crazy over time.

There are some givens we need to state and solve to create a comprehensive DAO onboarding process:

  • If a person holds Rep in both a subDAO and Genesis, they have some sort of greater, yet ‘diluted’ voting power. What are the criteria by which we evaluate org applications to make sure individuals within aren’t gaining too much voting power? Do we go through each address and manually determine if there’s overlap?

  • What should be the maximum amount of Rep a DAO should hold? We’ve been holding to the social consensus of 2% for individuals, but a larger org may justify more than this. It’s expected the DAOstack Technologies team will have more than this, as key contributors to the DAOstack project, once fractalization begins to occur.

  • Finally, in considering a “fractalization” value proposition, one ought to consider first the whitepaper, but also the real life examples of successful orgs that “fractalized,” such as Buurtzorg: a 14,000 person homecare business that fractalized at the N = 12 level, using a Network of Teams structure/philosophy. From the DAOstack whitepaper (pg 18):

I’m sure there’s more to consider than this, but this is what the proposal is for … hopefully this offers some thought starters.

Unrelated but relevant:

@parrachia asked me in private about the implementation for D2D voting. I had a conversation with @adam around it, and he stated that this will initially be available in the Alchemy interface with the generic action implementation, which is expected within the next month, as it is part of the dxDAO launch. My recommendation is that the DAOincubator expedite it’s instantiation in Alchemy with this understanding rather than jerryrigging a multisig.


Thanks for the detailed response Pat, you bring up some really interesting questions… I don’t have good answers for your first two points, but they are important topics.

I’ve always imagined this is how it would be, but I felt Rick brought up some interesting points around “what is the problem we are trying to solve” by letting DAOs have REP in another DAO.

I think one benefit is that this setup allows DAOs to form partnerships with another DAO in a way similar to a company giving shares to another company.

Can you include a link to the DAO to DAO Reputation Sharing article ?

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Description of the project


It has recently been discussed that genDAO should start accepting other DAOs as members. In this way, it might become a fractalized organization, a DAO of DAOs (perhaps even a DAO of DAOs of DAOs, ad infinitum). We, members of both genDAO and DAOincubator, want to help turn this idea into a reality by proposing an onboarding procedure that organizations, rather than individuals, can use to apply for membership.

To more fully explore the potential of DAOs, it’s important to play with as many different configurations as we can dream up. Nested DAOs (e.g. DAOx is a member of DAOy) and Escher-esque DAOs (e.g. DAOx is a member of DAOy AND DAOy is a member of DAOx) are two yet-unexplored structures that deserve our attention.


• Experimentation with DAO configurations is necessary for achieving need-solution parity between users and what DAOs can offer as a product: novel forms of “organizing, resource sharing, liability protection, financial instrument design etc.”- As-A -Service.

The benefits of this research are incentive-compatible across stakeholders:

(1) DAO platforms, and DAOstack/genDAO in particular, can identify and test which features users need and implement in given situations. Tracking and referring to this information when making UX/UI design choices can maximize effectiveness, adoption and sustained use of DAOs. We’re at such an early stage as a field/industry that every new application of DAOs to real-life scenarios is a critical opportunity for us to learn what works, what doesn’t, when and why.

(2) DAO users (individuals within DAOs and the DAO as a collective functioning as an individual) will have access to a complete understanding of how DAOstack functions and the possibilities for contribution in the ecosystem as well as for constructing a customized organization within it. Onboarding DAO initiators in an explicitly instructional environment ameliorates one of the frequently-cited barriers to entry for involvement: wading through all the chats and documentation required for information symmetry about the tools and how to use them, but also how to operate meaningfully as a member within the DAO. We anticipate that introducing DAO initiators to DAOstack and genDAO in a space with “no stupid questions” and the opportunity to learn together with direct guidance available as needed, will reduce attrition and increase sustained participation overtime in the community and also in use of the DAO for its intended purpose.

(3) DAOincubator will be fulfilling its intended role of working directly with DAO platforms and their native DAOs (e.g. DAOstac/genDAO) to grow the ecosystem by supporting subDAOs with direct guidance that also serves to generate protocols and procedures that can act as extensible, modular “templates”.

• Exploring nested DAO structures enables a tight feedback loop of hypothesis creation, testing and iteration as we co-design these novel forms of collective organization. For example, we hypothesize that the “templates” mentioned above will emerge from patterns of functions and forms shared

(a) between platforms’ native DAO (e.g. genDAO) and its subDAOs
(b) across subDAOs within a platform

© among DAO stakeholders (individual and collective member entities, e.g. DAOinc)
(d) interoperable across platforms

If genDAO adopts the procedure, any DAO with an architecture that allows it to abide by the terms laid out will have the ability to apply for genDAO membership.

Recently we started a breakoutroom and a DAOtalk thread to dive deeper into the topic. From these discussions emerged many important questions relating to this proposal (click through links above to view the full discussion).


have a look at this (less than 2 minutes) and let me know if you see potential for me to contribute etc

Our project, Noomap and Infinite World Game will be focusing our build on Holochain. I am interested in seeing what can be possible as well to bring our work into DAOstack universe. We’ll have much deeper info in coming months and more info I hope by end of June on our Noomap Holoweb Browser project on Holochain.


description sounds dope but link is broken, could you share again?

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Posting the amazing Miro board from @Pat and @eric.arsenault that in a very thoughtful and clear way illustrates how the forming ecosystem is taking shape.

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Relevant first fractalization proposal:

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First one might have been from Alex for us to join the dxDAO by staking ETH there ::]
But yay, happy to see dOrg formally joining the DAO.
We also got a serious inquiry from @orishim that I may forward here to help streamline the discussion.

Can you clarify what this research intends to move forward?
It is already possible to propose to give a DAO’s Avatar reputation in some other DAO with Alchemy. There is also a scheme already built for DAOs to vote in other DAOs (see here). I’m not sure if Alchemy supports this scheme yet, but I would imagine a simple html form (similar to the Contribution Reward and Scheme Registrar interfaces) would do the trick.
There was also some great research previously done on the topic here.

And my answer

Hey, thanks for asking, too bad it had to come with instant downvotes.
This is more than research, DAOs are more than schemes.

There is a reason why so many proposals fail and so many times newcomers have to resubmit or worse: get rep but barely interact. Too much ambiguity!

Since pre-alpha any ETH address could join the genDAO. But it started with closed doors, then permissioned, evolving into what we have now, with an ongoing process that is messy but robust. ask for 100 rep, tons of resources to guide each step, multiple identity and identification features, layers of human warmth, from weekly calls to 1 on 1 sessions and meetups. So many things emerged from trial and error to scaffold the onboarding of new people. DAOs need more than coded onramps.

But what was messy was wisely low stakes. Now that both the DAO and the ecosystem soft launched, there is so much more at stake. Just like the entire community had to invest huge amounts of energy to actually make happen what the code writing intends to, we’d like to help bootstrap a new chapter for this DAO, scaffolding what has to be done for other real DAOs to join our allianceDAO. Not just an amazing cooperative with 3 eth address from 3 veterans of genDAO.

From now on, with dxDAO, polkaDAO, and many more to come, we are engaging with a broader community, representing a compounded amount of skin on the game that is much less tolerant to ambiguity, dramas, fuck ups, and overall structureless that our late alpha stage has learned so much from. For this journey, we believe in the necessity of well thought and participatory steps to figure out clean and clear procedures for:

  • recognizing what is a DAO and what is just an entity using a dApp
  • what is the difference between a group that evolved into a subDAO and a ecosystem member that wants to have a saying in the allianceDAO
  • integrating, making use of previous efforts and documentations to generate concrete actionables, directly followed by its execution as proof of concept.
  • what could be the fractalizing best practices and the conflict resolution steps to make sure no engagement goes to waste or that no preDAOs run away from a reactive organization.

I hope this helps, and I make my self available to further clarify the intentions and usefulness of this proposal to our DAO ::]

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Some closing thoughts here: experimentation should not mean the same as “move fast, break things”. This is an experimental proposal, that aims host an open experiment in a participatory way with 3 steps:

  1. Develop the procedure,
  2. test it by onboarding the DAOincubator,
  3. run a series of workshops IRL to onboard more DAOs.

There are huge stakes in front of us, and in this case “moving slow, breaking nothing” might be the way to go.

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I think this topic also introduces the concept/role of D2D ambassadors. It could increase efficiency in the D2D ecosystem to have a specific person within a Dao assigned to coordinate with another Dao. So essentially just one component in the establishment of inter-dao diplomacy.