Breakout Session #2: Meta Magicians

I was facilitator and scribe, because I am bad at handing off scribing / sharing the HackMD link ahead of time.

I believe anything that is “actionable” (listed under TODO) should get turned into github issues to see who is “assigned” in actually moving it forward.

Long form discussion can / will still happen in forum – but updates / moving things forward / accountability in Github.


TJ Rush

  • issuing invoices
  • events - inclusivity
  • inclusivity
  • interested in organization, reaching consensus on standards
  • Kauri – getting to action
  • scale and communicate, keep invluded
    ?? from St. Lucia
  • coming from St. Lucia, populaton of 200K
  • when I wanted to get involved in cc community, used localbitcoin
  • I was the only user – throughout the Caribean and East Africa, same problems still exist


  • open Q&A – 200 people
  • about 20 got a chance to speak
  • as groups get larger – 80% stay quiet
  • in first ring group – 30min was intros
  • point from Boris, Aidan – like Linux or Bitcoin
  • IETF made some mistakes? Hit level of growth – costs of coordination, cause people pushed to the wayside
  • if every single person has to have input, then each person is added – cost goes into coordination
  • company called Gore – famous for making Goretex
  • no managers – best place to work
  • they found that there need to be small groups rather than large groups – by necessity

TJ Rush

  • when we will meet next?
  • instead – push to regions


  • started my own meetup in my own city

  • no one from community is at DevCon – I’m representing that community

  • hierarchies of discussion

  • can continue to have larger discussions

  • Need better communication – out of in person, to online

  • Asynch communications

  • when do we want to meet? what goals do we want to succeed?

  • succesful rings did pre-work to move forward

  • others, for alignment in the room very valuable

  • more onus to do pre-work

  • lot of rework – tackle the same issue, with a slightly different angle

  • trying to claim attention space – or physical space

  • like Security Tokens vs.

  • not having one canon

  • better communication method


  • example


  • tying things more to an EIP process – measurable outcomes
  • agreement or not
  • implement in hackathons


  • one of problem with EIPs
  • person who writes it is interested parties
  • good position to start – maybe there is another group – that has a different perspective
  • competition rather than collaboration
  • EIPs shouldn’t be linked by interest – more professional manner
  • leadership of an EIP – not knowing a lot – just to be sure you are hearing all the parties
  • what are the conflicts, what are shared, neutral arbitration
  • if the EIP, the owner has that much power

TJ Rush

  • how do we have forcing functions – that force to not have leaders
  • keep them fluid


  • no processes – blow it up to regional areas


  • been experimenting
  • responsibility of coming into a circle, need to do work
  • observer, or taking action
  • teach them to someone else
  • they should be able to get there and ready to run
  • choose how to be governed
  • hierarchy - holocracy - consensys
  • close the gap of alignment
  • how inclusive trying to be?


  • explanation rings
  • Operations Ring
  • there is no “volunteers” ring yet – so maybe we need one (we technically have a group & private forum for volunteering)


  • starts with personal responsibility
  • people feel responsible
  • create a tension – in order
  • can’t decentralize everything
  • have to have structure
  • can build trust
  • for example with Operations Ring – there is a multisig
  • resources need to be managed – need people to help with management
  • how do you deal with resources as part of centralization?


  • management if there is a lot of money
  • what if proposals are made to receive funding?


  • large issue around funds
  • maybe EthMagicians never want to hold funds
  • money is a horrible thing
  • money needs a bit of organization – maybe
  • more pure opinion if are no salaries


  • explain there isn’t a lot of money
  • opinion: can we only use the donation funds for events


  • making an event
  • how do we give out money


  • IETF uses host organizations


  • Internet Society is the partner to IETF
  • Can we move the money to a separate entity
  • any resources is power
  • not just money – numbering scheme on EIPs


  • how do we take whatever we have here – bring it back to where we’re from
  • how do we support more people like yourself
  • this conversation is most important for next council
  • livestreaming is great


  • making it so that Magicians don’t have to worry about money
  • separate body? we can do our thing
  • not mixing them sounds like a good thing, sounds like a compromise

Peter Pan

  • syndicate model – pledge money to a cause, angel fund
  • propose things, which people should fund or not
  • individual organizations decide how much to fund


  • interesting use of money to servic infrastructure
  • vote with their money, donating to smaller groups that form
  • end of the day there is a need for infra – including infra to handle money
  • same thing with resource – take some money to run, common infra we rely on
  • money is best used for that sort of thing, for any group
  • everyone has to fundraise themselves


  • costs of volunteers $20K


  • what if one group wants to fundraise for getting something built – eg. signal
  • can we still trust people to use the name EthMagicians and raise funds


  • scapegoat co that is formed to do invoices


  • if scapegoat takes invoices, then will be taxed
  • should we non profit? non profits are complexed

Bryant “scapegoat international”


  • can we use Giveth
  • non binding votes
  • fundraising is very difficult


  • getting ahead of ourselves
  • non financial means of supporting sub groups


  • stuff with fundraising that could be under entity
  • grant process or whatever
  • signaling ring – never once thought I’m representing EthMagicians
  • never said “we’re from EthMagicians” – asked for our project to exist


  • these are resources, affiliation
  • not all of us have jobs at organizations that can fund things
  • people that want to participate that flights and things are a big burden
  • trying to enable process
  • like signaling notion


  • focused on operational budget rather than future funding
  • have that budget
  • align partnerships – we do have agreement from these partners


  • ask for consensus on NOT fundraising outside operational costs


  • way to express opinions on funded projects – because we are scaling quite fast


  • anyone should be able to do an EthMagicians event?
  • empower all people


  • doesn’t like voting


  • voting not inclusive


  • other rings signal


  • everyone and no one is a magician
  • no one can and can’t
  • but … we do need to recognize that people will want to borrow the legitimacy of the name


  • from an open source software perspective
  • want to have remote / distributed hackathon
  • Colony has a repo on how to have a remote hackathon
  • Colony never said no one has to have permission
  • we have all the best practices out there
  • make things as forkable as possible


  • adding to coordination and borrowing legitimacy
  • the signal of Magicians is provided by individuals


  • inside the dis-organization
  • from outside - EthMagicians is being pointed from the outside
  • potential for abuse


  • I think that voting and signaling are different things
  • don’t want to hard vote
  • there should be signaling to prevent these things
  • forming an organization – one of my guys wants to do something political
  • how do we define our goals? what is and is not political?
  • if rough consenus is achieved


  • if we are an organization or not
  • if we are, then there are limitations
  • we need governance – don’t care about democracy or dictatorship
  • if we act as an organization, need to take those steps


  • the first form of Ethereum activism
  • we want to jump on this as activism


  • culture – something between organization and anarchy
  • if you don’t ascribe to the model
  • signal that people should revisit
  • not just a pool of water on the floor


  • as individuals
  • it is loose
  • are we an organization? there is a lot of fictional thinking, decentralized vs formal
  • a human organization is formed – we know how to organize
  • “an institution” --> those geese are coming to consensus
  • loose organization
  • some people want a more legalistic approach


  • one is allocation around resources
  • beneficial to look at EthMagicians that has some organized parts to it
  • there is something organizational / institutional
  • stick with that giant anarchy
  • centralization around resources – rules around the resources
  • eg website has rules


  • allow culture to define entries and exits
  • if we formalize too much


  • shill event?
  • EthMagicians Shill fest – then we need to solve it


  • will signal that it is a shill event


  • template?


  • do we need a way to kill an exit scam


  • Don’t need to de-endorse things
  • Shillcoin Council of New York
  • meritocracy – anyone can use it – people would need to educate


  • we are an organization
  • don’t be afraid of organizing
  • when I hear the word signaling – I want voting!
  • when we are talking about decentralized then power – rather than signaling, want voting


  • resources like the twitter account
  • in general, a lot more loose
  • sharper edges along other resources
  • individuals have a way to speak out
  • let’s not prematurely optimize

To Do

ETHMagicians in the Public Domain

Is the term EthMagicians in the Public Domain? What does that mean?


Permission for Events

No one needs permission to run an EthMagicians event

Asked for consensus: not met in the room – some people said, as long as forked from a template, some people said, no rules or constraints, tackle bad actors when / if they arise.

Support Smaller / Regional Events

Boris: how do we enable / encourage / support smaller regional events around the world? (aka “there is no way I am doing the madness that is 250 people next to DevCon/insert large ETH event ever again”)

TJ + Lane – small regional
Alex / Kauri have people in NYC

This small regional event may be part of developing a template. So action item here is great a template / encourage people to run some events / iterate over template.

Governance of donated funds

  • link to forum thread
  • plus operational issues about moving to a better multi-sig

TO DO: who can help investigate / make a plan for this?

e.g. move to Giveth? Aragon? more multi-sig holders

Jamie & Boris both feel they don’t have expertise / need help.

How are Councils run?

  • Should we follow the template from 2018 for 2019?

Ecosystem Lack of Duplication

  • Andreas: collaboration across the Ethereum ecosystem, how do we do it better and duplicate efforts less frequently?

Formalizing EIP around Ring Charters

James: Would formalizing an EIP around Ring Charters (i.e Rings exist outside of Ethereum Magicans) be helpful to clarifying Rings and their organization.


Issuing Invoices

Bryant: can we have a shared entity?
Who invoices as a shared resource?



TO DO: share this, who can help?

Fundraising using Magicians / Use of Funds

Boris: Propose that we do NOT use fundraising for anything other than operational needs for Council events

In the room: William objected, but not “over my dead body”

Jordy: don’t have Quorum!
Boris: yes! we gather consensus in the room, and then bring to forum

@Ethernian brought up a suggestion around tokens here that is related:

Pulling out some of the notes from above, there might be a separate organization purely to hold funds, or continue to have Host Organizations in different countries, or … something else.

In the closing circle, @GriffGreen offered the Giveth platform.

I have an open issue where I investigated Open Collective.

The EF holding funds be something that works, but might also cause difficulties in holding that organization accountable :slight_smile:

@boris @jpitts

Regarding the management of donated funds, I’ve noticed (from this and past threads) that this seems to be an evergreen issue. I’ve personally learned from past affiliations with various organizations that while actions can be carried out in an ad-hoc swarm-like manner, funding allocations don’t quite lend themselves to the same ad-hoc treatment (the latter is zero-sum, while the former is not).

In addition to Aragon and Giveth, I would suggest taking at look at Colony (the project I am affiliated with). Pitched as “a platform for open organizations”, it is at its core a decentralized budgeting and payments platform. You may find it meets the magicians needs: it is permissive by default, with budgeting priorities determined via reputation-weighted endorsements (requests with higher reputational backing are satisfied first). The reputation system itself is quite dynamic and designed to mirror the way membership in an organization changes over time, allowing decision-making power to be distributed naturally amongst a large group. Inasmuch as “grooves” support sensible behavior for common tasks, I would say that Colony is quite “groovy” (in a technical sense, of course).

If this is of interest, I’d be happy to talk more about how Colony could be deployed to support the magicians. We have been in development for quite a while now and are looking at a mainnet launch by the end of the year. We are a fun group. :smiley: