Open feedback thread for Council of Prague



This is an open thread for feedback on Council of Prague. Either add your comments directly to this thread, or link in a blog or twitter post you’ve put elsewhere.

If you’d like to help with gathering feedback, check out this Github issue or other “help wanted” tasks.


Council was great!
Few things could be improved:

In live discussions:

  • We need more whiteboards, pens, stickers, cards for …
    • … taking notices
    • … signaling and aggregating opinions
    • … asking questions in background without interrupting the speaker
    • … better time management in discussions.

setting up discussions:

  • … use an app (like devcon4’s) to allow ad-hoc schedule changes.
  • … make place for small ad-hoc discussions/workgroups with publicly accessible schedule. Anyone should be able to announce an ad-hoc topic and take a slot.
    I like the web3summit’s idea of a big room (the one with plants) divided into many smaller areas. Plants can be moved, adjusting the area to demand.

In free-float conversations and lunch time

  • … “You can ask me about” - badges are great!
  • … Too much time wasted in the lunch queue. I would prefer simple food if it is fast.

UPD: one more problem:

  • too many talks running in parallel.
    May be we should allow more than one ring in session?


Overall: I thought the council was a great success and made a lot of progress both in the ring I was helping organise (metacartel) and the meta magicians ring which I participated in.

Hiccups: As an ring organiser, I didn’t have too much time to actually prepare the allocated room to host the ring. It was a bit chaotic as I tried to usher ring members into the space while trying to steal chairs from the main conference room. This was not a huge hindrance but did produce at least 5-10mins worth of friction.

Good things: Had very meaningful and productive conversations ~ with ongoing planned progress online.


As a first time participant in the ring, more background info digitally or otherwise would be helpful. Also not sure what we do after , not sure where our ring is and how to find ring leader. I was in project mgmt ring.


You will find no leader as there is none :wink:
I think ring maker is what you are searching - you should find them here:


Greatly enjoyed the talks! I took part in the data, reputation & wallet rings. Some observations / comments:

Structure / guidance (wallet ring was great) from a ring facilitator means that topics get addressed accurately (props to @ligi) even with larger groups.

Many participants but little structure > means loudest voices get heard most, topics drift, hard to get to actionable items / address subjects properly.

Rings forming around a new topic take (quite) a bit of time to self-organise, structure and define. Data ring had a lot of interest, but the broad subject of ‘data’ meant that we needed more time to specify.

With lots of new participants, people new to do-mocracy, lots of people new to one another; means time is also spent on adapting to a lot of meta.

Smaller groups & smaller rings joining up (bottom up instead of bottom down) can probably speed up communication and ‘formation’. Maybe flash introductions before going into bigger ring(s) would facilitate this.

There was incredibly good support and preparation from volunteers and organisers. There has been a great deal of knowledge transfer from previous participants to all new participants and hopefully that also contributes to scaling/decentralized scaling of the Magicians.

I second Ethernian’s suggestion that a big room where you can easily move between rings may be super helpful. At least at the beginning of a day it would create more dynamism between rings/participants & make it easier to create smaller specialised sub-rings. Less structure from the beginning makes it easier for some emergent structures to come up, more playfulness.

Really looking forward to see how we/this revolves!

Edit: I’m also noticing often things get lost / it’s hard for people to figure out where to look / find notes etc. I can imagine a front-page for with some links to hackmds/wikis/githubs/forums would benefit many people.


Overall Feedback: The ETH Magicians event was such a great time and I came out of it feeling very motivated for the future of Ethereum. It’s rare to find so much brain power in one place and it’s always great to meet new developers with different perspectives and specializations.

Things to improve on: I don’t have any crucial comments for this section. One thing I want to mention is more related to the ring organizers rather than the event organizers. It would be good to see more documentation from the specific ring sessions as well helping them structure their sessions agenda beforehand. Lastly it would be good to have methods in place for after the session to help continue the discussion online/remote.

Good things: Couldn’t be happier with this event! When is the next one??


Thanks for soliciting feedback Boris!

First off, I want to re-emphasize my gratitude to all of the organizers and ring makers for bringing this event together. (And to ECF and Status for sponsoring!)

Also note that my feedback comes from someone who isn’t actively involved in any kind of ETH development. e.g. I’m not actively working on EIPs. (So take this all with a grain of salt—I may not be your desired audience!)


  • Running the rings in parallel (it allowed for folks to migrate to their desired ring, saving wasted time where folks are in meetings misaligned with their interests)
  • Explicitly making the connection to IETF. (Though I think more could’ve been done relating FEM to broader ETH ecosystem.)
  • Crowd-sourced, organized process beforehand to set the rings and structure of the day. :fire:

Deltas (Things to Work On/Change)

  • The intro at the beginning was much too long for me. There were 200+ people watching as the organizing crew (Boris, Jamie, Greg) kind of meandered around various FEM-adjacent topics. Instead of 45min, I’d love to see this cut down to 15min.
  • And then there was the 45min ETHSecurity ring example. Don’t get me wrong, I love ETHSecurity. But again it felt like 45min was way too long. Maybe 15min to highlight how a ring can succeed and become something larger.
  • And then for me, after sitting there for 90min+, then we passed around the mic allowing anyone to speak who wanted to. I dig the disorganization vibes, but this was a bit much for me.
  • I was a little disheartened after the morning, so when I finally did a session in the afternoon (Meta Magicians!), I was already a bit skeptical. Meta Magicians felt much better than the morning, but was still a bit too unstructured for my tastes. I wanted clearer goals, 30sec timer for intros, clearer facilitation of who was talking, reprimands for getting off-topic, etc.

So…yeah! I think that’s my main piece of feedback—I have a weirdly low tolerance for meetings that aren’t hyper productive all the time. In terms of how to “fix” it (besides making the 1st talks 1/3 as long), I’d lightly recommend using the Lean Coffee method for rings:

  1. Have people give quick 30 sec intros
  2. Spend 4min to have people add cards to a list
  3. Have everyone vote on cards they’d like to chat about
  4. Sort the cards by vote. Starting with the highest vote, spend ~4 min per card (hard timer). At end of 4min, peeps vote an amount of time they want to continue that topic. Usually 0-2. (Or you can just use you instinct and cut the card at 4min.)
  5. Leave 5min at the end for takeaways/next steps.

…BUT, all this “commandant-style” organization may be antithetical to the FEM “disorganization” vibe. I’ll let y’all decide what to do with that tension :slight_smile:

Hope this feedback helps and good luck with the next council!


Some great feedback so far everyone!

A lot of things I’d like to mention improvements on have already been mentioned.

A recurring thought throughout the event I had was the need for all rings to have an allocated transcriber who would record relevant and actionable ideas in an already agreed upon format and location on the internet. ETH Magicians is really great in bringing the best minds together, so if this can adequately leveraged by everyone knowing where to go to after the event, it means we can have many people continually working on the problems and ideas thought upon during the event.

Maybe at the beginning of every ring, a forum topic here or an issue on github is created just for that particular ring at that particular event and then mentioned adequately to everyone so that they know where to go after the ring. Then a transcriber (anyone in the ring) is picked to make the OP for the thread/issue. I know this may seem to detract from the randomness that makes ETHmagicians so great, but I don’t think this is necessarily so. As long as identified problems/ideas are recorded down for later discussion, the discussion can be tangential and random as required!!


This was actually the case. There was a HackMD file made ahead of time for each session.

What didn’t happen / wasn’t done well was connecting that notes file to people in the room, and being even more pro-active in having AT LEAST one person being the scribe.

This was due to a couple of reasons. One was a lack of volunteers. The organizers wanted to participate, and we should have had session volunteers whose only job it was to spend time with each session and help out in ways like this.


I wasn’t familiar with the Lean Coffee method — thanks for sharing!

I’d love to have actual facilitation support. Including, I think a World Cafe with all participants would be amazing.

We tie ourselves in knots a little bit to not have main speakers or one voice. How best to transmit the Principles? Not sure, we’ll see what next events bring.

The ETH Ecosystem is not something I had considered. I know I consider ETHMagicians to be embedded IN the ecosystem so never thought to highlight more about that. Reflecting, that of course can be mystifying to newcomers who are looking to ETHMagicians as an entry point TO the whole ecosystem.

Thank you for the feedback!


:+1: I also dislike long introduction phases - what we did in the wallet ring was an Idea extended from barcamps. Every participant could state:

  • name
  • 3 tags
  • 3 projects that they are associated with

Ideally this is even faster than 30s ( as in a ring of 42 members 30s/member are 21min in total also …)
Perhaps we could even optimize this a bit more and combine it with the outcome signing ceremony. It is important to know who and which project is in the room of the workshop - but having a introduction session in every workshop is wasting time. Perhaps we can solve the problem also digitally. So people can edit a small intro online and then check-in to a session. This could then also generate an automatic section in the meeting-notes with all participants with link to their context. Perhaps even get further and link it to the notes “who said what” and do some kind of “speaking time budged” …


Just catching up to this and adding my two wei.

I thought the Magician’s sessions in Prague (and Berlin earlier in the year) were excellent. Being in the same room with other human beings is exceptionally important and productive (and a rare occurrence for a hibernator like me). Even if the actual sessions themselves are somewhat disorganized and we all spent a fair amount of time going around in circles (literally), it’s important to be together so later, when we’re interacting online, we can attach a smiling face to a blog post or poorly-worded forum comment.

There was one thing I think might be improved. I concur with Rhys above, starting with two 45 minutes presentations didn’t really work. Perhaps the first presenter should be an expert on diss-organziations and how they can best operate. Perhaps we should spend time teaching ourselves skills for behaving in a leaderless fashion. We spent a lot of time in both Berlin and Prague speaking about an un-conference, leaderless disorganization, and this stuff is excellent (and right in line with the original ideas of the Magicians), but I (for one) have no idea how to behave in such a gathering.

Perhaps some of the money that has been raised could be used to bring in a speaker to teach us about the type of organization we’re trying to build. I think many participants would benefit from that.