At the beginning of 2023, we embarked on a research project to better understand the (then called) Radicle community’s composition, motivations, and team dynamics. At the time, it was clear the organization needed to evolve its operations and governance to better achieve its objectives. Before making such significant changes, we wanted to ensure we really understood the goals, needs, and values of the Radicle ecosystem members.
We partnered with Apiary to research our community with the interest of understanding:
How does the community understand and identify with the organization’s purpose?
Who comprises the Radicle community? What are their driving motivations and incentives for participation?
What is the environment within which the community is operating? What are the constraints, incentive structures, and behaviors needed for the network to succeed?
Do people understand the current governance system and how it functions?
Apiary conducted multiple stakeholder interviews and did a deep analysis of existing documentation. The research surfaced several valuable insights from the community – about its culture, organizational processes, and opportunities for improvement.
One key insight was that community members felt they lacked a clear understanding of Radicle’s purpose. What united the community was a shared vision for a free and open internet, enabled through open-sourced technology. Beyond this vision, stakeholders were unsure about the specific role Radicle sought to play in realizing a freer and more open internet. Its purpose lacked definition, making it challenging for individuals to understand how their contributions served a greater goal, which in turn hindered community cohesion and individual participation. This insight, coupled with the decision to evolve Radicle’s brand, prompted the DAO (now referred to as Radworks) to define its purpose.
The Purpose of a Purpose
The purpose serves to constitute the organization, codifying what we believe in, why we are in collaboration, and what impact we seek to have. In doing so, the purpose seeks to:
Define Radworks’ specific role in contributing to a free and open internet.
Outline parameters around Radworks and its relationship to the community.
Memorialize why Radworks exists, so that the community can return to this raison d’être for clarity in times of change, challenge, confusion, or conflict.
Serve as a North Star for governance, legitimizing what decisions we make, how we make them, and enabling the community to hold itself accountable.
As such, the purpose statement shouldn’t be read as marketing material, but rather as Radworks’ North Star, which is intended to be:
Lived, guiding and informing the organization and its decisions.
Measured, ensuring that the community is fulfilling its purpose over time.
Adaptable, so as not to hinder the organization as it faces new challenges and conditions.
Understood and owned by its stakeholders.
Integrated into the Radworks’ structures, processes, and identity.
Drafting Radworks’ purpose was a three-part process.
Apiary facilitated a 2.5 day in-person workshop for Alexis, Abbey, Sean, Ele, and Ange, integrating learnings from the Insights Report into the conversation to explore the organization, its purpose, culture, and structures. Goals of the facilitation were:
Define a purpose statement that can be communicated to and iterated on with the community and integrated into the Radworks’ operations and governance.
Draft a list of core values to be workshopped and owned by the community.
Facilitation was structured around 4 core questions:
What is the problem the DAO seeks to solve?
What political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, environmental, and legal factors are important for and to the DAO?
What does the DAO believe?
What does the DAO give?
These questions built on one another and led to an exercise where the group collectively drafted a purpose statement for Radworks. The outcome of the workshop was a draft purpose statement.
The draft purpose statement was then brought to a select group of community members for feedback. This group was selected from the research Apiary conducted in Q1 2023. We selected community members based on their role in the organization, demonstrated commitment to the project, and for having voiced concerns or dissenting opinions during the research process. The goal was to surface any confusion, tension, or disagreements with the draft purpose statement. The purpose statement was revised and iterated based on this community feedback.
The community will have the opportunity to ratify the Radworks purpose in an on-going process using Radicle. Signatures can be submitted by community committee members to signal their commitment to Radworks’ purpose and community. You can ratify the Radworks purpose using Radicle by following the steps here.
The Radworks purpose is hosted on Radicle. You can find it on seed.radworks.org in the
radworks-governanceproject or by clicking here.
The purpose serves to constitute Radworks, memorializing what we believe and the community’s raison d’etre. It’s intended as a living document: a North Star that the community can return to for clarity in times of change, challenge, confusion, or conflict. If successful, this document will help protect and further Radworks’ purpose over time as we collectively navigate change.
Freedom - That technology should be developed to promote freedom and privacy, no matter where you are in the world.
Decentralization - That the internet should be decentralized and governed by its users, rather than controlled by governments or corporations.
Privacy - That technologies should be developed to protect individual privacy and prevent surveillance.
Accessibility - That technologies and information should be open and accessible to everyone, regardless of financial status or location.
Community - That technology should be developed to promote and harness community, collaboration, and peer-to-peer networks.
Resilience - That technology should be developed to be resistant to censorship, capture, and anti-competitive forces.
Sustainability - That technology should be developed with a long-term perspective, and should prioritize technical and financial sustainability.
Radworks funds new, resilient, permissionless technologies to cultivate internet freedom. We focus on funding and supporting the creation of censorship-resistant and decentralized technologies that empower builders and creators to collaborate. We are committed to enabling individuals and communities to collaborate in the digital realm securely and freely.
Ecosystem health - Governing and operating with the goals of increasing the health of the ecosystem, improving the diversity of token holders and network participants, and supporting the long-term sustainability and resiliency of the ecosystem.
Technical principles - Ensuring we uphold and promote our technical principles through our funding and activities.
Cultural development - Supporting the creation of a culture that is conducive to internet freedom through education and community engagement.
Demonstrating the viability of open source alternatives - Demonstrating the viability (in cost, labor, quality, and resiliency) of open-source software and its development by distributed organizations and communities as an alternative to conventionally funded, owned, and centrally controlled tech corporations.
Organizational ethos - Operating and governing Radworks in a manner that reflects the values we seek to support and promote through our activities. These are codified in our organizational principles.
Please join us in ratifying the Radworks purpose here to show your support for cultivating a better and freer Internet 🌱