AIP - 3 [Non-Constitutional] Fund the Arbitrum Grants Framework Proposal Milestone 1

450+260k for managing this program. That’s a huge amount. For how long? Are these people full timers?

You mention a lot about programs wasting money. Well this program would spend 710k ARB on managing the program?!

As a previous Grants Lead myself, I will applaud the goals and spirit of the proposal. The problems mentioned are real. I am not sure if the solutions mentioned are convincing me enough of this grant program being different.

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As always, Arbitrum is being generous. Grant programs are obligatory for every single protocol or blockchain ecosystem, imo. We can’t deny how many ideas just came from grant programs, incentives, hackathons, etc. I just hope that Arbitrum will make a good selection among applicants and keep funds safe. And verify that what is promised in the grants is delivered by the applicators.

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I am in favor of running multiple Arbitrum grants programs in parallel. The Arbitrum DAO has a lot of potential, but is off to slow start. I would like to see several, relatively small efforts to deploy ARB to grow the ecosystem activate this year. As a result, I am generally in favor of both this grants framework and the Questbook program.

With that said, I would like to see more detail on how the funds will be deployed in this program. The proposal suggests spending 2.6 million ARB on the ecosystem, but does not include any details on what will be prioritized with the funds. The proposal also includes an additional 1.4 million in ARB that goes to the team, Gitcoin rounds, and unspecified. I’d like to understand more about how the 1.4 million will be used and why that amount is necessary. Re: Gitcoin, I would like to hear from Gitcoin on why this round is a priority for them. I am surprised there is no direct representation from Gitcoin in the Arbitrum forum given the size of the potential funding round.

I would like to fully support this proposal, but need a bit more detail before explicitly endorsing.

Best,

Frisson

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These amounts have been set over months of conversation here on the forum, in telegram chats and one on ones, and in community workshops.

Are you asking for a transparency report on how we set the amounts?

We’ve invested well over 200 hours of Plurality Labs team time plus a ton of time of delegates and community members helping to craft this. I’m not convinced that spending on higher quality video is the best use of our funds at this time.

I do agree that we need the vision & mission set. Part of this proposal is to facilitate finding this in a bottoms up way. I think if I personally were to craft one, I’d come up with close to what you have suggested. I’ve learned from experience that if the DAO is not a part of co-creating the statement that it will lose meaning. This proposal intends to discover the mission and vision using DAO native methods to engage the DAO in co-creation of these.

We would be happy to receive the funding for milestone 1 in stages. How small of time increments should it be broken into though? Sure, you can break it into smaller and smaller checks, but then our team needs to spend our time making political ties rather than doing the work. Something like 50k upfront and the rest streamed using Sablier contracts over the next 6 months is fine. This way the DAO could stop payment if we were to do nothing. Having us break the proposal into smaller pieces, each of which we need to pass separately on Tally… that wouldn’t be good for us or Arbitrum.

The work we are committing to is not simply managing a grants program. We would be designing frameworks and standards for open and permissionless participation which would yield effective grant spending which can be validated by the community. We are designing DAO native processes for increasing the effectiveness of grant spending while also increasing governance participation.

This is milestone 1. The DAO could choose not to fund milestone 2 if we aren’t making impressive progress. Yes, there is some risk, but you have a team with solid reputation for executing and a very specific need which most DAOs ignore - to their detriment.

Many grants programs simply throw money to what the council or delegated teams think is best. Our solution is to design more DAO native ways to engage community members like yourself to learn what opportunities the community sees. DAOs should have a superpower, but we haven’t gotten good at harnessing the collective knowledge yet.

I’d like to discuss this with you on a call because I’m having a hard time seeing where our views diverge. I think you are saying that you would like to see us state “Nova, Account Abstraction, Gaming, etc” for our focus areas. To me, this would be directly in conflict with our commitment to engage the community in deciding these things. It is a great thing that Questbook can define specific areas, but that is also a key difference in our proposals. We are aiming to create more DAO native processes for assessing these questions in a bottoms-up way.

I’d also like to point out that pluralism is not redundancy. It is about defining open & permissionless ways for the community to participate and rewarding the participation which creates value for the ecosystem. It is about using centralization and decentralization as tools which are best suited for different components of a holistic program.

The amount for Plurality Labs is both the design and kickstart of a capture-resistant grants governance framework, but also the selection and coaching of pluralist program managers. The funds for Plurality Labs are separate from the program managers allocations. This would all be delivered with oversight from the Grants Safety Multisig which would have the zodiac plug-in for the DAO to reclaim at any time. The “buffer” amount is in case of a drastic price change, but would be returned to the DAO or rolled over as buffer for Milestone 2.

Gitcoin’s Public Goods Funding workstream lead Azeem posted his approval on the other thread.

I do understand that we are asking for funds without exact KPIs. I also know that we are a capable team that is passionate about solving governance problems. At FDD, we ran a Machine Learning Operations pipeline for sybil detection while also reviewing as many as 1000 grants in less than 6 weeks with minimal errors. (You can see our governance briefs posted publicly after every round). The reason I’m sharing this is to show that we are highly capable of executing on our commitment.

Every grants program is either centralized and centralizing further over time or ineffective. Grants programs are complicated, but we keep YOLOing frameworks or resorting to delegated authority to individuals or councils. It doesn’t have to be this way. If you were building a house, would you YOLO it without blueprints and expect it to not have issues?

Funding this initiative could massively boost the Arbitrum ecosystem if we succeed.

Yes, this amount is a significant ask, but do you feel it is safe to try?

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A few considerations for delegates before we move this to snapshot.

  1. Optimism is releasing 30 million in retroactive public goods funding later this year
  2. Plurality Labs is committed to solving the problems - This benefits Arbitrum
  3. The ability to run Gitcoin rounds on Arbitrum means more total funding
  4. We are offering to both support multiple programs AND do the work of learning and iterative improvement

When will we get to parity with OP in ecosystem funding?

  • How will we scale to get to parity?
  • How will we scale without the system centralizing?
  • How will we create trusted boundaries on what spending is “in-bounds”?
  • A 10% decrease in effectivity of funds means 350 million in waste over time

Plurality Labs is a mission focused organization

  • Our goal isn’t to pass this proposal, then move on to pass for another ecosystem next month and not have time for Arbitrum. We want to design a best-in-class system with a technology and team which has continually shown it is willing to push the ecosystem to truly decentralize.
  • We would not attempt other major client work until the path for Arbitrum is clear.
  • Our other work is mission aligned - building fraud dashboards, sponsoring Plural QF experimentation, designing real-time fraud detection tools.
  • In this proposal, we are only asking for 12.5% for services so we can get both our services AND the plural managers covered for under 20%. This isn’t just program management, but we are willing to do it for the same amount.
  • We want to get to milestone 3 - this means we depend on you thinking we did a great job after these 6 months
  • The fee we take isn’t evenly split across the 4 current team members. We will need to hire specialists and post bounties. We will likely need more PT help. Our profit, if there is any, would go to our mission aligned activities in the future as well. We want Plurality Labs contributors to be paid well, but not to be extractive.

Gitcoin Citizen Round just brought in $80k in donations for a $20k matching pool.

  • Matching pots on Gitcoin for choosing to run on Arbitrum is immediate user growth
  • Our ability to run QF rounds means more money granted including the direct donations!
  • The Allo protocol allows for an open data substrate which can be used for Quadratic Funding, Quadratic Voting, and Direct Grants programs. It allows for the open analysis of results in a consistent data format with a variety of ready to use and tested tools.
  • If this is broken out into a separate proposal, we will lose the ability to do many types of grant tests during our first milestone.

Iterative improvement included

  • Our proposal explicitly calls for judgement for our next milestone funding to be include process improvements on top of funding outcomes
  • We have a ton of “low hanging fruit” learnings from past experience which wasn’t prioritized yet, but is expected to be impactful
  • If you think our process improvements might result in even a 1% effectivity gain, then you are estimating $35 million in savings over the lifetime of the DAO
  • We think that there is like room for 10-20% effectivity improvements by simply reducing fraud, monitoring outcomes, and evaluating impact ($350-$700 million without compounding!)
  • The current market is designing monolithic grants program solutions which can be great for creating a specific outcome, but none are perfect for the entire needs of keeping an ecosystem healthy, balanced, and growing.

Statement from Joe

Have you been in a situation where you are always focused on the next couple months priority and never get around to long-term strategy planning? This is happening to every DAO grants program. A few great ones like OP & Uniswap have realized that centralized teams must make and guide the long-term strategy. We believe the whole community can be better represented and produce more effective outcomes by using more DAO native and on-chain tools. Many of these are sitting in backlogs waiting to be built or already exist but aren’t well known.

Think of Plurality Labs as not only scouring all of web 3 to find the most effective grants program processes and software components, but also creating a playbook for how these components can be modularly assembled to create the best possible outcomes.

If you look at Atlassian Playbooks, they have compiled a list of “plays” which teams can run to make meetings suck less and deliver consistent results.

We are looking to compile a list of “plays” for the web 3 grants program playbook. We can look at successful programs like Gitcoin QF rounds or Thrivecoin engagement campaigns. We can also review other grants programs that Arbitrum may approve like Questbook. Each of these programs provides one or multiple plays which specialize in producing a specific outcome. We may also discover or even design new plays using existing or new software.

A best-in-class ecosystem grants program will:

  • Find and fund the most impactful outcomes
  • Source collective intelligence from the community
  • Know which “play” to use to best produce a specific outcome
  • Increase voter participation over time

At the end of our third milestone, we hope to provide a playbook full of proven plays with context to which situations each is best suited. We are not only delivering funding to the ecosystem, but providing long term benefits to all future grants programs! It is ambitious, but not unrealistic. We believe, as many in the DAO space do, that effectively using the wisdom of the crowd will work even better than centralizing authority which slows down innovation.

We aim to provide decentralization long-term through competency, not coercive control.

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Joe, I appreciate your leadership on this proposal. You’ve been very collaborative, patient, and receptive to feedback along the way.

Philosophically, I think I struggle with the expansive scope of this proposal, which includes funding for a reasonably large grants program, grants program design and implementation at multiple levels, and a public goods funding round. I personally would choose to get started with a narrower scope.

With that said, I will support this proposal. I really want the DAO to start experimenting and funding initiatives, and I think on balance this proposal will benefit the DAO both in terms of providing grant funding to the ecosystem and kickstarting the learning process on how to operate grants initiatives.

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Just as with the prior thread, I’m really supportive of this. I know that it’s not the smallest amount of funds but to properly run a grants program does require that, and that can have a massively positive impact on the ecosystem as a whole.

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Hey everyone, I am FOR this proposal, the Pluralistic Grants Model sounds like a great approach for the Arbitrum ecosystem.

I can vouch for the innovative ideas and approaches of the Plurality Labs team having worked with some of the members, and I am excited to see how a Grants Program shaped and designed by the team will encourage the growth of the Arbitrum ecosystem.

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Reminder - tomorrow (Tuesday 7.4) will be our bi-weekly Grants & Governance workshop

We will use the Lean Coffee approach to work through some sticky Grants related topics - find the outline here and we hope you will join us.

Bi-Weekly Grants & Governance Workshops - Tuesdays at 2pm UTC

These bi-weekly facilitated sessions will be made open to all delegates and teams/individuals contributing to the Arbitrum ecosystem. Hosted workshops will use design thinking to better understand the problems we are facing, align our conversations, and find better solutions.

:calendar: Add to calendar

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I will be there on the call

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Blockworks Research is voting no to Plurality’s grant program. In our opinion, it does not make sense to fund another grants program with an overlapping mandate to Questbook, especially one so similar. Having one program is optimal as otherwise concerns around the “mom and dad” issue, a lack of communication, and other potential problems could occur. After careful consideration of the two programs, we decided that we preferred Questbook given:

  1. Questbook has seen success in other DAOs.
  2. The high service fee requested for Plurality + grants program managers in this proposal.
  3. The total expense for Questbook is far lower, and that program will function as a trial, posing a lower aggregate risk to the DAO.
  4. A more clear and sufficient multisig model proposed by Questbook that involves the DAO’s input on members.
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Proposal is now LIVE on Snapshot

Click here to VOTE!

It’s time to build the tools and processes which will help the space collectively rebuild its vision of capture-resistant governance.

This vote is a commitment to Milestone 1 of 3. Here is a high-level overview of the three milestones.

Milestone 1

  • Utilize DAO native sensemaking & design methods to clarify vision, mission and boundaries for what the DAO’s short & long term goals are and how to collaborate between programs and the foundation.
  • Discover, Design, Execute, & Evaluate a best-in-class grants funding framework delivering 2.6 million ARB to builders aligned with the DAO mission.
  • Research & development of evaluation practices to assess project execution, impact, and alignment tracking of funds granted by the DAO (in or out of the Plurality Labs driven program) such that the DAO can quickly scale grant funding to make Arbitrum the #1 home for quality builders.
  • Benchmarking of key metrics to measure the three milestone program success.

Milestone 2

  • Iterative alignment of processes based on learnings from Milestone 1 to enable massive scaling of the amount of funds the DAO can comfortably allocate.
  • Business model discovery for a grants pathway to investment and overall program sustainability.
  • RFP and granting process to build needed components to deliver milestone 3.

Milestone 3

Deliver a governance framework for continuous ecosystem funding which satisfies the following metrics:

  • The number of quality developers building on Arbitrum is growing at an increasing rate.
  • The number of ARB holders participating in governance is growing.
  • DAO delegate satisfaction with our services is increasing as measured by NPS.
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Questbook has 1 allocation method called Delegated Domain Authority. One thing I learned at Gitcoin while we were doing discovery of what grants programs need is multiple allocation methods. Our service will analyze results between allocation methods and utilize the results to compliment the Questbook model.

Additionally, our framework offers iterative design improvements between rounds.

If you truly prefer a centralized grants model, then you should indeed vote for one program. I’d suggest this is not only against the ethos of the DAO, but also the reason DAOs centralize over time.

Four allocators over 6 months representing 550,000 token holders means that even the allocator with the best of intentions is closer to some than others on the social graph. This imbalance will compound over time. The Questbook model with elections & term limits is a big part of why we support them, though we do think that our service would compliment theirs.

The total service fee being requested to pay both Plurality Labs and program leads is 19.7%. I’m not sure how you can call this high in comparison to Questbook at 20%. We aimed to have a similar fee to avoid this discussion. While their proposal goes deep in servicing the DDA allocation method, ours goes wide in servicing multiple allocation mehtods, comparative analysis between methods, and iterative improvements over time.

We are also working to put ourselves out of the job. We want to deliver and be done, not stay and continue extracting fees forever. Consider that Polygon has delivered $500 million in funding. How do we get to that scale as quickly and effectively as possible?

This does need to be decided before the Tally vote which would allocate funds. If the Snapshot for ours passes, we may design an acceptable model or even choose to collaborate further and use the same Grants Safety Multisig as Questbook.

This multisig is a key component for safety and preventing self-dealing, but it isn’t an active role in decision making.

Overall, we hope you reconsider given our clarification. I’m still available for discussion if you can find time. We would love to have Blockworks Research actively participate in our workshops and collaborative sessions.

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good news!! thank you

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I’ve been giving considerable thought to the existing grants program and, based on my understanding, I am obliged to vote against its current implementation. I believe there are three primary issues that need addressing:

  1. Accountability: Often, we find that a project’s success is hindered not due to a lack of potential in the idea, but rather a deficiency in the team’s ability to execute it. As delegates, it’s challenging to evaluate and mitigate such risks when awarding grants.
  2. Bias: The crypto space unfortunately appears to function much like an ‘old boys club’, with grants often awarded based on who you know rather than your demonstrable capabilities. This biases the grant allocation process, since we lack comprehensive data on applicants’ performance and skills.
  3. Efficiency: The current process demands a disproportionate amount of delegates’ time for the minimal impact it has. Furthermore, it does not sufficiently address the critical issues DAOs face.

I think the Arbitrum DAO should look at a tender market model which, in my opinion, addresses these three issues effectively:

  1. Role Clarity: The Foundation or the DAO proposes the ideas, while teams are chosen based on their track record and prior engagement, ensuring that the selection is capability-based rather than idea-based.
  2. Transparency: This model discourages proactive solicitation by the teams. Instead, they respond to requests, making the process transparent and eliminating bias.
  3. Simplified Decision-Making: Delegates vote on broad ideas instead of specific implementations proposed by a particular team, streamlining their decision-making process.

Perhaps the most salient feature of the tender market model is that it encourages the creation of what is truly necessary rather than random proposals. For instance, if the Arbitrum DAO requires R&D efforts around shared sequencers, teams can respond to that specific need. I think that is how we’ll attract talent to the Arbitrum DAO, much more than a grant program anyway.

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I’m not sure what this means because there isn’t a current Grants program. I and Plurality Labs prospective team have been investing our time to do some pre-work to putting up the proposal. Hopefully, this proposal helps solve these issues. For example:

Accountability

Plurality Labs is only being paid 450k ARB if this proposal passes. This is expected to last 6 months. We broke a larger proposal into Milestones to give the DAO the option to hold us accountable to milestone 1.

Bias

This article discusses how bias and centralization are known problems which are not solved: Grants Funding Framework Discussion - How To Excel at Being a DAO

This is exactly the problem we are aiming to solve through this program. I understand intentional and unintentional bias.

At Gitcoin, we chose to use semi-supervised reinforcement learning which would align the machine learning implementation to the bias of the community rather than having unknown levels of algorithmic bias. Unfortunately, the DAO decided to defund that work an accept higher levels of bias due to bear market constraints. There are multiple projects which were designed to protect the integrity of the grant funding “regulatory” system which were not funded. Some of these are low hanging fruit which would benefit the entire ecosystem as open source software. Some would allow for us to decentralize more components of the process.

Efficiency

When we say “DAO native” we are referring to this. We don’t want to take more of the delegates time! This program would mean less delegate time to yield better aligned results. Imagine you could log into your ARB governance council and see what is relevant to you. What if you could signal that you are more interested in app chain funding than MEV research and simply leave that signal on so we could derive the DAO preferences?

If you think the delegates have too much work now, imagine what it will be like without any team helping to organize and provide signal to noise clarity!

This is a great suggestion. If fact, we have already been thinking about this. We described it as “unbundling the grant sourcing pipeline”.

How are there so many builders looking for funds while grants programs are having trouble sourcing great projects? Our discovery phase will find the highest leverage things the DAO can fund. Then, it will use the best mechanisms to match builders with reputation to the work. We would proactively find what is most needed and get a teams to execute it.

At the same time we would be growing our pipelines.

Pipeline of great builders

We can host a contest to create a best DevRel submission. We can algorithmically score individual builders Github. We announce a retroactive round which would reward 100k in total to be split between the top 5 contributors in the month from each of our target domains.

Pipeline of known and prioritized work to be done

Our team will talk to domain experts and figure out what is the most impactful work that can be done. We would then emphasize funding the highest value projects. Think of infrastructure and dev tooling which is a true public good that private companies wouldn’t fund. By knowing what all these leverage points are, following that understanding with forecasting of which has the most potential impact, then doubling down on those projects which do show promise.

Maybe even have a pathway from Grants to Investments!

Pipeline of momentum keeping the community involved

We need regular checkpoints and monitored comms channels. We need rituals and cadences that get the community fired up. We need those conversations which spark new and great ideas.

Our proposal would create this, and not in a one-size-fits-all solution. We’d have small grant contests. Paid participation in workshops, Regional funding rounds which help the world recognize great projects in latin america or africa and give those projects a shot at moving to the next level.

This work won’t get done without approving it

The other grant program proposals are one program or one allocation method. Maybe 2. That is too blunt of an instrument to do the job well. Hiring Plurality Labs through this proposal will enhance the outcomes of any other grants program or grant that is directly approved by the DAO.

In reading your response, I kept thinking that you are asking for all the things that we are looking to provide!

I very humbly am asking that you consider changing your vote. :pray:

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@stonecoldpat Might want to look into this. I’m seeing a lot of these fake accounts on the forum putting in chatGPT replies.

I don’t know who this is, but they are pretending to respond as if they were on either Plurality Labs team or the Arbitrum Foundation.

Damn. Such harsh.
I helped build this proposal and the mechanics of the admin costs are pretty in-line with compensating mid level NA based tech resources. If I wanted to make a pile of money I would go back to tradbiz, where I would not quite triple what I make in web3, have health insurance, a lower tax bill, paid travel, a reasonable expectation of having employment for more than 3 to 6 months, and get paid in a currency that does not lose 40 to 60% of its value.

And, no one would berate me for trying to build something that no one has ever done before.

I was talking to a web2 person today who asked “what kind of assurance is there that web3 grant money actually has any kind of impact?”

Well s@#t, I am glad you asked.

That is exactly the gap we see, and only part of what this proposal tries to do, build a systemic valuation of grant impact so that we can be more and more efficient with each successive grant.

It’s not about giving away money at the cheapest executional cost - that is a race to the bottom. Its about comparing grant platforms, improving outcomes, experimenting & comparing methodologies so that we can get more money into the hands of builders who will explode the Arbitrium ecosystem. And, once developed, build a pathway for the best projects to get ever greater VC funding.

News flash - there is fierce competition for L2 builders, and this proposal attempts to build a competitive advantage around incentivizing and compensating great builders. Not just distribute cash.

Thank you for engaging in this governance process. I think divergent opinions are what will lead us to breakthrough ideas and web3 needs more courageous people who will speak their mind. So thanks for that.

But fren, bear markets are tough on all of us. How about we try to be civil with each other and try not to make web3 any harder than it has to be?

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My last post in this thread was removed by an admin. I don’t know the EXACT reason, just inappropriate in general. I assume is because of the colloquial language, so I’ll try to repost it in a more formal way.

Can I know in detail what are you gonna use the management allocation on? A breakdown of the costs and salaries. With all the prices in detail.

I wonder how can someone spend 3/4 of a million just to assign and distribute a round of grants. It shocked me to see such a huge numbers. I think the costs are ridiculous.

This job can be done by setting up a network of 10-15 people working from their homes with just a laptop and internet connection.
You just need to pay them for their time.

4k each for the full job (which is way more than the average salary in Europe for working 2 months, 40 hours a week).
If someone needs more than 320 hours to do this job it might be not the indicated person. Being efficient, 80-100 hours per person should be more than enough.

So you should manage with 60k.
60k spend to distribute 3M worth grants (that’s a 2%). This looks fair and efficient to me.

Other than that is just a MISUSE OF OUR MONEY in my opinion.

Absolutely AGAINST the proposal from my end.

I’d like to encourage everyone offering their services to manage grants programs to be sensitive with others money. For 99% of the people, money is hard to earn. :pray:

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After consideration, 404 DAO will be voting FOR this proposal given the following reasoning:

We support a pluralistic funding framework based on:

  1. Its potential to compliment Questbook’s proposal
  2. The created opportunity for experimentation and iteration
  3. The proven competence of the proposed team

We believe the fundamental question here is whether Arbitrum benefits more from a singular grants program or the flexibility and experimentation of a pluralistic approach. We agree with vision outlined by DisruptionJoe here and therefore support the latter.

With the Questbook (QB) Grant Program proposal being passed earlier this week (which 404 DAO also voted FOR), we’d like to first address why we see the 2 programs as complimentary, rather than alternatives. With Plurality Labs’ (PL) stated goal of establishing systems and procedures for visibility, evaluation, project-sourcing, and coordination, the QB program, if anything, would benefit from the execution and effectiveness of the PL proposal. In fact, if done effectively, we envision a future where QB would “opt-in” to being one of the pluralistic programs because it helps their own execution.

Additionally, while QB’s approach provides a straightforward, singular grants program, the pluralistic approach promotes experimentation and data-driven iteration. This paves a promising path towards a superior program—one that may not be immediately apparent but is unreachable through the singular approach. By funding this proposal the DAO will fosters a culture of testing and evaluation that allows us to produce the most effective grants program at scale.

Given the competitive landscape of other L2s and L1s, Arbitrum DAO needs a substantial grants framework to secure its future. While we support the QB program, we agree with the concern highlighted by L2Beats here and would argue that it is not substantial enough to be the sole grant program for Arbitrum. There does appear to be an upcoming grant program coming from the Foundation, but given the lack of current details, we feel it is best for the DAO to move forward on its own programs. A combination of the two programs will allow for effective distribution and allocation for grants in the short term and help set a foundation for future grants programs to begin iterating on.

DisruptionJoe has led conversations during monthly community calls and has spent ample timing vying for critiques and criticisms of their design. And while their proposal is not perfect, we believe the team is qualified to take on this endeavor. Their commitment to the longterm success of Arbitrum, coupled with their proven experience running large-scale grant programs for Gitcoin, makes us confident they have the ability to build out and execute on this program.

To the delegates that have voted against this proposal, we would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the general idea of a pluralistic funding framework. We believe such a discussion can help illuminate wether the reservations on this proposal stem from Plurality Lab’s design or the larger question of “one vs many” grant programs.

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