Governauts Rewards Systems Research Initiative

Hi everyone,

I’m Angela, founder of Token Engineering Academy. TE Academy is the first educational institution for this crypto-native new engineering field. Since July 2020, more than 700 students from 21 timezones participated in our programs.

I’d like to propose a collaboration with Gnosis!
In November 2021, we’ll kick-off a community research initiative on Rewards Systems. The goal is to bring together 20-30 researchers from various backgrounds to work on Rewards Systems for DAOs. The work will be based on real DAO cases. We’ll offer an extensive educational program and facilitate the research process to create maximum output.

This is an excellent opportunity for Gnosis Zodiac to create attention, and work collectively on Zodiac DAO Improvement Proposals.

Please find below more information, happy to answer on any questions! :slight_smile:



  • Introducing Zodiac:
    ⁃ workshop with researchers, partners, and DAO stakeholders to create awareness and set the scope for Zodiac DAO Improvement Proposals
  • Research documentation:
    ⁃ community researchers work on Rewards Systems and
    ⁃ document their results in public HackMDs/Github repos
    ⁃ discuss progress in weekly sessions (sessions are recorded and shared publicly), and
    ⁃ share their results in a final presentations event (public)
  • Handover to Zodiac bounty/grant program
    ⁃ to further develop the most interesting results in DAO Improvement proposals

Program start: November 2021 (preps start now)
Program end: March 2022
Funding request: $20K (total funding ~60K, program will be co-funded by several DAOs)

Our motivation

Rewards Systems are a vital element for DAOs to compensate builders for contributions and grant decision-making power and co-ownership to those who are so critical for a DAO’s value. Ecosystem Development via proposals and grants has become a popular method to distribute funds, and establish a shared perspective on value-add. All Rewards Systems need reliable value assignment, to ultimately lead to a healthy reward distribution.

The Governauts Rewards System Research initiative will explore:

  • How to best track contributions and account for the richness of value adds that come in many forms: code, communication, care, creativity
  • how to assign value, how to define value and associated roles, and permissions
  • what do stakeholders expect from rewards, and does the system in place meet these requirements
  • what are metrics to measure the reward system healthiness - in its respective lifecycle

The program

We’ll provide education:

  • case introductions:
    • TE Commons Praise
    • 1-2 additional DAO cases with a Rewards System in production (currently in the proposal process)
  • partner talks, incl. Zodiac
  • Token Engineering fundamentals
  • DAO case studies and insights from Gitcoin, CommonsStack, BlockScience, TE Commons, and more
  • multidisciplinary insights from game design, behavioral economics, currency design, and monetary theory

and mentoring:

  • define an own research question in the scope of Rewards Systems
  • use methods from the Token Engineering toolkit
  • form multidisciplinary teams
  • produce actual outcome

This program is open to anyone, and free. We’ll have an application process to ensure that participants

  • have the right background, e.g., Political Science, Behavioral Economics, Mechanism Design or Data Analytics
  • commit the next three months to work on Rewards System Research questions
  • attend an education program, learn and work on a self-defined research question

Track Record

This program is organized by TE Academy, and part of the Governauts initiative.

The mission of TE Academy is to develop the Token Engineering discipline and grow the number of skilled Token Engineers in crypto. TE Academy has run research initiatives like this several times already:

  • Gitcoin Grants Quadratic Funding
  • Balancer Simulations
  • OMNIPool Engineering and Simulations
  • About TE Academy Research Groups

Incubating Governauts is an initiative to establish a dedicated branch in Token Engineering focused on decentralization and governance.
We organize workshops and discussions, provide a platform for collaboration and bring research programs to life with TE Academy.


Along with our core team, we’ll have mentors and governance researchers on board from DAOs like Gitcoin, CommonsStack, BlockScience, TE Commons, and more.

Angela Kreitenweis
Role: Host, organizer
Discord: akrtws (TE Academy) #4246
Angela has worked in early-stage startups since 2008. In 2018 she co-founded the Token Engineering Community, which has quickly grown into a global network. The Token Engineering Community aims to establish a new engineering discipline for successful and sustainable cryptoeconomic systems. In 2020 she founded TE Academy. TE Academy is part of the TE Commons ecosystem to fund and grow Token Engineering public goods.

Role: Research Lead
Discord: liviade #1387

  • member of the Commons Stack team
  • leading the Cultural Build of the Token Engineering Commons where
    she stewards the Soft Governance and Culture working group
  • guided by the concept of self-sovereignty to nurture environments that
    can promote individual agency in collaborative settings.
  • having a theater and performance background, Livia believes in the
    development of everyone’s subjective expression and embodiment of intrinsic motivations as a critical element for participatory decision making

Shawn Anderson
Role: Research Lead, Data Scientist

  • MSc.
  • founder of Longtail Financial
  • steward of the labs at the Token Engineering Commons, and teaching
    assistant at the Token Engineering Academy,
  • passionate crypto-economic entrepreneur that is applying rigorous
    data science techniques to token engineering and actively participating in the scaling of decentralized institutions for incentive alignment around sum-positive economies

Peter Hacker
Role: Educational Programming, Facilitation
Discord: heater #9765

  • Bachelor degree in Economics and Mathematics
  • four years in eCommerce data analytics and
    business strategy
  • active TE community member (TEC, cadCAD,
    BlockScience, Commons Stack)

Jessica Zartler
Role: Educational Programming, Lectures
Discord: JessicaZartler #2263

  • Governance Researcher (BlockScience, CommonsStack, TE Commons)
  • Governauts Ground Control team member

I am so for this proposal! Can’t wait.


Thanks, Angela! Designing better reward systems in web3 is pivotal to prevent web2-style dopamine loops. Algorithmic policymaking can go down the latter route pretty quickly if not designed with intention!

I’ll be discussing this a lot more with folks at GitcoinDAO, Kernel, and the other communities that I’m a part of :slight_smile:


Hi Angela, this is a great initiative! Definitely agree with @sidcode that we should mindfully design rewards. My startup OP Games is hoping to bring more game designers into the space-- they would definitely benefit from this research.

If you are open to additional co-funders and collaborators we are definitely keen to get involved!


Hi polats, thanks for your comment - and yes, please do get involved. :+1:
This program is meant to integrate many perspectives.
We welcome co-researchers who can commit their time (~10hours per week) to actively contribute - and we welcome anyone interested to attend our public lectures!
Please sign-up here and we’ll keep you posted:
See you there! :slight_smile:


We’ve just got our grant at OceanDAO confirmed for this initiative, and will have Ocean DAO on board as one of our case partners. :dizzy: :rocket:

So far, OceanDAO has distributed almost $2M OCEAN in 10 funding rounds. Read more about the evolution of their grants process, and their roadmap for 2022.
For the Rewards Systems research, we’ll have access to Ocean DAO grants data, we’ll work with ecosystem stakeholders, and finally will be able to verify our solutions under real-DAO conditions.

Learn more about our collaboration here:



We’ll host an on-site/online event on
Wednesday, Oct 13 at 7pm CEST
at FullNode Berlin.

Join us to learn more about the Reward Systems Research Initiative
and other news from the Token Engineering global community!

Sign-up here to receive the calendar invite with all details:


:microscope: I’m looking forward to the research, collaboration and resource sharing that will occur over the next few months while researching reward systems.

This was a very exciting post to read…
I trust it will be even more exciting to be a part of it all.


I’d like to voice support for this initiative.

Rewarding community contributions to DAOs is a challenge we all have to solve. There are a handful of efforts in this direction and empirical data sets that can now be studied. The better we are at rewarding efforts, the stronger our communities will become. This initiative is a public good that will benefit all DAOs,

This team behind this initiative have stellar reputations and are known for delivering. My thinking is this important work is in very good hands and we should do all we can to support them.

Thank you for reading.


signalling support for this hardworking, dedicated, diverse community and their vision :slight_smile:


thanks everyone for the support!
here is also a reward system’s panel we hosted at the Governauts.


I would love to join the program :smiley:


Hi PabloFM,
great you are interested!
The program will start in November, our goal is to gather a great mix of people from various backgrounds: economics, political science, engineering, data analysis, DAOs and more. Applications are not open yet, but please sign-up here and we’ll keep you posted :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hi everyone,

we’re coming closer to kicking off our program!
After fleshing out the program, onboarding the first two partners, and a kick-off with our resaerch team, we’ve opened up applications for community co-researchers.

We invite people from various backgrounds (social science, game design, engineering) and ofc DAOists to actively take part and work on a self-defined research question.
Learn more here:

@PabloFM @ALOYSIOUS, polats & sidcode pls register!

And for everyone reviewing our proposal: we can’t wait to add Gnosis Zodiac to the list of partners! :dizzy:
See you there!

1 Like

None of those discord IDs can be added :confused:

Hi everyone -
FYI we share regular updates on the progress of this initiative here - make sure to check it out for links to talks, presentations and knowledge resources! :rocket: :bulb: :exploding_head:

We are in the final phase of this program - all updates are available here: # GIP-15: Governauts Rewards Systems Research Initiative - #2 by akrtws-TE-Academy

Look forward to your next grand meeting


As long as it’s free, I like it. I love your project

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