TheBlockParty, LLP

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#1
Legal Entity Name: TheBlockParty, LLP (not to be confused with a former ANO of similar name)
Natural Person: Damien Michael Nichols (aka Damo)

Factom Community,

Some of you know me as a moderator on the Factom discord channel. I've been with us daily since October of last year, but I've been an FCT holder since Spring of 2017 and my history with blockchain technology goes all the way back to the Satoshi Paper. At the time I was collaborating on a local paper currency for Baltimore, MD called The Bnote. I've been focused on systemic change the entirety of my adult life (I'm 36) with particular focus on bringing humanity back into the intersection of business, technology, and governance. When I heard about Bitcoin I knew we had a game-changer on our hands.

I've been preaching the gospel of (responsible) decentralization ever since, and I find Factom to hold one of the most critical and elegantly-designed applications of blockchain tech yet. If we're to solve the existential threats our civilization currently faces (and there are many), facilitating trust cannot be understated. It is the foundation for all other solutions. To me, Factom is much more than a tech platform for enterprise. It's a socio-political movement.

As such, I see a need/challenge/opportunity for us to develop the movement aspect of our ecosystem. To work it into our brand and messaging, and when we figure out how to do so impactfully, actively place ourselves in the public discourse. We have incredible engineers and entrepreneurs working tirelessly to develop the technology and promote adoption of all kinds and we are dead in the water without them. But we don't have anyone dedicated to communicating our value and values to the lay community. I believe that's where I come in. My background is almost exclusively in grassroots movements and conversational marketing.

If elected, my priorities are:
-Continuing to learn everything I can about our ecosystem (leaving the most technical parts to our many capable technical minds)
-Daily presence on social channels facilitating positive, collaborative dialogue, orienting new members, and sharing our value(s) with the world
-Helping mediate difficult conversations within the community
-Expanding Standing Parties to token holders and ec burners
-Representing views held by community outside of Standing Parties (even if they're not my own)
-Having the highest integrity and impactful vision for decisions made on behalf of the ecosystem
-Helping develop our human side :)

Positions I've held over the years:

President, UMD Chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (www.schoolsnotprisons.com)
National Board Member, Students for Sensible Drug Policy
Member Coordinator, Marylanders for Safe Access (www.safeaccessnow.org)
Co-Founder/Board Member, Baltimore Green Currency Association (www.baltimoregreencurrency.org)
Live-in Participant, Occupy Wall Street (Baltimore)
Community Manager, WeTrust (blockchain-based financial inclusion startup)
Strategic Consultant (OhmniLabs/Kambria - blockchain-based open innovation platform)
Host, The WhatTheFork?! Podcast (new episode coming March 6th!)

I'm grateful for your consideration and the opportunity to work alongside such a talented, dedicated group.

Authentically Yours,
Damo

P.S. I've heard from many that we need a Guide that is not associated with an ANO. I share that sentiment. I don't know if it's a top priority. If it is, however, I'm your guy. :)
 
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#2
Thanks for this application, Damo. Over the past year, the Guides have been at the forefront of introducing and editing our core legislation. This process necessitates writing, refining and debating the minutiae of our governance processes. Whilst I am not a Guide, I have been in close proximity to this governance work over the last year - it is a laborious process that can often be somewhat dull.

Where do you see yourself relative to that element of Guide work? The reason that I ask is that I have not seen many (any?) contributions from you during those essential governance processes. Moreover, the thrust of your campaign pledges here imply a more general, communicative role rather than one focussed on the iterative process of introducing and refining legislation.

I am concerned that you are trying to redefine the role of Guide to be more inline with your own skillset, rather than adapting to the role that the Guide position has historically demanded. I am not opposed to expanding or changing the definition of what it is to be a Guide, but I also think we need to pay careful attention to the realities of the role as it currently stands.

Moreover, you are offering services such as mediation, but we do not typically have hard conversations that cannot be resolved simply via reasoned discussion. Can you give any examples of previous debates where the outcomes would have been improved by the presence of a mediator? From my perspective, we have been incredibly successful in resolving differences and finding compromise without a mediator.

Finally, would you mind clarifying this pledge please. I'm not sure I fully understand it:

-Having the highest integrity and impactful vision for decisions made on behalf of the ecosystem
 
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#4
Thank you for volunteering for this challenging and valuable role.

At this stage I have one question for all of the prospective guides:

If you were able to change only one thing during your tenure what would that be, why would you choose it and what would you specifically bring that would make a difference to the outcome?

(I recognise that certain guides have already made some of these things explicit in their statement and do not expect them to have to repeat that, in which case a partial answer or simple reference to their statement will suffice.)
 
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#5
Thanks for the questions, guys!

@Azn1nvas1on: I currently have no onerous time commitments and can give this role as much time as it needs (without burning myself out). As an unpaid moderator I give this community a minimum of 3 or 4 hours a day. That minimum will stay the same or rise, depending on how I can best make myself of service.

@Mike Buckingham: If I could change just one thing it'd be how we market ourselves. We're honing in nicely on the technicals and the enterprise language. What we need IMO is one simple, galvanizing message that *anyone* can understand and can be customized by any standing party to fit their unique offerings, needs, and audiences. Then we need to get creative about how we inject ourselves into the public discourse, including being ready at a moment's notice to put ourselves front and center in current events. This is how we become a household name.
 
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#6
@Alex: Thanks for this. Very astute questions.

At first I thought I was redefining the role a bit, myself. But then I realized I'm just focused on a clause in the Guide Responsibilities section of Governance Doc 001 that's poorly defined (and perhaps undervalued):

"facilitating the relationships between standing parties and the community."

So far, in our small group on discord, I find the Guides do a great job of being available to and communicating with the community. To me, though, the community is pretty much the entire world. That's the extent of who will be effected by our success or failure. It's not just about who shows up to our small channel. It's about the big world out there that we need to reach.

Even on a linear trajectory, the needs for Guide(s) in terms of time, patience, presence on various platforms and events, and clear communication skills *to laymen* are going to expand dramatically over the coming year. And it's more likely at some point that we'll hit an exponential curve. There's going to be more conversations with more participants, more unique perspectives, more tension, more FUD and shilling, on more platforms than we know what to do with. All of our Guides to date have full time jobs with ANOs, and none of them are uniquely skilled in this type of communication and community-building. Not only can they not handle this load, they shouldn't have to. I won't always have perfect answers. Sometimes it's about saying "let me find out for you" or "let me bring in someone who knows that stuff better than me." It's also about arming our close community with information, arguments, inspiration, and encouragement they can then take deeper into their own communities.

That's movement building, and I'm here for it.

"Moreover, you are offering services such as mediation, but we do not typically have hard conversations that cannot be resolved simply via reasoned discussion. Can you give any examples of previous debates where the outcomes would have been improved by the presence of a mediator?"

I generally agree! This community has done a hell of a job working out its differences and pushing ahead together *within our relatively small group*. It's a critical pillar of a successful movement and one of the primary reasons I feel strongly enough about our ecosystem to give myself more fully to it. One example of a discussion that could have gone better, though, was the frustrating conversation that went down in the Factom Marketing Committee discord the other day between Vince and a few of our ANO reps. Vince is the first person I'm aware of who comes from outside our ecosystem entirely to offer their services for our empowerment. I have no idea what his skill level is or whether he'll be able to produce. What I do know is he's already been paid to do certain work and is elbow deep in it as I type, and what he got for trying to engage the community in that work was a painful brow-beating by some of our Standing Parties. It was pretty cringeworthy.

Right or wrong about the contents of the complaints sent by those Standing Parties, the way Vince was talked down to is *not* how we recruit or support outsiders contributing to our project! I'm not going to lecture anybody on how to talk to people. I'm not even sure I should be convincing anyone to communicate differently (I'm certainly not here to judge). What I am offering is my presence to help translate thoughts when it seems they aren't getting through, and (attempt to) smooth over tensions when the water gets too choppy. It's one thing to have fiery debates with folks who are already committed to Factom. It's another to put off people who are just dipping their toes in or considering doing so. On the whole, we MUST come off welcoming and supportive.

That's movement building, and I'm here for it.

"Over the past year, the Guides have been at the forefront of introducing and editing our core legislation. This process necessitates writing, refining and debating the minutiae of our governance processes. Whilst I am not a Guide, I have been in close proximity to this governance work over the last year - it is a laborious process that can often be somewhat dull.

Where do you see yourself relative to that element of Guide work?"

I'm glad you asked this. It's important we get clear about what can be expected of me and what can't. I am a solid editor and am here for the debating of critical governance decisions. Don't let my lack of obvious participation throw you off. I've followed many of the discussions and understand how vital these decisions are to the future of Factom as a maximally decentralized protocol. That said, I'm not a researcher or a technical writer. The way I fit into this responsibility is likely to center around understanding the implications of the decisions being made and ensure the community understands and approves. If I have strong opinions on any of these matters myself I'll be sure to represent them, but first and foremost I'll be focused on representing the views of non-Guides and making sure the process is transparent and intelligible. If there's a reasonable view not represented within the Guide cohort on a given issue I'll be likely to vote that way just to make sure it gets the weight it deserves.

That's movement building, and I'm here for it.

Thanks again for these great questions. I'm happy to dig into any follow-ups.
 
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#7
Thanks for the questions, guys!

@Azn1nvas1on: I currently have no onerous time commitments and can give this role as much time as it needs (without burning myself out). As an unpaid moderator I give this community a minimum of 3 or 4 hours a day. That minimum will stay the same or rise, depending on how I can best make myself of service.

@Mike Buckingham: If I could change just one thing it'd be how we market ourselves. We're honing in nicely on the technicals and the enterprise language. What we need IMO is one simple, galvanizing message that *anyone* can understand and can be customized by any standing party to fit their unique offerings, needs, and audiences. Then we need to get creative about how we inject ourselves into the public discourse, including being ready at a moment's notice to put ourselves front and center in current events. This is how we become a household name.
Hi Damo,

Thank you for your reply. I think you bring a very interesting perspective and that your aspirations are terrific. You argue strongly and logically. You come across, importantly, as very people centred. I would appreciate a clearer insight into how you would make this difference to your chosen priority. We have a marketing committee who have really upped the game recently. Would you for example build on that and if so, how?
 
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#8
First, thank you for stepping up as a Candidate. Putting yourself out there like this is not easy and I appreciate your willingness and desire to work for the Protocol.

1. Do you have a LinkedIn? If so, what is it? If not, why not?

2. Certain processes such as Document Ratification require a 4/5 vote from Guides prior to the process moving on to additional Standing Parties for a vote. Do you feel this is a centralization of power in the ecosystem? Why or why not? And under what circumstances would you vote "no" and gatekeep that process from progressing?

3. Do you feel Guides should always be a Standing Party? If so, why? If not, when would you like to see the role removed?

4. It's important that our Guides be diverse in their thinking and approach to problems. Which current Guide are you most opposite to in your thinking, how so, and why is that a good thing?

Thank you.
 
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#9
Hi Damo,

Thank you for your reply. I think you bring a very interesting perspective and that your aspirations are terrific. You argue strongly and logically. You come across, importantly, as very people centred. I would appreciate a clearer insight into how you would make this difference to your chosen priority. We have a marketing committee who have really upped the game recently. Would you for example build on that and if so, how?
Thanks so much for the kind words, Mike.

If there's one word to define how I go about this kind of work, it's "organic." We already have everything we need to be successful, IMO. It's just about how we develop and utilize them. It's very much a process. In every successful endeavor I've ever taken part in I've had highly skilled technical, administrative, and artistic colleagues doing wonderful work (almost always entirely unpaid, I might add). What I always do is maintain a 30,000ft view of the endeavor and help navigate us forward by asking pointed questions, cross-pollinating ideas, representing underappreciated views, ensuring the community feels heard and appreciated, communicating outwardly to the world when appropriate, and encouraging participation.

I'd love to join the marketing committee and help us develop the message and propagation strategy. I also want to make sure that we're having substantive conversations in our social channels. Not always possible to keep a conversation on track but always possible to contribute something of merit. I want to make sure we catch opportunities to put ourselves in the news, potential partnerships, timely use cases to pursue, etc.

As you point out, I'm extremely people-centric. I'm not offering any concrete deliverables here, which I admittedly find technical folks have trouble wrapping their heads around. As an experienced activist, however, this is how I've always found success in the movements I've dedicated myself to, and the number one thing I find in short supply here.

Perhaps it would help to consider me a consensus-builder and navigator.
 
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#10
First, thank you for stepping up as a Candidate. Putting yourself out there like this is not easy and I appreciate your willingness and desire to work for the Protocol.

1. Do you have a LinkedIn? If so, what is it? If not, why not?

2. Certain processes such as Document Ratification require a 4/5 vote from Guides prior to the process moving on to additional Standing Parties for a vote. Do you feel this is a centralization of power in the ecosystem? Why or why not? And under what circumstances would you vote "no" and gatekeep that process from progressing?

3. Do you feel Guides should always be a Standing Party? If so, why? If not, when would you like to see the role removed?

4. It's important that our Guides be diverse in their thinking and approach to problems. Which current Guide are you most opposite to in your thinking, how so, and why is that a good thing?

Thank you.
Thanks for the questions, Chappie!

1. I do have a LinkedIn, though I don't use it much. I've never been one to blast out resume's and my "career track" has been and will likely continue to be highly unorthodox. Here's the link: https://www.linkedin.com/in/damienmichaelnichols/ (the best part is the recommendations)

2. Maybe! It's an excellent question. Perhaps we should talk it out a bit. Is there a significant concern in the community about this? Has it caused any issues in the past? I, for one, don't want any power, per se. Only the opportunity to influence (aka Guide) the process forward. I'll be taking the community's sentiment very seriously in any situation that requires me to exercise power of any kind. That said, any gatekeeping on my part would only happen in the event it seems some critical viewpoint is receiving dangerously short shrift. I cannot predict if or when that would be the case, though.

3. Another great question. It really depends on if/how the role evolves. We need to work diligently to put as much of the governance on-chain and subject to the consensus of a balanced set of diverse stakeholders (Standing Parties) as possible, as quickly as possible. Once we do that it may very well be appropriate to drop the position altogether. However, it may also make sense to consciously evolve the role into an alternative position for people to participate who aren't entrepreneurs or software engineers. People who play more of a community/diplomatic/stewardship role. In so doing it may make sense to adjust their "powers". Something to consider.

4. I'm not entirely sure, tbh. You and others may have a better feel for that having been in such close contact with the Guide cohort over the last year than me. My focus is on consensus-building and proper representation of all Standing Parties and the broader community beyond. One thing is for sure, I'm the most unique candidate in the race. ;)
 
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#11
Firstly, thank you for putting yourself up for election for this important and challenging position! These are general questions that I am asking to all applicants. If you feel the questions are redundant to your previous replies. Feel free to cite that and move forward.

Having recently ratified changes to Doc 001 I would appreciate it if you could take a moment to explain how you will intend to carry out the following as a guide.

1. Under Guide eligibility standards.
(a) demonstrate independence in thought, leadership, and business
(b) be of good moral character with a demonstrated interest in the long term best interests of the protocol, willingness to serve the community of users, and history as a leader in the community.

2. Under Guide responsibilities
(a) make themselves available to the community
(b) Maintain orderly operation of the protocol network and facilitate the relationships between standing parties and the community. Further, by ensuring an adequate number of applicants to run a large enough pool of servers to ensure 65 servers are always available for the Authority Set.
(c) Be responsible for overseeing the application of the protocol governance to the operation of the the protocol.

Finally I see the responsibility of “Maintain orderly operation of the protocol” to extend beyond simply the technical and governance parts of the protocol and extending towards the wider community. Do you agree with this interpretation? If so how do you intend to achieve this?

Thanks Again
 
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#12
For legal reasons, we elect entities, not individuals. As such, the entity is the Guide and not a single individual. Therefore, in theory at least, any individual under the entity's umbrella can act in a Guide manner. This creates a scenario where an entity could get elected and then bring in an unknown individual as a part of said entity to execute the Guide responsibilities.

So the question is: If elected, will any other individuals besides yourself be acting in a Guide capacity for your entity?

Thank You
 
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#13
Good questions, Dan. Thanks.
Having recently ratified changes to Doc 001 I would appreciate it if you could take a moment to explain how you will intend to carry out the following as a guide.

1. Under Guide eligibility standards.
(a) demonstrate independence in thought, leadership, and business
(b) be of good moral character with a demonstrated interest in the long term best interests of the protocol, willingness to serve the community of users, and history as a leader in the community.
This may not be what you mean here but if you look back at my activist history (listed in my OP and on my linkedin profile) you'll find clear demonstration of my independence in thought and leadership. Back in 2005 at the University of Maryland I found myself at the helm of the campus chapter of an organization called Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Our mission is to end the global War on Drugs. We believe that, while there are very real consequences to drug *abuse*, prohibition does nothing but exacerbate them while making criminals out of millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens.

Aside from a stint in student government, this was my first leadership position and I was honestly terrified at the time that I was stunting my professional opportunities and putting myself on "a list" by doing so. This was at a time when cannabis legalization was still a third rail issue and we were frequently laughed out of the room for even suggesting it. It strained my relationship with my mother and made me feel highly exposed, but I felt compelled to step up anyway. We ended up passing a ballot initiative on campus (with a supermajority) calling for the equalization of cannabis penalties to that of underage drinking, receiving international press coverage. The person I took under my wing and trained to take over the campus chapter is now second in command of the international organization. This is where I learned the importance of solid leadership transition.

In hindsight, I was active at the front end of a tipping point in this disastrous war and will always be proud of the work I did, the friends I made, and the courage we showed together.

Ironically, depending on peoples' opinions of drug prohibition, this work may have some questioning my moral character. I'm so people-centric in part because I know what's it's like to have a difficult upbringing, to make mistakes, to have pain and trauma, to learn and grow.. to be *human*. And to be misunderstood or judged for what people see on the surface. I've lived an unconventional life, but it's absolutely chock full of character witnesses that can attest to my moral and ethical grounding, my independence of thought, and my dedication to a brighter future.

I apply all of that here in this community because facilitating trust underpins every other effort we must make to get our society on the right track, and I've been consistently impressed with the people dedicated their lives to this ecosystem. As a lifelong activist and token holder that is not part of an ANO, I hope it's clear that my dedication is to all stakeholders, especially those currently without a vote.

2. Under Guide responsibilities
(a) make themselves available to the community
(b) Maintain orderly operation of the protocol network and facilitate the relationships between standing parties and the community. Further, by ensuring an adequate number of applicants to run a large enough pool of servers to ensure 65 servers are always available for the Authority Set.
(c) Be responsible for overseeing the application of the protocol governance to the operation of the the protocol.

Finally I see the responsibility of “Maintain orderly operation of the protocol” to extend beyond simply the technical and governance parts of the protocol and extending towards the wider community. Do you agree with this interpretation? If so how do you intend to achieve this?
I absolutely agree with your assessment regarding "orderly operation of the protocol" extending beyond technical and governance parts. My main focus as Guide, aside from debating governance issues and facilitating recurring protocol events like grant rounds, is to make myself available to, and facilitate relationships with, the community. This has been a core competency for me throughout my endeavors in life. I've been present on the discord for hours a day even before I was made a moderator. I'm patient with critique and even when it sounds like repetitive FUD I go out of my way to encourage substantive conversation about it. I believe this goes a long way to keeping people happy or at least productively engaged, and often provides a great jump off point to further educate our community on various aspects of the Factom protocol and progress in its development.

I'm looking forward to finding other ways to extend this work and am open to suggestions. We could certainly use more activity on our subreddit. When we're ready, I would love to work a trade show booth at conferences in the company of at least one highly technical Standing Party on Factom's behalf. I'm happy to do interviews and sit on panels. I'm open to regularly interviewing ANO's on discord or elsewhere, including on The WhatTheFork?! Podcast. As I've said time and again, we've got all the pieces we need for radical success. We just need to keep up the amazing work and give some attention to maximizing the movement aspect of our shared endeavor.

Thanks again, Dan
 
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#14
For legal reasons, we elect entities, not individuals. As such, the entity is the Guide and not a single individual. Therefore, in theory at least, any individual under the entity's umbrella can act in a Guide manner. This creates a scenario where an entity could get elected and then bring in an unknown individual as a part of said entity to execute the Guide responsibilities.

So the question is: If elected, will any other individuals besides yourself be acting in a Guide capacity for your entity?

Thank You
Hey Matt!

There's only one other member of TheBlockParty, my partner Troy Wiipongwii. We have no intentions of him taking on any aspect of the Guide role, though I am encouraging him to get involved in the ecosystem generally and we'd be lucky to have him. He's one of the hardest working, most ambitious, brilliant young minds I know. Here's his LinkedIn if you're curious: https://www.linkedin.com/in/troywiipongwii/
 
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#15
Hi Damo
Hey Matt!

There's only one other member of TheBlockParty, my partner Troy Wiipongwii. We have no intentions of him taking on any aspect of the Guide role, though I am encouraging him to get involved in the ecosystem generally and we'd be lucky to have him. He's one of the hardest working, most ambitious, brilliant young minds I know. Here's his LinkedIn if you're curious: https://www.linkedin.com/in/troywiipongwii/
Hi Damo,

Thank you for your reply to Matt's question. I would be interested to read more about Troy Wiipongwii but the link you provided returns "The LinkedIn profile you're looking for isn't public or doesn't exist."
 
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#17
Hi Damo


Hi Damo,

Thank you for your reply to Matt's question. I would be interested to read more about Troy Wiipongwii but the link you provided returns "The LinkedIn profile you're looking for isn't public or doesn't exist."
Ok his profile is now open to LinkedIn members. You’ll have to log in but should be able to see it.
 
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#19
As a former Guide, I can speak from experience that being a Guide is time consuming and can be stressful. It can take critical time away from one's duties to their ANO yet the health of your ANO is paramount to the network. Is your ANO in good health where you can work less on it and does your business partner(s) or employer support your running for Guide?
 
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#20
As a former Guide, I can speak from experience that being a Guide is time consuming and can be stressful. It can take critical time away from one's duties to their ANO yet the health of your ANO is paramount to the network. Is your ANO in good health where you can work less on it and does your business partner(s) or employer support your running for Guide?
I’m not part of an ANO at this time nor have I been in the past —though it is something my business partner and I are considering. If I am selected as a Guide and not being in an ANO is a strong contributing factor then we’ll either hold off on applying until my term is complete or be sure there are excellent non-ANO candidates to take my place and I’ll step down.

I have no other onerous time commitments.
 
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#23
Hi Damo. Thanks for running as Guide. I think we would all agree that it is wonderful to see non-standing parties become very active in the protocol. I think you provide a lot of energy to the message boards that is sorely needed as we grind our way through the early days of our Governance buildout.

As you know, we have some very prestigious and professional end users -- The Department of Homeland Security and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to name a few. To my knowledge, they are both running on private Factom networks. One day, they'll hopefully make the transition to public Factom/mainnet. Before they do so though, I would imagine they would perform detailed due diligence. Part of this due diligence would be looking into the Guides. If you were a Guide, they would see the below twitter handle when conducting research.

Question: How do you think the aforementioned organizations would feel about that twitter handle? Is that the ideal way for Guides to represent the protocol? Thank you
 

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#25
Hi Damo. Thanks for running as Guide. I think we would all agree that it is wonderful to see non-standing parties become very active in the protocol. I think you provide a lot of energy to the message boards that is sorely needed as we grind our way through the early days of our Governance buildout.

As you know, we have some very prestigious and professional end users -- The Department of Homeland Security and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to name a few. To my knowledge, they are both running on private Factom networks. One day, they'll hopefully make the transition to public Factom/mainnet. Before they do so though, I would imagine they would perform detailed due diligence. Part of this due diligence would be looking into the Guides. If you were a Guide, they would see the below twitter handle when conducting research.

Question: How do you think the aforementioned organizations would feel about that twitter handle? Is that the ideal way for Guides to represent the protocol? Thank you
Thanks for the kind words, Matt. I appreciate this question. Kinda wish it had come up before the end of the Q&A period in case my answer begs any follow-ups.

As stated in previous responses, I have extensive experience in the Drug Policy Reform movement. I take great pride in this work. I've also endeavored to have a public persona that is authentic, audacious, and embraces my sometimes unconventional worldviews. In the case of drug policy, I've been validated over and over in what began as an extremely controversial conviction. Since beginning this work, cannabis prohibition has gone from globally accepted to rapidly crumbling. After decades of misinformation and disastrous legal repression, entheogens like MDMA and Psilocybin (the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms) are being fast-tracked by the FDA as breakthrough treatments for PTSD and depression. Harm reduction policies like clean needle injections centers are gaining acceptance by policymakers and municipalities alike for their positive impact on public health. Even the United Nations has called for the global decriminalization of all drugs.

So I wouldn't worry too much about my clever, slightly rebellious twitter handle.

There's a deeper layer to your question, though, and it merits some exploration. What will these institutions find if they decide to dig deeper? For one thing, they'll find that I was expelled from high school during the "zero tolerance" days for possessing a keychain that they chose to classify as a concealed deadly weapon (it was neither concealed nor deadly). They'll find that in 2008 I was charged (and acquitted) of a 1st degree assault with a deadly weapon (on a person I had never met at a bar I had never been to). I chose not to expunge it from my record bc I feel that charge is a black mark on the legal system, not me. To this day I can't rule out being targeted for my activism. It was by far the worst year of my life and I'm still affected by it.

If they really dig deep they'll find that I've never met my biological father. That I almost got expelled from college for writing a short paper my professor couldn't believe I wrote myself (it was on Machiavelli's The Prince). Who knows how they'll feel about my involvement in Occupy Wall Street? I'm sure there's some awkward moments of me speaking to local news during that special time.

And yet, if you talk to the vaaast majority of people I've had any sort of relations with in life you'll get a ringing endorsement of my character. I'm patient. I'm kind. I care. I love. I believe in us. Meanwhile, some of the most powerful, respected people and institutions in the world have caused unbelievable harm through unscrupulous actions that go totally unpunished. Everyone knows how shady many politicians are and yet they hide their skeletons, put on a winning smile, accept money from power and stay on top. It's astonishing.

It's honestly pretty scary stepping out in this way for me. I know my life experience is unconventional and that anyone just looking at the surface can and may come up will all sorts of judgments about me. But it has to be done. To me, part of the movement behind Factom is for authenticity. Sure, for data. But also for humanity. We need to live in a world where we can be vulnerable, honest, make mistakes, and grow without being ostracized. Where we don't need to hide our authentic selves because we;'re afraid of what it might mean for our careers. Where those who show true courage and lead the way for others are valued more than those who know how to hide their shadows, buddy up with the corrupt, and say the right things.

If I've managed to convey something worthwhile here then we should have to courage to stand behind it, together. If a big player has concerns about me we should be able to say "Damo may be unconventional but he has proven to us that he's here for the right reasons and has everyone's best interests at heart."

Because I am. And I do.

So here I am. Exposed. And that's ok. It has to be.
 
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#26
I want to thank everyone for participating in this process and giving so much of your time, energy, and opportunity cost to the Factom community. I'm honored to be considered for this critical role and comforted by the strong candidates running with me. I know no matter the outcome we'll have a capable cohort stewarding the ecosystem in the coming year.

To recap:

- We have exceptional technical representation in our Guide cohort but little, if any, movement and community-centric representation.

I have extensive experience in grassroots leadership positions where diverse sets of stakeholders count on me to balance and strategize for complex needs, wants, and concerns. I've been in a position to facilitate governance and coordinate action in more than half a dozen movements. My vision, values, and experience commit me to making high integrity decisions in the best interests of all stakeholders.

- We need broader stakeholder representation in the Guide cohort.

All our Guides and (excellent) candidates are currently members of ANO's. I'm confident in their integrity and their consideration for non-ANO community members, but this is not the same as having non-ANOs in the Guide cohort. I'm the only candidate who has never been part of an ANO, and I'm the only candidate that lives and breathes grassroots, bottom-up leadership.

- We need Guides with plenty of time and experience to facilitate relationships between Standing Parties and the Community as outlined in Governance Doc001.

Factom is a revolutionary technology and I'm confident in our ability to develop it into a world-class ecosystem. The single greatest thing we're missing IMO is broad, effective promotion to the general public. This critical piece is needed to recruit and retain enterprise customers, developers, crypto enthusiasts, and the general public within the community and support the value of FCT.

Over the course of my life, I've had at least several hundred thousand interactions with the general public as an activist and marketer. I see, shape, and share the big picture and help connect and contextualize the details. I simplify complex concepts for public consumption and rally people to causes that matter. I've been promoting the blockchain movement since the Satoshi Paper and Factom since mid-2017.

All our other candidates have full time work outside of the Guide role and/or families which may limit their availability to facilitate relationships between Standing Parties and the community. I'm free as a bird, already spend hours a day in our social channels, and have extensive experience with this kind of work.

tl;dr My experience and life situation make me unique in the candidate pool.

*Bonus*

If elected, I hereby pledge 1/6th of my remuneration (currently 100FCT/mo) to community-generated projects and I'll be encouraging others in the community (not just Guides) to follow my lead. What and how is TBD but the intention is to encourage the community to discuss, organize, and fund initiatives beyond the official grant process. It could be a use case/application or small bounties for useful activities. It could be to a grant proposal that didn't quite make the cut. It could be anything. I'm sure whatever we come up with will be valuable for developing the ecosystem and cultivating quality community engagement.

I’m at ease knowing you all recognize just how unique we are in this budding industry/movement. We bring an unprecedented mix of inspiring, forward-looking vision and careful, diligent, pragmatic organization. Win or lose, I’m proud to be here with you all and trust that the Factom protocol is in the right hands. Hopefully, the attributes I can bring as a Guide have been clearly displayed in my responses and original application.

Thanks again for your consideration. And thanks for your commitment to the success of this revolutionary technology.

Authentically Yours,
Damo