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Polkadot Fellowship

Polkadot Fellowship is an initiative designed to engage and support talented individuals who are contributing to the Polkadot ecosystem.

What is the Polkadot Fellowship?

The Polkadot Technical Fellowship represents a groundbreaking governance body within the Polkadot and Kusama networks. Established in 2022, this self-governing collective of experts and developers has been pivotal in advancing the networks’ protocols and ensuring robust, community-led governance through the innovative Polkadot OpenGov system.

Polkadot Fellowship Foundation and Purpose

The Fellowship was created to replace the initial Technical Committee, embodying a significant evolution in how Polkadot approaches network governance. It was designed to accommodate a broad spectrum of participants—from newcomers to seasoned experts—and is equipped to scale up to tens of thousands of members, dramatically lowering the barriers to entry. This inclusivity is central to its operational philosophy, enabling a wider community engagement and richer input into the network’s evolution.

Operational Structure

Operating on multiple fronts, the Fellowship manages its affairs both on-chain, via the Polkadot Collectives system chain, and off-chain through the Polkadot Fellows repository. This dual approach allows for a flexible management of technical initiatives and continuous community interaction through platforms like GitHub and various chatrooms. Their monthly development meetings and updates are publicly accessible, typically streamed on platforms like YouTube, fostering transparency and ongoing community feedback.

Governance and Decision-Making

One of the core functions of the Fellowship is to conduct referenda on various technical proposals that impact the networks. These referenda utilize a weighted voting system, where each member’s vote is scaled by their rank within the Fellowship. This ensures that decisions are both democratic and expert-driven, reflecting the collective wisdom of its most experienced members.

Whitelisting and Proposal Execution

A critical aspect of the Fellowship’s role is in the whitelisting of proposals, allowing them to execute high-stakes operations with Root-level privileges once approved via referenda. This includes the careful orchestration of proposals through the entire lifecycle—from initiation to an OpenGov referendum—ensuring that only thoroughly vetted changes are implemented. Such stringent controls safeguard the network against unwise or malicious modifications.

Membership and Ranking

Membership to the Fellowship is open to all, starting from rank 0, with a clear path for advancement up to rank 9, based on contributions and expertise. The Fellowship manifesto not only outlines the responsibilities and expectations for each rank but also associates these with a corresponding remuneration structure that mirrors salaries in OECD countries, thereby attracting top talent and maintaining high motivation levels among members.

Joining the Fellowship

Aspiring members can apply through an interface provided by Polkassembly, supported by the Polkadot treasury. The process of becoming a member is governed by the Fellowship’s rigorous standards, which include upholding the network’s philosophy, operational procedures, and the broader community’s respect.

Advancement within the Fellowship

The advancement through ranks requires members to periodically demonstrate their contributions and achievements. Members up to rank 4 can be promoted through internal referenda, voted on by peers two ranks higher, ensuring that promotions are endorsed by more senior and experienced members. Higher rank advancements are subject to broader community referenda, reflecting their significant impact on the network’s governance and development.

In conclusion, the Polkadot Technical Fellowship is more than just a governance body; it is a dynamic community of developers and experts dedicated to the continuous improvement and secure operation of the Polkadot and Kusama networks. Through its inclusive and structured approach to network governance, it ensures that the Polkadot ecosystem remains cutting-edge and community-driven.

Last time updated: 25 april, 2024.

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