MGRC Diversity

Hi Holmes,

Thanks for making this thread! First I want to say I’m glad you’re on the MGRC!

I actually disagree with this. :slight_smile: I think that there is an inherent tension in having a diverse MGRC that can represent the wants/needs of all Zcashers, and having a MGRC that is small enough that it can be agile and effective, especially when things are being set up. Just being aware of some of the biases of having a committee of mostly men based in the US is already a great first step. (edit: looking now at Zooko’s comment there are some process ideas like running together on a ‘ticket’ that could have helped)

The reason I made my comment was that I looked at the list top choices for MGRC, and saw that the next 4 were very good candidates who would have added important perspectives. 2 of them are women. 2 of them are based in Asia. One of them works at ECC and would have been a valuable coordinator with insight in ECC perspectives. I don’t think that we should have any sort of quotas for diversity or anything like that; all of the these 4 people had tremendous qualifications apart from these factors.


^ i agree with this


I’d be uncomfortable with mandating diversity, I don’t think there are any easy answers.

I like the idea of not replacing the entire MGRC at once, but for other reasons.

I like that this is being discussed, and will be interested to hear what others have to say.

Also, I think anyone that was running for the MGRC should be added to the ZCAP if they so wish.

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No shortage of candidates so I’m happy with the result, plenty of choice & it had to be bootstrapped somehow.

Maybe next time small teams running on tickets, which we sortof had with Burniske/Placeholder. Elected candidates could also team up with others, no reason why that cant happen.

EDIT: FWIW, only three of my choices made it, but when I said ‘happy with the result’, I meant it.


We must reject advances to further entrench majority interests

Regarding entrenching majority interests, I think we need to expand ZCAP and reject approval voting

Holmes, are you related to Fred?

Lack of diversity is not caused by nor can it be solved by modifying or replacing a voting mechanism.

The belief that tech can solve diversity, equity & inclusion issues created by the people themselves is a pass-the-buck fallacy. The problem lies in the minds & hearts of the people creating & participating in the systems.

Crypto & tech in general try to smooth away the ugly realities of racism, sexism & classism with lines of code. This will never work. The only way to resolve this is for people to look deeply inside themselves with an honest eye & do the work it takes to truly understand all people are equal & treat them as such.

Anything less is lip service. If you want to build something better, you must be something better.


My country of origin has grave problems of class inequality, gender inequality, racism, sexism, discrimination against indigenous communities, and discrimination against the handicapped, among other ones. These communities in that country struggled for inclusivity in political circles and other spaces. Their demands were formulated over years of debates in various circles. Their demands included affirmative and reparative actions, one form being quotas. To this day it is a struggle, as other privileged individuals deny such actions.


Agree with this. It does seem like with the “pick-the-top-K” approval voting used so far, even if 100% of the voters wanted a diverse panel (for some definition of diverse, or any other quality of committee composition really), it seems like that the mechanism wouldn’t guarantee it.

As a strawman alternative, in the extreme case we could approve of each of the (N choose K) possible committees. That would seem impractical to do directly, but there may be a better way to vote on composition qualities and then pick best composition from it.


Diversity is a nuanced, multi-faceted thing. My intuition is that we are currently slightly underestimating the actual diversity of thought and experience in the MGRC because we are anchoring off their ethnicity and geographic location (which are no doubt important markers but by no means the only ones). That being said, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t question whether we could have done better.

I like the idea of signaling preferences with one’s vote rather than mandating it. Diversity should never be forced or decreed. You kind of want it to magically emerge out of the design of the system itself. One way to increase the degree of familiarity and comfort with potentially good candidates that bring the right diversity to the table might be to consider radically expanding the CAP now to include folks from a wide spectrum of backgrounds and belief systems. As someone suggested before, one could start by asking all non-elected MGRC candidates to join the CAP. It may also make sense to critically evaluate the diversity of the CAP as it currently stands. But we shouldn’t stop there. We should solicit broad community input to identify and reach out to new folks that might just be fantastic candidates next time.

Let’s think strategically about how to recruit more diverse, interesting, active voices into the community first whether into the CAP or other fora - my sense is the committees will take care of themselves from there.


Hah! I’m laughing at this idea of one’s vote being an arbitrarily complex query on the set of all possible panels.

@amiller we could totally give people this option and I’m sure some would use it. And you could layer the existing approval voting on top of it, where voting to approve a specific person is a query for any panel that includes them. You could also let people post queries for common diversity objectives.

The other thing we should definitely work on is expanding the candidate pool and increasing candidate pool diversity.


I just wanted to throw my 2p in here.

I completely agree diversity of thought on the mgrc is beneficial. In seeking this all I ask is not to mess with:

1 - Inclusion, this is the only mechanism I can see to obtain diversity through democracy.

If someone was to stand for the mgrc they should not have reveal an unnecessary amount of personal information about themselves so others can judge me on these arbitrary characteristics that they have no control over to decide if their thoughts will be diverse enough

2 - Democracy itself. If you want to try to force this then you are going to have to use a mechanism outside of democracy otherwise you cannot guarantee people will pass your arbitrary diversity requirements for selecting a board.

To somehow corrupt the democratic process in this goal is unacceptable, just replace it with a non democratic option.

3 - Disregarding merit in favour of arbitrary characteristics.

Having different thoughts and opinions based off life experience is a good thing. This should not trump the ability of someone to perform in that role.

and just because this has come up elsewhere

Why was the switch made to approval voting? it was mean to be 1 cap member 5 votes. Maybe the zfnd can let us know.

Regarding diversity of this MGRC, my main area of concern is lack of technical knowledge of the protocol. I am unsure how they are going to review these sorts of proposals.


Its too unwieldy, the instructions were very confusing since you’d have to enter 5x of the same question

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Instead of unnecessarily arguing, focus on how to make zcash popular by many people on the planet.

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Approval voting was chosen because it was less confusing? Pretty arbitrary criteria, right? I’m afraid it was chosen specifically to entrench interests and to avoid giving up control

Now @zooko is campaigning for longer terms. Not sure why… He has his own devfund! Wth


No, Helios does not support restrictive selective choice voting (only pick five from 19). So it would have had to have been five votes over the same list. - which would be confusing.

It is a limitation of helios not bad intent.

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Select 1 from 19. Next page.
Select another 1. Next page.
Repeat until 5.

We’ve done that before?

Choosing a selection mechanism should not be done so arbitrarily and I don’t believe it was an afterthought.

AFAICT it was always approval voting (emphasis mine):

As with previous polls run by the Foundation, the poll will be decided by approval voting for 5 members out of the pool of candidates, and the 5 members with the most votes (with a maximum of one ECC and one ZF representative, if selected) will become the founding members of the MGRC.

That doesn’t result in the “choose only 5 of the candidates” poll that you appear to want; a voter can accidentally (or intentionally) select the same candidate multiple times.

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I was running off this information, which im pretty sure predates that info. (may 14th v april 15th)

I dont have a problem with approval voting or the legitimacy of the process. I was just curious as to what changed from this post to the blog post. As amiller pointed out helios doesnt support this exact format.

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I think we should be very concerned. Again, MGRC should resign