Apiary + Radworks: Defining a Purpose

We’ve been supporting Radworks (formerly Radicle) this year to evolve and improve their governance. Through our initial research, we identified two core challenges the community was facing:


  1. The community lacked a clear understanding of its purpose resulting in individual contributors failing to understand their role in and relationship to the system.
  2. There was confusion about who holds power and how decisions are made leading to members feeling misrepresented and disempowered. 


To address these challenges, we recommended that Radworks define a purpose around which the community can organize itself and improve the legitimacy of their governance.


In general, a defined purpose helps:


  • Constitute a group and/or organization, providing parameters around membership. 
  • Codify what the group believes in and what impact it seeks to have.
  • Memorialize why the group exists, so that it can be returned to for clarity in times of change, challenge, confusion, or conflict.
  • Serve as a North Star for governance: legitimizing what decisions are made, how they are made, and enabling the community to hold itself accountable to previous decisions.


To define and iterate on Radworks’ purpose, we led a 6-week design process with the founders, core team, and community. Defining purpose is commonly challenging for teams, who struggle to step back from day-to-day operations to explore and find consensus around a grander, more visionary purpose. These processes often surface core unspoken tensions within a community, necessitating outside facilitation. 


The initial purpose statement was defined by a 6-person taskforce before we brought it to the community for feedback and iteration. The outcome of this process is the following purpose statement as well as accompanying values and focus areas


The DAO funds new, resilient, permissionless technologies to cultivate internet freedom. We focus on funding and supporting the creation of censorship-resistant and decentralized technologies that empower builders and creators to collaborate. We are committed to enabling individuals and communities to collaborate in the digital realm securely and freely. 


Once published, the community will ratify the purpose in on-going ceremony on the Radicle platform.


This purpose serves to constitute Radworks, memorializing what the community believes in and why it exists. It’s intended as a living document: a North Star to which  the community can return for clarity in times of change, challenge, confusion, or conflict.

With this purpose defined, we are now working with the Radworks team to develop metrics, reputation, and a system of accountability to ensure the organization stays committed to its mission over time. Stay tuned!