Connecting Asian Voters and Proposers

Challenge: Distributed decision making

Catalyst Proposal Badge

Requested Amount (USD): $15,000

Problem statement

There are barriers, such as a lack of trusted information to voting caused by language differences & cultural exclusivity.

Describe your solution to the problem

Provide trusted information by meeting people where they are, in their local language and culture.

Relevant experience

Co-Founders of Catalyst Swarm, Eastern Townhall, Catalyst School. IT & Software Engineering. educators and accountant in East Asia & Japan.

Detailed plan

Voting on how Catalyst spends the treasury creates long-term value to ADA, but with so many proposals, with so many new concepts, how do we make any voting decision? Now imagine how difficult it must be when you do not speak English. All Ada holders benefit if we develop better more inclusive and diverse governance processes and strategies. Unless the Catalyst Community and Ada holders level up our collective cognition, a random voting strategy is just as valid as a well researched one.

Current Problems and Limitation

Language differences and cultural exclusivity prevents governance initiatives from scaling globally. The constant experimentation of Catalyst means we need to be mindful to include different languages and cultures. Avoiding one culture dominating the narrative.

Misaligned incentives, scams and information overload prevent Ada holders from voting. In Asia and other non-native English speaking cultures, language barriers compound this. Language barriers are evident at every Catalyst stage. Survey results showed in the Japanese community biggest problem of Catalyst voting was the lack of Japanese support (45.61%). Over %37 of respondents highlighted issues with understanding the process- “I didn’t understand the meaning because it was in English, so I voted randomly”. The weariness of scams and lack of trust between proposals and voters were highlighted too. Another %16 mentioned incentive misalignment issues.

Our solution: Eastern Townhall Goverance Forum

Our goal is to establish a process, format, and event stage for voter and proposer onboarding. To bring voters, proposers, and proposals closer together. To establish trust between them. The focus is on six mutually reinforcing areas:

  1. Content production: Help Ada holders understanding why it is important to vote on proposals.
  2. Eastern Hemisphere Language-specific events focused on voter education and discussion.
  3. A proposal language translation pipeline to help proposers reach the wider East Asian community.
  4. Language-specific Catalyst Swarm Ideafests as a stage for building voter awareness, engagement, and trust.
  5. Social Media Marketing: socialise voter content and messaging across our social media channels; and
  6. Conduct routine surveys and user research to help understand individual attitudes to Catalyst and proposal formats.

The proposal is seeking funds to help develop a programme specifically designed to help connect voters with proposals and proposers.

Together these activities form a programme we call the Eastern Townhall Forum. Our cornerstone event is the weekly Eastern Townhalls. But we are doing more. We are doing translations, building community, sharing knowledge, educating, enabling entrepreneurs, and growing Cardano.

The Eastern Townhall trusted seed are an active part of our Cardano ecosystem. Listening and engaging with members of the community. Sharing what we learn. For instance Yuta Yuta recently completed one of his many surveys of the Japanese community[1] that this proposal draws upon. We want to do more of this across all the communities. We would like to help improve the user experience for voters. Feeding our collective insights back into Project Catalyst.

Help us improve decision making across the Eastern Hemisphere by making Catalyst voting more accessible.

What Success Looks Like

Participation in Eastern Townhall events has increased and maintains the vibrancy of the new and regular community members. More Catalyst proposers engage with the Asian community. Even if that is just translation of proposals, content, or DApps for the Asian markets. Additionally, Asian proposers find their crowd. They are able to be funded because there is a strong body of Asian voters participating in Catalyst. Survey results show an increase in voter engagement with proposers, the Catalyst process, and deliberations before voting.

Key Performance Indicators

Our primary tool for measuring performance is our voter survey. We will conduct these on a regular basis across Asian countries. Based on the surveys during and after a fund we expect to:

  • Increase Asian voter participation by 30% from the previous funds.
  • Increase Asian participation in Catalyst by 20% from the previous fund.
  • Uncertainty around Catalyst and voting decreases 25% from the previous fund.

The Eastern Townhall Meetup is our primary stage where Ada holders and people interested in Cardano can come and meet community members. Through that platform and social media, people learn and feel comfortable going further. Therefore key engagement metrics indicate our success in bridging voters and proposers together:

  • The Easter Townhall meetup average weekly numbers increase 25% for each fund.
  • Catalyst Proposals available in four languages (ID, JP, KR, VN) increase 50% for each fund.
  • Eastern Townhall Social Media accounts increase followers by 1000 new followers in six months.

After One Month:

  • Completed our first pan-Asia voter survey across four Asian countries (ID, JP, KR, VN)
  • Language-Specific events – Voter Education & Catalyst Swarm

After Three Months:

  • Produced our Voter Education videos
  • Translated Catalyst voter materials in four Asian languages (ID, JP, KR, VN)
  • Held the first formal language specific Eastern Townhall - Catalyst Swarm IdeaFests. (A test run for Fund 6 is being done to find our feet).

After Six Months:

  • Completed six voter surveys across four Asian countries (ID, JP, KR, VN)
  • Completed a retrospective on our activities.

After Twelve Months:

  • We have incorporated the content and practices need to engage with Asian voters and proposers.
  • Our monthly surveys continue and show forward momentum.
  • Our content continues to engage members of the community
  • We have translated our content and Catalyst material to more languages across Asia.

Intellectual Property

All our source code is licensed under the Apache License 2.0 - see our LICENSE file for details.

Our published content is licensed under the Creative Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA) License v4.0.


Please see the attached proposed plan for a detailed budget breakdown with planned activities.

  • Core Team $4,000 USD: Including project management and adminstration.
  • Supporting Team $5,000 USD: Community Managers/Leaders, Moderators, and Interpreters
  • Graphics and Video Content Production $4500 USD: Educational videos, social media posters/video, and translations
  • Contingency (%10): $1,500 USD

Labour costs are a lot lower in Vietnam and Indonesia we are able to do more. However, these costs need to be normalised to a global median for kind work/skill. Not everyone lives in Vietnam/Indonesia.

The Team

A collaborative effort, the team bring a wealth of cultural and technical experience to Cardano. We are all very active in Catalyst, and community groups across our ecosystem. We are a diverse bunch united by the promise of Cardano:

Yuta Yuta (@yutazz) - Japan: Cardano official ambassador, Community Co-Organiser, Catalyst Fund 2 Recipient, certified public accountant.

Yan Tirta (@yantirta) - Indonesia: Cardano Indonesia community wrangler empowering his local community with education and encouragement.

Mie Tran (@mie.tran.0407) - Vietnam: English and International Business major with experience working with western businesses and translation.

Andy Sibuea (@zicozibu) - Indonesia: Leading blockchain education beyond cryptocurrencies and across Indonesia.

Tim O’Brien (@tobrien) - Vietnam: No-code pioneer. Facilitator in East African Townhall (EATH).

Greg Bell (@grebel) - Australia: IT consultant, writing Catalyst Challenges.

Seomon Blub (@seomon) - Austria: IT consultant focused on the people-ware infrastructure for sustainable communities.

Robert O’Brien (@wolstaeb) - New Zealand: Financial systems Software Engineer, Community Co-Organiser and Entrepreneur.

Stephen Whitenstall (@swhitenstall) - England: Tracks and documents Catalyst. Helping communities like Catalyst Circle and Catalyst Swarm organise.

Felix Weber (@felixweber) - France: Community Manager building bridges between people. Member of the T&M Catalyst Circle/Swarm/School.

The team represents the initial Eastern Town Hall trusted seed. There are no roles, no leaders. Rather people establish themselves over time, through participation. We overlap and collaborate with Catalyst Swarm[2], and Catalyst School[3] and other community groups across Asia.


[1] Japanese community Survey August 2021

[2] Catalyst Swarm

[3] Catalyst School