Short Story


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Problem statement :

Newbies need more than documentation. When onboarding is self-guided, we create undue friction for incoming talent. Let’s make it personal.

Describe your solution to the problem

Deliver a guided onboarding experience to condense ramp-up, triage talent, and motivate DAY 1 action, while creating community connections.

Relevant experience

Co-organized and facilitated first Catalyst Community Retro & Planning

Experience onboarding teams to large scale enterprise initiatives

Detailed plan (not required) – Fill in here any additional details

With all the excitement around Catalyst and Cardano, new people are joining the ecosystem every day. Some are prepared to plunge into the open source chaos. Some quickly learn to navigate the countless communication channels and scattered resources. Some stick around for the long haul. How many do not?

Let’s make sure we don’t lose the next big dApp or future community leader to a disjointed and intimidating onboarding process.

I’d like to design, test, and implement a series of repeatable onboarding processes, in addition to recruiting and training community facilitators, with a focus on representation across languages, geography, and timezones.

For sustained, meaningful engagement, we need to foster a sense of community through both local and global connections – starting with onboarding and continuing throughout participation in Catalyst.

In this initial phase, I plan to create a mural board for general onboarding to the Cardano ecosystem. As an initial outline, it might include the following sections:

-Vision, Value Proposition, and Ecosystem Overview
-Catalyst Roles, Expectations, & Best Practices
-Getting Started – Day 1 Guidance From Catalyst Experts
-Consolidated Reference & Document Repository
-Getting Connected – Buddy Program, Pair Program, and (Digital) Coffee Chat Sign Up

I will iteratively design this content via community feedback and pilot onboarding sessions with REAL new joiners recruited via telegram and discord. I intend to use a portion of funds to help incentivize participation from both community experts and newcomers during this process. In addition to accepting proposals, I may also post ‘bounties’ to attract help on specific pieces of the puzzle. As this initiative grows, I would love to see it function as a rolling fund that helps attract new talent and provide governance to ensure new pieces fit together in a cohesive onboarding suite.

Disclaimer: things may break, lack documentation, and differ greatly between iterations. They might even disorient, overload, or inspire!

Proof of Concept:
With help from the community, I co-organized and facilitated the first-ever catalyst community retrospective and planning session, a 2-hour event spread over two sessions. Our first session started with 12 participants, and grew to 19 in the second session (58% increase). The scope of the sessions is different from what I’m proposing here, but the recordings below might give a sense of what to expect in terms of quality, content, and style. Fair warning, the audio on the first recording has a pretty bad echo. But as one viewer pointed it out, it just makes it twice as good 🙂

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

Week 1 – Identify key onboarding topics and determine initial outline with input from community experts
Week 2 – Create initial mural board, present, and collect feedback from community experts
Week 3 – Refine board and collect additional feedback from community experts
Week 4 – Recruit participants and complete first pilot group
Week 5 – Refine board and complete second pilot group
Week 6 – Finalize deliverable and supplemental documentation, measure community expert confidence, and plan next steps

Across all weeks, I’ll be actively recruiting additional facilitators. I will invite them to shadow each session, as well as attend a facilitator-in-training debrief afterwards.

Each week will include a single 1-hour long session, immediately followed by a 15-minute debrief. For this fund, I will need to schedule around my full-time job and time zone. As the initiative grows and matures, we will be able to offer more flexible scheduling (or maybe I can transition to Catalyst full-time one of these days…)

Backlog items addressed in future funds might include: ongoing delivery of onboarding experience, additional recruitment & training of facilitators, role-specific onboarding sessions, similar deliverables to enable other repeatable processes (eg training facilitators to train other facilitators, retrospective / planning, and guided proposal writing / refinement workshops to name a few).

Success Looks Like:

Delivery of a battle-tested, community-approved, repeatable framework that enables local leaders to facilitate high-quality and consistent – yet modifiable and personal – structured onboarding sessions to newcomers in languages, geographies, and time zones across the globe.


Participation from experts
Final expert confidence score
Participation from pilot users
Onboarding pilot exit survey
Participation from facilitators-in-training
Facilitator-in-training exit survey
Representation across languages, geographies, and time zones among participants of all types

Use of Funds

6k – participant incentives (1k per week, evenly distributed)
4k – time spent preparing materials, facilitating, and debriefing meetings
8k – repeatable process and editable template fully owned by community
7k – discretionary funds to cover expenses and post bounties, to scale without waiting for permission, and to generally get stuff done!

Requested funds in USD 25000

Which of these definitions apply to you? Entrepreneur

Guided Onboarding Experience

Goal: $25,000.00
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