[Emergo Management BV] Wesley Broekhoven

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This is an application for the governance seat in the Factom Council. The legal entity (tentative name) will be formed in the coming period. A vote for this candidacy means you approve the formation of a legal entity with me as its sole representative, even if the name of that legal entity is subject to change.

General background:

I have a background in Sinology and Asian Business Management. Combining the academic with the practical has been very valuable as it gives me the tools needed to evaluate, but also to execute. In 2014 I founded a localization business that has served thousands of clients to date. Name an industry and I'll probably have customers there. Governments, hospitals, universities, to major brand names (Catawiki, Eredivisie). Cross cultural aspects come into play all the time. You can imagine that when we translate or edit an admission or cover letter, we do a proper deep dive to maximize the client's chance of admission. Similarly, when we work on a website/webshop that wants to expand abroad, we want to maximize a client's conversions. We have SEO and webdesign agencies for larger projects. This is also the kind of work that turns one into a real generalist. I must have seen and handled hundreds of legal documents, but the next day I can be working on botany texts, art history or full manuals on lost-wax casting.

Currently, the business mostly runs itself and I've gradually moved to a more delegating role.

While this seemingly has little overlap with a technology platform like Factom, I’d say several aspects do ‘translate’ well, namely my experience with clients, experience with project-based work and an affinity for cross-cultural communication. We have people from all kinds of different backgrounds and cultures here in Factom, and will be serving many more of them in the future. I think my profile matches that well in a council position.

Here's my linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wesley-broekhoven-1b708189/

Factom/crypto background:

Been around since 2015 so I guess that makes me a crypto veteran! I've witnessed nearly every bull market, every scam project. I was in /r/ethtrader when it only had 600 subs. I'm pretty sure I foreshadowed the 2017 ICO hype when I was agitating against one of the very first ICO launches on bitcointalk. Overall, I like to think I've developed a keen eye for what works and what doesn't. For Factom, I was in the first slack channel before we moved to Discord. For a long time I've kept to a very contrarian, spectating role, but soon moved to actively participating in forum discussions because I saw a lot of strange decisions being made. Given all the stagnation, I considered running as a Guide after Tor Paulsen resigned. Then came the guide removal (bad idea) and I steered the project to carry that out. I was in Factoshi for six months. I consider my 2020 work to be pretty successful overall, given the challenges and limited time spent (as a volunteer).

Approach/objectives:

I’ve always argued that the protocol needs strong ‘representatives’. It's why I pushed for a new multi-member body after the Guides were removed. A council for that representation and a director for the day-to-day is a good system. We typically see this used in foundations. The Tezos Foundation, for instance, has a council for asset management and the wider strategy, but delegates the day-to-day to an executive component. A logical progression would be for the council to evolve into a nonprofit over time as well, possibly with an integrated director role, and I'd be happy to focus on that. It would make our lives a lot easier than relying on loose, mostly self-written governance docs.

The council will initially be limited in its scope and responsibilities. But it should from the onset strive to become a transparent, trustworthy body for information, fund management, and fostering good relations between ANOs - Council - Director so we don't come to another standstill (in terms of funding, etc). I think I've shown I can work with anyone, and stay professional, so I look forward to doing that in this role.

I also believe that a council needs somewhat of a division of labor, which is what Guides lacked. I'm not a strong proponent of too many people working on the same thing, unless the nature of the work dictates it.

Other concrete responsibilities (aside from oversight and treasury roles) I see myself and other council members doing is evangelize the protocol, update the community, leverage networks, be a soundboard to the Director and be available for anything that's not in the best interest of the Director to do personally. A key focus of mine will be on recruitment. We want new parties working with Factom. I want to be the least suitable candidate for a next council election. We want a council/board to increase in quality over time. We want new potential Director candidates ready to take over. That means building trust, which we achieve by establishing Factom as a safe platform to work on. By getting our processes/decision-making in order without them being questioned every step of the way. With better processes/decision-making comes more effective product development, which should lead to network growth, which in itself is an attractor.

Remuneration:

I ask for 800 FCT a month. This puts me just above the FCT ask of my previous governance grant. Estimating a 15-20 hour workload initially. Chances are I'll definitely exceed this, just hard to pin a number on this right now.

Conflicts of interest:

I have no other financial or non-financial interests or employments that would interfere or can be perceived to interfere with decisions made in a council capacity.
 
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Wesley has been the driving force in governance ever since Tor left, doing the difficult and often tedious work of maintaining governance documents and driving new governance initiatives forward. Factom has historically struggled with those given paid positions of influence who are unable to pull their weight, but Wesley's work ethic has been outstanding throughout, in spite of the fact that he was often unpaid or underpaid.

The director position is a critical to our ability to make progress and I fully support @Niels Klomp in this role. However, I also believe that it is important that the director has oversight. Wesley has proven himself more than capable of executing this task, yet has also demonstrated the ability to reach compromise where necessary.

Wesley has earned this role and he has my full support.
 
This is a question I will ask everyone:

Given the council is primarily responsible for the mission statement and oversight and thus operates more at a tactical level can you give me some examples or experience you have in this area or something that as closely resembles this role?

Basically why are you the right person for this job?
 
Thanks for the question.

In a professional capacity, I deal with oversight all the time. When I'm not picking up the work myself, I'm the middle man between the client and the worker. I'm responsible for the final product. I'm responsible for mediation if there's an issue. It's my reputation on the line if I don't do it correctly. I anticipate a similar dynamic for the Factom Council as it stands between the Director and ANOs.

Within Factom, I've done my share of oversight. Whether it's holding ANOs accountable, digging into grant proposals or by engaging in major discussion topics along the lines that I think serve the needs of the community best. When the Guides were removed, I acted voluntarily to put a body in place that ensured continuity in our governance. Else we'd have little to no oversight at all anymore.

All of this has prepared me well. The council is an important entity, one that's again there for continuity, and for trust. To not harm that trust, the oversight over the Director has to be strong. And when I say strong, I don't mean stifling, but at a minimum the following qualities:

1. Activity - has the person been a reliable, visible member of the community to date and/or can we expect that for the future?
2. Awareness - is the person informed enough on the actions that need oversight and can he/she contextualize them?
3. Integrity - can we expect the person to oversee with honesty? We don't need yes men.

I like to think I score high on those three. Meanwhile, I also appreciate that the Director needs a fair deal of autonomy, at least initially during the interim assignment. The current governance doc does a decent job of establishing where the council has room to act and where it doesn't. I won't be a hardliner. If the Director needs to make a tough decision that is sensible, I will help defend it. If the community has any sensible worries about the Director, I will act on them. That's where proper communication and consensus-building come into play, two more very important qualities.
 
I've worked alongside Wesley during the difficult transition from a guide-supported community. We covered a lot of ground and met a number of challenges. Throughout Wesley was clearly focused and incisive, underpinning this with sheer hard work to get things done. To have reached this important point in Factom's history is attributable in no small part to Wesley's largely-voluntary efforts.

I unhesitatingly recommend him for this position in the knowledge that he will unflinchingly deliver what is best for the protocol.
 
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