An Open Letter To the NEM Foundation Team and NEM Community
Dear NEM Foundation Team and NEM Community,
A month before the 2017 NEM summit in Malaysia, I suffered life-threatening heart failure. One minute I was standing in a shopping mall holding my baby and joking with my daughter. The next minute I felt pain and I couldn’t breathe and couldn’t say anything. The words wouldn’t come. I couldn’t tell anyone I needed help. I passed out.
Light comes in the darkest of times. For me, light emerged when I awoke from heart surgery. My eyes opened to a team of doctors standing over me. I took a deep breath and exhaled. I wasn’t sure what had happened but I knew that these people were here to help — even though I didn’t yet realize what they were helping me with.
The heart problem was a congenital defect. The surgery repaired it, and I made a full recovery and jumped right back in to working on Inside NEM.
One month later, I was sitting in a boardroom in Malaysia with all the global NEM teams collectively strategizing how to help NEM succeed in 2018. My heart was beating fast then too— but it was out of excitement, not pain.
Governance groups work like bodies. They don’t perform well under stress. They need a heart and brain to keep things working properly. Sometimes governance groups like the NEM Foundation need help getting back on track when things go painfully wrong. This requires us to have a willingness to accept feedback in many forms.
Our team has taken the brunt of brutal feedback in the form of a community-driven POI vote to challenge the “official elections”, heated discussions in our social channels, and an onslaught of accusations. If we lose the faith of the community, the Foundation itself may even be in danger for its life. But let’s take a deep breath. There is light in the darkness. If we open our eyes we can see those around us who are here to help.
The lifeline of any Foundation governance is in the shared vision between the Foundation and the community. There has to be transparency, respect, accountability, communication, and a mutual understanding that NEM is owned by the community. If we in the Foundation are at odds with one another it is because we are at odds with the community.
The new NEM Foundation ExCo and Council that will be elected this Friday have the opportunity to govern differently, more cohesively, and in better partnership with the community. We needed this reset. Let’s not waste it.
To our community, please know that every global team member is doing the best we know how. We will make mistakes and ask for you to give us grace and forgiveness when we fail. Yes, many members have pent-up frustration, but keep in mind the constant negative feedback undermining our efforts is discouraging and demoralizing. Please be mindful that attacking anyone’s character isn’t helping NEM’s success.
To every candidate running in the NEM Foundation elections, I want to say thank you for putting yourself out there and stepping up to help.