Hedera Governing Council Recap: 13 of 39 Seats Filled
May 07, 2020
by Gehrig Kunz
Product Marketing at Hedera Hashgraph

While Hedera provides technical advantages like speed and security over other public networks, it also offers a unique governance model. Just over a year ago, and even though it is modeled after VISA’s, it was reasonable to have to squint to see it coming to fruition. Large brands wanting to run a node and make impactful decisions on the future of this exciting technology seemed far-fetched. It was then, and still is, ambitious.

Fast-forward 14 months and we’ve come a long way. After adding University College London (UCL) 13 members have been announced publicly, ⅓ of the way to the full 39 member roster. As such, it seems an appropriate time to recap the Hedera Governing Council framework and progress.

In February of 2019 we introduced the five initial members. Since then, the Hedera Hashgraph, LLC aggrement has been joined by:

Boeing

Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, defense, space and security systems, and service provider of aftermarket support. As America’s biggest manufacturing exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries.

FIS

FIS champions clients from merchants to banking to capital markets, retail to corporate and everything touched by financial services. FIS serves 90+% of the world’s largest banks, annually processing over $9 trillion.

Google

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Chrome and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world. Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.

IBM

IBM is an information technology company, which provides integrated solutions that leverage information technology and knowledge of business processes. It operates through the following segments: Cloud & Cognitive Software, Global Business Services, Global Technology Services, Systems, and Global Financing.

Tata Communications

Tata Communications is a leading provider of global digital infrastructure services, the company provides the integrated, globally managed tech solutions that underpin the fast-growing digital economy.

UCL

Founded in 1826 in the heart of London, UCL is London's leading multidisciplinary university, with more than 13,000 staff and 42,000 students from 150 different countries.

Wipro

Wipro is a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company. A company recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, strong commitment to sustainability and good corporate citizenship, we have over 160,000 dedicated employees serving clients across six continents.

Governance framework

With the long-term goal of Hedera becoming a fully decentralized, permissionless public network Hedera must ensure the network’s governance is decentralized, as well. The decision making process must be designed to prevent consolidation of power, ensuring a global voice is heard.


A priority for this is comprising the Hedera Governing Council of organizations spanning industry, location, and time.

Industry

To remain a general purpose tool, the Council aims to have a minimum of 1 representative from the 11 GICS sectors alongside at least one university and non-profit group. To date Hedera has filled 6 of the 11 industry sectors and, upon adding UCL, 1 university.

Industry distributed governance

Geography

Given the need for a resilient distributed network and potential locale-based requirements it is critical the Council members are geographically spread. The Council seeks to have a minimum of 3 members across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

Globally distributed governance

Hedera has met the minimum for North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, but still has work to do in South America and Africa.

Getting to work

Like any collection of individuals, the Council must go through a forming, storming, and norming period. While they have done good technical work, overseeing the Hedera mainnet’s initial permissioned consensus nodes, they have more importantly made critical decisions.

This includes making the decision to open access to the network, using treasury to fund initiatives like Hedera Boost, Hedera’s startup program, and stewarding the roadmap with new functionality like Hedera Consensus Service. Each meeting provides insight into this emerging process and can be transparently seen in the posted meeting minutes.

Hedera is continuing to progress on filling out the Council and filling in ⅓ of the roster is a major milestone for the entire ecosystem. In the world of distributed ledgers it is important to remember that a network's governance is as critical to consider as any technical requirement your application might have.