to be updated

Table of Contents

  • Overview

  • Roles and Responsibilities

    • Benevolent Dictator

    • Core Team

    • Contributors

      • Work

      • Financial

      • Other

    • Members

    • Other Roles

  • Attribution


This project is led by a Benevolent Dictator, otherwise known as the project lead, and Core Team. Together, they make the strategic decisions for the high-level, at times overlapping, domains that a technology organization needs to manage in order to function and succeed. These domains include, but are not limited to: engineering, design, product, strategy, operations, training and education, finance, legal, administration, and communications. If needed, however, the Benevolent Dictator has executive power on strategic decisions that would influence the long-term direction of Athens.

Another role exists for Contributors. There are primarily two types of Contributors, those who have contributed domain-specific work to the project, and those that have financially sponsored the project.

These roles and others will be discussed in further detail below.

Roles and Responsibilities

Benevolent Dictator

Forks, or rather the potential for forks, are the reason there are no true dictators in free software projects... Imagine a king whose subjects could copy his entire kingdom at any time and move to the copy to rule as they see fit. Would not such a king govern very differently from one whose subjects were bound to stay under his rule no matter what he did?" — Producing Open Source Software

The role of the project lead is to ensure that the project survives, if not thrives, long-term. The project lead does this by understanding the community as a whole, satisfying as many conflicting needs as possible, and articulating and exemplifying the shared values and vision for the Athens project.

Thus, the role of the project lead is less about dictatorship and more about diplomacy. Because anyone can fork Athens at any time, the project lead is fully accountable to the Core Team, Contributors, and users of the software. The key to doing this is to ensure that, as the project expands, the right people are given influence over it.

Core Team

The Core Team is composed of Athenians who have demonstrated impactful contributions and significant commitment to the Athens project.

Contributions include, but are not limited to, the aforementioned domains (engineering, design, etc.).

Significant commitment means being an exemplary member of the Athens community. This requires upholding and championing the Athens Values to a distinguished degree, not just for oneself but for others, as well as aligning oneself to the long-term actualization of the Athens Vision. It's not enough to be a great engineer or designer. A Core Team member is also helping others grow through insightful and empathetic feedback.


Both kinds of Contributors will receive the beta application first and the newest updates as the product matures, as explained in MVP Update, Funding, and Why I Started Athens.


The main opportunities to contribute currently are through design, engineering, and product. By contributing non-trivial designs and code to the project, you will gain write-access to three Discord channels: #engineers, #designers, and #product. Read more at Open Source Conversations.


Financial Contributors are those that sponsor the project for $16/month or more through OpenCollective. They will provide feedback on the product, which will be especially crucial in its early stages.


As the product matures, it's likely we will need specific guidance in areas such as finance, legal, operations, etc. If you have these or other skills not mentioned already, and see an opportunity to apply them, join our Discord!

If you contribute interesting conversations, ideas, and feedback, and generally make our community a better place to be, that could also make you a Contibutor!


Members are the rest of the Discord. They have read-access to effectively all channels, and write-access to all channels except for the contributor-specific channels listed above.

Other Roles

Roles may be created, removed, and refactored in the future.

Note that the roles in this document are also represented in the Discord with varying levels of permissions. However, not all roles on Discord pertain to governance and are therefore not mentioned here, e.g. learners, mentors, intro-only


This governance document was made with the help of: