A personal message from Marieke Flament

NEAR Foundation
September 21, 2023

All good things come to an end – and after a wild (very wild!) two years as CEO of NEAR Foundation, I have decided to step down and leave space for the next evolution of the NEAR Foundation, which will be led by Chris Donovan. 

I will continue my NEAR journey as an active and committed NEAR Foundation Council member, an advisor to Chris, a huge ecosystem advocate and hopefully a proud member of the NEAR Digital Collective (shameless plug – vote for me!). I am excited to continue having an impact and to continue contributing to NEAR. 

I am very proud of what has been achieved by the NEAR Foundation team for the ecosystem in an incredibly challenging environment.  

Two years ago, I had never heard of NEAR. Upon doing a bit of research and after several conversations it became clear that NEAR had a tremendous potential – fantastic tech, a  diverse and vibrant community and a world of open possibilities, and so I joined. 

I also took on the role because I believe that we can create a better internet through an Open Web, and help tackle some of our world’s biggest challenges by leveraging the incredible tech we have. 

My strategy has been one of driving mainstream adoption, enabling and empowering grassroot communities and continuing our journey to decentralization. Bringing onboard large web2 players, while nurturing web3 innovators has also been key to our growth.

I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together on this quest to bring an open web to the masses to further decentralize the ecosystem and drive mainstream adoption. 

Here’s a snapshot of what has been achieved so far: over the last two years we’ve  signed many critical partnerships – notably SWEAT, Playember, Circle, Ledger, Alibaba, Amazon, Google, KPMG, Cosmose AI, SailGP, The Littles, PipeFlare, Shemaroo, Kakao Games, Inven / Vortex and Netmarble / Marblex in Korea – just to name a few. 

As those partnerships came on mainnet, user growth went from 50k to 3m Monthly Active Accounts (growing daily!) – 2 out of 3 of the top Dapps on Dappradar are built on NEAR. And more is to come as many of the above partnerships are set to bear fruits in the coming weeks and months.

The awareness of NEAR has skyrocketed, putting NEAR on the map as a trusted player, thanks to over 2,000 pieces of press coverage, a Twitter follower growth from 200k to 2m and many very iconic and successful events such as NEARCON and NEARAPAC.

True to its mission the NEAR Foundation has helped empower the NEAR ecosystem, by kicking off its governance with the NEAR digital collective (NDC) an industry first for community governance of treasury; as well as setting up NEAR Horizon a unique on-chain platform providing founders the support they need to thrive. 

All this tremendous progress has been made while protecting our treasury amidst many internal and external crises, leaving us one of the industry’s best funded treasuries ($350m, 330m tokens). 

Last but not least, I am extremely proud and in awe of the NEAR Foundation’s team – a team of incredible people, which has at its core and heart one goal: to serve.

NEAR is in a very strong position – no other ecosystem is as well financed, nor has the decentralized governance that we have. We played the long game, away from FUD and FOMO, and it is starting to pay off. 

Although I am stepping down from the Foundation as CEO, I look forward to continue making an impact on NEAR and the Foundation, and in my future roles I vow to:

  • Be the voice and advocate for responsible decentralization, strongly rejecting any plans to centralize efforts away from the people. I strongly believe that when brought together people make better, fairer decisions.
  • Protect the ecosystem from any form of self-interest, no matter their origins. 
  • Fight against any toxic culture within the NEAR ecosystem – we are in this together and need to support one another.

The future is NEAR, 


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