Addressing our current crisis: community input needed

The Resonate board recently discussed a perfect storm of problems that has made many of us question whether the organization can and/or should continue. These include:

  • multiple pending resignations
  • lack of director insurance
  • no clear funding plan in sight
  • numerous technical challenges brought on by…
  • …a profound lack of developer resources

In regards to resignations, there’s no overall pattern, although at least one resignation was partly related to the insurance issue. (This refers to protecting the unpaid volunteers that serve the Resonate community from the consequences of unintended accidents, mistakes, errors, etc. It’s absurd – and frightening – that we’ve gone without this so long.)

That this is all finally surfacing right before our first ever community-wide board election is heart-breaking. I was so excited that motion passed because lately I’d felt like the Board had been far too insular and this might help shake things up. But then as January sunk in, so too did the feeling “wait a minute… what legacy are we leaving for others?”

In my mind, most of our problems (whether late tax filings numerous technical challenges that result in tedious manual labor) stem almost always from a lack of time and resources, as well as numerous catch-22s. (Like me not being able to resign for the last year due to bank account madness. Or not being able to get director insurance because the funds are needed for annual accounting costs.)

I’m resisting the urge to ramble on in so much more detail but I’d rather focus on solutions rather than problems.

Well, I got us all into this mess by starting it – HA! – so maybe I should go first with a few ideas. Then please drop yours below! Collective intelligence for the win?

  1. appeal to Berlin and Barcelona co-op communities – could anyone step in to support Resonate Ireland or Resonate as it exists in Europe?
  2. wind down Ireland, new U.S. based co-op starts – eventual IP transfer after all debts sorted
  3. some kind of hybrid of the two?

Number two appeals to me because it addresses a lot of the topics brandon brought up recently in this post. Think they’re all worthy questions that should act as a backdrop for brainstorming about solutions:

Another board member Nati Linares added some great comments in her reply:

Eager to hear everyone’s thoughts!


I know this sucks, especially for those who poured not only their heart but also countless hours into Resonate – but before anything else starts, this has to stop.

I suggest Resonate (as a coop / organization) closes shop – completely – before anything new can happen.

Maybe, the Resonate brand will continue (I’m sure the idea will), but whatever this currently is has to stop.

Resonate has flattened the path for whatever will be next, but now it’s time to get out of the way.

Hereby I’m talking about all the existing problems, people blaming, structure, etc and not about the idea of Resonate, which I still love.

@peter I understand your desire to find a solution, but I think it’s time you step in to dissolve this “monster” you created - it can always start new, once what’s makes it that monster is out of the way.

I’m here to help with any route we take - this is just my personal opinion : )


I’m working on a resolution for Members to consider at a GM on the 28th. This alternative is intended to provide time - at least 90 days - perhaps renewable to 180 days - for all co-op stake-holders to reflect, discuss and plan for a range of potential futures for the entity, including dissolution, in a manner that is consistent with its rules, cooperative principles, governance practices, manifesto and legal requirements of the jurisdiction where it is registered.

regarding the board members who want to resign, what is being done to address their concerns? what can be done to relieve them so they can leave the board?

other decisions (besides the community-wide board election) that have been made but not yet implemented are coming to mind. it seems important to acknowledge recently passed resolutions and take into consideration what next steps are necessary to actualize them. if there is some type of transfer, how will these decisions be honored? will they be carried over into a possible new entity?

Regarding the board members who want to resign and addressing their concerns – I think one of the first things to be done is secure director insurance, so there is no risk for anyone serving the community. This has been lingering far too long, never addressed I think due to it always being pushed back for other concerns/topics. But there’s no escaping dealing with that now.

Regarding previous community decisions/votes… these would have to be integrated as and when there is capacity to do so. If we end up winding down the co-op in Ireland in favor of the U.S. it would be up to whoever is part of that effort to try to incorporate or adopt them in the founding process of the new entity. All depends on who is engaged in that effort I think.

Does that answer your questions @honeyanhibiscus ?

For those who have given notice the situation is various and relates to changes in their persynal lives over time.

If Members chose to extend the term of the current Board (vote open now) , new candidates can be recruited to replace those that wish to leave.


this is helpful Peter. thank you.

how does Resonate go about securing director insurance? what is required for that to happen?

what steps do you have in mind to move towards electing a new board?

We’re having a board meeting today to discuss next steps. One bit of good news at least is that we found on the Companies Registration Office in Ireland that we DO HAVE protection as directors – as long as we stay compliant with audits and such. Still have to stay on top of that but seems that the concern wasn’t warranted.


I’ve always kind of had the opinion that Resonate does some amazing conceptual co-operative governance but that governance was way ahead of what the product (software) actually offered.

Resonate is a music distribution platform to most people, and all of the social justice principles of resonate are important. But the software isn’t useable relative to competitors like SoundCloud and Spotify, and I think that’s why at a high level it’s struggling.

I look at what Eugen Rochko did for Mastodon, though its not a coop, is he focused on software first and now he’s developing the foundation around it. There’s even a couple co-op instances that are using that software and building communities around what will become co-op platforms.

I think whatever Resonate decides the focus should be on software development foremost, without being concerned about co-operative governance. Once the software platform is competitive, the co-op governance will be instrumental in sustainability of that software, and then benefit the community that uses it.


If you are interested in a U.S. location, Colorado has some of the best cooperative laws in the country. In particular, the limited cooperative association (LCA) could be a good option. There are tax structures that allow non-U.S. entities and individuals to serve. Resource page: Co-op Resources - CENTER FOR COMMUNITY WEALTH BUILDING

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The U.S. funding market is more robust than Europe so worth investigating. Bureaucracy and cost of compliance are also generally far lower (IF you pick the right State).

If you want to stay in Europe, consider converting to an Estonian OÜ and using an operating agreement to create coop elements.

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I am located in Colorado and am interested in being involved if we need boots on the ground in-state.

Software engineer here! I would love to get involved in any software needs for Resonate. This is an awesome platform and I would love to see it thrive. If it can become a Spotify competitor that would be a win for the music artist community!


Hey @peter has there been any news on this topic? What is the future of Resonate. There are still others discovering this platform and community; I think it still has the potential for growth.


@richjensen and @brndnkng are working to put together a new team and board to help lead the project into the future. (I’m stepping down as soon as technically feasible.)


Is the Resonate platform open-source? That could be helpful to gain more contributors. I’m available for open-source work, particularly Python tools like Flask, FastAPI, and Django.

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Yes @brylie there’s a link in the footer to our GH repo: Resonate · GitHub :smiley: