TRUST Community Engagement Report

Resonate Cooperative has had a series of conversations with grassroots alliances and organizations in the United States and Europe focusing on a collaborative effort to draw in on the experience and expertise of frontline communities in co-constructing our platform and developing tech-tools with digital dignity. We understand how technology can actively support movements aimed at social transformation from the grassroots level. These tech-tools can further enhance cultural worker’s ability to tap into a global network of people interested in supporting the economic development and social transformation of oppressed communities.

Our initial conversations have been with Tykn, the Climate Justice Alliance, Repaired Nations, and Fairbnb Coop.

  • Tykn - an organization based in the Netherlands, focuses on self-sovereign identity i.e. creating online spaces where identities are private and secure.

    • Conversations with founding members about digital dignity, community credentials and identity authentication processes. We aim to learn from their experience creating decentralized identity system technology used to verify and authenticate their users. This enables people to feel more assured to engage and exchange with others because they are confident that their persynal data is secure, and not sold or surveilled (as is the case with many popular applications and platforms).
  • Climate Justice Alliance - an alliance with over 70 rural and urban community-based organizations in the North America and the Caribbean, focusing on sustainability, development of underrepresented communities, race and ethnicity, economic development, and poverty alleviation— all with the wider aim of addressing climate change.

    • Conversations with an executive director of this alliance about the intersection of music and culture and engaging in a process of transitioning outside of this extractive economy, to an sustainable solidarity economy that values people and the planet before profit. The capitalist logic of infinite growth on a finite planet is one of the primary reasons for climate change. Our aim is to connect with frontline community cultural workers throughout this alliance, who are rooted in addressing climate change by shifting current social, cultural, economic, and ecological relations in ways that affirm life. These technologies are essential to crossweave as we develop our platform.
  • Repaired Nations - an organization with the focus of creating redress for historical trends of oppression through cooperative training and development for collective ownership for and by Black people based in the Bay area of California

    • Conversations with frontline community organizers, cultural workers, cooperative members and community land trust developers from Repaired Nations about ways in which our platform should be built to meet the needs of frontline communities. We are exploring having artists from Repaired Nations work closely with our team in supporting the building out the human centered aspects of our platform, in that what we create is also in alignment with our principles.
  • Fairbnb Coop - a non-extractive vacation rental platform and community aimed at providing authentic, sustainable and intimate travel experiences while facilitating the development of socially relevant projects within worldwide communities, based in Italy.

    • Conversations with developers from Fairbnb about the Fair Experience aspect of their platform and connecting grassroots cultural workers, musicians, and performers from Resonate Coop to their platform with the idea of having artist add their concerts and activities to make booking in different cities a positive non-extractive experience, not only for the tourists, but more importantly for the locals. Fairbnb is also interested in creating a wallet function where supporters could fund bookings for artists who may be on tour.

The primary focus and reason we’re engaged in dialogue with these organizations has to do with our various entry points in relation to the development and manifestation of a concept called Digital Dignity. We want to keep online spaces safe for people, and a way we can do that is by protecting their privacy. To do this, Resonate is testing a kind of decentralized membership or ‘Community Credentials’ that allows co-op memberships, special purchases and simple agreements between Members to be validated without exposing the private data of the people involved. A system like this could allow members of one co-op or service to be recognized by others without personal information being exposed or stored in centralized databases.

Resonate is building these privacy-respecting validation tools to help co-operatives work together. We imagine a future with many life supporting services provided by different co-ops sharing this kind of safe authentication. For example, an artist might earn credit when their song plays in a co-op coffee shop. Then they could exchange their music earnings as credits for food at a co-op store, or rehearsal space at a land trust, or other services at a time bank in their neighborhood. By connecting co-ops together in this way, more and more people might have the opportunity to use spaces and services that are democratically-owned and managed. We might begin to inhabit a completely ‘co-operative lifestyle’ without the online tracking and data profiling common today.

We believe it doesn’t make sense to attempt to develop these technologies in silos, and it’d be beneficial to have the human-centered aspects of what we’re building to be co-developed with a global community of people carving out space for the solidarity economy, creating redress for historical oppression by fostering cooperation and building collective wealth with concrete conditions of ‘rootedness’. The culture of music coupled with technologies rooted in deep democracy, sharing and affirming life should be wielded in a way that centers repair and ecological balance.

This is why we’ve tapped the shoulders of cultural workers and community organizers from the Climate Justice Alliance and Repaired Nations, along with the developers of Fairbnb Coop and Tykn, with a goal of individuals within these formations guiding us as we build out our platform to ensure that what we build meets the needs of frontline communities. Our conversations have centered connecting people to organize and trade resources in ‘digital dignity’ without the market pressure for ever-increasing profits, data surveillance and coerced labor.

Our interests centers and supports the following:

  • decolonizing and democratizing community spaces and creative channels that are currently the domain of private capital

  • replacing corporate and venture capital governance with co-operative services to build accountability across communities.

  • connecting the international social power of music to community-led repair and material solidarity on the ground.

  • growing the reach and depth of intentional local cultural life support systems while building security and resilience against speculation, alienation and market pressures.

As we continue our work and collaboration efforts, we realize that having shared spaces to define the technical requirements that support ‘digital dignity’ for frontline communities MUST intimately involve and allow space for them to shape and empower the economic, social and cultural interactions between artists, worker co-ops and communities.


Strong statement! Thank you for pulling that together @brndnkng !


This is some incredible work! Thank you @brndnkng and everyone else who is involved!



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@brndnkng what do you feel about a collaboration like “Coffee and a Song” or “Tea and a Tune” with one or more coffee cooperatives (of which there are many)?

It might be interesting as a semi-internal pilot / experiment to strengthen network connections?

There are (likely) people on this forum looking for an easy onramp for bite-sized actions beyond topping up that they might be able to meaningfully contribute with.

I know there are concerns with the player not being “ready”, but in the meantime taking actions that would help strengthen the network could be underway in the meantime?

What this would look line, not sure, I have ideas (not sure how viable they are). It seems like there is a prototype-sized network-strengthening pilot that can be done while the platform itself is improved.


Thanks! Re coffee trading, there is great work going on in preparation for mutual co-operative exchange. Permissioned sharing of customer contacts (commons of co-op membership), loyalty and promotions and supply chain re-engineering as in this post highlighted by Matthew Slater:

(btw Mat is an economist I follow and count as a friend who specialises in mutual credit / local exchange trading system design)


i really digg this idea @boopboop!

maybe we could connect w/ Equal Exchange and see if they have connections to coop coffee shops that may be interested in this… would love to discuss more w/ you.

it may also be good to reach out to the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, they too may have some connections.

feel like the easiest way may be to reach out to a coop coffee shop they we may already be familiar with. the one i knew about was a coop bakery and coffee shop called Red Rabbit Cooperative Bakery in Austin Texas, but they’ve since closed

but yes, let look into it!


Hey @brndnkng - some scenarios:

Would love to discuss more and have a roadmap of bite-sized realistic steps. It seems like there’s the “grand vision” portion well written out in your document, and that this could be the “daily grind” part of strengthening the network and marketing the platform.

Here are some scenarios:

Mail-order Playlist

Description: Collaboration with a mail-order coop (like Equal Exchange), with every box gets a sticker that the customer can scan to listen to the Equal Exchange playlist. No need to worry about pandemic shutdowns - it’s going in the mail.

Can this be done with the existing platform?: The new user experience would have to be improved so it’s easy to scan the QR code, be sent to playlist, be prompted to create an account if not already authenticated.

non-technical work: Mostly discussions with the mail-order coop to set it up, and marketing emails.

Playlist playing in store

Description: Work with a couple of coffee shop / restaurant cooperatives to play resonate music in the background instead of Spotify / Pandora.

Can this be done with the existing platform?: Definitely

non-technical work: This is mostly a networking task - some flyers and other promotional materials should be created so that we can make sure to onboard some artists local to the shop, and to let the restaurant visitors know that they can listen to the playlist at home on resonate if some QR code sharing functionality exists here it would be good but not required).
Maybe visitors can vote on the tracks using culturestake.


I’ve been getting my coffee delivered for a year now by Alchemy Collective, a worker co-op in California. Good stuff!

Other coffee co-ops off the top of my head:

  • Slow Bloom Coffee Collective, which was born out of the unionization efforts at Augie’s Coffee
  • Full Stop Coffee Co-op in Louisville
  • Hasta Muerte in California
  • Equal Exchange, which was already mentioned
  • Just Coffee Co-op out of Madison Wisconsin
  • Red Emma’s, which was already mentioned
  • Win-win Coffee Co-op

I was a barista and espresso instructor for years so this topic is close to my heart! :slight_smile: Always dreamed of starting a coffee co-op.

Equal Exchange and Just Coffee can be found at a lot of the supermarkets around Houston. They seem to have really good distribution and do a lot of volume.

The smaller coffee co-ops have actual coffeehouses though so in terms of playing music in a shop, they would be the ones to hit up. I was generally the one DJing at the coffeehouses I worked at in Houston. Takes a lot of music to fill a coffeehouse for a day and it also can’t demand too much of your attention to keep the music going since yer also busy making drinks.

Vibe is essential too. There’s a lot of music I love but which clashes with the vibe of a coffeehouse when folks are trying to chat and read.


@brndnkng @Nick_M @nati @sarinapl

For your reference evaluating program and partner impacts in local dual power vital resource ecosystems and frontline communities:

Our new eSSIF grant coalition partners follow Sustainable Development Goals aligned with UN goals for 2030.

Also, find their Manifesto here.

+1 SDG’s are also used as a reference point for scoring impact in the EU grant applications and projects.

A worthy list, aimed at nation states… but for example ‘reduced inequality’ is a bit feeble?

I like Kate Raworth’s ‘Doughnut Economics’ for a more joined up narrative for change, paying more attention to localism and the commons.

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This will actually constitute a Public Performance (rather than a single personal use) of Resonate content and would typically be handled by a separate license agreement.

Good News: This might be an excellent use case for Verifiable Credentials to authenticate licensed use. We could offer members a simple template agreement for licensing such use, ideally an agreement ‘in the community’ between Resonate Artists and representatives of Co-operative public spaces (cafes, etc.) who were also Resonate members.


peace everyone,

just giving an update that i made an ether pad that we can work from re: “Coffee and a Song” idea. i was tasked with writing an draft outreach email fo the coffee shops. take a look here

if people join the community call today, this might be what we end up discussing.

@boopboop @Hakanto @richjensen


@brndnkng can’t make it to the meeting, but my feedback:

  • Message doesn’t say what the coffee shop would get out of this, beyond feeling good. Maybe add a sentence that Resonate is willing to work with the shop for a meaningful collaboration to make sure they get a return on their investment
  • Maybe offer to work with the shop to put together a playlist of local / meaningful artists? (hopefully this isn’t that big of a task)
  • Due to the comment by @richjensen, about a different license type:
    ** I have a question about what does it mean to “own” a track - if a shop has purchased all the tracks in their playlist and is playing them in their shop, how’s this difference than the shop playing a CD?
    ** If a shop must only play tracks from a subset of tracks that have a particular license type, then this might be too much of a hassle for them.

@brndnkng I added my small edits to your doc. I added the founding date since Resonate wasn’t born yesterday and added an offer of support via marketing.

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ty @boopboop for the edits/additions!

feel like the next step is to answer the questions posed by @richjensen re: licensing and from @Hakanto re: functionality for actual baristas… my initial thought was to just share the “staff picks” playlists, but it seems something like this needs to be more intentional in terms of making sure the music doesn’t clash with the vibe of the coffeehouse.

to be clear, are we asking Coffee Shops (or individuals who handle music at coffee shops) to join our platform and making sure we have playlists for them (that maybe we can send a QR code with the playlist once they’re members)

how do we see this looking?