How it Works: User Journey

Please note that because we have not yet started conducting field research with communities, the numbers in the examples are conceptual and demonstrative. The web application is currently under develo

A new user can join ReUnion Network on its web application. The system will first ask them to set up a relationship contract with themselves (see section Terms and Features for contract types). This Self-Relationship contract serves as an onboarding tool and the key relationship for the user to share their time and feelings with others. When the user creates activities for themselves, they receive Personal Tokens under their Self-Relationship contract.

Ari joins ReUnion Network. She sets up her first relationship, which is with herself. She creates five activities in her Self-Relationship. She receives five Ari Tokens, or PTs, in the Self-Relationship wallet.‌ Her PTs have no value yet, as they have never combined with other people’s PTs.

After setting up their Self-Relationship, the user can add more relationships in which they are currently involved. All these relationships are created as wallets, and are, by default, in the first contract stage (CS-1). Creating a relationship does not require a notification to the partner. CS-1 is only for the user's personal reflection and does not connect to other users. All the activities in the CS-1 will generate one of the user’s PT.

Ari puts in five relationships in which they are currently engaged. These include the following: a romantic relationship with Devin, which has five activities; a flat-sharing relationship with Frankie, which has three activities; a parental care relationship with Elliot, which has two activities; and, a childcare relationship with Dorian and Harper, which has eight activities. Ari receives 18 more Ari Tokens (PTs), which are stored accordingly to each relationship. In total, Ari has 23 PTs: 18 PTs related to her relationships detailed above, and five PTs related to her relationship with herself. Since Ari has not sent any of these relationships or activities to the associated person, these contracts are on CS-1 and only for Ari’s self-reflections.

The system will simulate the user's emotional state and the time-spent situation by reconciling all their relationship status. If the user has too little time in the Self-Relationship, or if any or all of their relationships have too little time, the system will suggest for the user to consider re-organizing their relationships by negotiating with their partners. The suggestion to negotiate with their partner does not instigate an action between two users. Rather, the system prompts the user to self-reflect and consider taking a conscious step toward the shared relationship arena, an arena of consent between two users.

ReUnion application screens

Making Interrelations

At any point, if the relationship time allocations are appropriate, the user can select the relationships and send invitations to their partners for discussion. During the discussions process, both parties will be able to see each other's reflections about the relationship (see Part I). They may use these reflections as a starting point to negotiate and edit the content of the relationship together. Although the system provides chatting and co-editing functions, it always strongly recommends offline conversations before sending an invitation and starting the relationship-editing process.

Both parties then consent to a version of relationship content. They must also set up a Checkpoint for the relationship agreement. A Checkpoint is the date and time until the agreed-upon content is locked and valid. After the content and Checkpoint of the relationship are set, an interpersonal contract is created. In order to validate the contract, both parties must deposit their fiat currency into their associated PTs and combine these PTs to compose a Composite Coin (hereafter CC). The moment when the CC is composed, the relationship enters a Second Contract Stage (hereafter CS-2).

Ari and Frankie decide to put together a small fund for taking care of the house and domestic work. They discuss the arrangement with each other and reach an agreement. They deposit a small amount of money (in domestic currency, or fiat money) to their own PTs, which they use to compose a CC for their agreement. Their agreement becomes a CS-2 contract. Ari conducts the same process with Devin in their romantic relationship.

The CC is the only monetizable currency in the ReUnion Network. It can be spent only when both parties agree to the payment. In the CS-2, users can use the CC to organize an interpersonal fund or communal fund and purchase services from local care work cooperatives.

Ari wants to discuss domestic work with Frankie. She selects the flat-sharing relationship she previously created and invites Frankie to join ReUnion Network. Frankie accepts the invitation and sets up their account as Ari did. When they enter the relationship with Ari, both Ari and Frankie see each other’s color reflection and time spent. After discussions about each other’s situation and understanding of the relationship, they make a new arrangement between them. When they set up a Checkpoint for their new arrangement, the system will ask them to put in a certain amount of PTs, which they need to deposit money to validate the PTs. After the PTs are validated, they will be combined to compos Ari-Frankie Coins, or CCs. The CCs vouch for their relationship to become a CS-2 contract. This contract is then eligible for receiving self-organized community funding and paying for related services.

The Checkpoint is a mechanism to maintain the vitality of a relationship and serves as a reminder that consent is an ongoing negotiation, not a permanent rule. When a contract arrives at a Checkpoint, both parties (the PT owners) should discuss whether they would like to revise and/or extend their contract.

If they do not arrive at a consensus, or if no action is taken, the contract will expire. The accumulated CCs will be automatically liquidated according to prior settings made by the users or distributed to the users based on the activities that each user has done. The CCs will be returned as PTs and will be stored under the Self-Relationship contract.

ReUnion application screens

Uniting with Civic Structures

When a contract is executed for one year and is ready to continue for at least one more year, the contract is eligible to enter the Third Contract Stage (CS-3). Importantly, CS-3 contracts will be available for government subsidy. In addition to using CC, contracts in CS-3 need to be validated by a gatekeeping mechanism called Proof of Relations. In this process, a contract needs to be vouched for by six other users who have CS-2 or CS-3 contracts with either or both PT owners. The set of terms for validation will be determined by further research trials by ReUnion and in discussion with the pertinent governing body and their legal parameters.

After 1 year, Ari and Frankie’s contract has reached its Checkpoint. They decide to let their contract expire because Frankie is moving away. Over the past year, Ari has completed 45 activities for Frankie and Frankie did 42 for Ari. They also spent 20 CCs with local cooperatives for house cleaning. When their contract expires, they have [(45+42)/2 - 20]= 23.5 CCs left. After the contract expires, Ari will receive 12.15 Ari Tokens (PTs) and Frankie receives 11.35 Frankie Tokens (PTs).

At the same time, Ari and Devin decide to extend their contract and shift it to the CS-3. Ari asks Elliot, Dorian, and Harper to vouch for their Ari-Devin contract. Devin also asks three people from their CS-2 and CS-3 contract network to vouch for their contract with Ari. After six people vouch for the Ari-Devin contract, it becomes a CS-3 contract and is ready to receive a subsidy.

If contract violation is reported by one of the parties, such as abuse, violence, or unforeseen consequences, the contract will be suspended. The reporter can choose to contact the following for arbitration: a) a third user who has a CS-2 or CS-3 with both parties; b) a local care work cooperative; c) an independent arbitrator; or d) law enforcement.

The contract may resume activity when the disputes are resolved or it may permanently expire after a certain amount of time, depending on the nature of the contract or the prior settings by the users.

‌Local care work cooperatives also serve as a service point for addressing loneliness. People who are in an isolated situation and cannot find another PT-owner with whom to combine their PT for social support, they may request a collaborator from a cooperative. With this collaborator, they may combine their PT to make a CC. This serves as a way to help people who may be atomized and facing difficulties with loneliness to start building a social support system.

Frankie moves to a new city, where he only knows their co-workers. He accesses the local cooperatives working with ReUnion in the app. He goes to one of the local cooperatives and meets Jayden, a social worker of the cooperative, who helps him to get to know the city. Frankie and Jayden put in 10 PTs respectively to form a CS-2 contract and compose 10 Frankie-Jayden CCs. At the end of the year, with Jayden’s help, Frankie finds new friends in the city and forms new social contracts. Jayden and Frankie decide to end their previous CS-2 contract and form a new CS-1 contract as a souvenir for the last year. Over the year of their relationship contract, Jayden helped Frankie 23 times and Frankie returned two favors for Jayden, who receives [23/ (23+2)] x [(23 x 2)/2] = 11.5 PTs and the 10 PTs they previously deposited. Frankie receives 1 PT and the deposited 10 PTs.