We’re Coming to the US for a Community Organising Workshop Tour

Rich and Nati from Loomio are coming from New Zealand to join US-based team member MJ for a workshop tour across the States. We’re keen to meet with organisers who are interested in working non-hierarchically: whether they’re in cooperatives, startups, communities, collectives, NGOs or corporations.

We’ve been engaged in the craft of non-hierarchical organising for more than five years, starting with Occupy in 2011, co-founding Loomio (a worker coop building software for collective decision-making) and Enspiral (a network of dozens of social enterprise startups and tech-for-good projects). We’re woven into a global community of folks pioneering new ways of working, from ‘agile’, ‘holacratic’ and ‘teal’ organizations, to diffuse activist networks in Hungary, Spain, and Taiwan.

We’re working with local partners across the country to host workshops to share the challenges and delights of non-hierarchical, inclusive, intersectional, collaborative, horizontal organising. You can get an impression of the workshop content from this brief report from a session we hosted in Seoul late last year.

Schedule

The loose plan is to spend April in the East Coast and May in the West. We’ll update this post as we finalise the schedule. Currently:

  • March 25th: land at San Francisco.
  • March 30th: head to Providence and Boston.
  • April 6th-10th: working with community organisers in Indianapolis.
  • April 10th: head east, spending the next 3.5 weeks in DC, NYC, Boston.
  • May 3rd: head to the West Coast. Talk + workshop at UCSB on May 9th and 10th. Spend the rest of May in California, Seattle, Portland
  • Possibly back to NYC for PDF conference on June 8–9

Help wanted

If you want to support this mission, there are a couple ways to help:

  • Introduce us to organisers who would really benefit from spending a few hours exploring more sustainable ways of working inclusively. We’re keen to meet with anyone interested in working non-hierarchically: whether they’re in cooperatives, startups, communities, collectives, NGOs or corporations.
  • It would be amazing to have a few people contribute to cover the travel expenses. We’re looking for individuals and institutions that can sponsor a community workshop. We are currently looking at dates in DC, NY, MA, IN, CA and OR — for about US$1000 we can add another stop to the tour. Please get in touch with Rich ([email protected]) if you can help with sponsorship or you want to co-host an event with us.

Hope-y New Year from Team Loomio 🙃

Warm greetings from the beautiful South Pacific summer! Before we wind down for the holidays I wanted to reach out with a final message for the year.

2016 has been an extraordinarily turbulent year. The earthquake that brought down office buildings in Wellington seems to be the perfect metaphor for the political shakes in Europe, the US, and Middle East that have gripped the world. Checking in with my friends and colleagues overseas, I hear a lot of grief, uncertainty, and fear: progressive people have the sense that something important is slipping away.

Big stories like Brexit, the US election, and the Syrian civil war take up so much space, they can drown out the sound of the many reasons to be hopeful in 2017. The people that are growing “the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible” tend to be quiet: they’d rather spend their time tending their local initiatives, rather than drawing attention to themselves.

One of the most energising things about working on Loomio is that I get to connect with inspirational people working on incredible projects nearly every day. So as we close out 2016, I wanted to share a couple of reasons to be hopeful in 2017:

Continue reading “Hope-y New Year from Team Loomio 🙃”

Statistics New Zealand use Loomio for Citizen Engagement

Statistics New Zealand (Tatauranga Aotearoa) is a government department gathering statistics on a wide range of subjects.

They used Loomio to engage citizens in refining the questions for the 2018 Census.

We talked with Susan Riddle, Sophie Davies, and Tom MacDiarmid to find out about the challenges and successes of using Loomio:

“Loomio was for us a new tool: untested waters. Just having a widely-available public discussion was new for us!

It allowed us to expand on what would typically be the local town hall meeting, and reach many more people. We reached people that otherwise wouldn’t have contributed to the conversation, including marginalised populations and youth.”

— Tom MacDiarmid, Statistics New Zealand

 

Need to engage a wider group of people in your consultation project?

Loomio is easy to use and accessible, enabling you to engage with people in a facilitated conversation. Data and analytics reports provide a record of the engagement.

You can start your own Loomio group now, or contact us if you need direct support.

Loomio has a network of experienced consultants and facilitators who can help you set up your group, and train & coach your team in online facilitation.

Ours To Hack and To Own: a Review

Platform cooperativism is the radical idea that the internet would do more good if its major properties were democratically owned and governed.

The Platform Cooperativism conference is coming up this month in NYC: the second major gathering of this emerging new movement attempting to reboot the internet as if workers rights mattered. In preparation for the event, Trebor Scholz and Nathan Schneider (the movement’s two daddies) have launched a new collection of essays on the topic: Ours To Hack and To Own.

“Put it on the blockchain” is no substitute for a critical analysis of power.

We reviewed the book review here…

Podcast: how organisations and groups can self-organise at scale.

 

In this new interview, Loomio cofounder Richard D. Bartlett shares insights from Enspiral, Occupy Wall Street and Loomio, exploring the question How can organisations and groups self-organise?

Big thanks to the Cucumber crew for hosting us on the podcast!

(Also available on iTunes)

Conscious Consumers use Loomio for good governance

Conscious Consumers is a social enterprise that helps people make ethical purchasing decisions.

We talked to CEO Ben Gleisner about how their directors use Loomio to support good governance of the company.

Ben explained the value of keeping all the information in one place, and including people along the way to a decision.

“We use Loomio to discuss the really important issues that can take weeks to get to a decision point.

Loomio improved the effectiveness and efficiency of our communication. It keeps everything in one place. It’s a resource that we can keep coming back to, to see the train of thought behind a decision.

Loomio helped people feel confident that they understood what they were agreeing to.”

If you want to see how Loomio can support your decision-making, get started today.

Don’t Feed the Trolls: How to Encourage Good Behaviour Online

Guardian journalist Max Opray got in touch with us last week, while researching his article Could Online Democracy Lead To Governance By Trumps and Trolls?

Online interactions are notorious for being hijacked by trolls, so he wanted to hear how we handle trolls at Loomio.

Prevention is the best cure

We look to sites like MetaFilter, StackOverflow, Slashdot, or Quora, who do a good job of hosting productive online discussions. They all use a combination of technical and cultural components to create an environment that’s biased towards high-quality respectful participation, and biased against trolling.

It’s partly about the tool, and partly about how you use it.

We’ve put a lot of effort into designing Loomio and hosting big public discussions, in a way that makes it much less likely that trolls will turn up.

It’s a complex topic, but here are a few facets:

Continue reading “Don’t Feed the Trolls: How to Encourage Good Behaviour Online”