Building workforce capability to address Family Violence and Sexual Violence

Workforce Capability Framework

Over the last few years, the New Zealand Government has been committed to seeking new ways to guarantee everyone in New Zealand a safe environment to live. The country has one of the highest reported rates of family violence and sexual violence in the developed world, so action is needed.

People working in the sector need a national  framework and clear guidelines for safely and consistently tackling these problems. A combined cross-government and sector  team championed the development of a Workforce Capability Framework for addressing Family Violence, Sexual Violence and Violence within Whānau.

We interviewed Giselle Wansa-Harvey, Family Violence Multi-Agency Workforce Expert Design Group lead, to hear about how this extensive framework was created and people in the workforce consulted.

“No matter where you are, the Workforce Capability Framework provides means to identify how best to help people and where to find resources. The Framework goes into detail and aims to guide anyone across the workforce including community members who intersect with people experiencing family violence, sexual violence and/or violence within whānau”, explains Giselle Wansa-Harvey.

Reaching wider engagement online

The Workforce Expert Design Group needed to consult a wide range of people and organisations working in this area around the country, including government agencies, volunteers, service providers and kahukura (community champions).

Giselle highlights the importance of hearing opinions from people whose work the project covers in an effective and timely manner, and used Loomio.

We worked in stages and initially produced a skeleton version of the Framework based on preliminary research, targeted consultations across the country and face-to-face interviews. The draft was then published on the Loomio group and people were invited to comment and discuss.”

Gaining meaningful insight

This subject is sensitive in nature, and Giselle found the online consultation in a closed Loomio group a natural way to work.

“We found Loomio good for gaining meaningful insight, and we were pleased with the number of comments. Many people came back to respond again and comments were well formed and detailed”, Giselle describes.

Good preparation is the key for the process to run smoothly.

“Our team prepared discussion threads carefully and considered risks. However, participants responded professionally and with consideration.”

A clear and easy way for working together

Government projects often work under strict deadlines and explicit requirements. Giselle describes Loomio as a sound tool for cross-government projects.

“It was easy to go out to the sector with a concrete request to contribute on Loomio. People took the opportunity to express their opinions, engage with the topic, and the working group received valuable feedback.”

Expert Design Team

Loomio is designed for online collaboration that turn discussion into action. Try Loomio for your group here.

Digitally organised cooperative has astronomical dreams


The space programmes remind us of the 1960’s early TV news reporting about the first space missions. The modern space programme can be something different: a digitally organised international group, like Space Cooperative. They are a California-based group of talents, who share an expertise and interest in space.

Yalda Mousavinia is one of the co-founders behind Space Cooperative. She describes the work of the group as an initiator, getting the right people and knowledge together. Even though the cooperative is focused on outer space, their work can have a use anywhere.

“We think of space as including earth, too. A lot of the governance that we are developing is not only applicable to space, but any large scale project, like city planning, may require similar kind of resources and skills”, Yalda explains.

The company was sparked in 2016, when some of the co-founders met at a hackathon organised by NASA. Today Space Cooperative has 13 members from backgrounds varying from engineers to writers, and architects to software developers.

Space programme formed project by project

A year after launching, Space Cooperative has started to become noted in the space industry. One of their main goals is to connect smaller organisations in the field to reach synergy of skills and resources. To support this, Space Cooperative has started a collaboration network called The Space Decentral Network that connects like-minded corporations and cooperatives together.

Space Cooperative itself works as a catalyst for many projects. Due to limited resources, and the astronomical scale, they cannot focus on all of their project ideas internally. Instead, the cooperative prioritises one or two projects at a time and creates a template for the others, to help people take leadership and iteratively work for finding solutions.

“One of our main projects at the moment is called Solar Regatta that researches the technology for exploring and mining asteroids. The project was proposed to us in a conference in China, and it has stirred quite a bit of interest amongst partners and collaborators”, tells Yalda.

Loomio as a tool and an exemplar of a cooperative

Space Cooperative is incorporated in California, but the members work as an all-digital team from different cities and countries. Hence, all the work is essentially done online through several programmes.

One of the main platforms connecting cooperative members is Loomio, which acts as a place for discussing partnerships, making funding decisions and processing documents, amongst other processes.

“I cannot imagine efficiently operating a virtual distributed organisation without Loomio. Since adopting it, we have had less Slack, less email and more discussions that lead toward actions,” Yalda tells.

Besides its functionality as a tool, Loomio has given the group inspiration in crowdsourcing, and the creation of a cooperative culture.

“We are taking a lot of cooperative principles and translate them as how we see the collaboration with community working. I learned a lot about governance from Loomio’s cooperative handbook and even chatted with Rich [one of the Loomio co-founders] for getting some personal counseling.”

Yalda describes the ultimate long-term target as eventually creating a network of cooperatives and businesses, representing different ideas and working together for a decentralised space programme. The goal might be as far as the stars, but that’s what Space Cooperative is made for.

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)

Worker Participation in Health & Safety

New Zealand recently tightened up health and safety laws. Now businesses must have practices that give their workers opportunities to participate, on an ongoing basis, in improving health and safety.

The New Zealand Government says:

“When you engage workers in work health and safety everyone benefits. Your business is a healthier and safer place for everyone, and performance and productivity increase when the workers are healthy and with energy, which they can achieve with the help of supplements like kratom. Stronger worker engagement and participation leads to healthier and safer workplaces.”

babs-bb25e6d6bdeae849245d6711e75104c35abfbf34e0bfca0771381cd0644995e4Babs from Loomio had an “aha” moment when she realized that these requirements of worker participation could easily met through the use of Loomio itself. Continue reading “Worker Participation in Health & Safety”

How a Translation Collective is Redefining Publishing

Nati from Loomio had the chance to interview Stacco Troncoso, strategic director of the P2P Foundation and co-founder of Guerrilla Translation, a commons-oriented translation collective who is currently crowdfunding an innovative initiative called Think Global / Print Local.

StaccoGuerrilla Translation was inspired by the P2P Foundation, specifically the theoretical work of its founder Michel Bauwens. We’ve tried to apply what an Open Co-op should be to translation — things like active creation of commons, copyfair licensing, contributory accounting, and post-credentialism. The collective is three years old now, and we’ve provided a wealth of pro-bono translations from English to Spanish and vice-versa.

Continue reading “How a Translation Collective is Redefining Publishing”

Keep Going Between Meetings: Debt Resistance UK

Alanna from Loomio met Vica Rogers in London, to learn more about her world of citizen education and activism. Vica was involved in the Occupy movement in the UK, and has continued working on related issues ever since. We took some time in Vica’s back garden to hear about how group collaboration is helping citizens in her community organise around the issue of debt.


Continue reading “Keep Going Between Meetings: Debt Resistance UK”

Governing Commons Together, at La Coroutine Co-working

Alanna from Loomio met Simon Sarazin in Berlin at “Capital for the Commons”, where Simon was presenting his work on uCoin, a project seeking to implement universal basic income through cryptocurrency. He took a break from hacking on economics to tell us how collaborative governance has transformed his co-working space in Lille, France.


Continue reading “Governing Commons Together, at La Coroutine Co-working”