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

6Rich 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:

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.

Updates

We’ll be blogging on the road to share what we’re learning. Here’s the first story, from Indianapolis: American Grief — Activism, Trauma, Relationship and Healing. The second piece, 5 Reasons to Build a Network of Small Groups, Rather than a Mass Movement of Individuals has obviously struck a nerve: it’s been read thousands of times in last the few days!

Delight in Uncertainty…. Gulp.

Stories from the Road

Loomio Co-op Member and Director MJ Kaplan has been all over the US in recent months, at conferences exploring impact, collaboration, the economy, the future of work, and more.

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-3-25-14-pmI was invited to New York by Coburn Ventures, a unique investment firm that is passionate – maybe even obsessed – with understanding complex, deep transformation in the world.  They convened a diverse group of 100 people to explore, reflect and reimagine the dynamics that affect investment and, more broadly, are influencing how we live and work. Continue reading “Delight in Uncertainty…. Gulp.”

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…

OS//OS is going to be awesome! 🍌

We’re super excited about contributing to the upcoming OS//OS open source, open society conference. OS//OS is in its second year and a big gathering of people from across business, technology and government sectors to collaborate, learn from each other and extend the impact of open technology in our workplaces, our organisations and our society.

Some of our maximum favourite humans are going to be there, including these three:

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Check out the conference and grab your ticket here.

Loomio @ OS//OS

We’ll be hosting a collaboration clinic at the conference for all our Loomio users and interested people on the ground floor of the conference. Loomio consultants will be on hand to help you work out great ways of using Loomio to build participatory team culture and tips and tricks for making better decisions together online.

Loomio can be super helpful if you’re:

  • Managing a growing team or office.
  • Leading a project team across any kind of technology
  • Building a startup team.
  • Working on a board or advisory group.
  • Developing policy or working in civic engagement.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at the conference – come find us on the ground floor under the big Loomio sign and let’s help you make better decisions together.

See you there!

g0v Summit 2014: Taiwan and the future of democracy

gov summit

Loomio co-founder Richard D. Bartlett asks ‘what is the government of the future?’

I had the immense honour of being invited to participate in the g0v Summit in Taipei last year. The Summit was basically a chance for 700 people to get together and discuss the future of democracy, and hack on some projects that might help us get there faster.

Here’s a video of my talk, describing some of my experiences over the past couple years and reflecting on the question: what is the government of the future? (Transcript printed below.)

It was a huge privilege to collaborate with a wide array of amazing people and organisations that I had admired from afar, like the activists from the Sunflower Movement that occupied Parliament in Taiwan; occupiers from the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong; Clay Shirky, academic, author, and speaker; the mySociety crew, who basically invented the idea of civic tech in the UK ten years ago; respectable troublemaker David Eaves; and of course Audrey Tang and Chia-liang Kao, some of the prominent figures of the g0v community.

Of course it was a great opportunity to meet new collaborators from all over the world too, like Ciudadano Inteligente from Chile, Team Popong in Korea, Sinar in Malaysia and Open State in the Netherlands.

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Photo credit: g0v

Using a combination of online technology and offline agitation, each of these projects push for greater transparency, accountability, and participation in government for regular citizens. It was delightful to see this highly distributed, autonomous network of projects all approaching this challenge with a high degree of coherence, and very little explicit coordination.

In addition to working with these great people, I also got the chance to learn a bit more about the political context in Taiwan from some of the young radicals, jaded journalists, suave diplomats and community organisers I spent time with. Continue reading “g0v Summit 2014: Taiwan and the future of democracy”

Loomio is Co-Hosting the Open Source // Open Society Conference

Loomio is co-hosting the Open Source // Open Society conference, April 16/17 in Wellington, New Zealand, alongside GitHub, Chalkle, and Enspiral. Get your ticket and join us at the event!

We are extremely excited about this event because openness is a defining aspect of everything Loomio is about. Our mission is to enable a more open world, where transparency and accessibility in decision-making is the new normal. The work of being open is never finished, but openness has been one of our key values right from the start.

The question of the conference is What is Open?:

The recent move towards openness in the digital world was enabled by the Internet, as the most powerful communications infrastructure that has ever existed, which was built on free and open source software. This digital movement taps into the underlying human urge for openness that has always existed. OS/OS is a celebration of efforts to consciously reverse practises that deny people the right to share, to participate, to collaborate. We celebrate “the commons”, both physical and virtual, and work to improve commonly-held resources that benefit all.

Loomio’s software is of course open source (fork us on GitHub!). We have also open sourced our internal company handbook, about how we organise democratically as a worker-owned cooperative. We practice open collaboration with our enthusiastic user community, seeking their input on everything from new feature development to our financial model. We are open about our story and our roadmap.

OSOS Invitation Image

Continue reading “Loomio is Co-Hosting the Open Source // Open Society Conference”

Loomio at Personal Democracy Forum 2014

Ben Knight

The Personal Democracy Forum (PDF) in New York is an annual gathering of people from around the world working towards a free and open internet. In June this year, we were lucky enough to be invited to present Loomio at PDF, in a session on “The Future of the Public Internet”. Ben Knight talks about his experience speaking at this amazing event.

 

This was the twelfth year that PDF has run, organised by the wonderful folk at Personal Democracy Media & TechPresident: Micah Sifry and Andrew Rasiej. It was a privilege to present alongside some seriously impressive individuals like Sue Gardner from the Wikimedia Foundation, and Anne-Marie Slaughter from New America Foundation. PDF14 also marked the launch of Micah Sifry’s new book, “The big disconnect: Why the Internet hasn’t transformed politics (yet), which is a compelling articulation of the need for online tech to go beyond mobilisation and into sustained collective action. ” Continue reading “Loomio at Personal Democracy Forum 2014”