Academics study Loomio use

Loomio has been collaborating with academic researchers Shiv Ganesh at Massey University in New Zealand and Cynthia Stohl at the University of California, to do the first large-scale survey of Loomio users. The survey is still open, but we are already getting some really fascinating information on who we are as Loomio users, how we use Loomio, and what we use it for.

We know, for instance, that we are more age diverse than we previously thought. While a third of our users are young (i.e., below 40 years old), nearly a quarter of us are 60 and above. Pew research has shown that messaging and decision-making apps are not popular amongst senior groups, so it is fantastic to see how well we are doing with senior demographics. We have also confirmed, as we suspected, that we are an (over)educated bunch of people; a full 75% of us have undergraduate degrees, and 40% of us have postgraduate degrees!

We also now know that Loomio is an important part of our decision-making media matrix. Over a third of us have reported that 50% or more of our group interaction takes place on Loomio, and about half of us report that Loomio is very important or absolutely essential compared to other digital platforms we use for group interaction.

 

The top three tools other than Loomio that we use to communicate are Email, Facebook and Texts or iMessages, with Whatsapp, Twitter, Skype, Telegram and Slack also being important complements.

Finally, we are beginning to get a detailed sense of what we use Loomio for. We asked you to tell us what sorts of issues your work connected with, and over 37% of all users so far have identified democracy and justice as central issues. Other critical issues for us include environmental issues, human rights, economic inequality, feminist and gender issues, sustainability, technology, and labour.

Pie chart. 47%: This Loomio group has clearly established communication linkages with a particular organization. 21%: In this Loomio group communication linkages with other groups are unclear and not yet established with any particular external organizations, groups and/or individuals. 20%: This Loomio group is developing communication linkages with a group of organizations, groups and/or individuals. 12%: This Loomio group has clearly established communication linkages with a group of organizations.

Over the next few months we expect to produce more fine-grained pictures of how we use Loomio and for what purposes, the organizing archetypes that drive this use, and how we feel about Loomio and its effectiveness.

There is still an opportunity to participate. If you would like to take the survey, please click here for the English version, and here for the Spanish version.

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 🙃

Reuniones más eficientes con Loomio

Escrito por Mix

Trabajar eficientemente como un grupo es complejo. Parte del rompecabezas es encontrar el equilibrio entre las reuniones cara a cara y la colaboración en línea. Las reuniones son costosas, pero permiten una transferencia de información enriquecedora. La colaboración en línea les permite a todos contribuir a su tiempo, pero hay muchas conversaciones que no quieres tener en línea. Con el equilibrio adecuado puedes tener lo mejor de los dos mundos.
Durante las reuniones en persona, la discusión de la Agenda idealmente va así:discussion turns into action

Continue reading

Some thoughts about large scale decision-making

A comment from Loomio co-founder Richard D. Bartlett in a recent discussion about decision-making at scale:

“Personally the two models of scaling that I’m interested in are delegative & deliberative. (See Wikipedia on delegative democracy and Aaron Swartz on the deliberative model known as parpolity.)

Projects like DemocracyOS and LiquidFeedback are exploring the delegative model, where votes can be passed between people to form blocs of influence. I can imagine that being pretty awesome, and pretty problematic too.

Loomio is currently far down the deliberative end of the spectrum. We’ve stayed away from the “hard” problems that come with scale (e.g. identity verification) and are working on the difficult “soft” problems like teaching people to engage with each other respectfully in pursuit of shared understanding.

When we’re talking about nation-scale decision-making, the problem with either electoral or delegative systems is that the point of citizen engagement is entirely discontinuous with the actual crux of governance: negotiation, compromise and consensus-building. Voting leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, it feels like I’m giving up my autonomy in the hopes that some jerk who I don’t even know is going to exercise it in my interests.

Conversely, the deliberative model is fractal, self-similar at all scales, so the grassroots participants have an insight into what operations look like at the uppermost or innermost decision-making body. Participation is an enriching experience for the individuals, and it draws out collective intelligence greater than the sum of its parts.

There are something like 25,000 Podemos members using Loomio right now, in 1,000 different groups. It’s pretty easy for me to imagine Loomio 2.0, where all those groups are associated together into one network. Imagine sending a proposal out to all the different groups in the network and seeing distinct deliberations underway in each local group, watching points of agreement or controversy or insight or initiative spreading virally throughout the network, everyone participating in their full autonomy and simultaneously contributing to a massive collective roar, or a song, a unity of unmerged voices.”

Got something to add? Join the discussion over on Loomio

Loomio & Reinventors: reinventing social movements

What would the ideal social movement of the 21st century look like?

That’s a question that Doug Rushkoff has invited Ben from Loomio to help answer, along with some other amazing people at tomorrow’s online Reinventors roundtable discussion: Reinventing Real-Time Movements,

They’ll be considering how these networked, collaborative, digital movements might be prototypes of a new form of civic engagement that could ultimately replace what we think as of politics, and what these new forms might look like.

Ben will be speaking on behalf of Loomio, drawing on his experience with the Occupy movement, joined by other innovators in the field: Nicco Mele (co-founder and resident futurist at EchoDitto), Anna Galland (executive director of MoveOn.org), and Micah Sifry (editorial director from Personal Democracy Media). Ben’s particularly excited to explore the protocols of interaction that would enable a transformative social movement to be scalable and sustainable over time.

You can tune into the streaming roundtable on the Google Plus event page at 11am November 6th, Pacific Time – that’s 8am on Thursday morning (November 7th) for you New Zealanders.

Our people: Scrum-Master Mix

Name: Mix
Age: 29
Title: Scrum-Master Mix
Team: Product Team

Why did you get involved with Loomio?

It started off as a coding internship in Enspiral. I was interested in honing my skills and Loomio was interested in volunteers. In retrospect, it’s probably no accident that Loomio resonated so well with me – I’d recently come from working in a progressive secondary school which values things like collaborative planning of individual education pathways, community engagement and communicating on equal footings.

Continue reading Our people: Scrum-Master Mix