- There’s an exciting opportunity to use a community art/work space for Loomio, and this might give us room to brainstorm and be creative in our process.
- We have identified a clear need for some more resources, both money and people. Some ideas for funding: doing a PledgeMe video, applying for a grant from the government, reaching out to potential customers for pre-funding.
Jon and Rich came up with this in February. This is an evolving document, but it’s a good start.
Loomio – “Helping groups move together”
Loomio is a web app that helps groups of individuals make decisions together.
As groups get larger they tend to become less efficient, and often individuals start to feel that the group is no longer accomplishing what it set out to do. This happens with companies, political entities, universities… pretty much any large collective. However, while groups can often become very inefficient, they can also become very powerful when engaged together with common purpose and intent.
Loomio aims to leverage the power of groups by using the Internet to facilitate consensus-based decision-making. It provides a platform where group members can discuss issues, propose ideas and solutions, and then vote on decisions together. The end result is that better decisions are made, and the group has a greater understanding of itself and it’s direction forward.
Loomio is being collaboratively developed as an open source project. We are seeking input from a diverse range of people, from activists to business people.
We’ve heard these requests a few times, and have put them on our development wish list:
- sub group (I want to have an Enspiral Members group as a subset of enspiral as a whole)
- anonymous motion : you can see the counts but not who voted on an issue. I want to use this for voting in new members
- better inviting : I want to be able add user accounts for people that they can activate and then vote straight away without me having to approve in the middle
- Discussed terminology choices around “abstain” vs “indifferent” and what the terms we chose imply.
- Decided to make the voting process just one click but bringing the options right onto the motion page. Previously you had to click “vote” and then pick your position. Our goal is to enable engagement even on the smallest level – if you can engage extensively, great, if you can only spare time for a single click, that’s OK too.
- Loomio is currently focusing on building for the needs of our first user group, Enspiral. We think this will help us focus on iterating effectively with constant user feedback, with the idea that we will expand and add features for other types of groups in the future.
There are many visual ways of representing the tools of consensus.
Our goal in Loomio is to have simple, effective symbols that are also agnostic – this means we want to empower groups to be able to set up their decision making process in the way that works best for them. If we can have a powerful but flexible set of visual symbols in Loomio, groups can define them for themselves, and experiment with the power of conscious process design in their decision making.
One of the things I’ve been considering is the difference between offline and online communications. To me the people’s mic (or even one person speaks at a time) is al limitation of offline environments that we shouldn’t be emulating to replicate. Instead I would suggest a philosophy of harvesting lots of content simultaneously and providing mechanisms to filter the noise and promote the group sentiment – similar to the reddit approach.
Joshua, pointing out the benefits of an “everyone talks at once, everyone is heard” internet-style communication model, versus the “one person talks at once” model of in-person meetings.
I have been thinking in the eDemocracy and general civic engagement space for many years now, but in the light of OWS, the Arab Spring, and the increasing tensions between the haves and have-nots around the world, which are only likely to accelerate as the financial excrement seriously begins to hit the reality fan in 2012, I have more recently started putting thoughts into actions.
Seth, describing why he’s interested in helping the Loomio project