Nation-changing Decision-makers: Generation Zero

Generation Zero is a youth-led network of climate change activists who are campaigning to make New Zealand zero carbon by 2050. They want to create conversations and actions to ensure that “today’s carbon bills get paid today”.

The core members and volunteers previously made decisions at biannual national meetings but as the network grew to over 3,000 members they needed to change how they made decisions. They decided to invite 60 of their most active members to make strategic decisions for the group in Loomio, though the invitation was open to any member to request access. Once decisions are made, they are relayed out to the wider group through social media.

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Our brief, but action-packed, sojourn in Madrid!

We may only be there for 28 hours, but our  stay in Madrid  is already packed with action.

Back in May, we were invited to Skype into a collaborative workshop, Laboratorio Democrático, organised and driven by Loomio community member Yago Bermejo Abati, on Networked Democracy: Tools and Technologies for Democratic Participation.

After hearing that we’re coming to Madrid, Yago has extended the warmest hospitality we could imagine, organising a forum to explore governance in the internet age, as well as to put users and developers of internet tools in contact, so as to study the dynamics of democratic web processes at all scales. Its going to be held at Medialab-Prados, a program of the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism of the Madrid City Council. According to their website the space “is conceived as a citizen laboratory for the production, research and dissemination of cultural projects that explore collaborative forms of experimentation and learning that have emerged from digital networks.” We’re excited to check this place out!

On the cards for discussion are how the internet is transforming 21st century democracy and the role of technology in reconnecting citizens to democratic institutions. It will be a great opportunity for Loomio to build connections with like-minded people working towards similar goals, as well as offering Loomio as a tool to help social change movements coordinate more effectively. The line-up for the forum is a dream come true… Continue reading “Our brief, but action-packed, sojourn in Madrid!”

Wellington City Council uses Loomio!

In February 2013, the Wellington City Council contracted Loomio to run the online side of their largest public consultation exercise of the year – developing an alcohol management strategy for the city. The Council chose Loomio because they wanted to get diverse input from people who would usually be too busy to attend traditional public consultation meetings.

What resulted was a lively mixture of bar owners, students, residents associations, liquor industry employees, emergency services staff, teenagers and anti-alcohol campaigners, all getting together online in a month-long collaboration focused on finding solutions that balance the negative impacts of alcohol on communities with the social and economic benefits that come from a thriving entertainment scene in the city. Continue reading “Wellington City Council uses Loomio!”

Trustees trust Loomio

The Newtown Ethical Lending Trust was established in March 2012 to assist people in Newtown, Wellington, New Zealand with interest free loans. It was formed in association with the Newtown Community and Cultural Centre to assist people with unaffordable debt. They’re a rather lovely bunch of people, who clearly care about people living in our community.

The group started with 5 trustees and a part-time administrator. From the start it was clear that getting the trustees to physically meet in order to approve loans was going to be difficult. They all have busy full-time jobs in different parts of the city and some applications require an immediate decision.

One of the Trustees had heard of Loomio via the successful Pledge-me crowdfunding campaign and decided to give it a go in its ‘closed-beta’ phase, about 10 months ago.

How they use Loomio

Details of the applications for loans are posted to the Loomio group and a discussion thread is opened. Each trustee reads the application, makes comments and reads other trustees’ comments before a decision is made. The discussion is recorded in Loomio, so the group has a record of all the decisions they’ve made.

The Newtown Ethical Lending Trust has just had a full year of operation and in this time has made loans totaling $45,000. The Trust has since appointed a paid part-time administrator, whose role includes opening and closing Loomio discussions and following up issues raised by the Trustees.

Trustee Ken Allen says Loomio has been “a lifesaver for allowing trustees to come together easily and engage in group discussions”. For instance, Loomio has enabled one Trustee to fully participate in decisions while living overseas. For Loomio, feedback from the Trust as early beta-testers on the function of the software has also been invaluable – thanks guys!

Who needs a boss anyway?

Enspiral is a collective made up of individuals and companies that use the tools of business to create scalable social change. It’s mission is to get more people working on stuff that matters.

“Powerful things take place when like minded people connect, we’ve seen this repeatedly, where conversations spark ideas, which become projects, that grow into world changing ventures. Enspiral is a virtual and physical network where this happens.”

Because Enspiral is a collective, meaning no bosses, they’ve had to bootstrap their own collective decision-making system. They found that email was too convoluted for important decisions, and face-to-face meetings too time-consuming. This left just a few people feeling like they were always making the decisions.

Enter Loomio. 18 months ago, Enspiral helped found Loomio, and has been using the tool ever since, to help run this complex boss-less organisation without compromising on effectiveness. Continue reading “Who needs a boss anyway?”

Communicating Towards a Compassionate World

In a world fraught with violence, Nonviolent Communication (NVC) aims to transform how people communicate with each other, and is underpinned by an assumption that human beings are compassionate by nature. NVC was developed in the 1960s by Marshall Rosenberg, who wanted to understand how people can stay compassionate in the face of extreme circumstances and violence. The NVC community is active in over 65 countries around the globe.

One of the many international conferences and trainings for people wanting to learn and practice NVC takes place in India each year. When Emma Collins, a Compassionate Communication Trainer, approached Loomio to discuss how our platform could support their project, their aims and intentions resonated strongly with us.

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“Write” Cultural Fit

A comic-book whizz, a web developer, a chiropractor, a film-maker, several curators and a grocery store co-op owner: What do these people have in common? Well, they are some of the busiest people on Loomio: and they belong to the Adobe Books and Arts Cooperative.

Adobe Books (before the move). Image courtesy of Brett Lockspeiser.

Loomio loves this group of people who have come together as a co-op to protect a well-loved community space, Adobe Books, in San Francisco’s Mission district. As Brett Lockspeiser explains,

“Adobe Books has been in San Francisco for 25 years. For 24 of those years it was a sole proprietorship, mostly run by Andrew McKinley, who owned the shop. Unfortunately, the business of selling his books has become harder and harder…combine that with San Francisco which is currently gentrifying at an obscene rate. In 16th Street of the Mission the rents were doubling”.

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