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.

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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.

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NZ Entrepreneurs covers Loomio

Online journal NZ Entrepreneurs interviewed Alanna the other week and the article went up yesterday. Learn about the birth of Loomio and all the teamwork that goes on behind the scenes! http://nzentrepreneurs.org/loomio-founder-alanna-krause/

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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.

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Our People: Viv Maidaborn – Loomio Dreamer and Vision Maker

Viv is a driving force behind Loomio — and one of the most well connected members of our group. It’s become a joke in the team that if we need to find more users, we should just send Viv for a walk down the street — she’s sure to bump into at least five people she knows. But finding users is only small part of the amazing-ness that is Viv, she helps us map our course through social impact, casts magic spells before parties, and helps us keep diversity top of mind. Here is Viv, in her own words:

Name: Vivien Maidaborn

Age: 53

Title: Loomio Dreamer and Vision Maker (aka business strategy)

Why and how did you get involved with Loomio?

After a 30 year career in the not-for-profit sector, I realised that charity models weren’t delivering scalable change anywhere in the world. In fact, most of the baseline measures (economic + social inequality, environmental degradation, etc.) I had thought would improve in my working life were actually getting worse.

So, it felt to me like real social change would have to combine the skills, tools and the leverage of business, with the values, emotional intelligence and compassion that can be found in community and citizenship movements.  This for me is what I mean by ‘social enterprise'.

In 2011 I resigned from my charitable CEO job and went looking for the right opportunity in this social enterprise space. I was introduced to Loomio and the rest is history!

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Ahoy Australia!

We’re setting sail from our little island in the South Pacific, ready to explore the globe. First stop – Melbourne! So we’re dipping our feet into the water of the world, and getting ready to meet with some AMAZING Australians, with a particular focus on co-working spaces and expert collaborators. It’s going to be a quick trip, with Viv and Ben packing as many meetings and talks as humanly possible into their two days: they’re looking forward to catching up with Julian at The Hub, Alvaro from Creative Suburbs and Inspire 9, Mark and Hilary at the Collabforge, and our good friends Carl and Kati from Groupwork.

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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.

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Journeying along our roadmap

A few weeks ago, we laid out our code roadmap for the future of Loomio – and we’ve been hard at work travelling along it! We’re pretty excited about the places we have been, and those still to come. Here’s a whirlwind tour of our journey, so you can start getting just as excited as we are!

In the past two weeks, our code team have rolled out two new features:

  • You can now make an attachment of an image or document, which appears as a thumbnail in your post.
  • You also have the first version of your very own inbox, which displays discussions you’ve not read, giving you a clear idea of what you need to catch up on.

Why is this important?

Attachment is important because everyone has been asking for it 🙂 We’ve tried to release it as quickly as possible, knowing that there’s room to keep improving as we go. For instance, we’ll be improving performance of this feature in the near future to make it faster.

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Translating Loomio

We’ve always had a commitment to working with our community to steer the development of this project. The strongest message they’ve given us so far is ‘Loomio should be available in as many languages as possible'. So we prioritised translation, and within a few weeks a whole squad of volunteers had turned up to help out.

Loomio in Vietnamese

Since that decision to prioritise translation five months ago, Loomio is now available in ten languages, with plenty more in the works.

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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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