Draft of the Elevator Pitch

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.

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Some Good Ideas for Features

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

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Meeting Highlights – January 12, 2012

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.

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A Discussion of Icons

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.

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Why Limit the Statement Length

In Loomio, you assert your stance (yes, no, block, abstain, or whatever terms the group administrator decides to define), and you also have the option to make a statement about why you feel that way. We decided to limit the length of this statement. By design, the discussion about the motion will take place on the discussion platform. This is a space for people to express themselves freely, respond to other people’s concerns and ideas, and hash out disagreements.

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Loomio as a Learning Project

Several programmers working on Loomio are new to Ruby on Rails, and with the guidance of some experienced developers at Enspiral, they are using Loomio as a chance to practice and improve their skills. With Loomio as the inspiration, regular “learn rails” meetups were held at the Enspiral offices throughout late 2011.

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A Short History and Introduction

The Loomio project began in late 2011 when some members of the Occupy Wellington movement met up with some people at Enspiral and we realized we had a common need for a better decision making tool. As non-hierarchical groups that aim to give all members a voice in the process, traditional top-down decision making wasn’t an option, but traditional consensus decision making requiring everyone to sit in a circle and talk each point through was too slow and inefficient.

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