Rapid Prototyping for Community Impact

We caught up with Climate Karanga Marlborough member Leon Jay at the Open Source//Open Society Conference in Wellington. They are helping reduce climate change in Marlborough by rapidly prototyping ideas using online collaboration.


leonjay1We use Loomio to communicate between members and prototype different ideas to reduce climate change and lower our impact.

Sharing Ideas and Getting on the Same Page

If you’re trying to work together as a group of citizens, it’s great if you’re all heading in the same direction. But if one person’s doing one thing and one person’s doing another, you’re taking a scatter-gun approach. Continue reading Rapid Prototyping for Community Impact

Upcoming events in Wellington & special offer for local organisations

Friday Dec 2, 4:00 PM
Documentary Screening: A New Economy

Join us for the New Zealand Premiere of an inspiring new film featuring Loomio alongside other cooperative organisations.

“What if working together for the good of all was the most common business model? Watch, as several organisations strive towards building a more cooperative future.”

screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-2-04-16-pm

Friday Dec 2, 7:00 PM
Loomio’s 5th Birthday Party

Join us in our new office at 17 Garrett Street (level 2), to celebrate the journey of the last five years, and look forward to the next five years.

Doors open at 7PM. At 7:30 we’ll have a few words from the team.

screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-2-04-09-pm

Tuesday Dec 6, 11:30 AM
Free Training Workshop

Let us help you get the most from Loomio! We go over the basics of setting up your group, onboarding and engaging group members, and using proposals to build shared understanding. Learn how other groups are using Loomio, and tips to help improve your group’s collaboration experience.
screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-2-04-04-pm

Special Offer for Local Organisations

Successful team collaboration and stakeholder engagement online takes skill and experience. In partnership with a network of consultants and experienced online facilitators, Loomio offers a customised services tailored to your needs.

How Loomio helped Statistics New Zealand with citizen engagement around the national census.

Following the recent earthquakes we stayed out of our office while safety checks were carried out, like most in Wellington.  However, apart from feeling a bit shaken, we were able to maintain business continuity through online collaboration. If you have been displaced and would like to know how to stay productive together even if you’re unable to meet physically.

 Check Out Loomio

News November 2016: Imagine if Elections Worked More like Loomio

It’s been quite a month…

Here in New Zealand we’ve been shaken by a 7.5 earthquake, while the world has been shaken politically.

Alanna Krause
Loomio co-founder Alanna

Luckily our team is safe after the quake, apart from a couple things knocked off shelves. A lot of people are feeling knocked off balance in their understanding of the world right now, and we’re right there with you.

Real social change doesn’t come from going to the polls once every few years. Nor does it come from clicking around social media in polarised bubbles. It comes from feeling heard enough that you’re open to changing your mind. It comes from really knowing and committing to each other as fellow citizens and human beings.

How might it be different if elections were more like Loomio, with a context box, an abstain option, and a block button? Imagine a constructive deliberation, where you changed your position through really listening to others. Imagine if we considered the whole pie chart…. Continue reading News November 2016: Imagine if Elections Worked More like Loomio

Move the Advice Process Online in 3 Steps

In a self-managed company, everyone is a decision-maker. You need an effective process that enables group input while empowering individuals to act – and effective tools for running it.

The Advice Process in one sentence:

Every person can make a decision, as long as they seek advice from those who will be meaningfully affected and people with relevant expertise.

Continue reading Move the Advice Process Online in 3 Steps

Loomio at the White House, Democracy at Work, Collaboration Stories, and Our Dynamic Org Chart

We got a shout out at the White House!

Loomio has been picked as part of a suite of tools promoted by Together We Work, a campaign to empower young workers to take collective action. Together We Work was launched at the White House event in an inspiring and optimistic message of change from Carmen Rojas, CEO of The Workers Lab.


Screen Shot 2016-10-12 at 10.24.24 AM.png

betsy

Democracy at Work is a non-profit that works to democratize the workplace, as a viable solution for a new and better economic system. We’re proud to be a D@W co-op partner!

Read the first of a two-part profile of Loomio by D@W – interview of Alanna from Loomio, by Betsy Avila.

“We want to have impact with our product, but we also think the way we’ve structured our company and how we work is part of our social mission.” …read more

Stories from the forefront of collaboration

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-11-00-09-am How the FairShares Association Makes Better Decisions with Inclusive, Democratic Processes: Rory Ridley-Duff on reflecting a new vision of governance in structures for online collaboration.
Could the users buy Twitter and turn into a co-op? There’s a #buytwitter movement underway, and they’re organising on Loomio.

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-11-03-06-amSix Circles for Harmless Organising: A rough cut of a talk that co-founder Rich Bartlett is developing to explain some of the cultural forms we use to organise without bosses.

Our Dynamic Org Chart

Every quarter, the Loomio co-op members collectively set objectives, and then self-organise into working groups to achieve them. If you’re curious about how all this works, read more in the Co-op Handbook.

q4wg-s

Check Out Loomio

How the FairShares Association Makes Better Decisions with Inclusive, Democratic Processes

Rory Ridley-Duff is a reader in cooperatives and social enterprise at Sheffield Business School, director of Social Enterprise Europe, and founder of the FairShares Association. They use Loomio to model their governance structure online, for effective, equitable stakeholding.

Continue reading How the FairShares Association Makes Better Decisions with Inclusive, Democratic Processes

Loomio Co-op Handbook, New Plan Upgrades, & Media Stories

Launched: Loomio Co-op Handbook

We open source not only our software code, but our organisation too. Our impact mission is about democratic engagement, inclusive participation, and equitable collaboration, so that’s how we work as a company internally.

See our handbook: http://loomio.coop

VIDEO: Co-founder Alanna launches the co-op handbook and talks about “Open Source Organisational Development” at the Open Source // Open Society Conference

Upgraded plans!

The free version of Loomio offers unlimited users and decisions. But did you know about the great premium features available on our upgraded plans?

  • The Standard Plan offers Slack integration and your own custom domain name.
  • The Pro Plan gives you up to 10 groups, with data analytics and export features.

See all the details on our pricing page.

From now on, we’re phasing out free trials. Instead, everyone will start on the free plan and upgrade when ready. If you’re on a trial, you’ll be automatically moved to the free plan on September 19, unless you decide to upgrade.

News & Stories Featuring Loomio

vicemagFiguring Out the Freelance Economy
“Maybe, when equality is its premise, work need not be segregated from life, from the ambitions and needs of our actual selves.”

 
yesmag A New Economic Vision That Mixes Together Occupy, Amish Culture, and Startups
“What subcultures offer us insight and principles for new ways of organizing?”

Loomio partner event in Wellington

chelsearustrumMoving from the sharing economy to the shared economy

Free! September 19, 4:30PM

Chelsea Rustrum is the author of It’s a Shareable Life, the founder of a social and educational series in the Silicon Valley, dubbed The Sharers. Her current interest is in how the sharing economy can be integrated into value distribution models, which share ownership amongst the value creators themselves.

Save

Bilingual Collaboration at Trusty Amigos Dog Walking Co-op

brendan-tronconi

Brendan Tronconi of Trusty Amigos, a Dog Walking and Pet Care co-op in New York with 9 members, shares his experience starting a worker-owned business, collaborating with people who speak different languages, and working together effectively online and offline.

I had worked for a Dog Walking service for 3 years in the past. We trained the dogs I got some tips from a labradoodle breeder michigan and we sometimes use special collars for keeping barking down,   I liked the work, but at the time I had no benefits and I had reached the maximum hourly wage. I thought a co-op would be a great opportunity to be a co-owner instead of just an employee. I really liked the idea of working with a co-op instead of trying to start my own business alone.

We meet every other week in person, but it’s nice to have an place to discuss issues in between meetings, which is why we were looking for an online decision-making tool. We found out about Loomio through the Center for Family Life, which is an organization that helps co-ops and other community activities. Continue reading Bilingual Collaboration at Trusty Amigos Dog Walking Co-op

Taking Holacracy Governance to the Next Level

Organisations that adopt Holacracy often find it’s a big upgrade to their decision-making processes. But implementing Governance meetings is only the beginning of your self-management evolution.

Dogmatists may staunchly defend the completeness of the Holacracy Constitution, but I believe on drawing from everything available to craft the right system for your unique organisation. Even if you’re not sold on Holacracy, there are tools in it that can be super useful for any team. One of these elements is Integrative Decision-Making. Continue reading Taking Holacracy Governance to the Next Level

Worker Participation in Health & Safety

New Zealand recently tightened up health and safety laws. Now businesses must have practices that give their workers opportunities to participate, on an ongoing basis, in improving health and safety.

The New Zealand Government says:

“When you engage workers in work health and safety everyone benefits. Your business is a healthier and safer place for everyone, and performance and productivity increase when the workers are healthy and with energy, which they can achieve with the help of supplements like kratom. Stronger worker engagement and participation leads to healthier and safer workplaces.”

babs-bb25e6d6bdeae849245d6711e75104c35abfbf34e0bfca0771381cd0644995e4Babs from Loomio had an “aha” moment when she realized that these requirements of worker participation could easily met through the use of Loomio itself. Continue reading Worker Participation in Health & Safety

New Website, New Features, & UN Youth on Loomio

Our New Website is Live!

We brought together everything we’ve learned about communicating the value of Loomio in a simple compelling way, and combined it with visually engaging illustrations. We’ve highlighted amazing stories of people using Loomio around the world, and made help content and other resources way easier to find.

loomio-_propose

Any time you go to www.loomio.org you’ll see the new site. If you are already a Loomio user and you want to get to your discussions and decisions, just click “log in”. If there’s someone in your life who you think should know about Loomio, show them the new website!

New Features

We listened to your feedback, and made some updates to Loomio we think you’re going to love.

Continue reading New Website, New Features, & UN Youth on Loomio

NZ Government Carries Out Open and Transparent Policy Consultation about Open Source

paulstonePaul Stone, Programme Leader for Open Government Data at Land Information NZ, tells the story of how a consultation to develop a framework for consistent licensing of New Zealand Government open source software has been carried out successfully in an open and transparent manner.

Continue reading NZ Government Carries Out Open and Transparent Policy Consultation about Open Source

Organising Your Loomio Group

So, your group is actively using Loomio for discussions and decisions. Great! Now you’re ready to optimise your collaboration experience.

There are some simple things you can do to make important information clear and accessible. Here are some useful tips and tricks we’ve learned from different Loomio groups.

Continue reading Organising Your Loomio Group

Use Your Favorite Website on a Smartphone – No App Required

Did you know? It’s easy to create an icon for Loomio, or any other website you use often, on your phone’s home screen. It works a lot like all your other apps – even if the service doesn’t offer a native mobile app.

Even though Loomio doesn’t yet offer a native mobile app, plenty of people are happily using it on their phones daily. Set it up in 30 seconds, by following these simple steps.

loomio_phone

Add a Shortcut to Your Home Screen

Continue reading Use Your Favorite Website on a Smartphone – No App Required

Everyone on the New Loomio

We’ve reached the final step in the process of switching everyone over the the new and improved Loomio interface. We’re now so confident that all our users will have a good time on Loomio 1.0 that we’re getting ready to turn off Loomio Beta, the previous prototype version that some legacy users are still on.

Here’s what you need to know. Continue reading Everyone on the New Loomio

Keep Going Between Meetings: Debt Resistance UK

Alanna from Loomio met Vica Rogers in London, to learn more about her world of citizen education and activism. Vica was involved in the Occupy movement in the UK, and has continued working on related issues ever since. We took some time in Vica’s back garden to hear about how group collaboration is helping citizens in her community organise around the issue of debt.

_________________________

Continue reading Keep Going Between Meetings: Debt Resistance UK

Governing Commons Together, at La Coroutine Co-working

Alanna from Loomio met Simon Sarazin in Berlin at “Capital for the Commons”, where Simon was presenting his work on uCoin, a project seeking to implement universal basic income through cryptocurrency. He took a break from hacking on economics to tell us how collaborative governance has transformed his co-working space in Lille, France.

________________________________

Continue reading Governing Commons Together, at La Coroutine Co-working

200 Artists, 12 Buildings, 1 Community: Gängeviertel Collective

Alanna from Loomio met Till Wolfer at POC21, a 6 week innovation camp in France focused on open source hardware for sustainability. Till was lending his expertise as an architect and designer, along with his open source XYZ cargo bikes for participants to get around on. He stepped out for a moment to share how he collaborates back home with a 200-person artist collective occupying 12 buildings in Hamburg, Germany.

_____________________________

Continue reading 200 Artists, 12 Buildings, 1 Community: Gängeviertel Collective

“Our democratic values  are in that software” – How the P2P Foundation Does High-Level Coordination

Alanna from Loomio met up with Michel Bauwens in Berlin, while both were participating in a conference about “Capital for the Commons”. They managed to slip out for a few minutes so Michel could tell Alanna about his experience using Loomio with the P2P Foundation, which he founded.

____________________________

Continue reading “Our democratic values  are in that software” – How the P2P Foundation Does High-Level Coordination

Vibrant Community Online & Off – the Red Victorian Co-Living Hotel

Alanna from Loomio caught up with Jessy Kate Schingler and Brittany Ferrero in San Francisco, where they were gathering with other social entrepreneurs connected to Enspiral. They took some time out to talk about how collaboration works in their co-living hotel.

__________________________

Continue reading Vibrant Community Online & Off – the Red Victorian Co-Living Hotel

How OuiShare is Scaling a Shared Vision Across Countries

Alanna met Benjamin Tincq and Francesca Pick at POC21, an open source hardware innovation camp in a castle in France, which OuiShare was a core convener of. They stepped out to share how they collaborate as a large-scale international distributed community.

Continue reading How OuiShare is Scaling a Shared Vision Across Countries

How Digital Nomads Run a Distributed Social Media Co-Op

Alanna from Loomio met Romain Chanut at POC21, a 6 week innovation camp in France focused on open source hardware for sustainability. Romain was there with his “Do It Together” JerryCan – a low cost computer you can assemble from recycled materials. We took a break from hacking on hardware to learn more about his other role, as a digital transformer in a social media collective. I highly suggest to check some good reviews on a working monitor, so you make sure to the always get the best quality possible.

Continue reading How Digital Nomads Run a Distributed Social Media Co-Op

Diverting Funds from Wall St to the Commons: Robin Hood Co-op

Alanna met Dan Hassan in London, where he was speaking at an event in Hackney Wick about “DIY Social Movements”. Just as the light was fading, we walked along the canals looking for a quiet spot for him to share his thoughts about creating ‘economic space’ at Robin Hood Co-op.

Most of us are allergic to finance because it doesn’t work for us. It closes down possibilities and creativity. We have the idea that it could be different, that it could be creative.

Continue reading Diverting Funds from Wall St to the Commons: Robin Hood Co-op

How the COY11 Global Youth Coalition Self-Organised to Make an Impact at COP21

Alanna from Loomio met Manon Piazza at POC21, where we were occupying a disused castle outside Paris, prototyping a sustainable society and hacking on open source hardware.

______________________________

The Conference of Youth runs in parallel to the United Nations climate change conferences, most recently for the 11th time as COY11 during COP21 in Paris. It’s a large scale coordination involving thousands of people, run by volunteers using collaborative organising principles.

Manon Piazza is passionate about bringing the voices of young people into the conversation about climate change. She was part of a large group of volunteers that organised the youth conference.

The critical issue of a generation – and no time for meetings.

Continue reading How the COY11 Global Youth Coalition Self-Organised to Make an Impact at COP21

9 ways to use a Loomio proposal to turn a conversation into action

If you’ve read the introductory guide to making great decisions with Loomio, you’re ready to learn about some of the creative ways you can use proposals.

Check out the photo gallery for examples for all 9 ways:

1. Consensus Finder

Thread: Ethical Lending. Proposal: We should approve this application for funding. Clara’s funding application (#217) meets all our requirements. Let’s support her great project.

If the comments seem to point to general agreement, test this assumption by proposing agreement explicitly. If you don’t reach consensus immediately, you’ll often find that a better solution is self-evident, once people have had a chance to clearly state their objections.

2. Uncover the Controversy

Thread: Bike parking. Proposal: Let’s create a bike park beside the front desk. I know there’s a lot of options for what we do with all the bikes: I just want to clarify who supports or objects to this proposal

If there are two or more clear competing ideas, propose supporting one to reveal how the group feels about it, or if the split has been accurately understood. Controversial topics will almost always require a series of proposals to build shared understanding.

3. Series of Small Yes’s

Thread: Conference Opportunity. Proposal: We host the conference; dates to be confirmed Looks like it is going to take a while to figure out the logistics, but can we agree that we definitely want to host the conference?

Sometimes it helps to agree principles first, then get into agreeing the details. If the discussion reveals complexity, break down the issue into smaller parts and build shared understanding piece by piece so you can clear the parts you have agreement on and focus on the parts the group still wants to discuss.

4. Silent Majority

Thread: Quarterly report. Proposal: I’m happy with the figures presented in the quarterly report. There hasn’t been much engagement in here - just want to check that you are all happy with the figures as they are presented in the report.

If there have been few comments, or comments only from a select few people, start a proposal to draw out all the voices. You may end up confirming the status quo, but by asking for explicit input, you’ll see if agreement emerges or if engagement brings up the deeper issues.

5. Engagement Check

Thread: Members meeting on Monday. Proposal: I’ve filled in the member survey. Please make sure you fill in the member survey before our meeting on Monday

Sometimes you need everyone in your group to complete an action, such as reading a document before an important meeting. You can start an Engagement Check proposal as a way to remind people to complete the required action within a defined time period.

6. Polarising Minority

Thread: Employment policy. Proposal: Share our pay rates publicly. I know this feels a bit radical, but it is a proactive way for us to live our values of transparency.

Raise a proposal in line with what the majority seem to agree with, and reveal the fact that disagreeing parties are in the minority. Give them a chance to clearly state their objections, or to realise their position is not supported by others and reconsider.

7. Window of Opportunity

Thread: Design workshops. Proposal: I’m happy with the design team using the shared space to host workshops this week. There’ll be a bit of extra noise and traffic in the space but it will be a great way for us to engage some of the new volunteers.

Have you heard the phrase, “speak now or forever hold your peace”? The Window of Opportunity proposal is a way to say, “I’m going to take this action, so if you have anything to contribute, now is the time.” It can be a way to discover important information or reservations before it’s too late, and to get a mandate to move forward.

8. Temperature Check

Thread: Concerns about private information. Proposal: Temperature Check: we should change the privacy policy. I have reservations about this, but I wonder how the group feels

Sometimes you have a hunch, but you’re not sure if it is a good idea or not. Use a Temperature Check when you want to survey opinions, rather than advocate for a particular position.

9. Any Volunteers?

Thread: Bike parking. Proposal: Call for volunteers: join the bike rack working bee. We’re getting together on Saturday morning to build a bike rack out of recycled timber. Any volunteers?

Raise a proposal which asks for people to say “yes” if they are keen to be part of making it happen. This will give you a list of people to follow up with to form a working group, which ensures the conversation will actually turn into action.

That’s 9 ways that we use Loomio proposals – if you’ve got another one to share it would be great to hear from you :)

How to Grow Distributed Leadership

For years, I’ve been throwing myself into environments where there are no bosses, but there are lots of leaders. Like coordinating volunteers at a festival in the desert, building a distributed entrepreneurial network, co-founding a cooperative tech startup, designing new processes for participation, and taking over a French castle to eco-hack the future.

Now I’m wondering, how does this kind of leadership grow? What conditions does it need to sprout? How do you nurture it? What does its development look like? How can I grow further as a leader in an organisation with no ladder to climb?

Continue reading…

No Boss Does Not Mean No Leadership

A friend got in touch with a question…

“Do you have favorite lessons from being a professional Cat Herder? I’m working in a flat, collaborative group, but I’ve realized that by jumping in to save the day all the time I am establishing myself as the point of control. People instinctively go to me instead of the group at large with ideas and problems. Now I’m worried that if I step back, our plans could fall through.”

Leadership is the force that guides people to achieve desired outcomes through coordinated effort. It doesn’t require a boss.

My friend is running into trouble precisely because she has leadership skills, but in our society we aren’t really taught how to apply leadership outside of hierarchy.

Continue reading…