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!

Ahoy Australia!

Photo Cred: Contactzilla

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.

We would love to meet you too!

Ben and Viv will be presenting at the Collaboratory Melbourne Meetup on Monday night. We’d love you to meet you there!

What: From interaction to participation: driving online engagement toward real action

When: 6pm Monday, October 14th

Where: Hairy Little Sista, 240 Little Collins St, Melbourne

VIv n Ben

And – if you’re sad we’re not coming to your office or town, let us know! We’re planning on more trips to Australia over the next few months, and we want to be guided by our community. So tell us what you want.

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?

Our People: Richard D. Bartlett – Director of Autonomy

Loomio Blog- Our People - Richard -

Rich has been described as “an engineer turned artist turned activist” and is one of the original forces behind Loomio. He recently gave a talk on Internet and Identity at Victoria University, so with that juicy bit of content we thought he was the perfect and timely opener for our spotlight on our people.

Name: Richard D. Bartlett

Age: 28, which is like a granddad in internet time

Title: Director of Autonomy (Richard assures us this is true and not just made up for the interview)

Team: Richard jumps between the code and community team

Why did you get involved with Loomio?

I have a background in open source hardware (as Rich Decibels) and creative community organising (with Concerned Citizens Collective). I got swept up in the Occupy movement when it arrived in Wellington in 2011. I’ve always been pretty concerned about the so-called ‘wicked problems’ facing society: runaway climate change, resource depletion, ecosystem collapse, and the pervading sense of alienation throughout society… This Occupy experience totally transformed my view on all that – it was the first time I’ve ever really had any hope for the future. My participation in that movement lead me to believe that there’s no problem that can’t be solved by an engaged community of empathetic equals. Occupy totally changed my life, and my hope is that Loomio can make that transformative experience much more sustainable, and accessible to millions of other people.

Continue reading Our People: Richard D. Bartlett – Director of Autonomy

Celebrating our People

800_5298Loomions at our Launch Party – August 2013

We’re really passionate about celebrating our people, be it our users, our contributors, or just fabulous folk that inspire us.

So watch our blog. We are going to start a weekly showcase on inspiring users, workers, and people in general.

  • When we talk about our Loomio users we hope it will give you some ideas about how to use the tool in new and different ways.
  • When it’s focusing on our team, we hope it’ll give you a bit more background on why we do what we do.
  • And when it’s on inspiring folk, we, well, hope you’ll be inspired!

Let us know if there’s anyone you think we should interview, and we’d love if you want to share your story yourselves as well. Contact Emma or Anna for more info on