Loomio – A Open Source online tool for collaborative decision-making


Loomio emerged from the Occupy movement.  Having been developed into a social enterprise, Loomio has been linked to the more general trend of “platform cooperativism”. Loomio is a simple, user-friendly online tool for collaborative decision-making.
IP-ShareMedia provides services and consultancy in the setting and runing of Loomio. Loomio lets you host discussions online, invite the right people to participate, come to timely decisions and transform deliberation into real-world action.
IP-ShareMedia provides services and consultancy in the setting and runing of Loomio.

P2P Wiki: “New Vehicles for Group Deliberation and Governance

David Bollier:
“Activists, techies and entrepreneurs are devising some fascinating new structures for group deliberation, self-provisioning, governance and finance. Most of these are far from the mainstream, but typically the future is incubated on the periphery. That is where Enspiral originated, a New Zealand-based ( and now international ) network of 300 people that describes itself as “a non-hierarchical distributed network of entrepreneurs, professionals and hackers who are using the tools of business and technology to make positive social change.”19 Enspiral consists of many different small enterprises, social ventures and collaborative software tools.

One of its most significant projects is Loomio, an activist-driven tech cooperative that has developed an open source app for collaborative decisionmaking.

The idea for Loomio arose in 2011 when the Occupy movement in Wellington, New Zealand wanted to find a more scalable way to make inclusive group decisions. “We wanted to create a world where anyone, anywhere, can participate in decisions that affect them, and weave diverse perspectives into one, via collective wisdom,” said Benjamin Knight, cofounder of Loomio. The app provides “an online space for purpose-driven people to talk, build shared understanding and build creative courses of real-world action,” he said.

More than 80,000 people in 93 countries are now using this open-source software tool. It is being used by city councils and grocery cooperatives in India, and by Podemos in Spain and the Pirate Party in Greece. Hungarian student activists used the app to organize successfully against government funding cuts in education. The Sunflower movement in Taiwan used it to organize against secrecy in trade negotiations with the Chinese; the Taiwanese government later adopted Loomio to host collaborative decision-making with citizens.21 Instead of making decisions through unstructured meetings in which the loudest voices, demographically large groups or people with lots of discretionary time can dominate the process – effectively excluding most others – Loomio provides a network-friendly system that blends the advantages of both top-down and bottom-up decision-making.  The Enspiral network – legally a limited liability corporation but functionally and culturally a coop – has spawned another fascinating app, Co-budget. This app allows Enspiral members to use a transparent democratic process to allocate money in the group account in proportion to how much each person has contributed to it. People can solicit support from group members asking them to fund specific “buckets” of expenditures – a software project, a convening, specific business expenditures, or anything else. The system also allows the transfer of money among its members, in effect functioning as a virtual banking system and a walled garden of autonomy, transparency and flexibility.

It’s noteworthy that this system is not just about money; it’s about building social trust within the community. One counterintuitive result of the co-budgeting process, said Alanna Krause of Enspiral, “is that it stops people from volunteering too much and burning out. A budget gives you social validation and a way to match people’s interests and output to what the system can fairly support.” Many Enspiral members see their platforms as powerful engines for building an alternative economy and society. Krause envisions Enspiral platforms evolving to handle peer-to-peer credit lines, crowdlending, basic income, and alternatives to taxes and interest.

Enspiral is but one example of an innovative organizational form, the “open value network,” or OVN, that is emerging. OVNs consist of digital platforms that facilitate new modes of open, decentralized and self-organized social governance, production and livelihoods. OVNs are organized in ways that let anyone to contribute to the project, and be rewarded based on their contributions, as measured by actual contributions, experience and other collectively determined criteria.

OVNs have been described as an “operating system for a new kind of organization” and a “pilot project for the new economy.” Other fledgling OVN projects include Sensorica, the iAGRI innovation portfolio, Greener Acres, metamaps and Guerrilla Translation.” (https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/transnational-republics-commoning-reinventing-governance-through-emergent.pdf)

[Quelle: http://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Loomio ]

How technology can enable everyday democracy : Ben Knight at TEDxTeAro

Ben Knight is part of a cooperative social enterprise building Loomio, an online tool for collaborative decision-making being used by thousands of people in more than 20 countries. Ben will be picking through ideas around how technology can enable everyday democracy.