Social Startups

Loomio, An Open Source Tool That’s Helping People Make Better Decisions Together

You know a product is truly desired when thousands of people flock to use it even before its launched. This is what happened with Loomio. A simple online tool for collaborative decision making, Loomio has thousands of people using it worldwide.  And the product is still in prototype that people are already doing great things with. Developed by a small team of open-source developers, facilitators and activists from New Zealand, Loomio was born out of a need felt by the Occupy Protesters. The team is currently crowdfunding so they can get more resources to build the real thing – Loomio 1.0​

In 2011 when the Occupy movement was spreading world over, the Occupy protestors in New Zealand faced a challenge. They were not able to arrive at decisions that was reflective of the group. Few loud voices dominated the discussions while the majority were left out. Seeking to find a solution, the protesters approached Enspiral, a network of purpose driven businesses in Wellington, New Zealand. In the absence of good online decision making tools in the market, the two teamed up to build their own. Looimo was instantly put to use within Enspiral with every new feature being tested right away with real world users. The result was a powerful tool that’s easy to use and effective in getting everyone’s voice heard in the group.

Though still a prototype, Loomio already has over 10,000 users from 30 different countries. It’s been translated in 15 languages and is being used by diverse groups ranging from businesses, government agencies, community groups, political movements, nonprofits and more. Few notable ones being Wikimedia the folks that run Wikipedia , StrikeDebt the group that came out of Occupy Wall Street and have bailed out $15 million of consumer medical debt and counting, Mosireen the citizen journalist collective that documented the recent Egyptian revolution, Pirate Parties from India to Brazil to Spain, and Diaspora the crowd-funded, open-source Facebook alternative.

The company behind Loomio is quite uniquely registered as a tech cooperative and is currently crowdfunding to develop Loomio 1.0. The team wants to keep the project open source and make the tool available for free. They believe that by crowdfunding the campaign as against seeking Venture Capital they’ll be able to build a tool that truly serves and protects the need of the community.

We are building public infrastructure for decision-making online, and we think it needs to be open-source and held in the commons – Alanna Krause, Co-op Board Member and Director Loomio.

Be a part of this transformative project and see your name etched into world changing code go fund the Loomio campaign.

Filed under: Social Startups


Deepa Chaudhary

I have extensively worked at grass-roots from working in the slums of Mumbai to being on the frontline of numerous disaster relief efforts. I'm passionate about social entrepreneurship and I love discovering and writing about new trends in the social good space.