Loomio: democratic decision-making tool inspired by Occupy

Here's a good writeup of Loomio, a collective decision-making tool that is raising funds to add features, stability and polish to its free/open source codebase. Loomio grew out of the experience of Occupy's attempt to create inclusive, democratic processes, and attempt to simplify the Liquid Feedback tool widely used by Pirate Parties to resolve complex policy questions.

I'm very interested in this kind of collective action tool — I wrote about a fictionalized version in Lawful Interception that allowed crowds of people to coordinate their movement without leaders or hierarchy — and Loomio seems to have a good mix of political savvy, technical knowhow, and design sense.

Someone sets up a group discussion, in which anyone can make a time-limited proposal. During the proposal period, participants set out their opinion by saying (using signals derived from Occupy techniques) that they agree, abstain, disagree, or want to completely block the proposal. Their opinion can be accompanied by a Twitter-length justification, and they can change their mind during the proposal period, as the discussion convinces people one way or the other.

Loomio is already being used by a wide variety of organizations in New Zealand and elsewhere, from groups of kids to city councils and the Wikimedia Foundation, as well as by Pirate Parties in Brazil, India and Greece.

Meet Loomio, the small-scale decision-making platform with the biggest ambitions [David Meyer/Gigaom]

(Thanks, Ben!)