Nation-changing Decision-makers: Generation Zero

• Written by emdemh

Generation Zero is a youth-led network of climate change activists who are campaigning to make New Zealand zero carbon by 2050. They want to create conversations and actions to ensure that “today’s carbon bills get paid today”.

The core members and volunteers previously made decisions at biannual national meetings but as the network grew to over 3,000 members they needed to change how they made decisions. They decided to invite 60 of their most active members to make strategic decisions for the group in Loomio, though the invitation was open to any member to request access. Once decisions are made, they are relayed out to the wider group through social media.

Currently, they have a general Loomio group for all members and three subgroups. Participation in the sub-groups is exclusive to members of the sub-group, but the conversations and decisions are visible to all members. The key principle that all sub-groups follow is that any decision or discussion that may affect the overall group needs to be posted to the general Loomio group. They use Loomio to brainstorm, test ideas, make decisions, obtain feedback specific to projects, FYIs for future activities and to post issues/concerns that may arise. Decisions that are made on Loomio serve to inform their national campaigns and events.

Most decisions are passed on consensus once proposed, but there was one case where a third of the members disagreed with a proposal about campaign funding applications. The concerns were taken into account, and the funding application process was amended to reflect the input of the wider Generation Zero group.

“Even though we’ve ended up in the same place, I personally feel way more clarity about how it is going to be used, and I feel more confident about the areas where we need to focus our eyes more.” Chelsea Robinson, Generation Zero

Generation Zero want to make large scale change in New Zealand in the climate arena – and we’re proud that they’re coordinating such nation changing decision-making through Loomio.

Huge thanks to Katherine Despot Belmonte for doing her thesis jointly on Generation Zero and Loomio – check out her full thesis here.

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