Tue 21 Apr 2015 1:37PM

Creating Collective Consensus Using Loomio

O Osha Public Seen by 129

On October 7th, 2011 individuals from all walks of life gathered to meet on The People's Plaza in Minneapolis, Minn. in order to exercise their right to protest and stand in solidarity with those that occupied Wall Street in New York City.

While utilizing the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve their ends, individuals engaged in practicing direct democracy in order to establish a voice for the local movement while creating actions and statements that were in line with the global Occupy Movement.

Over the course of several months local law enforcement began to crackdown on the movement and eventually put an end to the occupation in Minneapolis by selectively enforcing ordinances and creating ones that would inhibit the participants of the movement from being able to remain on public land. Since that time the Minnesota movement has struggled to continue to maintain an active form of collaborative decision-making.

In order to stir the embers of the now dampened movement, administrators of the OccupyMN Collective Network would like to propose the use of 'Loomio' to help continue the movement along its proper path.

Loomio is a decision-making software to assist groups with collaborative decision-making processes. It is a free software web application.

Loomio implements occupy hand-signals but allows groups to interpret these as they wish. Users initiate discussions and put up proposals. As discussions progress the group receives feedback on a proposal through an up-datable pie chart.

Loomio fits in line with our quest to utilize both traditional methods of life (democracy) with the technological advances of today (direct, liquid e-democracy).

This proposal would allow for our decentralized [now global] collective to come together once again to make the broad decisions needed to continue forward as a movement.

This technology also has the ability to allow any projects or committee initiatives to be incorporated within our group as a sub-group of our collective, allowing for such initiatives to be led independently of the entire collective.

Feel free to navigate around the OccupyMN Loomio Group and familiarize yourself with the features.

Once you become familiar with this tool please take a look at the proposal within this discussion and mark whether or not you support the idea to continue creating collective consensus through the use of Loomio.

Loomio emerged from the need for a scalable way to make inclusive group decisions during the Occupy movement in 2011.

During Occupy we experienced the transformative potential of collaborative decision-making, as well as its severe limitations: if people have to be in the same place at the same time to participate, it can never scale.

Since then individuals set out to build a solution to this problem: using the Internet to give people an easy way to make good decisions together, wherever they are. Thus, we have Loomio - a tool that could be utilized within the OccupyMN Movement and beyond.


Poll Created Tue 21 Apr 2015 2:09PM

A Proposal to Formally Adopt "Loomio" for Collective Decision Making Closed Sun 10 May 2015 5:04AM

This proposal would make the Loomio the primary platform of democracy within our decentralized [global] collective taking the place of the physical general assembly process.

Groups that are beneath the OccupyMN umbrella will also be able to utilize this platform through the collective by being allowed to create sub-groups, enabling individual group decision transparently within the collective as a whole.

Together we will continue to use our former agreed upon process, adapted into Loomio to allow for online participation.

The process would be adapted to Loomio as follows:

-Through discussion, individuals can work with other active participants of the OccupyMN Collective in order to create a formal proposal upon Loomio.

-Once a proposal has been made, the individuals submitting the proposal should allow the proposal to be active for AT LEAST two weeks from the date of proposal submission.

-A proposal will pass with greater than 90% consensus [disagreements and omissions do not factor negatively against proposals] during the first submission.

-If a proposal does not pass during its first submission, it can then be re-submitted once more after being reworked in order to relieve any standing blocks. The proposal can then pass with greater than 80% consensus upon its second submission.

-As per our original process, an 'Agree' would state that one is in favor of a proposal.

-An 'Abstain' would state that one is neither in favor of nor opposed to the proposal.

-A 'Disagree' would state that an individual does not favor the proposal [and should clarify such reasons within discussion] but is not 'blocking' the proposal itself.

-A 'Block' would state that an individual feels morally or ethically opposed to the proposal - indicating a firm opposition to the proposal, a break from the consensus that cannot be supported by this individual.

-In lieu of 'Temperature Checks' and other such procedures that were used during the physical general assembly process, individuals should rather discuss their thoughts, oppositions, and suggestions within the discussion section in order to help shape or reshape a proposal to achieve collective consensus.

In order to both practice utilizing Loomio and to create consensus upon this proposal and individual should submit their position in regards to our proposed move to Loomio within this discussion thread - or discuss any concerns prior to stating their position in order to reshape this proposal as one sees fit.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 75.0% 3 A DF TL
Abstain 25.0% 1 O
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 3 AJ K G

4 of 7 people have voted (57%)


Tue 21 Apr 2015 2:44PM

As the individual submitting this proposal, I would like to abstain from this vote as I'm more interested in obtaining the larger collective opinion - though I am basically all for this proposal.


Tue 21 Apr 2015 3:08PM

I've always been for the incorporation of technology as a means of facilitating collective action, though I do have concerns about accessibility of technology becoming an issue with regards to inclusiveness.


Dan Feidt
Tue 21 Apr 2015 7:44PM

this is the best option. only modification is that some time things like endorsements might need to move faster than 2 weeks because of lit printing logistics and so forth. Not a blocking concern


Tom Larsen
Sun 26 Apr 2015 5:32PM

Democratic, collective, transparent. If there are serious problems that arise, they will become obvious and a "more perfect " course will be at hand.
(250 chracters seems short)


Osha Tue 21 Apr 2015 4:07PM

Andrew - I totally understand your concerns regarding the accessibility one may have (or not have) when it comes to this technology. It is for this reason that the proposed amount of time for a proposal to be active is at least two weeks.

During that time, we'll continue prompting people to the proposal via social media (and eventually the website and through email campaigns - if this is picked up) in an attempt to create and sustain inclusiveness.

While this may be an issue for those without accessibility to the internet, our movement has essentially been functioning from the internet since its inception. If an issue is important locally or if it seems that it would require an actual discussion within a specific locale or physical space - those making the proposals should definitely take note of that and try to make such a thing happen to allow for individuals of that area or individuals that would be impacted by the decision to be included. In other words - while Loomio can help relieve the dynamics of having to dedicate resources toward creating a discussion within a physical space - it is definitely not meant to discourage anybody from making such things happen when appropriate and can be utilized in conjunction with an actual meeting.

If you have any suggestions as to how to make the process more accessible or inclusive, I'd definitely be willing to modify this proposal to allow for it!


Dan Feidt Tue 21 Apr 2015 7:43PM

Loomio is the best option for doing this kind of thing and I support it. I don't want to work with a short list of certain known trolls, and I think that some kind of known identity (not necessarily a legal name, but being known in the real world somehow) should probably be required.

A lot of people from Occupy New Zealand were involved in this and it has a better interface than the other options.


Osha Wed 22 Apr 2015 1:47PM

Dan - I understand your concerns, for certain. I think that we can deal with any trolling on an individual basis - essentially, if one cannot formulate the adequate reasoning for a 'block' or if an individual acts divisively it could be considered grounds for removal from the Loomio group itself - as we should be here to collaborate as a collective. It would be wonderful if we could verify identities or 'real life individuals' versus an 'online persona'. Unfortunately - that option does not currently exist through Loomio at the time. We'll just have to take it as they come for now, and pay close attention to newcomers to the group.


In your recent private message to me you reminded me of the Community Agreement - which would actually resolve the issue of 'trolls' or other individuals with ill intent from continuing to participate in this process, as they wouldn't be welcomed back into process if they have such a history - or if new individuals acquire that history.

I was going to reword the proposal to reflect your concerns, however I cannot edit the proposal while it is open. I'll be certain to cover both of these concerns in the outcome explanation when the proposal closes to reflect on what has been discussed here and how that will impact the proposal itself.


Tom Larsen Sun 26 Apr 2015 5:11PM

Hey folks count me in as supportive. I am still geographically distant and "travel time"(From White Bear Lake) is less and less appealing over time- so this is enabling. I intend to renew my effort to devote some of my weekly Monday War Protest time to develop an Occupy sub group. If I can get a handful interested, that
website and issue discussion aspect would be good to source to enhance connection to the larger efforts.
wish us luck.