Support a collaborative decision making tool that is user-friendly and not majority-rules polling
Richard Fobes is one of Democracy Chronicles’ original writers who really helped us connect with people in the early days of our website when we had few contacts. Through him we met many of our longtime writers like Michael Ossipoff and augustin who are interested in the ongoing international scientific study of election methods and their application in government, business, and anywhere else a decision must be made.
Recently Richard wrote me to tell me about another group’s new crowdfunding campaign out of New Zealand called Loomio that is related to Richard’s work on the VoteFair Negotiation Tool, that can be found on VoteFair’s website. Apparently, the Loomio crowdfunding is going very well and they are close to reaching their goal as of this post. A brief description of the Loomio project follows the video below. | Democracy, elections, and voting at Democracy Chronicles
From the Loomio crowdfunding campaign:
Loomio is a user-friendly tool for collaborative decision-making: not majority-rules polling, but actually coming up with solutions that work for everyone. We’re a small team in New Zealand, and we’ve built a prototype that people are already doing great things with. Now we’re crowdfunding so we can build the real thing: a new tool for truly inclusive decision-making. Read this blog post for a more in-depth look at the process of making a decision with Loomio 1.0.
LOOMIO 1.0 WILL BE:
- mobile, so it works across all devices
- safe, so you can control your own data and privacy
- accessible, so people of all abilities can participate
- free and open-source software, licensed under AGPL3
- as easy to use as email
We’re a small team of open-source developers, facilitators and activists in New Zealand, organised as a social tech cooperative. We’ve got the skills we need and we’ve already delivered a lot with very little. We’re supported by a social impact tech hub called Enspiral.
After 18 months of learning from the thousands of people using our prototype, we know exactly what an inclusive tool for group decision-making needs to be. We’re passionate about user-centred design and we’re expert in group process, with decades of facilitation experience on the team.
WHAT IS THIS CAMPAIGN GOING TO FUND?
We’ve taken everything we’ve learnt from the thousands of users of the beta prototype, and designed a whole new platform that will make online decision-making truly accessible. $100k will fund the core team to dedicate all of their time to get a first release out before the end of this year. Our first milestone for a stable release in November 2014. This will include:
- A fully-featured platform for decentralised decision-making: organic group formation, decision-first architecture, full email integration.
- A lightweight mobile interface built in AngularJS and HTML5.
- A Docker file for easy local installations.
- Compatibility with screen-readers and other assistive technologies.
- Multi-lingual support (we support 17 languages so far, with more on the way)
THE BIGGER VISION
If we raise $252,108, Callaghan Innovation (a large innovation funder in New Zealand) has approved a matched-funding grant, which means every $1 we raise is multiplied by 1.4x. This will enable us to work on:
- decentralized/federated architecture
- an SMS-based decision-making framework for parts of the world where mobile internet is out of reach
- a plug-in architecture to enable an ecosystem of open-source plug-ins for different discussion and decision-making protocols that will scale to much larger groups
- an API for interoperability with other online tools
HOW IS THIS PROJECT GOING TO SUSTAIN ITSELF AFTER THE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN?
We sell services to organisations, so we can afford to give away the tool to groups without a budget. Our services include software customisation and collaboration expertise. You can find out more on our services page.
For the duration of this crowdfunding campaign, we’re offering a 50% discount on our most popular service package “Kickstart Collaboration”, which includes a customised online home for your organisation, and consulting support to ensure your group succeeds with this new tool. You can purchase this package by selecting the $5000 reward option on the right hand column of this page.