Loomio is a decision making tool for collaborative organizations.
It enables you to bring people together, have discussions, make proposals and achieve clear outcomes.
It's a discussion forum with a set of tools to allow you to facilitate a discussion towards an outcome, for example proposal and polls.
Loomio is often used for:
Boards and Governance to prepare for meetings, build and agree agenda, post board papers, vote on resolutions, approve minutes and make decisions between meetings.
Member organizations to share information and raise topics, seek input and advice, enable members to participate in important decisions, and include more members in a General Assembly.
Self-organizing teams to work together in structured decision making processes, share info and ideas, progress discussions, make proposals and achieve better outcomes.
Loomio builds a living record of your organization; the decisions made, who was involved and the discussion they had together leading to the decision.
Loomio is a simple structure of three main elements; Group, Thread and Decisions.
A Loomio group is a safe place for your organization to meet, discuss and make decisions about work.
Your group home page is the first place you see when you arrive. It contains a title, an image to represent the group, and some text to introduce the group: its purpose, the work you will do, and any other information to help group members participate.
Threads are where you share information, discuss, and make decisions.
Threads are used for many purposes; to prepare for a meeting, discuss matters, share reports, ask questions, vote on proposals, approve actions, and so on. It's also where your group can develop a shared understanding of important issues.
Threads keep everything about a topic in one place. Over time you’ll create a useful archive of your organization’s discussions and decisions.
One of the best things about Loomio is its range of tools to progress a discussion to an outcome. Each tool has a slightly different purpose. The most common one is a proposal.
A proposal is for converting a discussion into a clear, practical outcome. Someone suggests a course of action and invites everyone to respond. For example, you might ask group members to either:
- abstain or
Importantly, as well as selecting a response, everyone can give a reason why they have voted this way. You can all see where everyone else stands on the matter, and why. And then, if you want, you can change your response.
A proposal, and associated discussion, creates its own record of how the decision came about.
A proposal is good for suggesting a particular path and gauging who wants to take it. But sometimes you might want group members to make a different kind of choice.
Loomio offers a range of other poll tools:
- Poll: to ask people which option/s they approve
- Check: think of it as asking everyone to (please) 'raise your hand if you…'
- Time poll: to find the best time for the group to do something
- Score poll: to ask people to express the strength of their preference for each option, on a numerical scale
- Dot vote: to ask people to express the strength of their preferences, with a constraint—a fixed number of ‘dots’ to allocate–you can put all your dots in one place or spread them out
- Ranked choice: to rank a subset of options—useful for elections when there are many candidates and few seats
The best way to learn what to use when is to have a go. Use your own group or start a demo group.