How we use Loomio

Since November 2016, the Ziji Collective has been playing with an online voting tool called Loomio to make decisions together. We’ve committed to abiding by any decisions that we agree to there.

If you haven’t signed up for our Loomio group yet, you can do so by clicking here.

Why we’re using Loomio

I’m excited about this process because it allows anyone to start a thread or put forward a proposal—there’s no “leader” who decides what we decide. So if there are any burning questions that you want feedback or insight into from your Ziji peers around the world, this will be the central place for those discussions to happen. Loomio is a simple and easy-to-use tool that lets you weigh in and vote on your own schedule—no more endless email chains!

The Ziji Ratification Process

For those of you who are curious exactly how this works, here are some more details. In Loomio, a decision has three phases:

1) Feedback Thread

First, someone starts a conversation about a topic that will require some decision-making. Anyone can start a feedback thread! To do so, just click on the “Start a New Thread” button on the Ziji Collective loomio homepage. A good way to start a thread is to ask open questions, or explain the situation that requires a decision. It is also helpful to provide relevant background information at the start of a thread.

People can then respond to the thread by adding comments, which appear below the opening post. You can “like” any comment to state that you agree with its contents.

2) Proposal

Once someone decides that a concrete decision is ready to be made, the next step is to start a proposal. To do this, click on the green button with the little spaceship icon on the right-hand side of the screen that states, “Start a Proposal.” Whoever starts the proposal needs to clearly state the nature of the decision to be made, and what the outcome of ratification of the proposal would be. The proposal also needs a closing date—a time at which voting on the proposal ends. The text of the proposal cannot be edited once the proposal is created; however, the closing time can be adjusted while the proposal is open.

3) Ratification

Once a proposal is created, the process of ratifying it begins. Every person can weigh in with a vote of “agree” (green), “abstain” (amber), “disagree” (red), or “block” (dark red). Everyone is encouraged to leave a short comment explaining your position; however, this is not required. If a proposal receives the minimum threshold required for ratification, then the group accepts an obligation to enact the proposed outcome. These are the conditions for ratification:

a. The proposal meets a quorum (minimum threshold) of 50% of ZC Loomio users active in the previous three months. This includes votes of all four types. (This month, the quorum is 10.)

b. Fewer than two people cast “Block” votes. In other words, it takes two “Block” votes to block a proposal.

c. The number of “Yes” votes is at least double the number of “No” votes plus the number of “Block” votes. In other words, those in favor of the proposal need to be at least double those who oppose it.

Here are some example scenarios, based on a pool of 20 active users (quorum of 10):

6 yes, 3 no, 1 abstain, 0 block: proposal is implemented
12 yes, 1 no, 1 abstain, 1 block: proposal is implemented
4 yes, 2 no, 5 abstain, 0 block : proposal is implemented
7 yes, 3 no, 1 abstain, 1 block: proposal not implemented (those in favor not double those opposed)
7 yes, 1 no, 1 abstain: proposal not implemented (no quorum)
12 yes, 1 no, 1 abstain, 2 block: proposal not implemented (2 blocks)

If a proposal does not meet these requirements for ratification before the proposal closes, nothing happens. The person who started the proposal can make changes and submit a new proposal if they would like.

4) Outcome

If the proposal meets the requirements for ratification, the group is responsible for ensuring that the stated outcome is implemented. When that has happened, someone will post a short paragraph to confirm the outcome in the “Outcome” section of the proposal.

Examples of Loomio Threads and Proposals

Ziji Collective statement on Travel Ban

Ziji Collective mission statement

When will the next Ziji Summit happen?

Ziji Collective as an official organization