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Kiwi social innovators on track to crowdfund US$100k democracy app

11 Apr 14

Wellington-based social innovators Loomio have raised over US$74,000 through crowdfunding to develop their new collaborative decision-making app, being used around the world.

“With a week to go in our campaign, we are well on track to reach our funding target of US$100,000,” says Alanna Krause, co-founder, Loomio.

“We are thrilled with the massive response from supporters all over the world.”

The Loomio Co-operative, based at Wellington social enterprise hub Enspiral, is crowdfunding to develop Loomio 1.0, building on a prototype that is already being used by thousands of people in social movements, businesses, community sector organisations and government departments.

The diversity among the different groups using Loomio, and in the media coverage the campaign has received demonstrate the wide spectrum of people who are finding value in the tool.

“On the same day that Loomio was announced as a winner of the international MIX award for management innovation, we had a clip on RT America television about Loomio being a useful tool for protesters to co-ordinate and organise,” Krause adds.

“Loomio is a great tool for anyone who needs to make decisions with a group.

"From hundreds of student protesters organising themselves in Hungary to Wellington City Council using Loomio to collaborate with the public on an Alcohol Management Strategy for the city.”

The social enterprise has also recently partnered with Pathways, a leading New Zealand national provider of community-based mental health services, to involve their staff in decision-making within the organisation.

Loomio’s global community of supporters has been quick to respond to current political events and calls for better tools for democracy, with the tool being translated into Ukrainian and Taiwanese Mandarin since the launch of the crowdfunding campaign.

“After Taiwanese students began occupying their Parliament buildings, pushing for more government transparency around a trade deal with China, we saw Loomio translated virtually overnight by a group of 19 Taiwanese volunteers,” Krause adds.

“It feels amazing that a piece of technology developed by a group of social innovators in Wellington is now helping people around the world organise themselves to create positive social change, whether it’s in activism, business or government.

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