Collaboration at core of worker-owned co-op

Collaboration at core of worker-owned co-op

Loomio is a Kiwi-American worker-owned co-operative, established with social impact and business mission in mind. True to its core co-operative ethos, the open source software it develops is focused on improving collaboration and decision-making.

Collaboration in action

Collaborators: the 11 Loomio co-owners

The Loomio story began in 2011, when activists from Occupy Wall Street and social entrepreneurs from the Enspiral Network realised they needed to solve the same problem: fast, inclusive, effective decision-making without meetings.

And the following year, 2012, the proudly 100% staff-owned co-operative Loomio was formed in New Zealand to develop open source software, says California-born, Alanna Krause, one of nine Loomio co-owners based in NZ’s creative capital, Wellington (the other two are in the USA).

We released a prototype (Loomio Beta) and found that many others around the world needed the same solution,” Alanna says.

“In 2013, we ran a successful international crowdfunding campaign enabling us to work on a new version of the software, Loomio 1.0, which we released the following year. In 2015, we raised ethical capital, and are working to bring collaborative decision-making to millions more people around the world.”

The trans-Pacific co-op entrepreneur says Loomio is an online tool that enables greater transparency, easy documentation, and clear actionable outcomes – with fewer meetings and emails.

“Loomio is used by thousands of groups around the world, including governments, business, and community organisations. It’s been translated into over 30 languages. You can log in on your computer, tablet, or smartphone,” she says.

While the basic version of Loomio is free to sign up for and use, upgraded plans are available with premium features at a cost.

“We also provide consulting and training services for organisations that want help evolving their culture to be more participatory. Our Co-operative Handbook transparently documents all our policies and processes as a resource to other organisations who want to operate co-operatively,” says Alanna.

Alanna Krause and Loomio colleagues feature in A New Economy, a documentary film which has its NZ première in Wellington on December 2nd 2016.

  • Find out where you can buy tickets to the premiere here.


Cooperative Business NZ Chief Executive Craig Presland encourages Members to check out the film trailer online and get along to the première in the capital on December 2nd.

“We are very pleased to have Loomio on board with us as our first 100% worker-owned co-operative. This organisation is about to celebrate its fifth birthday and its evolution globally has been impressive – a good example of kiwi entrepreneurial spirit succeeding on the world stage.

The best way to learn about Loomio is to try it yourself. If your management team and/or board needs to make decisions together without physically attending meetings, then I encourage you to sign up and give it a try,” Craig says.