Loomio and the advice process
We've been using Loomio for the participatory festival and community The Borderland since December. It's generally worked well, but the decision tools have been a mixed bag for us since we don't make decisions by popular vote at the Borderland. It's not a democracy. We make decisions with something called the advice process.
In many ways, this breaks from a core assumption of Loomio. At the Borderland, decisions are almost never made "together". They are, in fact, usually made by a single self-appointed person. In theory, anyone can make any decision after consulting key stakeholders. Since Loomio is framed in such a way that decisions are made by voting, this caused some confusion. To make it work better for us, we updated the language of the proposal tool on our version of Loomio to focus on gathering advice. It's not called a decision tool anymore, and you don't vote. It's a tool to quickly gather advice, and doing so is called to start a "round of advice".
And while I was at it, I changed the "Block" option to "Discourage". Essentially, to Discourage is just to give very strong advice against a proposal. If you actually want to block it from happening in our community, you need Conflict escalation, and there is no magic button for that as the process will vary from time to time and benefits from human facilitation, first to attempt to avoid escalation.
Obviously, this a bit of a hack. There are probably ways to facilitate our process in other ways. What do you think? Could standard Loomio facilitate these processes in a good way, or is it to far away from the core ideas?