In the process of changing the world, we need to build communities around us and collaborate with likeminded people.  For an individual, it is almost impossible to understand what’s in our food, or where it came from.  An individual can’t be expected to be stronger than the environment they’re in, but a community is that environment.

In building the various New Economy communities I’m involved with, we’re always looking for ways to keep in touch between meetings, coordinate events, and make decisions together.  The best tool I’ve found so far is Loomio, designed and built by Enspiral, themselves a cooperative organization in Wellington, when they were looking for ways to make joint decisions.  It’s open source, and super easy to set up and use.   The interface is easier to follow than some of the other tools out there, and it’s especially handy to have some of the collaborative decision-making tools built in, owing to Enspiral’s experience organizing their own community.  In the same vein, Enspiral have also created a cooperative budgeting tool, appropriately named Cobudget – which is designed to help communities like Enspiral allocate budgets together.  Enspiral have used it to fund a range of social enterprises and shared projects, so if you’re looking to cooperatively invest funds, I expect it’s a good tool for it, though I haven’t used it myself.