Testing CATALYST tools: an interview with Simon Tegg from Loomio

We interviewed Simon Tegg to understand his implication as software developer in the testing of CATALYST tools following Loomio’s successful application to the open-call.


Simon is a software developer at Loomio and Enspiral Craftwork. “At Loomio, we use online discussion and decision-making to manage the Loomio Workers Cooperative internally and engage with our community – using Loomio to build Loomio. The Loomio community has 700 people who we ask for advice on feature development and strategic direction”, he said. He further explained that these hundreds of members of Loomio community “are from all over the world and active in thousands of online communities”.


We then asked Simon about the reasons that pushed Loomio to apply to CATALYST open-call. He detailed his answer into two parts firstly explaining that “Collective intelligence is the idea that the intelligence of a group has the potential to be greater than any one group member and this was one of the main inspirations behind Loomio. He pointed out that the Loomio team experiences this every week in their own use of Loomio. “Someone will bring up a point that we had never thought of or put into words what we were thinking but didn’t know how to say and we’ll weave these points into the decision”, he said to support his statement.


Simon also mentioned that he and his community are now working on Assembl and Litemap as both tools “have taken approaches more explicitly geared towards large-scale collective intelligence. Our main interest in the CATALYST open call is as a shared learning project. We may incorporate any learnings into Loomio’s future development”, he claimed.


He continued explaining Loomio’s expectations from the use of CATALYST collective intelligence tools as “[They] know from [their] own experience that providing syntheses and ‘temperature checks’ at various stages can help groups move towards shared understanding. Assembl provides features for synthesising debates in a structured way. Loomio hopes to quantitatively test the impact these acts of facilitation has on the quality and comprehensiveness of discussion. The team is also intrigued by the impact that visualising the structure of the debate and presenting it back to participants will have as in the case of Litemap.”


Discover more interviews of CATALYST open-call winners such as the videos of Noemi Salantiu (EdgeRyders) and Carlos Rossique (AutoConsulta Ciudadana) on CATALYST YouTube channel and do not forget to subscribe for all live updates!