I often get way too disenchanted and glum about the potential of social action to effect actual positive change, even though there are countless historic and recent examples in which this has been very much the case. Most often this has involved some form of generative collective dialogue, whether virtual or face to face, or some mixture of both. And there is a vital instance close to home here in Wellington of a collective attempt to address the notion of facilitating social action and related decision-making processes via the ongoing development of a free open source software program called Loomio. The team behind Loomio is a highly engaged and ambitious bunch currently nearing the end of a crowdfunding campaign prior to the launch of Loomio 1.0. The Beta version of the software has already been in use successfully across the globe by a variety of different types of organizations. Thereby, the technological capabilities of a versatile social networking-style interface meet the idealistic, spirited ethos reminiscent of the Occupy movement. Here are a few videos from Loomio’s informative website: a TEDx talk by Loomio founding member Ben Knight, a short overview on how it works, and a clip discussing the crowdfunding campaign, which is has only TWO MORE DAYS to go and is getting very close to achieving their $100,000 goal but may not without your help! Again, for more info and to support their efforts check out: https://www.loomio.org/

I'm feeling pretty punchy and irreverent, due to teaching, prep, and the decompression from both those previous activities and it's only mid-week! Yikes! In this state I was especially glad to run across an interview with my local art critical colleague (and writer of terrific fiction as well) Megan Dunn in Victoria University's Salient magazine. That is to say, Megan is a superlative conversationalist, witty, irreverent and engaging and this totally comes across in this short piece, stay tuned for such fascinating anecdotes as Kylie Minogue confronting a Jake and Dinos Chapman work...but lest I spoil the fun...also I will take this opportunity to call attention to Megan's wonderful piece Submerging Artist, posted last year. Like an increasing number of wordsmiths, Megan also has an informative Twitter feed. Man, I've gotta get with the program.