Govern your Collective with Metagov Gateway

Govern your Collective with Metagov Gateway

The Metagov Gateway helps communities govern themselves by connecting decision-making tools and governance services to platforms where decisions need to be made. Over the past couple months, we’ve been working with Open Collective communities who are using the Gateway to improve their governance.

One Open Collective community, Bhumisparsha, was already using Loomio, a platform for group decision-making. They wanted to use that consensus process to approve or reject expenses on their Open Collective, but it took a lot of manual effort to move between the two platforms. Community member Alex Rodriguez reached out to us to help solve this problem.

Using the Metagov Gateway, we created a workflow for Bhumisparsha where new expenses in Open Collective automatically start a corresponding consensus process in Loomio. Once the decision is made, the Open Collective expense is automatically approved or declined based on the outcome. Links on both platforms help community members see how the process flows:

When a user submits an expense on Open Collective, Metagov leaves a comment on the expense linking to where the vote is taking place on Loomio.
When a user submits an expense on OpenCollective, a consent process is started on Loomio, linking back to the expense that triggered it. Participation in the consent process can be limited to eligible participants decided upon by the group.

Like many communities, Bhumisparsha has several sub-groups to whom decision-making authority is delegated. The workflow we created for them links these sub-groups across Open Collective and Loomio so that an expense submitted to one sub-group only needs to be approved by that sub-group and not by other members. The result is a more integrated user experience.

Another Open Collective community had a similar need to vote on expenses, but they wanted to use Slack. We created a workflow that allows community members to vote to approve an Open Collective expense in a public channel (for transparency) but which restricts the vote to established community members.

When an expense is submitted on Open Collective, a vote is started in a Slack channel. In this image, the vote is still open.
Once conditions to end the vote have been met, the app posts the results to Slack as well as taking the corresponding action on Open Collective.
If you are not eligible, you’ll get a customizable message explaining why you can’t vote.

Metagov Gateway is an extremely flexible tool that can work within and across a variety of platforms, including Open Collective, SourceCred, Slack, Discord, Discourse, and GitHub. We are in the process of adding new platforms based on the needs of the communities we’re working with.

Here’s an example of a policy we use internally at Metagov to make decisions about our own governance:

Prompt in a Slack channel to start a vote in that Slack channel. Only eligible voters (here, “core group members”) can vote.
Record of the vote carried out in response to the prompt above. This policy has a reminder for eligible voters who haven’t voted yet.

We are also looking to add new decision-making procedures and to expand the feature set to facilitate monitoring and accountability, conflict resolution, and other vital governance needs.

Right now, setting up workflows with the Gateway requires programming knowledge. But you don’t need to be a programmer to use the Gateway in your community! We’re actively looking for communities to partner with. We’ll set up workflows for you, and even build new features into the Gateway to meet your needs, in exchange for the insight you can give us into how the Gateway is impacting your community.

If you’re interested in partnering with us and using the Gateway, please reach out to us by saying hello in the #metagov channel on the public Open Collective Slack or sending me, Shauna Gordon-McKeon, a direct message, or by emailing

You don’t need to be sure about working with us—even if we don’t end up partnering, it’s always fun and illuminating to learn about communities and their governance needs. And hopefully, it will be fun and illuminating for you to learn about Metagov Gateway!