How OSDI Uses Lucid for More Organized Committee Meetings and Tighter Access Control

Oct 19, 2015 by Tricia Harris in case studies (4 minute read)

OSDI: Open Supporter Data Interface logo

The Open Supporter Data Interface (OSDI) seeks to define a common application programming interface (API) for moving data between different systems in the progressive left cause-based, campaign and non-profit marketplace.

The OSDI chairman, Josh Cohen, was looking for a way to keep meetings organized, private, and efficient. After using Lucid Meetings, the group was able to keep meetings running smoothly, know who was participating at all times, and easily change presenters or share their screen when needed.

Challenges Facing OSDI - and Committees in General

Committees can have their own unique requirements - especially when it comes to meetings. Members need to share documents, capture notes and decisions, track attendance and often vote on outcomes.

The size of a committee can sometimes be large, which can make for a cumbersome and lengthy discussion.

OSDI used to hold committee meetings where participants were eager to give input, yet didn’t exactly know when it was their turn to do so.

This sometimes led to inefficiencies and frustration, where committee members were either being talked over by one another or not being heard at all.

Josh attended a committee meeting for a different organization that used Lucid, and noticed the speakers were taking turns and speaking in an orderly fashion. This encouraged him to learn more about the Lucid Meetings platform.

OSDI was using for all their meetings, but there was no way to tell who was joining a meeting. It wasn’t possible to determine who was dialed into the telephone conference and identities in the web screen share side weren’t authenticated.

Due to the private and political nature of their meetings, not knowing who may have acquired the dial in information to a meeting can lead to security concerns.

Lastly, making sure that all welcome attendees can access a meeting is a challenge for any facilitator - even when you’ve done your best to make sure attendees have all of the information.

How OSDI Uses Lucid To Support Committee Meetings

OSDI started using Lucid to make sure their committee meetings were organized and participants each had a chance to contribute.

Manage the Discussion in a Large Group

Josh Cohen, OSDI Chairman
OSDI Committee Chairman Josh Cohen

Using the Speaker Queue feature, Josh can now see when users request to speak by virtually “raising their hand", make sure they are in an orderly queue, give them the floor to speak, and even mute participants with distracting background noise.

“We were using, but our meetings grew. Basically we had people talking over each other, and needed a way to manage both a speaker queue and attendance."

Know Who Attends Each Meeting

Attendance at meetings can be particularly important when an organization is discussing private information. Since many meeting tools don’t track attendance and only give dial in information with a generic access code, anyone who obtains the meeting information can join the meeting.

Because Lucid connects a web login and a dial in code to a specific person, OSDI can see exactly who joins the meeting at any given time - both via phone and the web.

Knowing that the participants who are joining include only those who were invited can relieve security concerns. Once the meeting is over, they automatically get a permanent record of who attended, when they joined, and how long they stayed in each meeting.

"We are a committee and private, and politically it is important to know who is present. If someone found our dial-in number and showed up, that would present a security issue.

I can see a caller and know who it is in Lucid, and doesn't allow me to do that. If needed, I can eject an unwelcome attendee right from the web interface. The visual noise indicator allows me to see who has background noise and mute them."

Easily Take Turns Screensharing

OSDI allows multiple people to present and show their screen at a meeting. The team works on projects in GitHub. The facilitator can easily make anyone else a presenter on the spot, allowing them to quickly take turns sharing different parts of the project.

As a committee, it’s important to quickly make decisions. OSDI uses the Lucid motions tool for this purpose.

Add People to the Meeting on the Fly

Josh noticed that some attendees were trying to get access meetings at the same time he was trying to start the discussion, sending him email and pinging him on instant messaging, which he couldn’t see while running the meeting at the same time.

He brought this to the attention of John Keith, the CEO of Lucid Meetings, who worked with Josh to design a new public meeting link feature that made it easy for members to request access to a meeting at the last minute.

While facilitating, Josh can now see who is requesting access directly in the Lucid meeting and easily let them in with the click of a button.

"Whenever there is a bug or problem, Lucid is very responsive. I needed a way to get members into meetings fast, and Lucid’s public link feature solved this issue."


Committee meetings are how decisions get made and work gets done for many political, non-profit and standards organizations.

When organizing a group that doesn’t normally work together on a daily basis, facilitators face many challenges: making sure everyone can access the meeting, coordinating presenters, allowing everyone the chance to speak, tracking attendance and recording decisions.

By using Lucid, OSDI is able to get everyone into the meeting quickly, switch presenters easily, use a speaker queue for an orderly discussion, know who is joining their meetings and alleviate privacy concerns.



Download the PDF version of this case study to share with your committee chairs.

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