OpenSlides: Free Open source Assembly Management Solution
Organizing, & Managing an assembly, or conference are not easy, they require good planning, setting up rules, agenda managing, planning up events, & activities, managing resources,& materials, and above all managing team(s). Regardless of how big or small the assembly is, per-/ post-assembly are like beehives. In the end, successful assembly is measured by successful outcome. Post-assembly requires work, however, when everything is here and there, it'll require the team to stress out the beehive to do more work.
It's not a simple checklist, however, many organizers with good management skills and strategic planning can overcome it, yet that will require experience.
OpenSlides as an Assembly Management Solution
OpenSlides is a web-based open-source software originated from Germany, aiming to provide a usable assembly management tools, that will ease the work for the assembly organizers and working teams. It is a centralized system shipped with all the tools required to ensure successful assembly, saving time, & effort for the working team(s), minimizing the human errors, ensuring smooth workflow, and providing better process and operation control.
In short, OpenSlides is a tool that provides centralized assembly management, allowing the beehive *(organizers, and team(s)) to focus on what matters, and take control of the assembly in a creative, simple, yet genius way.
OpenSlides is used by dozens of assemblies including political parties, unions, organizations, and associations. Almost all of those assemblies are located in Germany. Let's hope we will see OpenSlides trend internationally as an open-source project.
As developers we often hear the phrase: Don't repeat yourself (DRY), which I found OpenSlides's team have achieved it with their solution, as they studied, collected all repeatable tasks, & common operations they have experienced in their previous assemblies and baked them into features in OpenSlides.
OpenSlides in pre-assembly (Preparation)
In the pre-assembly or the preparation phase, OpenSlides can help setting up agenda, speakers, events, activities, motions, and documents. It provides the layout to set-up all the necessary data in one place, accessible to all team members, easy to modify, update, and run tiny simple simulations to see how it should work out.
OpenSlides during the assembly
During the assembly, OpenSlides allows managers to manage their agenda, current event, scheduled events, projects, motions, and elections (if required). It has several other management tools designed to give organizers, & panel admins better control over the events, like using a countdown to restrict speaking time, & control the projects in real-time.
OpenSlides after the Assembly (Post-assembly)
One of the most important and exhausting tasks for the team is to collect, organize, and distribute outcomes of the assembly. OpenSlides's developers have considered that as they provide different export options to all the data recorded in their system (Agenda, motions, users, speakers, & election results) in multiple formats (PDF, CSV, DOCX).
- Less paper (Paperless), more actions, better control
- Multi-lingual support
- Cross-platform: Works on Windows, Linux, & macOS
- A web-based client that works smoothly with all modern browsers (Google Chrome, Apple Safari, & Mozilla Firefox)
- Portable Windows version
- Responsive for mobile and tablet users
- Easing communication with group chat
- Multiple-projector support
- Customizable front-page
- Powerful documents support
- Full-text search
- Developer-friendly with REST-API
- User management
- Modular architecture
- Inline editor to format motion text and reason.
OpenSlides has a plugin-friendly architecture, It has already several plugins to extend its features, but it would be more useful to have a plugins repositories and an eco-system for community-based plugins.
Here is a list of the available plugins
- Voting plugin
- Protocol plugin
- Presenter plugin
- CSV export plugin
- SAML single sign-on service plugin
- OpenSlides conversations plugin
OpenSlides is released as an open-source Free/Libre software (FLOSS) under MIT license.
OpenSlides is a great software, needless to say, it is setting the assembly managing software standards. It is battle-tested with real-life organization, unions, & political parties in Germany. Though, It requires more visibility to enrich its community with international support. I believe the access to the international market should start from Open source communities around the world, they can help to push it forward to be used by local organizations in many countries.
OpenSlides as an open-source project can provide good service-based business for some open source community developers in several countries, let us hope we can witness this shortly. We encourage you to have a look at it, install it, try it, and support it as an open-source project.