The Participation Team was created back in January of this year with an ambitious mandate to simultaneously a) get more impact, for Mozilla’s mission and its volunteers, from core contributor participation methods we’re using today, and b) to find and develop new ways that participation can work at Mozilla.
This mandate stands on the shoulders of people and teams who lead this work around Mozilla in the past, including the Community Building Team. As a contrast with these past approaches, our team concentrates staff from around Mozilla, has a dedicated budget, and has the strong support of leadership, reporting to Mitchell Baker (the Executive Chair) and Mark Surman (CEO of the foundation).
For the first half of the year, our approach was to work with and learn from many different teams throughout Mozilla. From Dhaka to Dakar — and everywhere in between — we supported teams and volunteers around the world to increase their effectiveness. From MarketPulse to the Webmaker App launches we worked with different teams within Mozilla to test new approaches to building participation, including testing out what community education could look like. Over this time we talked with/interviewed over 150 staff around Mozilla, generated 40+ tangible participation ideas we’d want to test, and provided “design for participation” consulting sessions with 20+ teams during the Whistler all-hands.
Toward the end of July, we took stock of where we were. We established a set of themes for the rest of 2015 (and maybe beyond), are focused especially on enabling Mozilla’s Core Contributors, and I put in place a new team structure.
- Focus – We will partner with a small number of functional teams and work disproportionately with a small number of communities. We will commit to these teams and communities for longer and go deeper.
- Leaders – As a small staff team, we can magnify our impact by identifying and working with volunteer leaders around Mozilla (those Mozillians who engage and influence many more Mozillians). This will start with collecting information about our communities and having 1:1’s with 200+ Mozillians, and proceed to building more formal leadership and learning initiatives.
- Learning – We’re continuing the work of the Participation Lab, having both focused experiments and paying attention to the new approaches to participation being tested by staff and volunteer Mozillians all around the organization. The emphasis will be on synthesizing lessons about high impact participation, and helping those lessons be applied throughout Mozilla.
- Open and Effective – We’re investing in improving how we work as a team and our individual skills. A big part of this is building on the agile “heartbeat” method innovated by the foundation, powered by GitHub. Another part of this is solidifying our participation technology group and starting to play a role of aligning similar participation technologies around Mozilla.
You can see these themes reflected in our Q3 Objectives and Key Results.
The Participation Team is focused on activating, growing and increasing the effectiveness of our community of core contributors. Our modified team structure has 5 areas/groups, each with a Lead and a bottom-line accountability. You’ll note that all of these team members are staff — our aim in the coming months is to integrate core contributors into this structure, including existing leadership structures like the ReMo Council.
|Participation Partners||Global-Local Organizing||Developing Leaders||Participation Technology||Performance and Learning|
George Roter (acting)
Catalyze participation with product and functional teams to deliver and sustain impact
Grow the capacity of Mozilla’s communities to engage volunteers and have impact
Grow the capacity of Mozilla’s volunteer leaders and volunteers to have impact
Enable large scale, high impact participation at Mozilla through technology
Develop a high performing team, and drive learning and synthesize best practice through the Participation Lab
We have also established a Leadership and Strategy group accountable for:
- Making decisions on team objectives, priorities and resourcing
- Nurturing a culture of high performance through standard setting and role modelling
This is made up of Rosana Ardila, Lucy Harris, Brian King, Pierros Papadeas, William Quiviger and myself.
As always, I’m excited to hear your feedback on any of this — it is most certainly a work in progress. We also need your help:
- If you’re a staff/functional team or volunteer team trying something new with participation, please get in touch!
- If you’re a core contributor/volunteer, take a look at these volunteer tasks.
- If you have ideas on what the team’s priorities should be over the coming quarter(s), please send me an email — .
As always, feel free to reach out to any member of the team; find us on IRC at #participation; follow along with what we’re doing on the Blog and by following [@MozParticipate on Twitter](https://twitter.com/mozparticipate); have a conversation on Discourse; or follow/jump into any issues on GitHub.