Before the holidays, the Mozilla Foundation team spent a bunch of time thinking through the kind of programs we might work on in 2009. The idea was to come up with a short list of of activities that would a) contribute to Mozilla’s overall goals and b) really leverage the skills of our small team.
- Teaching open source: Help people learn about Mozilla’s open, participatory and distributed way of working. This could include efforts to leverage and scale the Seneca model, with students participating directly in Mozilla development.
- Mozilla Research: Solve big open web tech and user problems that no one else will tackle. Mozilla’s main role would be framing the right research questions, providing infrastructure and building networks of researchers.
- Movement building: Engage millions of people as promoters the open web, providing concrete ways to participate in projects like Mozilla even if they don’t have technical skills.
- Accessibility: Drive web accessibility for people with disabilities into the mainstream of web development, and continue to support open source accessibility projects that have potential to really scale.
- Community Support: Provide support for smaller Mozilla, open source and free culture projects, helping them to build community and sustainability.
In some ways, this list is meant as a strawman for programs section of the Mozilla Foundation Vision and Roadmap document we’ll produce later this year. We want to see what people think about these ideas, find out who is interested in working on them and work out the details of what they might look like in action. So, certainly, take this blog posting as a call for your ideas on all these fronts.
The other goal here is to give us some ideas to experiment with — programs we can actually start trying out in the real world as a way to feedback into our roadmap process. After discussion in the team and with the board, we decided that we should lean even more heavily into this side of things. We’re only going to know what belongs in the roadmap once we try some things.
With this in mind, we’ve moved into much more detailed thinking on the most promising and advanced ideas above. Education is first on the list, with both plans and action already emerging. I’ll be posting about this later in the week. We’re also working on the Mozilla Research and ‘consumer movement’ ideas. These will take a bit more time to develop.
Comments and expressions of interest on this stuff encouraged. This is all a work in progress.