We outlined a vision back in October for the next phase of Mozilla Foundation’s work: fuel the movement that is building the next wave of open into the digital world.
Since then, we’ve been digging into the first layer ‘how do we do this?’ detail. As part of this process, we have asked things like: What issues do we want to focus on first? How do we connect leaders and rally citizens to build momentum? And, how does this movement building work fit into Mozilla’s overall strategy? After extensive discussion and reflection, we drafted a Mozilla Foundation 2020 Strategy document to answer these questions, which I’m posting here for comment and feedback. There is both a slide version and a long form written version.
The first piece of this strategy is to become a louder, more articulate thought leader on the rights of internet users and the health of the internet.
Concretely, that means picking the issues we care about and taking a stance. For the first phase of this movement building work, we are going to focus on:
- Online privacy: from surveillance to tracking to security, it’s eroding
- Digital inclusion: from zero rating to harassment, it’s not guaranteed
- Web literacy: the internet is growing, but web literacy isn’t
We’ll show up in these issues through everything from more frequent blog posts and opinion pieces to a new State of the Web report that we hope to release toward the end of 2016.
The other key pieces of our strategy are growing our ‘leadership network’ and creating a full scale ‘advocacy engine’ that both feed and draw from this agenda. As part of the planning process, we developed a simple strategy map to show how all pieces work together:
A. Shape the agenda. Articulate a clear, forceful agenda. Start with privacy, inclusion and literacy over next three years. Focus MoFo efforts here first. Impact: online privacy, digital inclusion and web literacy are mainstream social issues globally.
B. Connect leaders. Continue to build a leadership network to gather and network people are who are motivated by this agenda. Get them doing stuff together, generating new, concrete solutions through things like MozFest and communities of practice. Impact: more people and orgs working alongside Mozilla to shape the agenda and rally citizens.
C. Rally citizens. Build an advocacy group that will rally a global force of 10s of millions of people who take action and change how they — and their friends — use the web. Impact: people make more conscious choices, companies and governments react.
This movement building strategy is meant to complement Mozilla’s product and technology efforts. If we point roughly in the same direction, things like Firefox, our emerging work on things like open connected devices and rallying people to a common cause give us a chance to have an impact far bigger than if we did one of these things alone.
While this builds on our past work, it is worth noting that there are some important differences from the initial thinking we had earlier in the year. We started out talking about a ‘Mozilla Academy’ or ‘Mozilla Learning’. And we had universal web literacy as our top line social impact goal. Along the way, we realized that web literacy is one important area where our movement building work can impact the world — but that there are other issues where we want and need to have impact as well. The focus on a rolling agenda setting model in the current strategy reflects that realization.
It’s also worth calling out: a significant portion of this strategy is not new. In fact, the whole approach we used was to look at what’s working and where we have strengths, and then build from there. Much of what we plan to do with the Leadership Network already exists in the form of communities of practices like Hive, Open News, Science Lab and our Open Web Network. These networks become the key hubs that we build the larger network around. Similarly, we have had increasing success with advocacy and fundraising — we are now going to invest much more here to grow further. The only truly new part is the explicit agenda-setting function. Doing more here should have been obvious before, but it wasn’t. We’ve added it into the core of our strategy to both focus and draw on our leadership and advocacy work.
As you’ll see if you look at the planning documents (slides | long form), we are considering the current documents as version 0.8. That means that the broad framework is complete and fixed. The next phase will involve a) engagement with our community and partners re: how this framework can provide the most value and b) initial roll out of key parts of the plan to test our thinking by doing. Plans to do this in the first half of 2016 are detailed in the documents.
At this stage, we really want reactions to this next level of detail. What seems compelling? What doesn’t? Where are there connections to the broader movement or to other parts of Mozilla that we’re not making yet? And, most important, are there places that you want to get involved? There are many ways to offer feedback, including going to the Mozilla Leadership planning wiki and commenting on this blog.
I’m excited about this strategy, and I’m optimistic about how it can make Mozilla, our allies and the web stronger. And as we move into our next phase of engagement and doing, I’m looking forward to talking to more and more people about this work.