Inspired by our grassroots leaders

Last weekend, I had the good fortune to attend our grassroots Leadership Summit in Singapore: a hands on learning and planning event for leaders in Mozilla’s core contributor community.


We’ve been doing these sorts of learning / planning / doing events with our broader community of allies for years now: they are at the core of the Mozilla Leadership Network we’re rolling out this year. It was inspiring to see the participation team and core contributor community dive in and use a similar approach.

I left Singapore feeling inspired and hopeful — both for the web and for participation at Mozilla. Here is an email I sent to everyone who participated in the Summit explaining why:

As I flew over the Pacific on Monday night, I felt an incredible sense of inspiration and hope for the future of the web — and the future of Mozilla. I have all of you to thank for that. So, thank you.

This past weekend’s Leadership Summit in Singapore marked a real milestone: it was Mozilla’s first real attempt at an event consciously designed to help our core contributor community (that’s you!) develop important skills like planning and dig into critical projects in areas like connected devices and campus outreach all at the same time. This may not seem like a big deal. But it is.

For Mozilla to succeed, *all of us* need to get better at what we do. We need to reach and strive. The parts of the Summit focused on personality types, planning and building good open source communities were all meant to serve as fuel for this: giving us a chance to hone skills we need.

Actually getting better comes by using these skills to *do* things. The campus campaign and connected devices tracks at the Summit were designed to make this possible: to get us all working on concrete projects while applying the skills we were learning in other sessions. The idea was to get important work done while also getting better. We did that. You did that.

Of course, it’s the work and the impact we have in the world that matter most. We urgently need to explore what the web — and our values — can mean in the coming era of the internet of things. The projects you designed in the connected devices track are a good step in this direction. We also need to grow our community and get more young people involved in our work. The plans you made for local campus campaigns focused on privacy will help us do this. This is important work. And, by doing it the way we did it, we’ve collectively teed it up to succeed.

I’m saying all this partly out of admiration and gratitude.  But I’m also trying to highlight the underlying importance of what happened this past weekend: we started using a new approach to participation and leadership development. It’s an approach that I’d like to see us use even more both with our core participation leaders (again, that’s you!) and with our Mozilla Leadership Network (our broader network of friends and allies). By participating so fully and enthusiastically in Singapore, you helped us take a big step towards developing this approach.

As I said in my opening talk: this is a critical time for the web and for Mozilla. We need to simultaneously figure out what technologies and products will bring our values into the future and we need to show the public and governments just how important those values are. We can only succeed by getting better at working together — and by growing our community around the world. This past weekend, you all made a very important step in this direction. Again, thank you.

I’m looking forward to all the work and exploration we have ahead. Onwards!

As I said in my message, the Singapore Leadership Summit is a milestone. We’ve been working to recast and rebuild our participation team for about a year now. This past weekend I saw that investment paying off: we have a team teed up to grow and support our contributor community from around the world. Nicely done! Good things ahead.

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