The word is out – Summit 2013 is real and starting to take shape. I know it’s true because I created my very first wiki page in its honor (thanks to #williamr). The wiki page, as they are wont to do at Mozilla, is a first iteration – a skeleton of what’s to come – 2,000 Mozillians, 3 cities, celebration, inspiration, aspiration! A work in progress certainly, a diamond in the rough.
I wanted to use my posts on this blog to chronicle Mozilla’s journey to the Summit (which will reflect to some extend I sure, my own Mozilla journey). I won’t use it to reiterate logistical content already on the wiki. I hope that works for you.
I started at Mozilla in June (16th) 2012 leaving a comfy job I’d held for 13+ years. I did not come here because of the mission or open source. I came to Mozilla because I needed change, challenge, newness. I also came because of the people I knew who already worked here; they were (still are) among my favorites. I tell you this so you have a sense of my context when Debbie (Cohen) asked me, on my 4th-month anniversary (for those not wanting to do the math, that’s November), to do some research on the Summit. She said the Steering Committee was “considering” this event again.
And so, with the help of a fearless partner (no longer with Mozilla sadly), we amassed a small group of Mozillians (5) to do exactly that. Together, we set out to ask a sampling of a bigger group of Mozillians (some paid staff, some not, some engineers, some not, some new, some not) what sort of impact a large-scale Summit could / would / should have. This event would be big and hairy and consume lots of resources so why do it?
The feedback we collected was fairly consistent – an event like the Summit they said, is needed to clarify our purpose. We need that if we are to continue to make a difference in the world. Mozilla got big and more distributed and our story isn’t as easy to tell, or see or share as it once was. A Summit would be a grounding point, a reset, and a launching pad for this work. However folks looked at it, a Summit was something we needed to do and they were certain the impact would be profound.
Fast forward to today:
Summit 2013 is real and starting to take shape. And we’re trying something different this time, blazing a new path, expanding the idea of what’s possible. We are not the Mozilla of 2010 so our Summit shouldn’t try to be either. And yes, there will be things along the way that you question – nothing great is perfect right from the start. Mostly, I hope there will be things that you love, make you happy, and that help you confirm you’re where you should be making the sort of difference you want. No matter what just remember this event is for us. It’s about our future, the future of Mozilla and the future of the open Web. It will have blemishes as well as beauty marks and will be as great as we let it.
Please join the Monday Project call [air.mozilla.org] where Mitchell Baker and Debbie Cohen will officially announce the Summit and the Summit Planning Assembly. I’ll follow up with a note to core volunteers which will require immediate action if you are interested in attending the Summit.