Participation at Whistler

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From June 23rd to 27th, the Participation Team spent an exhilarating and exhausting work week in Whistler sharing and learning about Participation with Mozillians from all over the world.

During this week we exceeded even our own expectations for  team success. We raised the profile of our team’s diverse expertise as an asset to the goals of every team across Mozilla.  We started a number of conversations about participation across the organization, and ultimately strengthened our own strategy as a team.

Here’s an overview of what we accomplished, as well as what and where we’ll be headed next.

What We Did

Since the Participation Team is new to Mozilla this was our first opportunity to present our goals, ideas, and objectives to the organization and to show other functional areas how we could help them tackle their problems or capture opportunities related to participation. We ended up scheduling sessions with 25 teams across just two days.

We included volunteers, who acted as co-facilitators for the sessions, and some external experts who helped us to shape what Participation means for Mozilla, and provide value to the functional teams we consulted with.Throughout the week the Reps Council played a key role, acting as an extension of the Participation Team in discussions around the definition of participation and how we better integrate contributors into projects in the future.

Other accomplishments from the week included:

  1. We built our team team’s trust and relationships (staff and volunteers) and improved our capacity for working together in an integrated and flexible way.
  2. We built and learned a new human centered design framework and applied it with groups across the organization. This is an asset that we can bring to communities and teams across the organization, and use ourselves moving forward.
  3. We moved forward our participation strategy and structures by articulating and co-creating a forward thinking vision and strategy for 18-months from now, which we will share in the near future. We surfaced important issues and conversations.
  4. We rocked a main-stage presentations, showcasing three initiatives that reinforced participation as a strategic advantage to Mozilla: Chota Fennec in India, Marketpulse and Advocacy which you’ll be able to watch on AirMozilla in a few weeks.

Overall, we grew excitement for a fresh approach to participation across Mozilla. There is a buzz about participation now!

Where We Want To Go

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The outcome of the Workweek is that we still need to walk a long path. There’s still many challenges and things to do, and we expect to see a lot of progress and development in this year, and the following. Our proposals to move things forward are:

  1. We will build and continue to develop the  shared vision of success for participation that we started working on during Whistler.
  2. Based on this vision we will identify key priorities for the team and select projects to contribute to to help drive us towards our goals.
  3. We will continue to work with ongoing projects and develop new projects around the organization goals.
  4. We will work closely with volunteer leaders to create a highly effective set of regional/local communities
  5. We will help all interested staff teams create a plan around engaging, sustaining and recruiting volunteers.
  6. We will work to develop a culture of excitement and energy around the strategic impact only possible by empowering volunteer contributors.
  7. We will embed volunteer leadership opportunities and training in all that we do.

You can follow along with the projects we’ll be working on in the coming months on GitHub here and we’ll also be posting regularly on this blog and from our new Twitter account @MozParticipate.

You can also see more pictures from Whistler on Flickr here.

The Participation Team would also like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers, Reps, staff, and experts who joined us this week. We couldn’t have accomplished any of this without you!