Looking Back on 2016

As the year draws to a close, it’s that time again… time to reflect on what 2016 brought us and what we’ve accomplished this year at the Science Lab. This past year, we’ve evolved quite a bit, developing new prototypes and curricula, welcoming our second class of Mozilla Fellows, and growing our initiatives to support open science project development and sustain those communities through training, fellowships, and mentorship opportunities.

Building Communities of Practice

Network Pulse website

Beautiful Network Pulse app to track projects’ progress post-Mozfest

Technologies and Prototyping

  • The collection of open source projects being led by our community members has expanded. You can read about them, as well as other activities from across the Mozilla network on the new Mozilla Network Pulse website. Explore and contribute to these ground-breaking projects on our Projects page.
  • In June, our third annual Global Sprint brought in even more community members, more host sites, and more than doubled activity on the projects submitted for collaboration over past years. We’re working with programs across the Foundation to expand the Sprint even further for 2017.

Education and Skills Training

  • In February, we held our first-ever Working Open Workshop, a 2-day in person crash course in open science best practices. We gathered 30 researchers in Berlin to talk, work, and learn together about open source project development, growing communities of contributors, best practices for collaboration, open licensing, data management, and more.MozWow Engagement Tweet
  • We took the materials developed for WOW and created a comprehensive online Open Leadership Training Series, available to our communities and to emerging leaders across the Mozilla network. We also created and launched a leadership 12-week mentorship program, headed by our fantastic Mozilla Developer Engagement Manager Abby Cabunoc Mayes. To sign up for the upcoming session of this program, sign up here.
  • We received many fantastic contributions by community members to our Open Data Training program at the 2016 Global Sprint and we released the first version of the Open Data Primers and Instructor Guides into the wild this fall.  We’ve been testing the Primers and Guides at a number of events. You are welcome to contribute to this project and expect much more Open Data Training goodness in 2017.

By the Numbers

  • Fellows 2016 – 4 fellows graduated and became alumni in 2015, 4 new Science fellows onboarded with 8 Open Web Fellows in 2016
  • Study Groups – 267 Study Group Project forks in over 20 countries at 71 sites, these groups have hosted over over 213 events with 46 open lesson plans in the past year
  • Open Leaders – 30 open leaders trained in our 2016 WOW-Berlin, 25 of those mentored in our Open Leadership Cohort leading up to the global sprint, we are planning on having 45 mentors go on to mentor over 100 MozOpenLeader mentees in 2017
  • Global Sprint (June 2016) – 36 sites globally hacking on 54 sponsored projects across 4 themes in #openscience
  • Mozilla Festival (October 2016) – 64 sessions on the #OpenScience track, hosted on the 9th floor of Mozfest with over 96 community members, 4 space wranglers and 8 fellows coordinating sessions
  • Social Stats – 9,823 Twitter followers, 80 active contributors on Github, 318 newsletter subscribers
  • Community Calls – 3 semi-monthly call series (Study Group, Community, Project) with over 278 participants, 41 guest speakers, and 16 themes discussed, debated and shared

Going forward

This year, we invested even more time in 1-on-1 mentorship for project and Study Group leads, to help them build more community and expand their contributorship base. This included structured leadership training in the lead up to the Global Sprint and MozFest, as well as the Working Open Workshop and Fellows onboarding in Berlin and Toronto respectively. What we learned is that guided mentorship and project management training for open project maintenance is a continuous need across  disciplines, but so is peer-to-peer networking and cohort-based guidance.  In 2017, we’ll branch out from training to work toward enabling trainers in our communities and partner institutions, supporting continued mentorship efforts and designing multiple online and in-person workshop experiences to evolve what “working open” means in open research.

These are just the highlights.  For more, look for the 2016 Year End Report to come out in early January.  You can browse all our past reports in our Reports repository.

With gratitude for your participation in years past and anticipation for what will happen in the new year, happy holidays to all of you from all of us!