Community Coordinator role

The Reps program is evolving in order to be aligned with Mozilla’s changes on how we perceive communities. Part of those changes is the Mission Driven Mozillians project, where the Reps are involved.

We (the Reps Council) believe that the Reps program has a natural place inside this project because of the experience, skills and knowledge on leading, growing and helping communities on their daily life.

Based on  the work that has been done in the Mission Driven Mozillians project (video: https://discourse.mozilla.org/t/a-quick-video-intro-to-mission-driven-mozillians/25912), two types of volunteer leadership have been identified:

  1. Volunteers who have been identified inside the community as experts based on their knowledge and skills on a specific functional area – functional area experts
  2. Volunteers who have been identified as experts based on their ability to coordinate, support and expand communities  – community coordinators.

For the first category, functional areas are able to easily identify the right fit for the position based on different knowledge criterias and years of experience in the project. However, for the second category there is not a well defined role nor a set of guidelines for volunteers that were interested in community building. As a result, historically, people from the first category took over the community coordinator roles without necessarily being properly trained for it.

For that reason, the Reps Council has worked on a definition of the community coordinator role, since we believe that the Reps are a natural fit for this role.

Suggested definition of community coordinator role:

Community coordinator volunteers are aligned and committed Mozillians who are interested in:

  1. finding and connecting new talent with Mozilla projects they are contributing to
  2. developing communities on a functional and/or local level
  3. supporting local communities and Mozilla to have an effective and decentralized environment for contribution
  4. creating collaborations with other local communities in an effort to spread Mozilla’s mission and expand Mozilla’s outreach in the open source ecosystem

 

In order to be able to describe the responsibilities of the role more, we have specified how the role is going to look like based on the agreements the Mission Driven Mozillians group has crafted.

Where people hold coordinating roles, they should be reviewed regularly

  • This creates opportunities for new, diverse leaders to emerge.
  • Ensures continuous support from the communities they serve.
  • Prevents toxic individuals from maintaining power indefinitely.
  • Allows space for individuals to receive feedback and support to better thrive in their role.

What does that mean for Community Experts?

  • All Community experts and any volunteers that hold roles within this group have fixed terms and are reviewed regularly. Established processes will help contributors give feedback and review these roles.

Responsibilities should be clearly communicated and distributed

  • Creates more opportunities for more people.
  • Avoids gatekeeping and power accumulation.
  • Reduces burnout and over reliance on an individual by sharing accountability.
  • Creates leadership pathways for new people.
  • Potentially increases diversity.
  • An emphasis on responsibility over title avoids unnecessary “authority labels”.

What does that mean for the Community Experts?

  • All Community experts have public role descriptions that articulate clearly their responsibilities and have a culture of delegating them when needed across their co-volunteers.

When people are in a coordinating role, they should abide by standards, and be accountable for fulfilling their responsibilities

  • This builds confidence and support for individuals and these roles from community members and staff.
  • Ensures that everyone has shared clarity on expectations and success.
  • Creates an environment where the CPG is applied consistently.
  • Increases the consistency in roles across the organization .

What does that mean for the Community Experts?

  • All Community experts should keep their activities public and visible to everyone and they are accountable to fulfill their responsibilities

People in coordinating roles should follow and model Mozilla’s diversity & inclusion values

 

  • Creates a culture of inclusion that invites participation from new voices.
  • Encourages the inclusion of diverse voices and groups.
  • Creates an environment where the CPG is applied consistently.
  • Enables leadership pathways that explicitly consider inclusion dimensions.

What does that mean for the Community Experts?

  • The Community experts group has processes that are optimized to be welcoming to diverse audiences, ensures that all community building activities across the organization roles are available for everyone, and has communication channels that are properly used and are accessible for everyone. All Community experts are trained on the  CPG before joining and are confident to flag any lack of accountability and/or violations of the CPG.

People with coordinating roles should be supported and recognized in a set of standard ways across Mozilla

 

  • Enables people to have equal access to training and growth opportunities regardless of what part of the organisation they contribute to.
  • Allows people to follow their passions/skills instead of just contribute for rewards.
  • Roles have clear definitions and avoid labels that create authority feeling
  • We get shared understandings of the kind of responsibilities that exist

What does that mean for the Community Experts?

  • This means that we recognize all community building activities across the organization equally, support and also provide training for skills improvement on community building and self development.

 

These are the agreements that the Reps Council is suggesting and we need your feedback!

All Reps should agree because of their role as a community coordinators in their communities, let us know what you think on Discourse!

This blogpost is part of the work that the Reps Council and Reps Peers has been doing for the last quarter. The blogpost as been authored by Daniele Scasciafratte

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