All Hands/2016 London/Volunteer Nominations

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Since our first All Hands in Portland (previously called coincidental work week), we've aimed to have highly committed and impactful volunteer Mozillians join the event, to be integrated with employees. There has been varying degrees of success in both selecting volunteers and integrating them during the week. Based on surveys from staff and volunteers, each event has been an improvement over the past one. However, the analysis done by the Participation Team is that there is still a lot of room for improvement and significant distance between the "positive deviants" and the average.

With this next All Hands in London, we're iterating once again, with the Participation Team taking the lead on running and nomination, selection, invitation and integration process. This new process is based on lessons we've synthesized from the past gatherings.

This page outlines the nomination and selection process that will be used for the London All Hands.


The goals of the nomination process are:

  1. Invite volunteer Mozillians who can make a high impact contribution (and who have future potential), have high commitment, and ideally are able to mobilize other volunteers
  2. Have volunteer and staff Mozillians working in an integrated way -- during and immediately before and after the All Hands
  3. Have teams thinking about volunteer Mozillians strategically
  4. A process that has legitimacy with volunteers and employees

Process outline

Step Start date End date
0) Organizations build plans and establish rough numbers of volunteer Mozillians Mar 4 Mar 15
1a) Team nominations -- staff nominate volunteer Mozillians (different process by team ... run by Organization Designate) Mar 16 Mar 25
1b) Open nominations -- nominations from volunteer Mozillians directly, processes to be announced Mar 16 Mar 25
2) Applications -- very lightweight to ensure nominees are available and to hear their motivations Mar 30 Apr 4
3) Final selection -- by individual teams based on lists of applicants coming from both team and open nominations Apr 5 Apr 7
4) Invitations go out Apr 7/8
5) Registration and flight booking → information about this will be on another page Apr 7/8 Apr 15
6) Working with volunteers and teams on their plans for integration/communication → plan for this will be on another page Apr 15 Jun 10

A few notes:

  1. There will be a minimum number of spots reserved for volunteer Mozillians coming through open nominations
  2. We are emphasizing greater gender balance (the past All Hands averaged under 25% non-male genders among volunteer Mozillians)

Organization Designates

Number of Volunteer Mozillians per Organizational Area

There is budget for up to 110 volunteer Mozillians to join the All Hands in London. We're hoping to welcome that many volunteer Mozillians who meet the criteria and are able to attend, but we won't be seeking to hit that number at all costs. The focus is on quality -- quality contributors and quality plans from teams to integrate volunteer Mozillians during the week, invest in them, and have a plan for how they add strategic value to Mozilla's mission and their teams' goals.

Check back here on March 16th for an estimated number of volunteer Mozillians by organization area.

Update Mar 28: We now won't be publishing the #'s by organization area until before the final selection process.

Criteria for volunteer Mozillian nominees

An initial set of guidance and criteria are here, which may be modified slightly after March 16.

Lessons Learned from past All Hands

Wide open applications (anyone can apply)

  • Good for building legitimacy
  • Had volunteers thinking about their involvement in the All Hands and Mozilla (setting goals/commitment)
  • Facilitated coaching with volunteers in advance
  • Took a massive amount time (100+ staff-hours = too much) to evaluate fairly
  • Ultimately only selected a handful of people outside of employee nominations

Team planning and support

  • With light support provided to teams (by the Participation Team), considerable variability in the quality of volunteer nomination, utilization and support
  • There are good best practices on volunteer engagement that we can harvest, synthesize and systematize/disseminate -- but this hasn't been done yet despite intentions (gets deprioritized/nobody has been accountable for this)
  • Directors as a general group were not effective at running the nomination process (group too big, too dispersed, etc) -- need to have someone accountable per organization

Volunteer Mozillians

  • There are a lot of different backgrounds of people (and relationship with Mozilla), and bringing them together as a “group” doesn’t make sense to many of them.
  • “Cultural introductions and travelling to a Mozilla event” education/support will help improve their experience (and reduce problematic circumstances for Mozilla)
  • Many see attendance at this and other global events as ‘recognition’ or a kind of prize vs. a place to deepen/further their contributions or learning
  • Getting volunteers in the mindset of ‘representing’ other Mozillians in their communities (and bringing back lessons, mentorship, etc) is hard but not impossible


Please first get in touch with your Organization Designate if you have questions about how to nominate a volunteer Mozillian or how the selection process will proceed.

If you have questions about the process in general, please get in touch with George Roter, Francisco Picolini or Emma Irwin.