Mozilla Foundation strategic plan: Fueling the Movement
This is the home of the Mozilla Foundation's 2016-2018 strategic planning process. (Updated October, 2018)
October 2018 update
Earlier this year, we set out to reflect and evaluate our progress on our movement building strategy so far.
The Mozilla Foundation 2016-2018 Program Evaluation was finished over the summer. Read the full report.
Among our key findings:
- The ‘internet health’ concept is proving a useful tool as a way to make links between issues Mozilla and its allies work on -- and explaining these issues to a wider audience
- While different orgs may use different monikers -- digital rights, open source, internet health, etc. -- the movement of people working on internet issues is growing
- Mozilla has transformed significantly. The thought leadership, fellowship and campaign capacities developed in recent years are valued by partners and allies
- Collectively, Mozilla and its allies are well positioned to tap into current public concern about the platforms and the internet -- but have yet to succeed in doing so
- With this in mind: Mozilla needs to get much clearer in its messaging. It needs to crisply state ‘what winning looks like’ and then go after it with all its energy
As a next step, the Mozilla Foundation team is starting to tackle one of the key challenges outlined in the evaluation: defining what winning looks like.
Specifically, we're asking: which internet health issues are at once most urgent and concrete enough to make real progress on over the next few years? We're starting a number of conversations to help address this question -- and, more importantly, looking for allies, partners and grassroots leaders who we can work with and support on which ever issues we end up focusing on. If you are interested in being involved in this conversation, reach out to Sarah Watson.
March 2018 update
Important notes about this version:
- We are now in our third year of a three year strategy. The above update is our best current thinking as we navigate this final year of the strategy.
- We are currently undertaking an evaluation of this strategy the results of which will inform our next strategic plan - stay tuned for updates!
- We're still seeking your comments and feedback! Easiest way is to send Lainie a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Below you'll find excerpts from the strategy planning process and the first years of execution - please see the whole document for full detail.
Mozilla's 5 Year Vision
Mozilla’s five year vision is:
People everywhere experience the next wave of openness and opportunity on the Internet — they are empowered, safe and independent, even as the complexity and scale of the Internet grows around us.
This is a world where everyone can be—and ultimately is—a citizen of the web.
Mozilla will help create this world by building and drawing on our strengths:
- Our strength - We build people-centered, open products & educational experiences that help people unlock the full potential of their online life.
- Our approach - Build our core strength: pursue continued excellence in our flagship products, like Firefox.
- Our strength - We develop robust technical solutions that bring the Internet to life across multiple platforms.
- Our approach - Prototype the future: drive innovation in emerging fields, like the Internet of Things.
- Our strength - We develop, connect and help rally leaders who will invent, shape and defend the Internet.
- Our approach - Grow our influence: work with our community and allies to fuel the global movement for an open Internet.
The strategy described in the pages that follow focuses specifically on one element of our plan: how Mozilla will fuel the movement for an open Internet.
The Mozilla Foundation will lead this movement building work, working closely with the rest of Mozilla and allied organizations around the world in the execution of this strategy. The Mozilla Foundation is the not-for-profit parent of the Mozilla Corporation, which makes products like the Firefox browser.
Fueling the Movement
Mozilla believes that a global movement is vital to unlocking the next wave of openness and opportunity on the Internet—and, ultimately, to creating and sustaining an open Internet that truly puts people first. This is the Internet that Mozilla and our allies want.
That is why Mozilla is committed to fueling a movement that brings together a global force of people who are willing to stand up for—and build—the open Internet, together.
Why this matters
It’s urgent that we get citizens -- and the companies and governments that serve them -- thinking about the link between a healthy internet and a healthy society.
Mozilla, our community and our allies need to be clear, compelling voices for the open Internet. Our goal is to work together to make open Internet issues mainstream issues, globally.
Mozilla's Issues Agenda
Over the past two years, we’ve invested over $40M aimed at articulating a clearer Internet health agenda, backing grassroots leaders, and running campaigns that put issues like privacy and net neutrality in the spotlight. We’ve done this by working with hundreds of thousands of supporters and dozens of partners around the world.
We need to continue -- and grow -- this investment, together. We also need to increase our focus on issues that are 1) in the public’s awareness, and 2) represent the most immediate threats and opportunities. With this in mind, Mozilla will further focus its agenda setting, fellowship, and campaign work on topics like:
- Online Privacy & Security - People understand and can meaningfully control how their data is collected and used online, and trust that it’s safe. In parallel, companies and governments work to protect our data and enhance our ownership over our digital identities.
- Open Innovation - Open is the default: open source and open standards continue to be at the heart of the Internet, and influence organizations and industries products, policies and practices. As a result, entrepreneurs and everyday Internet users can create, innovate and compete online without asking permission.
- Decentralization - The technologies and platforms people use every day are interoperable and based on open standards. People expect and demand systems that allow seamless flow and transfer of information and content.
- Web Literacy - People have the skills to read, write and participate in the digital world. Together, these informed digital citizens move beyond just consuming content, to creating, shaping and defending the web.
- Digital Inclusion - People everywhere can access and have the opportunity to participate in building the entire Internet. Subsequently, everyone on the Internet has the opportunity to access and shape our digital world. The Internet reflects the diversity of the people who use it.
Mozilla and our allies will bring these issues front-and-centre by being an increasingly visible and respected public voice, weaving these issues throughout our leadership and advocacy work, and by building technologies that take a stance.
How we got here
Phase 0: committing to a plan
Dec 2014 -- MoFo commits to drafting a long-term strategic plan. Crafting an ambitious learning and community strategy is set as a key 2015 goal, with a common approach and brand for all of Mozilla’s learning efforts.
- "Within 10 years there will be five billion citizens of the web. Mozilla wants all of these people to know what the web can do. We want them to have the agency, tools and know-how they need to unlock the full power of the web. We want them to use the web to make their lives better. We want them to be full citizens of the web.
- By 2017, we want to build a 'Mozilla Academy:' a global classroom and lab for the citizens of the web. Part community, part academy, people come to Mozilla to unlock the power of the web for themselves, their organizations and the world.”
Sharing the vision at Mozlandia, Portland (video) -- Mozilla All Hands Executive Director Mark Surman describes the vision at Mozilla All Hands in Portland, Dec 2014
Phase 1: defining our strategy
(April - July)
Jan -- "Thinking bigger." Early brainstorming and open consultation begin.
March -- Mozilla board meeting recaps 2014 accomplishments + 2015 plan
- "Mozilla needs a more ambitious stance on how we teach the web. The web is at an open vs. closed crossroads; helping people build know-how and agency is key if we want to take the open path.”
June -- "Read, write, participate" as the essence of web literacy. Early feedback from colleagues / partners suggests an emphasis on helping people learn and hone ‘working in the open’ participation skills.
June -- Mozilla Board approves general direction: an interlinked two-part strategy focused on Leadership Development + Advocacy for universal web literacy.
July -- "Web literacy and leadership." Creating a global community of people to teach and advocate.
- "What’s become increasingly clear over the last month or so is: a) [leadership development] has become one of our core strengths and b) it is one of the biggest places we could have impact going forward. This has lead us to the conclusion that leadership development should be one of the core elements of our overall learning strategy."
July -- “Advocating for web literacy.” -- We begin to define advocacy as a core strategy for shifting understanding and thinking about the web.
- “Mozilla is already doing good work that improves public understanding of the web and promote web literacy. Now we want to have impact at a larger scale.”
July 27 -- Phase one concludes. We summarized our strategy thinking to date as a slide deck for our Board and other internal audiences.
Phase 2: fleshing out Leadership + Advocacy
(Aug - Oct)
Aug -- we strike core working groups to flesh out our strategy: Leadership and Advocacy. Plus an “Impact” working group to help set KPIs and think about measurement and evaluation.
Sept — setting a broader agenda. We decide to expand our scope beyond “web literacy” to include the concept of setting a wider agenda. We make the decision to rename from "Mozilla Learning Network" to "Mozilla Leadership Network."
Phase 3: work planning + budgeting
(Oct - Dec)
Oct 2015 -- “Fueling a movement.” We summarize how MoFo’s strategy fits into a broader 5-year vision for all Mozilla.
- “We need to tackle big challenges like monopolies and walled gardens, but we also need to add fuel and energy to the next wave of open. This is how we had an impact the first time around with Firefox. It’s what we need to do again.”
Oct / Nov -- program design + H1 2016 work planning begins in earnest. We set top-line 2016 goals, key initiatives and critical dependencies.
Nov -- we finalize KPIs for Leadership (Network Strength) + Advocacy (Active Advocates)
Dec 17: Mozilla Board approves our draft strategic plan and 2016 budget. A finalized business plan will ship in January.
- “Together we will connect leaders, shape the agenda and rally citizens. The Mozilla Leadership Network will provide a magnet, training ground and lab for people working alongside us to ensure the web remains a public resource. And our Advocacy Engine will give Mozilla and its allies the ability to mobilize locally and globally, becoming the world’s biggest, boldest, most effective force standing for the internet.“
December 2015 update
- Overview -- slide deck summary of our 5-year vision, how it fits in a broader Mozilla context, and H1 2016 plans
- Strategic Plan -- long-form version (draft version 0.9 -- completed version coming soon)
- Mark Surman blog post -- December 2015 update + request for feedback from the Mozilla Foundation's Executive Director
- Impact & KPIs -- Prepared for Feb 2016 Board Meeting
In October we set out a vision for the next phase of the Mozilla Foundation’s work: fueling the movement that is building the next wave of open into the digital world. Since then, we’ve been digging into the first layer ‘how do we do this?’ detail. We’ve been asking things like:
- What issues do we want to focus on first?
- How do we connect leaders and rally citizens to build momentum?
- How does this movement building work fit into Mozilla’s overall strategy?
We’ve drafted a MoFo 2020 Strategy document to answer to these questions, which we're posting here for comment and feedback.
While this builds on our past work, it is worth noting that there are some important differences from the initial thinking we had earlier in the year. We started out talking about a ‘Mozilla Academy’ or ‘Mozilla Learning’. And we had universal web literacy as our top line social impact goal. Along the way, we realized that web literacy is one important area where our movement building work can impact the world — but that there are other issues where we want and need to have impact as well. The focus on a rolling agenda setting model in the current strategy reflects that realization.