Participation/Global Gatherings 2015

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Vision for Participation at Mozilla
By 2017, we need to make a leap forward: Mozilla again needs to have an approach to participation that is massive and diverse, local and global. Participation that brings sustained strategic advantage to Mozilla.

To achieve this vision, we need a set of participation leaders, Mozillians who have the commitment and capabilities to:

  • Test and scale strategies and structures that increase the impact of participation across Mozilla
  • Recruit new Mozillians
  • Represent participation inside and outside of Mozilla

For the remainder of 2015 and early 2016, we will invest in a cohort of 150 participation leaders (volunteer Mozillians) who are committed to building participation at Mozilla in 2016. Any volunteer Mozillian can apply to be part of this cohort by applying to attend one or more of 3 global gatherings -- MozFest (Nov 6-8, London, UK), the Mozilla All Hands (Dec 7-11, Orlando, USA), and the Leadership Summit (Jan 22-24, Singapore).

Joining this cohort of participation leaders will mean committing to an ongoing effort to build participation throughout 2016, including action plans, being part of community calls and some reporting. People in this cohort will get regular coaching and mentorship, and full sponsorship to one or more of the upcoming global gatherings.

The impact of this initiative is to invest in at least 150 participation leaders who:

...have increased their knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to grow the impact of participation across Mozilla in 2016

...are aligned with and have contributed to Mozilla’s vision and strategy, and who will champion this with Mozillians and others

...have created and committed to specific plans for growing the impact of participation and contributing to Mozilla in 2016, aligned with the organization’s goals and priorities

Should I apply?

Are you committed to scaling the impact of participation at Mozilla? Are you passionate about investing in your own learning? Do you love Mozilla and our mission? Have you made a substantial contribution to Mozilla and mentored, inspired or otherwise had a positive impact on other Mozillians?

If you can answer yes to all of the above, then you should apply to this cohort of participation leaders.

A note on the term leader:
This term can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and for that reason it's a concern to some. Some people just don't identify as leaders. Others find the term problematic because of how "leaders" typically behave around them and how. These concerns, and any others, are totally valid. This is especially in an organization/movement like Mozilla that values initiative and action coming from anywhere.

There are a couple of initiatives underway right now in Mozilla to explore what leadership is and isn't (here and here). In the meantime, being a "participation leader" in this context is taken to mean a commitment and capability to building community and participation efforts across Mozilla, and recruiting, inspiring, organizing and otherwise having a great influence on other Mozillians.

If you can answer a resounding yes to the questions above, even if you yourself don't identify as a leader, then you should consider applying.

Why is this such an involved application process, as compared with the past?

For three reasons.

1. We are at an historic moment, just beginning the 3rd age of Mozilla as Mitchell Baker recently framed. A big part of this energizing our participation and contribution efforts and programs, dreaming up new ways to do participation and then making it happen. This requires a set of Mozillians who are committed and equipped for this all over the world.

2. We want to take this seriously. Your time is valuable, so you don’t want to waste it; your talent is valuable, so you want to use it for the greatest impact; there are many opportunities out there to learn, so you want to make sure this one is right for you. For Mozilla, This investment is expensive and resources are limited (time and money), so using these resources smartly is crucial; this is about impact on the mission, which means it’s not about travel or building community for community’s sake.

3. We want to ensure a consistent selection process that is as fair as possible. While all selection processes are by their very nature subjective, a more extensive application can allow for more considered choices.

Global Gathering Descriptions

Each of the global gatherings has a slightly different profile. Read these carefully before starting your application.

MozFest - Nov 6-8 in London

As a participation leader I want to...
Develop and deliver programs that will build the skills of Mozillians

I commit to…

  • Developing and being accountable for delivering on specific plans in 2016 to invest in the skills of Mozillians. This will involve creating amazing online and in-person learning and participation experiences that will help increase the impact of Mozillians (and potential Mozillians) and communities. These could include training sessions and workshops, onboarding, hackathons, meetups/gatherings, mentoring, or other creative participation ideas.
  • Being part of a global community of practice to build the skills and leadership of Mozillians (monthly calls + regular reporting of what I’m learning)

Value to me…

  • Opportunity to shape Mozilla’s global strategy and approach on how we invest in the skills of Mozillians
  • Investment and mentorship in my skills as a facilitator, educator and creator of experiences
  • Attending MozFest (including all costs i.e. meals, transportation, accommodation)

Rough program…

  • Friday Nov 6: facilitation, speaking, program design training
  • Saturday/Sunday Nov 7-8: facilitating sessions (proposed to Participation space or others) + hacking on skill development programs including the Leadership Summit

Spots available…

MozFest Participation Space
Building Participation: Skills, leadership and fresh approaches

Anyone applying to be a participation leader at MozFest will also be strongly encouraged to submit a session to MozFest related to that theme (click here to go to the application to propose a session at MozFest), if you haven’t already done so. Mozillians who have already submitted a session with this theme will be contacted and asked if they want sponsorship as a participation leader.

Of course, there remain many other opportunities for Mozillians to attend and run sessions at MozFest. This opportunity is particular to growing the impact of participation (and replaces how Mozilla Reps were previously sponsored for MozFest).

Learn more about MozFest

All Hands - Dec 7-11 in Orlando

As a participation leader I want to...
Contribute to a product or functional area of Mozilla, and help build high impact participation opportunities into that area.

I commit to…

  • Developing and being accountable for specific plans in 2016 to contribute to a single product area.

Value to me…

  • Opportunity to shape a product and functional team’s strategy for growing the impact and number of contributors
  • Investment and mentorship to strengthen and deepen your skills and activities in a focused area in 2016 (technical, marketing, speaking, etc)
  • Attending the Work Week (including all costs i.e. meals, transportation, accommodation)

Rough program…

  • Tues Dec 8: Special session on Participation strategy and core contributors
  • Wed Dec 9-Fri Dec 11: Work in and between product and functional teams

Spots available…
75 (depending on teams)

The number of spots per team will be made clear in early Sept

You should only apply if you know or strongly suspect that the staff on the team you’re applying to would be thrilled to welcome you to Orlando.

Learn more about the All Hands

Logistics information about the All Hands

Leadership Summit - Jan 22-24 in Singapore

As a participation leader I want to...
Grow the impact and size of my community (regional, functional or online)

I commit to…

  • Developing and being accountable for specific plans in 2016 to recruit and organize contributors in order grow the size and impact of my community. This is all about motivating, recruiting and organizing Mozillians (new and old) to have more impact on our mission. Even as an informal leader, this will be about having plans for where I want to take the community (local, regional, online, functional, Reps, or other) that I part of at Mozilla.
  • Being part of the participation leadership group (monthly calls, sharing lessons, coordinating with other leaders, reporting on community health)

Value to me…

  • Opportunity to shape Mozilla’s global strategy and approach to growing and organizing communities
  • Investment and mentorship in my skills as an organizer and leader
  • Attending Leadership Summit (including all costs i.e. meals, transportation, accommodation)

Rough program…
(this is a draft, and can have some changes)

  • Friday Jan 22: Arrival Date for all Mozillians
  • Saturday Jan 23: Mozilla vision and strategy (inspiration! ya!), what it is to be a Mozilla leader, leadership skill building, shaping Participation strategy, creating tools for growing the impact of communities and functional areas they contribute to
  • Sunday Jan 24: creating tools for growing communities, building personal and community strategies and action plans
  • Monday Jan 25: Departure date

How many spots available…

Logistics & Content

How can I apply?

You will need to prepare your application in advance.

Recommendation letter

Part of this application requires getting a short (no more than a page) letter of recommendation from another Mozillian. We want to hear about the impact you've had in Mozilla and on Mozillians, from the perspective of someone you've worked with in the organization. This can be a staff member or a volunteer Mozillian (note: staff letters will not be considered more credible).

You will need to get this letter of recommendation before you start your application. Please, just 1 letter of recommendation!

The filename should be “YourFirstNameYourLastName”. The formats can be .odt .html .txt .pdf .doc Example: GeorgeRoter.doc

Narrative questions

Please prepare the questions in this document before you start your application. The document below contains all of the questions you'll be asked, but the application itself should be completed using this online form.

Apply Now!

Once you are done preparing your application...

Apply Here

Selection Process

Deadline - Applications will close on September 11, 2015 at midnight UTC.

Coaching on your application (feedback on what you're applying for, your draft answers, etc) will be available from September 2 to September 8. See this section for more details.

Candidates (successful and unsuccessful) will be informed by September 21, 2015

Update: We received many (~350) applications that were high quality and thorough. The evaluation and selection process is taking long than we thought, and so you should now hear back between Sept 25-28. Sorry for the delay.

Selection for MozFest and the Leadership Summit

Staff from the Participation Team along with Community Managers different functional areas of Mozilla (also staff) will make up the selection committee. Specific names will be published soon. (Note: Staff were chosen for the committee because otherwise it would be have been unclear which volunteer Mozillians should be chose for the committee, and a process that would have been fair to make those choices.)

Selection for the All Hands

Functional team leaders will make the final selection on who will join their teams at the All Hands. The Participation Team will curate lists of completed and competitive applications for them to consider.

In parallel with the application process, Mozilla’s staff will nominate volunteer Mozillians who are important to have at the All Hands (impact, commitment, leadership). These nominations will be an important part of the All Hands selection.

The rough number of spots available by team is below (note, this list is only a draft -- current as of Sept 11):

Team Spots available
Participation 15
Research 9
Community Engagement 14
Brand Engagement 1
Firefox Desktop Engineering 4
Firefox Android Engineering 4
Platform Engineering (including L10N) 15
Development Tools and Automation 5
Content Services 2
Reviews and Community (AddOns) 8
FirefoxOS 10

Selection Criteria

Past impact, leadership and commitment:

  • data-based (through Reps Portal, Bugzilla, GitHub, etc)
  • self-reported narrative
  • references through vouchees on
  • clear indication of an ability and track record in mobilizing other Mozillians

Future impact, leadership and commitment:

  • specific commitments to having impact and to recruitment (#s and methods)
  • ideas to build participation related to skill building, community growth or functional area specialization (depending on area of focus)
  • commitment to sharing and regular calls/connections
  • clarity and commitment to professional growth (and leadership growth) through Mozilla

Selection committees will balance:

  • Gender
  • Geography
  • Professional background
  • Primary area of contribution to Mozilla
  • Established vs. Emerging leaders

The Shoulder Tap

Not every person who would be a great addition to this cohort will identify themselves (for a variety of reasons). So we want the help of all Mozillians to identify participation leaders who should get a “please step up” invitation to submit an application. Please use the text below to tap someone on the shoulder!

Sample tweet
Hey @XXXX, you should definitely consider applying as participation leader #mozilla

Sample email
Dear XXXX,

Have you seen this initiative that Mozilla is running over the next few months to invest in a cohort of 150 participation leaders (volunteer Mozillians)?

These are meant to be people who are committed to building participation at Mozilla in 2016. Any volunteer Mozillian can apply to be part of this cohort by applying to attend one or more of 3 global gatherings -- MozFest (Nov 6-8, London, UK), the Mozilla All Hands (Dec 7-11, Orlando, USA), and the Leadership Summit (Jan 22-24, Singapore).

I think you've had a really great impact in Mozilla. If you haven't already, you should definitely consider applying.

You can find more information here

From a big fan!

Emerging leaders

Roughly 30% of the spots for the Leadership Summit will be reserved for people who, as of Sept 2015, are early in their impact on and commitment to Mozilla. A separate process for identifying these emerging leaders will be rolled out in October/November 2015.


We want to set you up for success in this application, which is why the Participation Team is offering 20 min coaching sessions to anyone who wants to take advantage of these. This can be to get feedback on what you're applying for, your draft answers, your MozFest session, etc. Coaching will be available from September 7 to September 11.

You can sign up for a coaching session here: [1](

Select Coaching 1 for 9:00 UTC to 15:00 UTC Selection Coaching 2 for 12:00 UTC to 21:00 UTC

Please remember to input your Skype name so we can reach you.

You will be automatically assigned to staff member of the Participation Team.

Contact and FAQ

If you have any questions on this process or initiative, please check the FAQ below, ask any questions on this Discourse topic or send an email to


This will continue to be updated with more questions and answers.

1. What about ReMo?
Reps and mentors will be strongly encouraged to apply, and they are expected to be some of the strongest participation leaders. But their selection won’t be automatic.

2. Is the application open to any Mozillian?
Yes. There are volunteer leaders all around Mozilla. This initiative is about finding a great diversity of people who can lead the growth of participation in 2016.

3. What about ReMo Camp?
ReMo Camp is largely replaced by the Leadership Summit, including the parts that are focused on building ReMo. However, we encourage ReMo Mentors to consider whether one of the other opportunities is a better fit for them.

4. Can I apply to more than one?
You can indicate any you’d like to be considered for. However, one aim of this initiative is to encourage more focus in how you are building participation in 2016.

5. Why was this program created? Isn't Reps supposed to accomplish this? Are Mentors not considered as leaders too?

This program is fully integrated with Reps and Mentors who are certainly considered as leaders and should consider applying.

However, some Reps and Mentors are not as active and have particular plans for 2016 that prevent them from making a strong commitment to building participation. We need a set of people who are passionate and capable, and committed to building participation across Mozilla in 2016 specifically. The application is a way for mentors and reps to indicate their intentions for 2016.

In addition, Reps is not the only place where we have leaders in among volunteer Mozillians, which is why we're opening this up more broadly than Reps.

6. Is this going to replace the Reps program in the future?

This isn't a program so much as an initiative built around these global gatherings. While this initiative might continue in future years, it's not meant to be a replacement for ReMo.

7. There are known Mozillians that are leaders in certain functional groups such as l10n, SUMO, etc... what if these people decided not to join this program? Is this going to affect their relation with the functional team? What if others applied to this, are they going to be the "Official" leaders and the others are not?

First, this is not the only way that people can take leadership in Mozilla. So this initiative doesn't prevent Mozillians from making great contributions or providing leadership. It's not a "governance" system of any kind.

Second, taking part in one of these gatherings will naturally result in building stronger relationships with other Mozillians, including staff. It will be our challenge to figure out how we make sure that relationship is not exclusive.

Third, this is only *one* way to be part of a cohort that will help grow the scale and impact of participation in 2016. As 2016 plans get created, we're certain there will be other opportunities available to more Mozillians and leaders.

8. How is the relation between these leaders and the local community going to be? Each community has their own leaders currently. Why does Mozilla now want to choose or "officially" identify these leaders not the communities themselves?

First, this isn't an official governance system or creating official leaders.

People part of this initiative are simply a subset of leaders in Mozilla who are committing to growing the impact of participation around Mozilla, and who have been selected to be invested in as part of this initiative in 2016.

This isn't meant to replace or infringe on any community leadership system already in place. In addition, there will be other initiatives rolled out in 2016 to invest in volunteer Mozillians and leadership.

9. Can the functional team nominate people even if they didn't apply to the program?

We're encouraging people to apply through this initiative and to have functional teams "Shoulder Tap" people to get them to apply:

But there is a process for functional teams to nominate contributors for the All Hands -- these nominations will be combined by the functional teams with the applications to come up with the final selections.

10. Why 150 people? How did that number get chosen?

This balances 3 things: 1) Budget, 2) Having enough people who we think can give good geographic and functional coverage across Mozilla, and whose efforts will have an impact in Mozilla, 3) Having a small enough number of people for which we can organizing strong support and coaching.

11. Do we have any fixed format of Recommendation letter?

This covers most of the details:

"We want to hear about the impact you've had in Mozilla and on Mozillians, from the perspective of someone you've worked with in the organization."

"The filename should be “firstlast”. The formats can be .odt .html .txt .pdf .doc"

This is a good general resource.

12. It is mentioned that filename should be “firstlast” for the letter of recommendation. So do we have to write our first name and last name?

The firstlast would be YourFirstNameYourLastName. In Vaibhav's case the file name might be VaibhavBajaj.pdf.

13. If I'm selected, do I have to pay something related with the travel myself?

Mozilla covers travel, accommodation and main meals expenses during the event days for all the people selected.