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Investing in communities with a clear focus

Please check my full resume for more details about my work

At Mozilla’s Participation Team one of our main goals is to support local communities and unleash contributions that will contribute disproportionately Mozilla’s mission and goals.


Last year’s work showed that we increase our impact by focusing our energies on a limited amount of clearly defined areas. Concentrating our effort as a team has become a key strategy for bringing more value to Mozilla.

One area we’ve looked at is the “where” we have Mozilla communities. We have volunteer Mozillians spread literally all over the world — from Vancouver to Valladolid — and many have organized themselves into geographically-based communities that our team supports (expect a future blog post on what we see as the value of organizing geographically). We know that the dynamics, opportunities and challenges of each of these communities is a bit different, and the more time we spend with any particular community the better we understand this uniqueness, leading to higher quality support and guidance.

At the same time, our staff time is limited, and so we can only “go deep” with a limited number of geographically-based communities at any given time. (This brings up another point of finding a leveraged model for staff effort, which is what is being tested now with the Reps Leadership efforts)

The question then became where to go deep? Since Mozilla doesn’t presently have a regional strategy overall, we did a basic analysis as Participation Team using the following factors:

  • Web users and overall population.
  • Growth in web users.
  • How much the area influences markets/policies in other countries/areas — this could be regionally or globally.
  • Where Mozilla can win (because of Firefox penetration, market sentiment, or cultural alignment with our values).
  • Momentum and strength of existing community.

Looking at this, we decided to focus the Participation Team’s efforts on the following 10 countries that align with our analysis and the capacity we think we have as a team to “go deep” right now:

  • United States
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Philippines
  • Bangladesh
  • Indonesia

What does this mean for a focus country practically? Here is what is guiding our goals:

  • We will hold ourselves accountable for results/impact (customized to each country).
  • Go deep on staff support.
  • Initiate and deeply support regional gatherings and campaigns that will accelerate the development of these communities and the mobilizers/leaders in each one.

Of course, we recognize focus has a cost and that for the many Mozillians and communities not in these focus countries it can seem unfair and arbitrary — we’re definitely empathetic to that. Let me be clear that the Reps and regional staff team will keep supporting communities outside these focus countries, just not as deeply or proactively as compared with the 10 focus countries.

As always, we expect our work and strategies to evolve over time and with input from many Mozillians. So please send along your questions or feedback.

Participation team discourse is open for you !


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