European Gathering in Berlin - September 10th-11th - Register before 21st


(Francisco) #1

Registration Deadline extended until Sunday 21st EOD!!

Dear Mozillians,

This is an invitation for our next European Gathering that will take place in Berlin, Germany on September 10th and 11th. Like other community Gatherings that will happen this year, our main focus will be Mozillians who are mobilizing communities, bringing people into contributing to our mission, and helping them strengthen the impact of their contribution.

If you are interested in participating, register in this form before August 21st end of day (European central time).

Please note that though this is a pan-European gathering, we will be prioritizing some countries over others. This is purely because we have limited resources and want to focus on countries that are particularly important for Mozilla’s impact right now – markets where Firefox needs to matter, and areas where advancing our policy and issues agenda is particularly important.

For that reason, we are aiming for roughly 80% of participants from UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain. Along with this, the selection criteria will be recent activities, ability to mobilize people and experience on working with other communities.

If you need more information about this gathering (location, dates, hotel, etc), please contact Francisco Picolini.

We’ll see you in a month!

Kind regards,
Participation Team


(Bittin) #2

Signed up now and hoping for the best :slight_smile:


(Francisco) #3

Hello Everyone,

We will extend the deadline until this Sunday 21st EOD Central European time.
Please be aware that this gathering is exclusively for European communities. More info about future gatherings will come soon.

Kind regards,


(Elio Qoshi) #4

I have to add my thoughts on this.

While meeting up with Mozillians is always a great opportunity to catch up, I must say that this European Gathering seems heavily rushed in my view. I have a few points I want to address and I hope we can facilitate a discussion around this, as I don’t want to point fingers, rather than pause for a moment and reflect on the decision making process involved here.

Firstly, 1 month buffer from the announcement to the actual event date is really tight. While this puts more pressure on the organizers and facilitators of the event, I do think that it actually leaves a footprint on the impact as well, as things can’t be planned and metrics cannot be created the same way when you have several months time to prepare an event. Afterall, a lot of people who would be important to participate here, would not be able to come (I for myself have planned out things for next month already and I suppose many others as well).

Having said that, it seems hard to have hit the 80% criteria from UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain. I don’t know the numbers here but it would be hard that things go according to plan here.
There is also a small problem here: with statements like that, Mozillians from outside these countries get discouraged to apply, yet at the end of the day, it seems that there was a need for them (due to lack of applications I believe). Well, being in the 20% I don’t think that that’s a surprise (on top of the short turnaround). Please correct me if I’m wrong here.

Another thing which worries me personally as an event organizer. At Reps and Participation we require careful planning, metrics and impact discussion on events we organize. Budget, swag and other logistics need to be be well explained as well. These usually take more than a month time (several actually).

So seeing an event which bends all these best practices, coming from official Mozilla structures confuses me personally. Shouldn’t be events like this role models for events Reps and Participation Leader organize? We are asked to deliver good events, carefully documented and well explained in terms of impact, yet I fail to see this here. Same goes with the transparency regarding the European Gathering. The argument “we need to move fast” is not a reason for this anymore as well I believe. I’d like to mention this here as I’m not the only one feeling this way.

I’d appreciate if we could give this a thought and really refrain from doing things in such a manner. Sure, I get it’s an exception, but shouldn’t then there be exceptions for events other Reps do?

I hope I didn’t step on anybody’s toe as this reply was written with good intentions. While it’s easy to say that “everything is awesome” I do think that there are many not so “awesome” aspects which need to be addressed, but then again, that’s my view on it and not necessarily a view you’d agree with me. I’d appreciate your thoughts on this in any case.


(Rubén Martín) #5

Hello,

Quick answers since I’m not in front of my computer, I can expand this next week:

  • Participation team has been planning content and logistics for these Community Gatherings for months, you can check our github repo in terms of transparency. There is no rush, everything is already in place for this event.
  • The format for these Community Gatherings is aligned with the team strategy for Q3, so the criteria for content and invitees is different from the past.
  • Focusing on key areas at this point means Marker Party EU and its priorities are important and will shape this event.

Cheers.


(Elio Qoshi) #6

Hi Nuke,

The way you formulated your answer makes it sound like everything what I said has no basis. I am well aware of the process of this and while my perspective on this might differ with yours, I’d suggest to take into account the views of contributors in this, apart the insight staff has. So try to look at it from that light as well.

I don’t doubt that the events have been planned before, but I find it hard to believe that the European Gathering was not rushed. 2 weeks before it was announced, we were still preparing the Balkans meetup while still consulting with @franc. This changed from one day to another when we find out about the European Gathering. Maybe we have different definitions of “rush” but it definitely looks like that to me in this case. A community organized event like MozBalkans was pushed indefinitely because of the European Gathering. It doesn’t seem well planned to me in accordance with events outside the official Participation Team agenda (and in this case, Balkans people lose out).

Just to give you an example on how it could conflict with other activities, that is.

Also define “transparency”. Because something is technically accessible, it doesn’t mean it’s fully transparent. I’d have appreciated an announcement on the start of planning for the European Gathering here on Discourse for example, to involved contributors into the Discussion as well, not only staff (and council).

Again, my raw thoughts on this matter.


(Elio Qoshi) #7

Also, which issues are you referring to regarding GitHub?
This one? https://github.com/mozilla/participation-org/issues/442

From what I see not a lot of discussion was facilitated in the issues there, rather than status updates from staff. As I said, I’d have hoped to see contributor involvement in this before it was served to us (especially in the way I described in my first post).


(Rubén Martín) #8

We take into account all opinions, but I just felt that your message had some assumptions on how things were internally handled by Participation staff and I wanted to clarify :slight_smile:

About timing: After Brazil, London and India gatherings, we need to support Maker Party EU in September (as well as skill building and other smaller focus initiatives). Having this meeting now doesn’t mean European communities can’t plan other meetings or activities, this is an event planned to support Participation team goal around Community Gatherings project.

Apart from timing we would like to hear any other feedback you or anyone have about this event. Thanks!


(Tom Farrow) #9

The last line of your comment implies that there’s a of lack of consideration for everything else Elio said that wasn’t about timing.

I also feel as if you are excluding people’s thoughts on the timing there, so I’m intentionally going to state that I too feel as if this is much too rushed, both logistically, and with regards to giving me time to talk to my community. I’m now rushed to understand from people within my community the things that they want to see represented in discussions with the wider European community. It also severely excludes people from my community; and yet this is advertised as having a focus area in the UK.

There is absolutely no way that I can expect people from the UK to be able to pull off being able to come to this event in the time period given to apply etc. We were informed two weeks before planned flight departure whether we were attending or not. That isn’t even enough time for a lot of people in the UK to be able to book leave from their jobs, let alone handle their families etc. Myself and the other UK contributors who did manage to find themselves enough time to co-ordinate their life around this, alongside actually knowing this existed, have lots of ideas on people who should have been invited to this. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case it seems, since communication wasn’t made early enough for applying to even be a consideration to them.

It puts a lot of pressure onto myself, Chris and Harry to do our best to represent our community, since they weren’t given an opportunity to be able to be there in person.

It also really bothers me that, if this event has been in planning for months, why are contributors not more involved in the planning? This isn’t a corporate event like all-hands, it’s a community gathering. I hadn’t heard anything of this at all, once again, despite being a “leader” in one of the “focus countries”. If we were told, we could have helped mobilise people into applying to be at the event etc, but we simply weren’t.

So please, it would be nice to feel, and see other people being, a lot less dismissed by the Participation team. This feeling of dismissal is something I’m hearing a lot around the community with regards to the participation team. In good co-incidence, it’s something I wanted to express next weekend, even before seeing this thread. See you then! :slight_smile:


(Rubén Martín) #10

We totally understand your concerns about timing and understand that it could feel rushed for some people, more below about why.

This event is organized and planned by the Participation team to support our goals. We informed volunteers as soon as we had everything ready, including leaders cohort and we have a few volunteers helping with logistics.

The concept of “Community Gatherings” we have at this point it’s different from other meetups in the past, specially in terms of audience and content.

Involvement in previous phases was possible for anyone following our github issues, but I totally understand how difficult it’s for a volunteer to catch up with everything we are currently doing/planning (we have 40h a week to devote to this). This is an honest conversation we need to have around expectations on volunteer involvement in all projects we do at Participation.

About priorities, countries and dates, quoting @george on telegram:


(Tom Farrow) #11

Community at Mozilla isn’t supposed to work as a system whereby the community is told by Participation what Participation wants to do. That doesn’t sound very much like a participatory culture at all, does it? I’m noticing a harmful trend from the Participation team in working like that.

George’s comments from Telegram don’t mean much to me in this conversation; they simply aren’t linked. However, what matters to me in another conversation is “staff or community”. What happened to One Mozilla? What happened to Participation being about those two components being one integration? It’s not even disturbing to me as a volunteer; it’s disturbing to me as somebody who sees staff that are every bit as involved in the community as our volunteers. Sadly, much of the Participation team doesn’t seem to fit into that category, rather, it seems they fit into a category that pushes things outwards to the community, without inviting back in.

Change comes from within, and it’s ironic to see the Participation team being one of the teams that invites the least Participation across the whole of Mozilla. All it would have taken to not frustrate people with this event was an email to key people; the leaders who are supposedly engaged in this. Our goals are just as important as the Participation team’s - this should be a collaboration, not an outgoing manifest.

Frankly, these concerns are the type of thing that stop people in my community from wanting to work with the Participation team, and therefore leaving us in a situation where our community hardly exists.

EU Gathering for me will be more about addressing the fact that half of this stuff you’re pushing out to us and telling us our community should do is completely irrelevant until relations are fixed. Nobody has even, as of yet, asked us if any of this stuff even matters to most of the UK community.


(Rubén Martín) #12

@tad do you want me to move this conversation more about Participation team to the participation discourse so we can continue there?


(Henrik Mitsch) #13

Hi all,

this thread contains various valuable items. The tone this conversation took projects serious disagreements. Let’s take a step back and make this an opportunity to expand our shared understanding.

Reading through the replies, the following topics concerning the current series of Community Gatherings stand out:

  • Planning
  • Participant selection
  • The validity of staff-driven gatherings by the Participation team

Planning

From a Participation staff perspective, planning had been ongoing for a substantial amount of time. These efforts have gone unnoticed by volunteer contributors.
We certainly have room for improvement of the Participation team’s working in the open practices here. To deepen this conversation, we created a separate thread in the Participation discourse: Working in the Open.

Participant selection

The selection of participants to the European Community Gathering was definitely rushed. From a tactical perspective the time is right for the EU MakerParty copyright context.
Hopefully this community of open web enthusiats can accept this move and join us to multiply our forces at https://www.changecopyright.org.

Staff-driven gatherings by the Participation team

Some of the above messages question the notion of staff-driven gatherings on a general level. This is a fundamental question embracing philosophical and strategic aspects. Let’s continue exploring the topic: A Conversation on Staff-Driven Gatherings.

Once again, thanks for raising the points. Please add a comment in case the summary and actions do not correspond to your expectations. Let’s move forward as One Mozilla by keeping the various follow-up discussions on a deeply respectful and positive tone.

Onwards!
-Henrik


(Mozilla Rep, UK Community, MozFest Privacy & Security Wrangler) #14

Just an observation:

There’s no denying efforts being made in Participation. People are of course working hard. But with Discourse a relatively new tool for Mozilla, yet still the practice of by forcing discussions into siloes continues and emphasises the inherent siloed structures that some are expressing issue with.

Rather than discussing where the conversation has already been taking place it is organisationally decided to somewhere we start the old ‘interdepartmental shuffle’ that defines large monolithic tech businesses. It by design is top down and I truly believe there are insights in this thread beyond the Particpation silo.


(Rubén Martín) #15

My understanding is that in order to have a clean conversation, the suggestion is to keep this one on topic about the Gathering and expand the concerns related more with the Participation team in separated topics.

So timing, selection and other topics related with the EU gathering could still be discussed here.

If that’s confusing let us know, we definitely want everyone to be able to talk about all the topics.

Cheers.


(Mozilla Rep, UK Community, MozFest Privacy & Security Wrangler) #16

My understanding is to have improved discussions in this community engagement forum… period. This discussion thread, to me at least, is about the running of this event. A reflection on the desire to actively enage the community. It is obvservationally relevent to me as an active London community member, with specific interest in engaging our community more. When we have a pressing event coming up in Mozfest I can learn from what goes wrong.

There seems to be a disconnect with how you wish to be communicating things and how the community chooses to engage with it. I don’t believe you are fully recognising this very important fact. By your attempting to keep things ‘clean’ you might subconsciously stifle informatively active community views on process management of this specific event, which could be lost in the process?

Customer Service 101. When dealing with the criticism process irl one does not move the point of criticism towards resources where they exist. This enrages people already bringing criticism. No matter how beautifully efficient the enterprise structure is. One moves the resources closer to the problem, actively engaging where it is happening. Public facing processes will rarely reflect organisational structures.

EDIT: In fact what this thread highlights for me is that there is currently no clear organisationally lead feedback loop enabling community events. Before, during and after the events are we missing the opportunity to capture feeedback from those that helped make it happen, as it happens? Or even from those who would have helped but could not due to the process structure? That’s potentially why threads like this occur and seemingly throw everything out of flow.


(Rubén Martín) #17

And we agree :slight_smile:

@hmitsch suggestions with other topics was to tackle other broader conversations that were initiated around how Participation Team works in general, not related with this specific event.

I would like to engage in a conversations about one specific topic (EU Gathering) and tackle different topics (how Participation Team works) separately to allow have a place where anyone can follow easily without mixing topics.

We have been running pre and post event surveys, as well as other feedback channels with attendees. @deimidis can elaborate on this one.