Power to mobilizers

Cross-post from my blog


Who are mobilizers at Mozilla; a framework for Leadership on Social Age and the programs that Participation Team are leading to bring those skills to Mozillians all over the globe

“Each person shines with his or her own light. No two flames are alike. There are big flames and little flames, flames of every color. Some people’s flames are so still they don’t even flicker in the wind, while others have wild flames that fill the air with sparks. Some foolish flames neither burn nor shed light, but others blaze with life so fiercely that you can’t look at them without blinking, and if you approach you shine in the fire.”
― Eduardo Galeano

Every one of us knows people of this kind. Many of them are in our community. When they tell you a story, you live that story at their side. Their passion is so big that it makes you realize how many things we could do together. Those people shine better with others, working and having fun with them.

Nobody is born like that. We develop those skills in our family, school or neighborhood. And everyone can learn to be that way with the right tools and the right people by our side. That’s what we want to create at Mozilla, a space where everyone can learn and improve their social skills to advance Mozilla’s mission together with other Mozillians.

Leadership in our times

Our era is a different era for leaders. The type of leadership needed and respected today is not the same that was important and followed 10 years ago. Julian Stodd created a framework about Social Leadership, the type of leadership needed today. He describes a leader’s capacities in 3 dimensions:

  1. Narrative which is about curating your space and telling the right story with great effect
  2. Engagement which is about being an effective part of communities.
  3. Technology which is about collaboration and co-creation.

Emma Irwin, from the Participation Team, has been leading an effort to «localize» this model for Mozilla. With the immense work of Verena Roberts, Mikko Kontto and Greg Mcverry, they translated those dimensions to Communication, Network and Sustainability.

They are in the process to create a Leadership framework, a compilation of resources that will help any Mozillian to learn and improve their Social leadership skills.

Because of different cultural meanings for the word leader, we prefer to talk about mobilizers, people that will help and inspire others to participate. Mobilizers are a key part in our efforts to make Participation at Mozilla better.

Content in practice

Resources are only half of the work. The Participation Team is working on different ways to bring those skills to Mozillians. With a series of Community Gatherings organized in different parts of the world, we are creating spaces to have sessions and workshops with groups of people interested in mobilizing.

In 2016 we have already organized two Community Gatherings and we are preparing for three more focused on our European, Arabic, and Mexican communities. Each of them serves as an iteration point for our sessions and workshops. Additionally we are creating toolkits to organize this type of events, so every community will be able to organize their local gathering in the future following the same standards.

At the same time, through the RepsNext process we have started a training which will help Mozillians develop coaching skills. We believe this will be useful for community development and to find new ways to participate in the Mozilla Project. I will write another blog post about this program soon, with a reflection of our first cohort of Reps Coaches.