As part of the Community Gathering series, last October 22nd and 23rd, Participation team organized the Arabic Community Gathering. We begun to organize this event with the collaboration of Amine Zaafouri and Mahmood Qudah, and decided that the host city will be Casablanca in Morocco.
Like any other community gathering, process for invitations was:
Applicants were asked to fill their area of expertise through their participation in community efforts for the past years and also to indicate their personal goal for this gathering.
The participation team members after deleting applicants personal information -like name and country-, reviewed the applications based on their experiences and indicated goals.
The total number of participants was 23, from 5 different countries (there were people from other 2 countries invited, but they couldn’t make it due to visa and personal issues).
From our team, Pierros Papadeas, Christos Bacharakis and Rubén Martin were the facilitators, and Emily Dunham, from the Rust team was invited to give a talk about the Rust project and community.
Community Gatherings had a set of common goals:
- Align Mozilla’s community with Mozilla’s goals
- Improve mozillians’ team and individual skills
And in this particular meeting, we added a goal about Community Health and plans for the near future.
Before the event, we had a video conference where we talk about our goals and received feedback and expectations from the participants. That meeting help us on fine tuning the event arc that we had planned.
The idea was to begin the event with a session about Mozilla’s goals to set the stage for the next two days. And then, on Saturday, focus on skill building and community health conversations. On Sunday, focus was on different projects inside Mozilla in an effort of providing clear and meaningful participation opportunities/tools to the community .
Projects included on sessions were:
- Rust project and community
- Mozilla on Campus
- Activate Campaign
- Mozilla involvement on Key Internet Issues
On the skill side:
- How to give feedback
- Planning for Impact
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Cultural differences
There were some really interesting learnings:
- People didn’t know about most of the things Mozilla was doing.
- There was a huge interest in Rust and WebVR, a surprise since this a very technical area. However this also might make sense since the Arabic community is always known for its support in localization but not in other areas.
- Community is overloaded with communications and calls to action, at the end this leads to ignore most of it. They wanted more visual (video) and localized communications, taking advantage of the regional coach to “pass down” the information was considered a good idea.
- Campus Clubs, WebVR and the Activate campaign helped people understand the priorities we have in Mozilla and provided easy call to action to participate in the Community.
After two hard work days, the meeting ended with commitments to create plans for the near future in each country and in the Arabic Community as a whole. The work will be track in Github, so everybody can see the progress.
Also, Regional Coaches will be helping in the follow ups of the event. We are still waiting for more answer on the post event survey, that will help Participation team to improve the organization and content from these events.
Blog post from community members
- @Mermi wrote a blog post with her experience at the event.
- Marwen Doukh, from Mozilla Tunisia wrote another one
- Pendow wrote another one
If you wrote another, please let me know
After the event, a new Discourse category was created to continue with these conversations, please watch it!
Thanks to the Arabic community for letting us work with them those two days.