What’s up w/ MoFo? November Board Report

November 13, 2008 § 1 Comment

I’m experimenting with our board report format. Following Frank’s tradition w/ status reports, I want to post these for all to read. No point writing stuff just for a few people. So, here’s November. Comments and questions heartily encouraged.

The last month has focused on getting things rolling. Defining program experiments. Team building. Mozilla-wide and Foundation-specific planning. It’s also been about building bridges within the Mozilla family: MozDev; MoCo; MoMo and especially Mozilla Europe. A significant amount of Mark’s time this month went into routine charitable org reporting. A good month, all in all. Highlights below.

Program Update

At the last board meeting, we talked about doing small program experiments (‘early swings at bat’) to get promising ideas rolling and inform our strategic planning process. With this in mind, we …

  • Investigated ways to expand our open source education efforts. October’s Teaching Open Source event at Seneca helped us better understand the professor + contributor combo we need. It also introduced us to education people at Red Hat with thinking similar to ours. We have generated early professor and contributor leads in Canada, France, India, Romania, Spain and the United States. We are also doing research on who else is working in the open source education space. Next steps: invite others to add to our research plus find 1 – 3 places to start experiments starting in new year.
  • Worked with Brendan and Chris Beard on early thinking about an open web research program focused on tech challenges 1- 4 years out. This would tackle issues like: virtual machine performance and security; better transport protocols; open video and multimedia formats. The working concept is that Mozilla would build a ‘research commons’ to gather the brightest minds and move the ball on these issues. Next step: write up and share concept before December board meeting.
  • Had a ton of conversations about engaging a broader public around Mozilla’s values. Almost everyone we talk to — inside and outside the Mozilla community — thinks this is a good thing to do. However, concrete ideas on what it actually looks like are few and far between. The two exceptions are the MozCamp+ idea floated by Gandalf in Barcelona and Zak + Frank’s ‘open web literacy’ concept. We need to simply try out some of these ideas. Maybe they will work. Maybe they won’t. We’ll learn either way. Next steps: scope net literacy idea and template and run MozCamp+ events. Also, start work work Innovation Protocol on how to better explain Mozilla’s values (they are donating their time).

We need help on all of these fronts. If you know people who want to pitch in, send them our way.

Planning – 2010 Goals

Mozilla is in the midst of a project-wide 2010-goals discussion. During the early November Foundation team meeting in Mountain View, we agreed that the Foundation should propose and champion the following 2010 goal:

  • More people understand and embrace the principles that underpin Mozilla.

We also reviewed Mozilla-wide goals already proposed on Mitchell’s blog. Amongst these goals, we agreed the Foundation could contribute signifcantly to:

  • Communities continue to expand and provide means for individual development
  • Thought leadership expands to include things such as the open web, hybrid social enterprises, organizational sustainability, shared decision-making, individual control, and portability in Internet life
  • Innovations emerge from the Mozilla world

These are only proposed goals at this stage. They relate to Mozilla as a whole and not just he Foundation. We will carve out time to reflect on these goals and how they link to the Foundation at the December board meeting as part of the vision + roadmap discussion. There is also a chance to provide feedback now by jumping into existing project-wide discussions on 2010 goals, which are active and ongoing.

Planning – Mozilla Foundation

The team meeting also included discussion about priorities for the 2009 budget and operational plan. Items on the radar at this point include:

  • Better explain ‘Mozilla values’ to a broad public
  • Support widespread, community-driven grassroots events (eg. Mozcamp+)
  • Promote Internet (or ‘open web’ ?) literacy
  • Accelerate the Powered by Mozilla program
  • Expand our open source education experiments
  • Experiment with research programming
  • Revitalize http://www.mozilla.org site
  • Develop a clear Mozilla Foundation vision and roadmap
  • Create a strong team and organization
  • Broaden our community and geographic reach

The team is currently refining these ideas and rolling them into a plan for presentation at the December board meting. Some of these ideas also tie to the early program experiments mentioned above.

Finally, efforts are underway to get the longer term Mozilla Foundation vision and roadmap process underway. A proposal will be brought forward at this board meeting. (blog note: post on this coming soon)

Internal Operations

In addition to the team meeting in Mountain View a fair bit of time has been spent on operations and internal issues over the past month. This included:

  • Extensive meetings with the ‘Mozilla Europe board in Barcelona. A number of good things came from this including agreement that MozEu will play a strong role in the Foundation vision and roadmap process.
  • Documentation and improvements for the Certificate Authority review process. The documentation should help us get most of the CA work off of Frank’s plate in the new year.
  • Brown bag lunch and other meetings in Mountain View during our team meeting. A number of MoCo people have mentioned that they understand the Foundation a little bit better now, and that they are happy to see things in motion. This was encouraging.
  • Building up a new working budget template that we can use for 2009 planning and ongoing reporting.
  • Ongoing renovations to http://www.mozilla.org, including a great deal of archiving work that makes the site better but is not noticed by regular users.

Next Month’s Priorities

  • Draft 2009 budget and operational plan to present to board.
  • Develop early MoFo Vision and Roadmap strawman document.
  • Confirm details for experimental program efforts in areas like education and research.
  • Make first experiments with MozCamp+ model in Victoria, BC (tentative). Document and share.
  • Write and gather broad feedback on ‘Internet Literacy’ concept document.
  • Continue to make updates to http://www.mozilla.org. Develop and sign contract with developers to create new page templates.

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