Principles for an Open Transition

December 2nd, 2008

Openness, transparency and massive participation are extraordinary tools for problem solving. They are also important tools for citizen engagement, providing positive alternatives to alienation and conflict.

Mozilla — like many open source projects — lives or dies by these same traits. Openness, transparency, massive participation — these are the traits that identify Mozilla. And we’ve seen success tackling problems conventional wisdom said couldn’t be solved.

During the US presidential campaign the Obama campaign expressed a clear commitment to using Internet technologies to enable increased openness, transparency and civic engagement into the government process. The Principles of Open Transition identify basic requirements for meeting these goals. We hope the Principles will be the start of a rich discussion about openness and citizen engagement. Many questions will come up over time. The Principles won’t answer them all. We hope they identify a few key, foundational elements that we need to get right for the rest to develop well.

Mozilla is an explicitly non-partisan organization. Mozilla supports citizen participation for people of  different views and policy objectives. Mozilla is also an explicitly international organization. We hope that Mozilla’s experience with openness and participation directed toward effective problem solving can be of benefit to many organizations —  government and otherwise — that seek to bring these approaches to their work.

2 comments for “Principles for an Open Transition”

  1. 1

    Anonymous Coward said on December 2nd, 2008 at 10:45 pm:

    Where was the discussion on who would be (to take a recent example) the Incubator Repository owner / peers? There was discussion about getting some, not who. Any discussion with Module Ownership module peers were closed.

    I have no problem with the people actually selected; I think they will do great. I have a problem with the fact that there was no discussion who they would be before they were named. That’s not transparency.

  2. 2

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