Mozilla Summit

March 31st, 2013

Mozilla contributors participate from all over the globe. We participate in ones and twos from home. In Internet cafes and hacker spaces and university buildings. In Mozilla spaces with large concentrations of peers. In every continent, including Antarctica. Our participation structure is distributed, decentralized and highly individualized. In this way we represent the Web. We’re also human beings, of course, and we *love* to get together. It’s fun, it allows us to get to know each other, and to exchange the high-bandwidth ideas that face-to-face provides. And it helps us develop a shared understanding of what we are doing.

This year we’re going to gather as many key contributors as we can at the same time for the 2013 Mozilla Summit. The Summit will be open to about 1,000 Mozilla volunteers and all 900 or so of our employees. This will be the first time since 2010 that key volunteers and all Mozilla employees will have the opportunity to gather together and to work face to face. We expect this to be very exciting.

Our last Summit was in 2010 and gathered about 600 people. It seemed huge then, yet in 2013 we’ll have more than three times as many people. Because of this we’re going to try some new things. First, we’re going to try having three different locations rather than gathering 2,000 people in one place. This means the Summit will be different than 2010. Exactly! Mozilla’s not like 2010, the world isn’t like 2010, and innovation is at the heart of who we are. So we’re going to try some innovations. We’re hoping to have three locations, each with the intimacy (!!!) of 600 or 700 people, some shared content and some innovative ways to join the three locales. We’ll learn from this and use what we learn to design our future events.

The multiple locations means that the Summit will be different than a geo-located “work week.” It’s unlikely that everyone who you’ll want to see face to face will all be in the same place. On the other hand, an organization our size needs trusted connections across groups, and good relationships between people you would never have thought to get to know.

My greatest hope for the Summit is to develop a shared understanding of who we are as Mozilla, how we plan to move our shared mission forward, and how our products and offerings fit into these goals. That of course means getting to know people, lots of spontaneity and fun settings and of course some real quality time exploring our products and programs.

To do this, we’re planning to identify a pretty good size planning group. That group will do a bunch of pre-work, and will meet in mid-June to figure out the content for the Summit and help shape the overall experience.

The Summit should be great fun. It is a hugely important step in bringing Mozilla together and developing a shared understanding of who we are and how we and our products bring openness and freedoms to digital citizens.


13 comments for “Mozilla Summit”

  1. 1

    Tomer Cohen said on March 31st, 2013 at 11:19 am:

    From my perspective as a person who attended to some previous Mozilla events as volunteer, please keep in mind that sometimes having a work week isn’t enough to know people better. I am not the person of small talks, but I think that having common activities without our [lovely] computers will help a little; such as hiking or having a bike ride around the venue, so we’ll have some time of having to talk to each other, and not over the IRC or over-crowded conference rooms… ☺

  2. 2

    Rizky Ariestiyansyah said on March 31st, 2013 at 9:54 pm:

    This is a very unusual year for mozilla, I see every year there are always innovations from Mozilla, for this event I hope to established good relationships between mozilla volunteers. surely we all can not wait for this event. Hope i can join this summit. mozilla awesome. ^_^

  3. 3

    Mitchell Baker said on April 1st, 2013 at 8:34 am:

    Nice suggestion e non-computing time. The tendancy to work all the time is strong!

  4. 4

    Alina Mierluș said on April 1st, 2013 at 1:45 pm:

    My hope for this Summit is removing or at least reducing long keynotes, panels and talks (that’s also a cause of “computing time during conferences” 🙂 ), and of course… BoFS.
    Build a space for anyone who want to have their say/idea/session and support them to get the best out of their session.

    I’d certainly enjoy much more a series of short, 10 – 15 mins, presentations from people I’ve never met, sharing their stories (related to digital freedoms, their initiatives or local digital culture) rather than long 45 mins product presentations that I could watch on Air Mozilla.

    I wrote/started a conversation 2 years ago about making both community MozCamps and Summit more participatory:

    Developing a shared understanding of how to steward open web technology in different regions, or advance the mission, and build practices and processes would indeed require a lot of innovation on Summit’s content side. So I’m looking forward to seeing how this process will evolve (hopefully in open).

  5. 5

    Regnard Raquedan said on April 1st, 2013 at 3:16 pm:

    Hi Mitchell,

    I’ll say this right off the bat: I had hoped the Summit would take on a different format. The way I see it right now, it is not clear what the criteria were for the site selection and and splitting the Summit into three portions (which means that the Summit experience will surely be different for each city).

    I’m starting to sense the same uneasiness in the community around this, and my guess is that its because of the uncertainty of what is to come, and the apparent lack of community engagement.

    But once more information and explanation why it was decided that the Summit will be the way it will be, the community will feel more on board.

    One final point: I have no doubt that volunteers and staff will make the most out of the Summit in its current planned form.

  6. 6

    Fredy Rouge said on April 1st, 2013 at 8:25 pm:

    I’m so happy because identity is one of my favorites and read this:

    “My greatest hope for the Summit is to develop a shared understanding of who we are as Mozilla, how we plan to move our shared mission forward, and how our products and offerings fit into these goals.”

    Is the best motivation for participate 🙂

  7. 7

    Stephen Donner said on April 1st, 2013 at 10:58 pm:

    And here’s a link…for those curious:

  8. 8

    Nalwadda Joyce said on April 2nd, 2013 at 6:10 am:

    Hallo Mozillians

  9. 9

    Isaac Wambi said on April 2nd, 2013 at 7:04 am:

    Hey every one well this really sounds like a very innovate gathering which will happen and i bet its going to be so educative in a way! thanks for those organizing it.

  10. 10

    Brian Behlendorf said on April 2nd, 2013 at 11:48 am:

    I’m excited at the idea of a simultaneous conference in three different cities – I think that’s a great way to make it inclusive, balance the grand with the intimite, and fight carbon emissions at the same time. Videoconferencing for both major speeches and Ignite-style short blasts from each site to the others should be encouraged. Maybe even the occasional panel made up of participants from each location. Paris is 9 hours time difference from SF, so there are only a few hours where true overlap would be possible, but skewing towards an early start in SF and a late finish in Paris could address that. Finding some way to get cross-region spontaneous and person-to-person connections would be cool too.

    Further, I wonder if we could challenge the Asia, South American and African Mozilla communities to setting up an additional city each for the Summit. Each region would overlap with North America or Europe at least a few hours a day, allowing for some degree of simultenaity, but more importantly it would ensure Mozillians from those regions are included as equals in the Summit. Perhaps there are partnerships with universities that could help keep the costs of gathering and videoconferencing low. Even if we did that, it would be useful to have some cross-region travel to the events, so that each Summit still has a global feel.

    Excited about all of this,


  11. 11

    MArcio said on April 6th, 2013 at 4:14 pm:

    I also recall from a Summit or Camp in Argetina, and the last global one I was in Mountain View — it was not much focused in making sure Mozilla decision is listening as much as they talked about, as said “programs and products”. This is what I expect from a summit — a communication channel, an interaction. Great to know Mozilla revisited and brought back the summit!

  12. 12

    nh shojib said on April 7th, 2013 at 5:55 am:

    Hey every one well this really sounds like a very innovate gathering which will happen and i bet its going to be so educative in a way! thanks for those organizing….

  13. 13

    Saurabh Shah said on April 7th, 2013 at 9:01 pm:

    Looking forward for the event !

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