My usual week…
I am an educator and educational consultant. I spend my days working from home working on reports about how teachers learn about Blended Learning or thinking about the future of the Alberta MoodleHUB or creating course content podcasts about K-12 Open Educational Resources.
When my kids come home, I get their snacks and water and rush them off to the their soccer practices and games. I am the Team Manager for two of my kid’s teams and I am an example of a soccer mom. Being a soccer mom means I leave my “professional life” behind me at my home office, and I connect with other like parents from around city. We talk about the weather, the team, politics, soccer and mostly about our kids
My Mozilla AllHands Week:
From June 12-16 I was a volunteer with the Mozilla participation team. I applied to be considered for the Mozilla Work week, where I was going to help Emma Irwin work on the Personal Leadership Toolkit based on her research and work over the last few months. This is my post on my goals and expectations of the work week.
And this is the post about what actually happened…..
Unfortunately Emma was unable to make the workweek, so I was given the amazingly enthusiastic and supportive George Roter as a mentor, the head of the Mozilla participation team, to support my work. After the original keynote given by Lorraine Heggessey from BBC1 about her leadership in reinventing Dr Who, I connected with George to get an overview of the volunteer work expectations. From the Dr Who keynote, I was able to ascertain that Mozilla was compared to the Dr Who show because of the show’s reinvention and ability to consistently be different, think outside the box, push barriers and try and save the universe. Apparently Mozilla had been used to doing some things the “old way” (imagine Dr Who in the 1960’s) and now we were being challenged to think about the transformation and success of Dr Who in 2016 (imagine what Mozilla could be if we had no barriers in which to save the universe). I assumed that “the universe” we are trying to save was the Internet – and we are trying to ensure that the Internet remains free.
Saving the Internet Universe? Tardis Boxes?
According to Chris Beard, CEO of Mozilla, during the keynote introductions, I am a Mozillian. And as a Mozillian, I am part of the “force” now trying to ensure freedom on the Internet. I have to admit, I was a little confused…I knew I had signed up as a volunteer for Mozilla, but now I was a Mozillian? Tardis boxes were being flown in with smoke, lots of great videos about Mozilla accomplishments were being shown – but I was seriously beginning to question where I was and why I was there….
Back to my reality…
Go back to the beginning of this post where I described my usual daily life: a mom who works from a home office and spends her evenings on soccer fields trying to keep her family and soccer team in order. Creating a leadership toolkit seemed like an easy project based on my world of organization & consulting.
Into the future and my beliefs and passions….
However, now I am a Mozillian. I was being encouraged and challenged to push barriers and think beyond the “normal” and the “expected”. Those who know me – know I was in my element! I was being asked to step out of my “soccer mom” role and actually be myself!
I was surrounded by the type of “work” world we as educators speak about as we question how and what students are learning today. As educators, we are constantly being told that we are preparing our students for an unknown future. We are teaching and facilitating the skills, knowledge and behaviours for jobs and careers that don’t exist yet. At Mozilla, these skills, knowledge and behaviours exist already.
I realized that I was already in my own rocketship sent from Calgary, Alberta, Canada discovering a new planet in a foreign galaxy. I had stepped out of the Canadian Tardis I didn’t know I was stuck in – and I was exploring a new world – well new to me. My personal challenge was going to be to figure out how to learn as much as possible about this new world then bring this new learning back to my current world.
What a Volunteer Learns at a Mozilla All Hands Event:
Luckily, there were a number of sessions offered at London AllHands to help me figure out what this planet filled with Mozillians had to offer. I spent Wednesday learning about the participation team, “teams” who were reviewing and evaluating the campus campaign, rethinking the Reps program and developing the Reps mentoring and coaching support. Although each team had a Mozillian common vision and goals, they appeared to each speak their own language and do their own thing. They had their own means of communication (like telegraph) and their own “rules”, expectations, history, culture, leadership and world.
In fact, in 24 hours I learned about how the word “leader” can be taken in many ways, that there are many different definitions of open source and my favourite, that Chris Beard (CEO of Mozilla) referred to Mozilla as a chaordic organization So….this was not “just” a leadership tool kit I was being asked to help support. I was being asked to try and be Dr Who discovering another planet in order to describe the current Mozilla Universe. I was not being asked to tell anyone what to do, to change anyone or try to set up a new set of rules. I was being asked to explore, listen and translate. I was being asked to try and figure out how to encourage other people to take the plunge and enter their own Tardis, from their “place” and become a Mozillian. A Mozillian, like open source in general, is open to the world without barriers or “skin”. A Mozillian is transparent and lives and breathes for a bigger purpose than just themselves. They are devoted to the bigger picture and one size will never fit all Mozillians. They are their unique while still being part of a whole.
How to Complete a Project at Mozilla All Hands:
So – developing a tool kit, yes that was my project goal…but I was finding the getting there extremely difficult. I decided to use Design Thinking to help me with the project:
Design Thinking image retrieved from: http://dschool.stanford.edu/dgift/
Based on listening and observing of the other Mozillians, I learned that I needed another team member. Mikko Kontto is a Finnish elementary school teacher with experience working with the Mozilla web literacy framework and using Mozilla learning tools to encourage his own students to become Mozillians in their own way. (Side note: As an k-12 Canadian Educator I shook with excitement because I was working with a Finnish teacher!!! And we are all told that the FInnish Education system is “it” right? And after working with Mikko – I can honestly say, all Canadian teachers should have the opportunity to collaborate with Finns!)
Mikko and I took Emma Irwin’s work, the personal leadership framework, Julian Stodd’s work on social leadership and compared other chaordic resources in order to create a “Version -.0.5” of a personal leadership framework and competencies for Mozilla.
We started by using social leadership as a guide/common definition.
If you want to learn more about social leadership and how we made this connection to Mozillians please click HERE.
We started to integrate the behaviours, skills and knowledge that Emma had filtered into the social leadership competencies developed by Julian Stodd into our own Mozillian context:
Retrieved from: http://seasaltlearning.com/social-leadership/
Then we created an excel spreadsheet which described the competencies using Mozilla words and vocabulary to ensure that we were translating the common language. We used the behaviours, skills and knowledge described in Emma Irwin’s work to ensure that the competencies connected with Mozillian culture.
Click HERE to see a copy of the Personal Leadership Competencies and descriptions
With a basic framework in mind, we were able to present our ideas to some of the Participation Team Leaders to ensure that we were creating something that was usable and others could “see themselves in”.
Finally, we presented our findings to Mozilla on Friday and were given feedback in order to take next steps.
Our “presentation display” looked like this:
Panel 1 represented the personal leadership framework – with the social leadership competencies and a description of how Mozillian skills, knowledge and behaviours connected to the competencies:
We used the Reps as an example to try and demonstrate the potential for this personal competency framework.
Panel 2 represented the current leadership framework within the Reps system.
Panel 3 was created to demonstrate the potential for Mozillian growth in terms of personal leadership and numbers. While Panel 2 exemplified a “closed” system that was not able to sustain itself, Panel 2 exemplifies an open and networked system where there is an unending potential for sustainable growth for current and future Mozillians.
Next Steps? Testing….
As I headed back to Canada in my Calgary based Mozilla Tardis, I began to think about possible next steps. I was delighted to receive an email from Ruben ( @nukeador ) creating a timeline to keep working on the project. We are currently completing a Version 1.0 of the personal leadership framework – by connecting priority Rep skills, behaviours and knowledge to competencies and finding resources to support these prioritized focus areas. This is the link to our current work: Click HERE
I look forward to the next few months to see how/if the personal leadership framework will be prototyped and developed within the Mozilla participation team and beyond…
And until then….I will jump into my Tardis …and see where the future takes me as a Mozillian…