Building Mozilla’s Leadership Toolkit – Innovating contribution workflows for curriculum development

Building Mozilla’s Leadership Toolkit — Innovating contribution workflows for curriculum development

Earlier this year, we proposed a framework for Community Leadership Development at Mozilla. Since then, we’ve iterated on that work : ‘Open, Communicate, Empower, and Build’ are now core competencies guiding content development in Mozilla’s Leadership Toolkit.

As part of our goals for developing excellent content aligned with project and volunteer needs, I’ve been very deliberate and determined… to innovate a contribution model for volunteers with a background in education (professionals, and students), and those willing to invest in the testing of those workshops with their community. Our working group, has been building and testing a workflow as part of our early work. Enormous thanks to :

We’re definitely on our way, and energized with feedback from the Hawaii All Hands, including a contribution: ‘Using Powerful Questions’ from Jane Finette!

Our work is divided into areas of work listed below:


Based on the original Framework, and with inspiration from Julien Stodd, and the DIY Toolkit we proposed curriculum development under 4 competencies:


Competencies that help people bring others in, to help others realize and claim their potential through designed opportunity, empathy, diversity and inclusion.


Skills, knowledge and attitudes we develop to effectively, and collaboratively build momentum of positive change they want to see in our communities, on projects and initiatives that matter to Mozilla’s mission.


Open is a way of thinking and being, open is a willingness to share, not only resources, but processes, ideas, thoughts, ways of thinking and operating. Mozilla story, manifesto and way of working.


Growing connection and shared vision for advocacy and purpose through strong personal and community narrative. Sharing what we learn, sharing early, sharing often, sharing inclusively.

Content is also categorized according to (evolving) sub-competencies, displayed as stories that help connect people with resources (example below, not on website yet)


Content is prioritized by those skills, knowledge and attitudes identified by Mozilla projects (currently Mozilla Reps, Campus Clubs) as being key to volunteer success — validated through self-assessment and testing. Although content is categorized by competency and sub-competency, we’ve also started to recognize pathways as another method of content categorization. Some examples so far are ‘I Hear You!’, and ‘Presenting Ideas’, as well as pathways focused on Personas like ‘New Mozillian’.

So far we have a number of resources built, with others on their way. As much as possible, we leverage openly licensed OER.

Content Development Workflow

My big aha moment during this process was to stop being prescriptive about the technology, and technology format of curriculum contribution, and instead focus building standards, and processes that support where and how people want to work. Who cares if contributors know markdown, who cares if they know how to submit a pull request. Honestly, it only takes one person to publish content — and they can be positioned at the end of the workflow.

Something I have also learned this year is that ‘open calls’ to test content is almost never successful in obtaining meaningful feedback. Instead holding a 1:1 call with someone willing to test content, demoing the content delivery and then asking them to do the same with one or two people yields higher quality feedback on both the facilitator journey, and the learner.

I’m starting to believe that all workshop content we develop should come with a demo video, or 1:1 coaching that helps the facilitator prepare and ask questions.


Currently, the Leadership Toolkit website is a fork of another, and intended only to demo progress.

Content Delivery

You may ask yourself, what learning formats are you optimizing for? Good question!

Right now, content is a mix of self-study and in-person/workshop-focused — but we intend to be more deliberate about the design moving forward — with thought leadership from Mikko Knotto, we’ll be proposing a standard for content delivery based on this talk from Coursera . I’ll blog about this next.

Stay in Touch!

You can find updates on our work, including how to find us — on the project wiki.

Scrabble by Jacqui Brown