#MozSummit (Toronto)

Mozilla Summit – Toronto


I’ve found it very challenging to write a post on the Mozilla Summit –   how can I possibly, ever reflect the experience of spending a weekend with 600 brilliant inspiring people; Of the greater awareness that in two other locations there are 1800 other Mozillians exploring the same ideas? How can I lightly summarize a single innovative idea, project and session, much-less describe three days of them? I cannot!  I give up imaging it’s possible(at least for me).

I can say without hesitation, that the Summit awakened, and clarified and confirmed my sense of purpose as a Mozilla contributor.

Because I can’t summarize, I will instead quickly share experiences under the Summit theme of:  Imagine.  Build.  Teach .


I saw Candy Crush running via Shumway. 

I saw a lot of cool technology, but this blew me away the most.. Flash turned into HTML5.

I saw web based 3D Games, and I imagined the possibilities for the web and of course for FFOS.


Also…I not only imagined but believe in Mozilla’s unique ability to lead by example in creating an accepting and diverse community.  Thanks to the inspiring Lukas Blakk, I have to say the DICE workshop was a highlight.  Also I got a badge!


I super, extra LOVED teaching the ‘Build a Web Literate Planet’ Session with Julia AKA @colorwheelz  , I loved sharing the Webmaker tools, discussing the importance of Web Literacy and generally listening to the discussion.  Truly my heart’s work.

The only thing I think was missing from the Summit was the story of community all over the world teaching Webmaker.  I would have loved to see a video piece of an inspiring story  – like Lawrence in Uganda, or Rhaman teaching orphans in Ansar. So all Mozillians could witness just how life-and-world-changing some of our work is.  The tools, are only a piece of Webmaker.

Overheard at dinner: two very distinct expressions of cross-community appreciation and education.

First from an engineer:

“We focus so hard on the technology, but I see now, that without the mission without the community the technology wouldn’t exist.  I feel I’m not doing enough…”

And then from someone working on community projects :

“I realized, that Mozilla would never be where it is, without the kickass engineering. “

This is a huge win of the Summit, everyone was able to share their story of Mozilla,  from there were not only inspired but humbled by each other.  We had the opportunity to see how everyone’s contribution, employee, contributor, engineer, every person puts Mozilla in the position to build The Web the World Needs. 


I was very excited to be co-piloting David Eave’s session: “Framing your Project for Participation” .  We had a very diverse group of project owners and contributors discussing what it means to frame an open project for participation.    We  tend to form opinions based on our specific focus and experience, so it was invaluable to hear the opinions, frustrations and stories from a variety contributor and employees. I came home with greater appreciation for the complexity and challenges of working with contributors, but also with great ambition to help build and improve community relations and ultimately contributor retention..

Also excited about community tools  discussion – seeking to solve the fragmented, duplicated ways we communicate is a huge deal, and will go a long way to help everyone feel valued.  Also one word:  badges.


My favourite conversation at Mozilla Summit was the last night where I sat with three Spanish-speaking Mozillians.  I highly recommend, if you work or volunteer for a Mozilla project to find the time to sit down and learn from other communities, even if you don’t speak their language.  One of those people was Santiago Ferreira , a Mozilla Rep from Uruguay he teaches students with the benefit of the one-laptop per child program.  I saw a video of an arduino attached to one of these laptops navigating a path by sensors. – to me this was a huge deal because a)  Santiago is teaching kids more than our schools here in Canada are managing b) The kids were the same age as my oldest daughter c) I wanted to do something like this in BC, but my code club was turned down.

After my conversation at Summit I went home and submitted a new proposal to my daughter’s school for a code club, which was since been accepted :)  As far as I know, there are no other code clubs in BC – maybe even Canada and I’m grateful to Santiago for inspiring me to try again.