Participation is my co-pilot … in space!

Whistler was an exciting and productive week for the Participation Team (which included volunteers).  We learned  a lot about ourselves, our team,  the expectations of the project and  perhaps most importantly – the Participation goals  of nearly 30 teams at Mozilla.

The experience reinforced the value of volunteers and volunteer communities at large, magnified by the  participation of contributors in nearly every session we ran.  In every way, we immersed ourselves in radical participation: listening to outside experts, polling passersby and engaging in intense discussions on every angle of community’s impact on the past, present and future of Mozilla’s mission.


We turned up to lead sessions with some anxiety about our preparedness, about our goals and the expectations with such a large number of teams awaiting us, yet left feeling successful and intrigued. We watched our colleagues on the main stage share some early victories, and vision for the future – the optimism and excitement was palpable.

Overall the week was intense as, in addition to running sessions, we also worked on team vision for the future and  the beginning of proposal for a Participation strategy at Mozilla.   We look forward to sharing this soon.

On a personal note, one of the most powerful experiences for me was ‘heart’ in Chris Beard’s keynote (and I paraphrase) : that we have one life, and within the gift of each day is the opportunity to do something important.  That we choose to spend cherished time helping Mozilla move it’s mission forward is very powerful.  As parent of an childhood cancer survivor this philosophy also happens to also be my own.  Truly understanding that every day is a gift, is a serious force in all choices I make for my career and in my life. I do choose to be here.  It just felt very good to hear that recognition from Chris , with new realization this should be an extension of how we think about gratitude, empowerment and recognition to volunteers who turn donate the gift of their time – perhaps this can strengthen our trust in each other.

Candy Poll – “We have an established trust between staff and volunteers at Mozilla”

There was a lot of talk about ‘Space’ in Whistler – which I got.  Being brave, being bold – being adventurous and making new things resonated.  I could not ask to be part of a better, more compassionate, smart and creative team and extended community.  I think with Participation as our co-pilot, Mozilla can most definitely get there.