Passports for Community Leadership

This is #1 of 5 posts I identified as perhaps, being worth finishing and sharing.   Writing never feels finished, and it’s a vulnerable thing… to share ideas – but perhaps better than never sharing them at all?

I wrote most of this post in April of this year (making this outdated with the current work of the Participation Team), thinking about ways the learning format of the Leadership Summit in Singapore could evolve into a valuable tool for community leadership development and credentialing.  Community Leadership Passport(s) perhaps…


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At the Participation Leadership Summit in Singapore, we designed the schedule in time blocks sorted by the Leadership Framework.  This meant that everyone attended at least one session identified under each of the building blocks.  The schedule was structured something like this…

Copy of Schedule(1)

As you can see, the structure  ensured that everyone experienced learning outcomes of the entire framework, while still providing choice in what felt most relevant, exciting or interesting in their personal development.  You can find some of this content here.

I started wondering..

How might we evolve the schedule design and content into a format for leadership development that also provides real world credentials?

I don’t think the answer is to take this schedule and make it a static ‘course’ or offering, I don’t think it is about ‘event in box’,  but I do think there’s something in using the framework to enforce quality leadership development, while giving power to what people want to learn, and how they prefer to learn.

Merging this idea + my previous work with participation ‘steps & ladders’ into something like a passport, or series of passports for leadership.

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Really, this is about creating a mechanism for helping people build leadership credentials in a way that intersects what they want to learn and do, and what the project needs. It could be used for anything from developing strong mentors, to project leads in areas like IoT and Rust, to governance and diversity & inclusion. Imagining Passports with  3 attributes:

Experience – Taking action, completing tasks, generating experiences associated with learning and project outcomes. Should be clear, and feel doable without too much detail.

Mozilla Content – Completing a course either developed by, or approved as Mozilla content.   These could be online, or in person events.

Learner Choice – Encouraging exploration, and learning that feels valuable, interesting and fun – but with some guidelines for topics, outcomes and likely recommendations to make things easier.  For example, some people might want to complete a Coursera Course on IOT and Embedded systems, while others might prefer a ‘learning by doing’ approach via YouTube channels.

Something like a Leadership Passport would obviously require more thought in implementation, tracking and issuing certification. It could also be used to test and evolve Leadership Framework. I prefer it over a participation ladder because it feels less prescriptive in ‘how’ we step up as leaders and more supportive of ways want to learn and lead — and ultimately help us recognize and invest in emerging leaders sooner.

Image Credit:  Kate Harding – Quilt of Nations.

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