I first attended a Mozilla All-hands workweek in 2014 when it happened in Portland. I attended as part of the newly-formed FSA E-board who has been working so hard during the past months in revamping the program led by the amazing Community Manager that we had. FSA is the first (and so far the only) area at Mozilla that I have been a core contributor of in a global level, so I was so excited to meet the people I have been working so closely for the first time. I led the revamp of the Firefox Clubs and I take pride on the sleepless nights I spent working on the new process and training materials. I was ready to rock in Portland.
But it was the first workweek I attended. Less idealism and more serious business, so for the first time ever I was so stressed in a Mozilla event. Each day I had been learning what was really happening inside the organization, mostly cool stuff but sadly, it isn’t the case for the program I am involved with. Portland weather continued to be gloomy and the clouds were getting heavier as I am getting filled with confusion and doubt. It was my first time to be upset about and started questioning how well are we really doing in taking care of volunteers in Mozilla.
Now, what happened? Simple. Apparently there is a difference on how we value this program between us, the volunteer team running it and the team managing it. We all went to Portland with a goal to think about how we can improve the experience of Mozilla’s young volunteers but too bad, we are apparently all about numbers. Indeed I am aware we contribute to that, but I expected they see us beyond. These people we work so hard for are just valued for the numbers they bring. This isn’t even close to what I expected from all the things we have been working on since the revamp. Indeed, reality sucks.
Let me drop a quick bomb as I start this entry: Almost a year after I signed up to the Reps program, I quit.
Here’s the thing— First, I am an industrial engineering student (not in the computer/ IT studies) and I was the only girl.
When I joined the Reps program, my only Mozilla-related experience was using Firefox as my primary browser ever since. I didn’t know that there is a community and you can contribute to the organization. Back then, I was involved with a university-wide organization so I have a pretty solid experience and network to run student-targeted events. So in my first year as a Rep I just organized Mozilla presence at events, by myself.
In that year though, unknown to me, the MozillaPH Community has already been formed and is starting to gain momentum. The early members back then was of course, searching for those listed as Mozilla Reps from the Philippines. I also joined the mailing list so I’ve been reading what’s been going on, but I never participated and I almost never interacted with them. I never attended meet-ups because other than the locations are far from where I live it also primarily because… they were all men.
So in this post I had an idea to document what we are doing at the FSA program to engage Mozilla’s young people.
Last term (2014-15) I was part of the pioneer FSA Eboard whose focus was on revolutionizing the program. I handled Club Development and that was honestly one of the best things that I have done for Mozilla so far. Now, I am continuing my work on supporting the program by digging deeper from developing Firefox Clubs to focusing on the ambassadors themselves. Formally, the name of my position would be Ambassador Impact Lead. I am grateful to be serving another term with the eboard with the amazing #FSADREAMTEAM!
Compared to my role last term where I set-up a structure and a system to facilitate club formations, my work for Ambassador Impact would be very similar to doing a research, where I continuously find ways to understand the FSA population and target market to develop the needed support and resources for the ambassadors.
As it is a trending topic at my Mozilla channels lately and with the Whistler Workweek buzzing with ‘going into space’, I thought it is just so timely to express my thoughts on participation. Participation-wise, here’s what I think we should really put a spotlight on: our young contributors. Okay I may be biased because I am with the Firefox Student Ambassadors team (LOL), but I’ve been actively involved with it for a reason. I believe that helping our young contributors grow with Mozilla is a way of investing on the organization’s future. I strongly believe that taking actions now to engage and develop them as the next leaders is a way of securing the opportunities that may come up in the future.
Empowering the youth as they are obviously ‘the world’s future’ may sound cliche, but I think by this time generations have proven that indeed, to have a more proactive and involved citizens you must nurture them when they’re young, during the time that they are still a sponge absorbing everything and still forming their own values. Same goes for Mozilla. I believe that by sharing our mission, the relevance of what we do and providing them opportunities to do something, we can have long-term contributors, who not just help improve the organization but also pass on what they have learned from their rich experiences with Mozilla.
Perhaps the Mozilla Philippines Community is one of those communities who witnessed the power of empowered young people. Most of our volunteers are either still students or young professionals. We have witnessed great transformations from being a shy volunteer to assuming a big sister/ brother role as a facilitator of our FSA Leaders Camp. We have Reps who started as Student Reps/ FSAs and come to think of it, I was a student when I joined the Reps program. Mozilla fascinated me years back and now I have set the Mozilla values as my own.
Alright great, exploring the youth’s potential looks like a promising strategy, now what?
I think we have two problems though, young people tend to be shy… and underrated. In some places it might be the seniority culture and for some, maybe we’re just not inclusive for them.
Last Jan 10-11 MozPH had our annual strategic planning where we will set our goals for 2015 in relation to how our previous year turned out. For this planning, I have to admit I spent a lot of time researching on how to properly do a strategic plan as I want us to do better than last year’s session.
I read a lot of articles on the Web and read, drum roll please, Strategic Planning for Dummies! (seriously, it helped a lot). I used a lot of plan documents from other organizations including those I am involved with and also referred to the Mozilla 2014 plan on wiki.mozilla.org/2014. On this post I will discuss how we did our planning session to give a little help to communities who want to do their annual planning.
Pics are from the FSAPH Strat Plan, which followed the similar format as the one for MozPH. We didn’t take pictures on the actual planning. :p
This was written starting on my flight home to MNL then continued at different places (i.e. public transpo, on my table etc. lol)
I am writing this while on the plane and sort of experiencing a turbulent flight but interestingly the seatbelt sign is still not on. And at last, I had a meal that actually has taste (very tasty roast beef, bell pepper, sauce, onions and more pepper comparable to our local beef steak) after four days of eating bland food.
The topic of how I developed a picky attitude over British food though is not what I intend to write in this 15-hr trip, because hey, the fish and chips I had was nice.
I am flying back home from the city that has a special place in my heart (nope that is not because of my MozFest crush but well, ok yes it is a factor lol) because it is the venue of my awesome weekend with people that I admire and most importantly, people that keep on inspiring me. The wonderful, most anticipated Mozilla event every year that is MozFest.
Last year I came to this event to participate. My goal was to learn from people globally and bring home with me ideas (and community gossip, yes) that our community can make use of. Most importantly, it gave me an idea that served as the opportunity to make a dream of mine come true. That dream was to spearhead the first, biggest public-facing event for the Mozilla Philippines Community. It is a little dream, yes. But at least it is a dream that actually happened, all because of how this event showed me that it can.
This year I challenged myself. I want to be part of the group that leads the generation of new ideas at MozFest. Wow much high level such words wow.
I am now here at MozFest as a community builder. I used to be a student leader back in college and I still have this liking for it (guess it is really hard to get over this student-to-workforce transition) so I proposed a session at MozFest where we talk about how students can get into this opportunity to become young leaders of Mozilla communities. And because I am part of the FSA Eboard lol I am biased! :-p
It’s been a while since I last had something here! Just a quick rundown of what I’ve been doing since I last posted:
MozPH Community Meet-up in Cebu
Sir Bob, Ryan and I went to Cebu to meet-up with potential community members there. We met a lot of new people and we sure had lots of fun. Cebu is a rising tech city in the south and it is awesome that we have Mozillians over there. As a follow-up on the event, the team went back last May 17 to have a MozTour with the college that houses the largest computer lab in the Philippines.
MozPH Women’s Month Celebration
From March 15 to March 29 we had a series of all-girl events all held at Palet Express. I have blogged about these events on the Mozilla PH website. It is my first time to organize an event series for consecutive weeks and I enjoyed the pressure of it.
April is the Holy Week and graduation season in the Philippines so we deemed it is pretty hard to organize an event, especially for me as I have to make myself available for possible weekend work in preparation for our company’s ISO audit by our certifying body. Also, as the MozCamp season becomes near, I was very lucky to get invited to attend the MozCamp Design Session in San Francisco last April 23-25. Unfortunately due to some personal commitments I made on the 26th, I have to leave by April 24 (US time) to be in the Philippines by 4AM on Saturday, as I have to attend an officemate’s 10AM wedding and a 4PM graduation ceremony of a loved one. That day was kinda dreamy because I spent a lot of it sleeping while on the way to the venues and while not actively participating. I coped with the jetlag fast, apparently.
We started this May with the launch of the beautiful Firefox 29 and we are now off to our last day of our first month-long web design workshop series on Saturday. May is good. I have learned more about teaching the Web and I hope to improve my skills on that. Other than that, I believe the facilitators discovered a lot about themselves too in terms of teaching and we really hope to improve our workshop series program in the future. We received one hell of a huge good news and I am looking forward to take advantage of that opportunity in accomplishing my goal in improving how we teach the Web. Good luck to me!
October has really been a busy month for me and to end that physically and mentally exhausting month, I attended the Mozilla Festival held in London, UK! Mozilla Festival is like the biggest brainstorming ground for everyone passionate about technology, especially the open web. Not only does it involve newbies who want to learn, it is also a place where you put the awesome idea that has been taking up a lot of your sleep time into a pit of interested individuals who can help bring it to reality! I got to admit that my personal motto in this event was “SPEAK UP!”. Everyone was busy learning and creating A LOT of things that you can’t just track everything that was going on.
Around 1500, volunteers included, was there at the MozFest. It was my first time to attend an event THAT BIG in terms of activities and participants. I signed up to become a volunteer at the Reps and FSA booth. In this blog post, I’m gonna share some sessions that I have attended and some snapshots of the event.
The venue was the awesome Ravensbourne College which I must say is PERFECT for the unconventional and very open format of the Festival.
Aaaaaand after Overclock 2013 north of Manila, I ran to Laguna to co-facilitate the FSA Leaders Camp. Good thing I was not really in-charge of the Day 1 stuff so I have no worries coming in late. :p My task at the FSA camp was to facilitate the non-technical side of it which involves leadership and team building activities. On Day 1, the awesome MozMen handled informing the ambassadors all the stuff they need to know about Mozilla and some basic tips on handling the audience of the talks for each product/program. Some shots of the night:
It’s been a while since I last blogged. It was indeed a tough week, especially with lots of non-work stuff going on (I love my job, lol). I haven’t told you (imaginary) guys about the awesome event we had in Laguna ! It was a tough one to be honest, we had an attendance more than what is expected so we have to immediately adjust our logistics. Good thing we have an epic team of student facilitators at the event! After the App Days in Laguna, we had some good fun in the van where we sang like children on a fieldtrip. Next event was our most awaited one– the Mozilla Summit 2013! Philippine delegates were assigned to Santa Clara, CA. THE SILICON VALLEY! On my next blog post I will talk about my first two days in CA where we had a Silicon Valley adventure. In this post, let’s talk about the MozSummit. I don’t really have much pictures as I want to concentrate on the talks and the event (hey, it’s what I came in for lol) so I’ll have to borrow pics from other Mozillians.
First let us talk about the venue! It was held in Santa Clara Marriott in Santa Clara, CA. It is near the McAffee office and the Great America theme park.