Reflections from Mozilla Summit 2013: Learn. Share. Love.

me and fox at summit 2013This past weekend I had the great fortune of attending the Mozilla Summit. I’ve never felt more excited and more grateful to be part of the Mozilla community – a Mozillian. I met so many great people and built many great friendships.

Mozilla champions a web where people know more, do more and do better. This breaks up into four main pillars:

  1. Shape environments to embody and spread Mozilla’s vision and values. In particular, we aim to shape the consumer product environment towards openness, to shape the overall web platform to ensure that it continues to embody the values in the Mozilla Manifesto, and to shape people’s mindset to understand and appreciate these values.
  2. Build the “web” we want through great products, services and programs. As we do, make sure to delight and empower people across the internet and to show what is special about the web.
  3. Empower communities around the world that: lead, build and promote Mozilla’s work; and inspire and enable the Mozilla spirit in others.
  4. Teach the “Web” as a way to  help people understand what “openness” feel like, how the web works and give them the knowledge they need to create, shape and control their own online lives.

(For those less familiar, Mozilla values are based on openness, opportunity and participation for the web as a whole – what the web was founded on.) Mitchell Baker talked about the above in her keynote. It provides a framework to understand who we are, what we have done and where we plan to go in the future. Being effective requires identifying and applying what makes you, you.

The Summit provided an opportunity for Mozillians to see all of the cool things other Mozillans are working on either under the name of Mozilla or on their own. It built community pride, rightfully so. Many of the projects I had no idea about, from open video encoding to a guide book about how to use open technology created in Cambodia and signed by the Ministry of Education for use in schools.

Mozillians like to talk but, even more, we like to build. The Summit provided many opportunities from dedicated hack space to the smaller group gatherings to dig in and make stuff together. This brought out the teacher and the student inside all of us.

In conversation with one of the event planners I was told: The Mozilla event has been my favorite project. Usually, in conferences like this, everyone sits in a big room together and listens to executives talk about how to make more money. Mozilla couldn’t be more opposite. All of the small groups sessions where people got to talk and have value show this. You are driven by a mission to do good. You are making a positive impact and you’re extremely passionate about it.

I couldn’t agree with this person more. At Mozilla, it’s not who you are it’s what you and who you do that with that defines you. Mozilla is about people. Making a positive impact in everyone’s life by empowering them and creating opportunity. Our mission is not to be the best, it’s to push everyone forward. Our best is when everyone is doing their best.

At the end I asked people what they will tell their friends about Summit when they get back home. My favorite answer was from a contributor from Malaysia who looked at me confidently and said three simple words, “Learn. Share. Love.” Well said.

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