Your Stories from MozFest 2014’s Community Building track

Lucy Harris

This is a guest post from Beatrice Martini (of http://beatricemartini.it/) and Bekka Kahn (of The Open Coalition), Community Building track wranglers from MozFest 2014.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 10.40.33 AMThis year, MozFest hosted the first-ever Community Building track for participants. Wrangled by Beatrice Martini and Bekka Kahn, and rocked by a phenomenal team of facilitators, this track explored a wide variety of aspects of how to build communities, from what defines a community, to how to gather your crowd, finding funding, understanding how to include open working practices in your community’s day-to-day activity.  We were blown away by how many people joined our sessions, bringing a wealth of perspectives, experience, insights and opinions. We’ve collected a couple of their stories here – we hope they make you feel as inspired as we are to continue building powerful communities on the Web.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 10.41.50 AMName: Alifiyah Ganijee

Session: Join! Types of diversity and inclusion

Twitter or Website: @alifyaganijee | @mozillamombasa | @MombasaTech | www.mombasatech.org

What did you learn: I learnt that cultural diversity is a common and global challenge and that it is the simple perspective towards certain issues that can help us collectively overcome the challenge.  On the other hand, what might work in one country may not work in another it’s very important to study one’s community and identify what may work best and then give it a shot! It is equally crucial to appreciate people’s thoughts. The overall objective is to be able to fix the puzzle :)

What would you like to do next: I look forward to actualize some of the ideas shared within the groups on how to adopt a vibrant and culturally diverse community. I would also like to stay connected with the entire MozFestCB team to share my learning outcomes and experiences as time goes by and thus build a better, more connected, more diverse and stronger community.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 10.42.38 AMSession: Join! Types of diversity and inclusion

Name: Cynthia “Arty” Ng

Twitter or Website: @TheRealArty

What is your project about: Accessibility (as part of the Diversity and Inclusion session)

What did you learn or make : We had a great discussion during the session about the different aspects to consider including online vs. offline, different types of disabilities, and variety of technology (both software and hardware). One of the major points that came up was that inclusion has such a large scope that it seems almost impossible to take everything into account, but that one method might be to attempt to design at a broader level to consider all types of diversity by thinking about universal design or universal usability.

What would you like to do next: I would love to create or contribute to a list of resources, especially around web based or online development.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 10.44.03 AMName: Faye Tandog

Session: Student Involvement in Mozilla Communities

Twitter or Website: @fayetandog,  http://fayetandog.com

What is your project about: Student Involvement in Mozilla Communities

What did you learn or make (include details):

We have gathered feedback on how we can improve the FSA program and make Mozilla communities more interesting for students.

What would you like to do next:

I would like to focus on raising awareness first on the existence of Mozilla communities (as apparently, people still perceive Mozilla as simply another for-profit tech company), develop recruitment programs to spread the word to students and create programs to keep student contributors empowered in the community.

Name: Galaxy Kadiyala

Session: Student Involvement in Mozilla Communities

Twitter: @GalaxyK

Website: http://galaxyk.github.io

What did you learn? Ilearnt about different community practices from the participants. Each of them had a different perspective regarding involvement of students in communities in general. An interesting find is that most of them won’t get involved because they think that they do not have much knowledge about the project/community.

What would you like to do next: We’ll be making use of the feedback in the Firefox Student Ambassador program. This program has vast number of students from different countries and think we can improve the program in a much more *easy to get involved* way.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 10.44.48 AMName: Carl Ruppin

Session: Walking the talk – How to work open

Twitter or Website: @p2pu

What did you learn? ‘Open’ means quite different things when applied to governance or work-practices .  Working ‘openly’ tends to mean either working transparently or making decisions collaboratively which are two different things. Both are hard to implement and apply consistently across an organization, particularly one with many different sub-communities, like tech vs non-tech, managers vs staffers, open literati vs newcomers to the world of open etc. Making it work requires  discussion and building processes in advance, which can be hard to do.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 10.45.37 AM

Name: Jessica Kaminsky

Session: Using a Spectrogram for Stakeholder Mapping and Power Analysis

Twitter or Website: @jesskaminsky and @hear_me_project

What is your project about:  An initiative of the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, Hear Me asks students to contribute their voices to meaningful conversations through media-making projects. Hear Me’s platform connects student voices to audiences to inform policies and practices and raise awareness around youth issues.

What did you learn or make? I worked with Mikva Challenge (http://www.mikvachallenge.org/) to create a stakeholder map on a project about implementing restorative justice practices in Chicago Public Schools.  The workshop helped us identify stakeholders and other interested parties, and discuss the power relationships between these groups.  We created a spectrogram that visualized these relationships. The session also covered the different engagement tactics that we should use for each stakeholder based on where they were within the spectrogram.

What would you like to do next:  I’d like to continue to work with Mikva Challenge to figure out how to get more schools to implement restorative justice practices, in Chicago and beyond!  I would also like to unify efforts with groups like Mikva to challenge policies, like restorative justice practices, at the local and national level.

 

Want to know more about the Community Building track? Check out the track’s documentation here!

Also, the Open Coalition is happy to host our upcoming conversations – join the mailing list to stay in touch!

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