What is it?
The goal of the Mozilla Open Leaders initiative is to strengthen open projects and communities around the world. Open Leaders help to design and build projects which empower people to collaborate within inclusive communities. Leaders receive 14 weeks of training, one-on-one-mentoring, and group support in developing the skills needed to support collaborative and often complex open source projects.
The initiative is grounded in the Open Leadership Training framework, and uses it as the basis for weekly homework modules and group activities. We learn and work in the open. I will be enrolled in the Culture Track, and the training begins this week.
Why Open Leaders?
For the privacy working group, the Open Leaders initiative was the perfect fit at the perfect time. There are, as far as we know, very few precedents for open source teams collaborating across projects, so it is important that we establish our own governance and approaches correctly. The Open Leadership Training framework will equip me with the practical skills needed to support the group as we define our goals and practices.
From our first office hour chats as well as our personal experiences, we are also aware that privacy work does not enjoy the full support of all of our projects. The Open Leaders training will help me to support each participant project to acknowledge the work of the group, to improve internal privacy dialogues, and to assist in advocating for better resourcing of privacy work.
From the start of the cross-CMS project idea, our vision has been that through collaboration, open source CMS projects can help transform our development communities into ones which empower user privacy through a positive and proactive approach to governance, standards, and tools, rather than a negative and reactive approach to privacy as a legal compliance obligation. On behalf of the group participants from WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Umbraco, and Typo3, I am extremely grateful to Mozilla for offering the training, mentorship, and support we need to begin inspiring that vital cultural change.
How you can support my work
As with all my work on open source privacy, my participation in the Open Leaders programme is being done on my own initiative, and is not supported by any company or project. Within my own open source community, privacy work is not funded, not resourced, and not respected. I remain dependent on public supporter donations to make my time and labour possible. If you or your companies and projects value my contributions to open source privacy, you can donate to support my work here.
We are people of enormous power and influence over the web. I empower digital professionals to use that power wisely. As a tech policy and regulation specialist, I educate the makers of the web on the policy issues which impact their work, inspire them to participate constructively in the regulatory sphere, and represent them to governments.