Mozilla Learning: Advocacy (sic)*


What is this document?

As a part of the first phase of Mozilla Learning planning, we decided that getting ‘many more people and orgs to understand the internet’ is one of our core strategies for universal web literacy. This is about going wide with large numbers of people.

We’ve been using the term ‘advocacy’ for this, which we know isn’t quite right. Advocacy is a part of this work -- but we’re talking about something much broader as well. We’ve considered ‘citizenship’ and ‘action’ as possible monikers for this part of our work. Each of these is close but not quite right as well. This working group is tasked with coming up with the final moniker that we will use.

Get involved

How to get involved with this Working Group:

Links and Context


Leads: David Ascher + Ben Moskowitz

Contributors: Andrea Wood, H Paul Johnson

Tentative: Jordan, Chris Mills, Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, Mary Ellen Muckerman, Robert Friedman

Impact statement

Potential Tactics






Advocating for the web

Political and advocacy campaigns.

Our net neutrality campaigns

Protect the web as a public resource. Ensure governments pass laws that are good for the web.

policy-makers partners

Advocating for web literacy

Promoting the importance of web literacy.

Lobbying governments & educational orgs to deploy curriculum from Mozilla Clubs, MDN, etc.

Get web literacy into the mainstream education agenda

governments, education policymakers,

Consumer education

Building educational messages about topics like privacy. Getting them into channels where we have big reach.

Smart On.

Onboarding programs w/ phone carriers.

More people take steps to take control of their online life.

Consumers / end-users of Mozilla products

In-product learning

Putting learning features and cues inside Firefox and other consumer software products.

Private browsing in Firefox. Tinker mode in Webmaker.

More people take steps to take control of their online life.

End-users of Mozilla products

Thought leadership

Defining an agenda for the future of the web or web literacy. Talking about it loudly in public.

Shape of the Web 2.0. + PR / media campaign.

Mozilla/GSMA report on local content.

Mozilla values are “mainstream” and Mozilla perspectives are well represented in public square

Policymakers, civil society, thought leaders, tech press

Impact milestones:

Advocating for Web Literacy

Advocating for the web

Key questions:

Ambient / in-product learning

Consumer Education

Thought Leadership


Advocating for the web


Impact (short-term)

Impact (long-term)

  • Build tools that help people effectively organize

  • Build tools that enable us to engage with large numbers of supporters

  • Build tools that enable our supporters to take action (e.g., Call Your Congressman)

  • Develop timely campaigns that bring public pressure to bear on elected officials and on certain organizations (e.g., net neutrality campaign)

Mozilla has become a “movement” which is sizeable and influences public policy decisions on technology

The movement preserves the values of the web and protects it as a public resource

Governments pass laws we like

Advocating for web literacy


Impact (short-term)

Impact (long-term)

Consumer education


Impact (short-term)

Impact (long-term)

More people actively manage their online privacy to fit their values

Embed learning into products


Impact (short-term)

Impact (long-term)

  • Develop “private browsing” consumer education experience in-product

  • Develop campaigns for awareness about this feature

  • Develop ways that users can share and encourage other users to turn on the feature

  • Significant growth in use of Private Browsing 2.0 feature in Firefox, 2015

  • Sustained growth in Private Browsing 2.0 feature in Firefox, 2016;

  • Firefox and other Mozilla products recognized as a leading example consumer education by third party / media

Majority of people actively manage their online privacy to fit their values

Majority of people are aware of steps they can take to control their online persona

User control of consumer software products is unanimously held as a sacred value worldwide

Produce research and publications


Impact (short-term)

Impact (long-term)

  • Conduct field research on motivations and constraints for learning web skills

  • Conduct macroeconomic research on the value of web skills

  • Publish original research to both specialist and mainstream audiences

  • Use contents and findings of research as leverage into op-eds, TV shows, magazine articles, and other public fora

  • Large number of press mentions and media coverage sharing our findings

  • Many individuals/organizations cite our publications and build on our ideas

  • Philanthropic or government expenditures are justified in part by original ideas and research of Mozilla

  • “Web literacy” is universally considered to be the 4th “R” (after reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic)

  • Value of web skills for civic participation and for career / livelihood thoroughly studied and understood

  • Mozilla is widely known as a center of knowledge on how people learn on web

  • Mozilla is among top global organizations consulted on questions related to education & the web

  • Mozilla has built a sizeable endowment based in part on the strength and pedigree of the “Mozilla” school of thought


Mozilla is currently doing work that improves public understanding of the web and promotes web literacy.

Now we want to have impact at a larger scale.

How do we “growth hack” web citizenship? First we examine which tactics are most impactful. Then line them up against our impact statements, and decide which should be at the center of our strategy.

Tactics to consider:

  1. Advocating for laws and policies that impact the web.
  1. Advocating directly for web literacy. Promoting the importance of web literacy and giving others around the world the tools to teach it.
  1. Moving people from “consumers” to “web citizens.” Building messages about topics like privacy into our product channels, advertising, or other places where we have a large audience.
  1. Build software. Putting features and cues inside our mainstream consumer software in ways that are likely to help people better understand the web.
  1. Thought leadership. Defining an agenda around the future of the web or web literacy and then talking about it loudly in public.   Within the context of this working group, the focus isn’t to create new thought leadership but to identify it and amplify it.

With so many tactics, operating at different time frames, and with different impact profiles, we expect to need to confront questions such as “which of project A or project B is more important?”  “How do we compare the outcome of a policy research question and the outcome of a specific community outreach activity?”  We hope that our strategy documents give us some useful tools to answer these questions.

In particular, we likely will need to build some evergreen platform work that specific campaigns will build upon.  Understanding which of these platforms we are committed to in 2016, 2017, etc. will help us plan everything from a technology roadmap to hiring plans.

An Approach: Web Citizenship Growth Hacking

In the spirit of Agile programming and “growth hacking”, we would like to build enough of a system that we can, with enough decentralization, try many things in parallel, and amplify the efforts that work well.

  1. Organize some agile teams with expertise and experience in the key tactical areas (curriculum, advocacy; etc).
  2. Focus the energy of those teams on goals that we identify as critical (including urgent, timely problems) -- current examples would be user control & the re-emergence of walled gardens.
  3. Then, using those problems as an anchor, we ask teams to tackle this question with some creative experiments: “How do we grow public understanding of the web and promote web literacy at scale?”, with a range of tactics. Parameters:

The right mix of reinforcing strategies

Tactical experimentation can help us determine what is the right mix of reinforcing strategies -- e.g. what’s the Venn diagram of education vs. grassroots campaigning?  Other organizations use an artful mix of reinforcing strategies for effective and lasting impact at scale. For example:

Key Questions

Specific questions we’ll need to answer -- tying back to our north star of universal web literacy:


Other deliverables? Are these in scope for this WG?


Oct 12 - Board Meeting to present 2016 Strategy

Partner Engagement