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Recommended Program Improvements

Jan. 4, 2022
Simply Secure
Mehan Jayasuriya
Jessica Gonzalez

Written by Simply Secure, Mehan Jayasuriya and Jessica Gonzalez

The next iteration of the program should lean into the individual expertise of the Foundation and the Corporation, while leveraging the collective strength of Mozilla as a whole. This could mean dividing operational control between MoCo and MoFo, depending on which organization is better positioned to provide different types of support.

  • Re-imagine MOSS as a flagship MoCo/MoFo collaboration at the strategic level: Cultural, mechanical and process differences between the Corporation and the Foundation and unclear lines of ownership have made dividing operational control of MOSS between MoCo and MoFo difficult and inefficient. Operationally, individual funds should be run by either MoCo or MoFo, with a layer of strategy connecting them across organizational lines. This would allow each fund to become more efficient, nimble and opinionated, leading to greater impact in areas of strategic focus.
  • Leverage the MOSS community to grow the program and sharpen its focus: Current and past awardees should be enlisted to help with outreach, peer mentorship, thematic focus and even program design. The growth of any future version of MOSS will depend on Mozilla’s ability to speak to new audiences far beyond the organization’s existing reach; activating the awardee community will be key to this outreach, as will support from Mozilla’s marketing teams.
  • Support pan-Mozilla strategy through awards to mission-aligned projects: In order to build on the growth and word-of-mouth momentum that our mission-aligned funding has generated, Track 2 (Mission Partners) should continue to be operated by the Foundation and funded by the Corporation. To ensure a better fit with Mozilla’s strategic goals, Track 2 should adopt funding “themes” that guide either the fund as a whole or specific calls for proposals. These themes should be decided on by a pan-Mozilla group and in collaboration with the MOSS awardee community. This would allow Track 2 to continue as a successful pan-Mozilla program but with a sharper focus.
  • Leverage MoCo engineering to better support dependencies: Track 1 (Foundational Technology) is struggling and in need of a new model. If we wish to continue supporting dependencies, a team at the Corporation should work closely with our engineering teams to explore what models might make sense. Some potential opportunities could be restructuring Track 1 as a corporate giving program, integrating it more tightly with MoCo engineering and supporting both existing dependencies and new innovation in areas that tie directly to MoCo strategy. The Community Experience team has expressed interest in working on MOSS and some of their ideas informed our recommendations for Track 1; they might be well-positioned to lead this work.
  • Leverage our security expertise to build a flagship security audit program: Track 3 (Secure Open Source) does not currently have the structure needed to operate as a successful program. If it is to continue, Track 3 should be given the resources to mature into a professionalized security audit program—this means dedicated staffing, an intentional program design and a more rigorous and objective way to source and review potential projects. The program should be designed and run with direct input from security experts within Mozilla.
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