Feb 05 2013

My Expanded Role and Opportunity for Hive

Hive Learning Networks

-Photo by REV-

As some astute readers of email signatures might have detected, I have a new job title. Starting January 1st I became the Senior Director of the Mozilla Mentor Community. Within the Mozilla context this means I help the team think about how Mozilla looks to grow, seed, work with and convene mentors (educators, teachers, parents, etc) around what it means to teach and learn in a digital age. The Webmaker tools and brand obviously are a part of that, but only a part. We are at our core dedicated to helping people navigate the literacies, pedagogies, practices, issues and opportunities that technology and the web have meant for learning.

But what about Hive you might ask–is this my exit post? I can answer that with an emphatic NO. Hive NYC and the Hive Learning Network idea sit firmly in the conceptual center of the work.

I’d like to thank those of you involved in Hive NYC for being so awesome. You have taken this thing Mozilla wasn’t quite sure what or why it acquired 18 months ago and made it the bedrock for how they see the opportunity to impact the world. The plan is that Hive NYC will contribute to and draw from this larger, global community. Already, Hive has expanded to Pittsburgh (more details on that to come) and is set to launch in various stages in Toronto, London, Athens, the Bay Area and Berlin. That doesn’t even catalog the locales who are thinking, planning and asking for Hive in their city. Hive NYC is the example, it is the flagship…and the results of our efforts led to this grander desire to scale the model globally so that’s on YOU!

So what does this mean? It means that our work is more connected, more people are paying attention and it means this is a platform. It means growth. It means that I may be less involved with some daily operations of Hive NYC, but I am still a Hiver and continue to be committed to its growth and success. It means in addition to Leah Gilliam and Lainie DeCoursy, our team expands to include awesome Mozilla staff like Laura Hilliger (who some of you know through StoryCamp) and Michelle Thorne (who has made MozFest the can’t-miss tech event of the year) as well as colleagues in the leadership of additional Hives who are now forming a stewardship group to guide the global Hive Learning Network movement while also creating better pathways for cross-city collaboration.

Over the next few weeks I will be using this space to publish some of this thinking in more detail. I need the Hive Mind on this with me. I need your feedback/pushback/additions and subtractions. I need your good ideas and your madcap schemes. I need the cacophony of energy that is Hive so that we can continue to do what networks do: expand, add nodes that create hubs that produce flurries and blurts of energy while they also methodically work to impact an ever-expanding landscape. To quote from Obama’s recent inaugural address:

“For we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.”

Is it to grandiose to think that might apply to us and the work we do? It is my hope that Hive and Mozilla can give us the infrastructure and platform to operationalize the President’s call-to-action.

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