Unlocking 3 strategic opportunities with Mozilla

IF helped Mozilla understand what opportunity spaces they could credibly play in, using trust as a core part of their offering.

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Public perception towards data has changed in the last few years. New digital rights have created opportunities for services to emerge that give people more power over the data that represents them. Mozilla has long stood as the brand for internet freedom, public trust, and user privacy. Mozilla Foundation was preparing to shift from a theoretical space on data and trust, to one driven more by practical application and consumer facing services. But they did not yet know how to move from theory to practice, and so asked IF to help push their thinking and do so through experimenting with emerging forms of data stewardship and management. 

Over the course of the project it became clearer that the work would have more immediate impact if it was focused on internal management of data within the Foundation itself.

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Our Approach

Design research

We created and tested a series of high level concepts which helped people articulate their thinking and gave them something to respond to. This is important when you work on nebulous topics, especially around data. It gave Mozilla insights from users about what matters most, which challenged some of the perceptions held at the time.

“The question isn’t whether data will be used, it’s how it can be used well. IF have been spearheading this movement. What’s different about IF is that they look at where power sits, and know what to make to practically shift that power.”

[.quote-author]President, Mozilla Foundation[.quote-author]

Translate policy into product

Using our expertise and experience of emerging public policy about data, we designed and facilitated workshops with the Mozilla team to translate between the policy intent and what this would mean for a real service as well as user needs. This helped us align as one team, and prioritise outcomes for the following sprints.

Capabilities for trust

As the project progressed, understanding increased across the Mozilla team. It became clear that the most impact could be created by focusing on Mozilla’s existing, internal data processes first and re-establish their own data infrastructure. The team realised that they needed to align their internal work and measures of success so that they could demonstrate to themselves that they are trustworthy. The next year, in 2021, one of Mozilla Foundation's OKRs was “OKR 2: Modelling Good Data Stewardship: Accelerate more equitable data governance alternatives to advance trustworthy AI.”

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"IF pushed us from the abstract to the actual... particularly testing in market, viability, next steps beyond where we were at the time."

[.quote-author]Senior Lead[.quote-author]


As a result of the work, Mozilla hired a Data lead internally who led CRM adjustment, and created the Data Futures Lab that makes grants towards organisations that take an innovative approach to data.

In addition to the Data Futures Lab, Mozilla formed Mozilla Rally and Common Voice. All strategic opportunities that helped Mozilla step into a position of leadership, not just providing thought leadership. This blog post by Mozilla explores the work in more detail.

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