On a mission ...to help humans evolve through better teamwork and collaboration

Matt Thompson (@OpenMatt) is a writer, agile coach and author of the forthcoming book Team Joy. After serving seven years as a Senior Director at the Mozilla Foundation, he’s currently interviewing and writing about the world’s most inspiring collaborative people and projects, exploring how open and agile principles can strengthen human collaboration and save the world. Matt is a Webby Award-winning open internet activist, opensource.com contributor, former CBC journalist and DJ dad.


Get in touch through matt [at ] workopen [dot] org, @OpenMatt or LinkedIn


My story

I’m a radical pragmatist who loves learning about smarter teamwork and collaboration. For the past seven years, I’ve been learning everything I can about the research and science behind high-performing teams, and about how open source and agile projects work. My research and practise focuses on how these values and tactics are spreading beyond technology and software development into the wider world, changing how non-profits, social movements and campaigns are run. My belief is that greater openness, agility and networked collaboration can be a force multiplier for the forces of good, helping non-profits increase their impact when it’s needed most.

Changing the world starts with changing the culture and practise of how we work.

I’m a 2017 Mozilla Fellow, and a former Senior Director at the Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and growing digital opportunity and the open web. Mozilla makes Firefox, and is a global nonprofit community dedicated to digital literacy, freedom and open innovation. As Senior Director of Program Management, I focused on strategic planning, project management and co-ordination across teams, with a big emphasis on working in the open — using transparency, agility and trust to increase our impact.

Agile helps teams continuously reflect, learn and improve.

I’m also a co-founder and driving force behind StoryEngine.io, a project that gathers stories about the human impact of Mozilla’s non-profit work. Through interviews, deep listening and mini-case studies, the project is an example of how non-profits can build a stronger feedback loop with the people they serve, increasing their empathy, understanding and impact.

Impact narratives and user stories build empathy for the people we serve.

My previous background was in media and communications. I worked on media literacy and open internet campaigns with Free Press, and won a Webby Award for my campaign work on net neutrality. I’m also a former journalist and CBC radio producer.

I live in Toronto with my wife, Katie McKenna (Co-Executive Director of the Leap) and our 3-year-old son, Leo. I’m a frequent speaker at conferences, and have presented at McGill University, the U.S. Library of Congress and London School of Economics. I love cooking, music and am a co-founder and DJ at Kensington Market’s “Soul Sunday” block party.