Announcing the MozFest 2021 Dialogues & Debates


By Mozilla | Feb. 4, 2021 | Mozilla Festival

MozFest's signature speaker series will explore how AI intersects with power, labor, truth, and other issues.

Dialogues & Debates is MozFest's speakers series — a place for fiery conversations and compelling panels.

As this year's festival moves online, so will our Dialogues & Debates programming. Between March 8 and March 18, we'll broadcast deep discussions about biased algorithms; how AI is upending labor rights; how to build better data stewardship models; and much more. Festival participants will hear from 25 speakers from 10 countries.

Below, learn more about our Dialogues & Debates speakers and the schedule:

AI & Power | Monday, March 8 @ 12pm ET / 6pm CET

The AI in our daily lives reinforces historical power imbalances — across gender, across race, and across class. Is it possible to make more just AI systems mainstream? A panel featuring:

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Cierra Robson, Associate Director, Ida B. Wells JUST Data Lab at Princeton University

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Dr. Sarah Roberts, Co-Director, UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry

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Nighat Dad, Executive Director, Digital Rights Foundation

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Julie Owono, Executive Director, Internet Sans Frontières

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And moderator J. Bob Alotta, Mozilla's VP of Global Programs

The Netherlands & Digital Rights | Tuesday, March 9 @ 1:15pm ET / 7:15pm CET

Leading Dutch experts assesses what their country is getting right about digital rights, with a focus on data sovereignty for citizens. A conversation featuring:

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Touria Meliani, Deputy Mayor, City of Amsterdam

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Marleen Stikker, Founder, Waag Futurelab

Tech Activism Through Art | Wednesday, March 10 @ 4:30pm ET / 10:30pm CET

Can art and entertainment fuel a global movement for internet health? A conversation featuring:

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Neema Iyer, Founder and Director, Pollicy

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Alexander Fefegha, Co-Founder and Director, COMUZI

AI & Labor | Wednesday, March 10 @ 12pm ET / 6pm CET

Sprawling internet platforms and their sophisticated algorithms have created a new ecosystem of on-demand, app-facilitated services — but also a new labor class, stripped of traditional labor rights. A panel featuring:

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Rida Qadri, PhD Candidate in Urban Information Systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Dr. Lilly Irani, Associate Professor, Communication, Science Studies, Computer Science, Critical Gender Studies at UC San Diego

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Sherry Stanley, Lead Organizer, Turkopticon

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and moderator Becca Ricks, Mozilla Researcher

Hunting Biased Algorithms | Thursday, March 11 @ 3:15pm ET / 9:15pm CET

Can bias bounties become as mainstream as bug bounties? A conversation featuring:

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Deb Raji, Mozilla Fellow


Camille François, Mozilla Fellow

AI & Truth | Monday, March 15 @ 11am ET / 4pm CET

The AI powering our most influential communications platforms has a critical vulnerability: it rewards engagement, not truth or civility. Can AI be designed differently to avoid this pitfall? And if so, what conditions and incentives must be changed for this to be the case? A panel featuring:

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Jacquelyn Mason, Senior Investigative Researcher, First Draft News

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Dr. Peaks Krafft, Lead, Creative Computing Institute at UAL

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Mutale Nkonde, CEO, AI for the People

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Rasha Abdul-Rahim, Acting Director, Amnesty Tech

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and moderator Brandi Geurkink, Senior Campaigner, Mozilla

Alternatives to Digital Ads | Tuesday, March 16 @ 2:15pm ET / 7:15pm CET

Can alternatives to invasive online ads become mainstream? A conversation featuring:

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Briana Marbury, Executive Director, Interledger Foundation

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Harriet Kingaby, Co-Founder, The Conscious Advertising Network

AI & Data Futures | Wednesday, March 17 @ 10:30am ET / 3:30pm CET

The data that powers AI -- and increasingly, society -- is controlled by a handful of internet platforms. Can we make more decentralized ways of pooling and governing data mainstream? A panel featuring:

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Anouk Ruhaak, Mozilla Fellow

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Dr. Funda Üstek-Špilda, Researcher and Project Manager, Fairwork

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Astha Kapoor, Co-Founder, Aapti Institute

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and moderator Solana Larsen, Editor, Mozilla's Internet Health Report

Open Source & the Pandemic | Thursday, March 18 @ 12pm ET / 5pm CET

Open-source technology and principles have been a potent force in slowing the spread of a deadly virus. A panel featuring:

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Dr. Melissa Haendel, Director of Translational Data Science, Oregon State University. And, Director of the Center for Data to Health (CD2H) at Oregon Health & Science University

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Ricardo Ruiz Freire, Supervisory Board Member, Global Innovation Gathering

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Dr. Netha Hussain, medical doctor, researcher, and 10-year Wikipedia volunteer

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And moderator Abby Cabunoc Mayes, Program Manager, MozFest Technical Relationships