Chris Smalls, Angela Davis, Thomas le Bonniec and other luminaries will be speaking at MozFest virtual from March 20 - 24. The 13th annual Mozilla Festival is celebrating the collective power of people in turbocharging change
(THE INTERNET, MARCH 8, 2023) — When whistleblower Thomas le Bonniec was contracted by Apple to work as a Data Analyst, he never anticipated his job would include eavesdropping on people’s most intimate conversations. Four years after his exposé on Apple’s mass surveillance, le Bonniec will be speaking at Mozilla Festival (MozFest), on what hasn’t changed and why privacy is still a hot potato in Big Tech regulation.
Le Bonniec, Amazon union leader and founder Chris Smalls, and acclaimed scholar and political activist Angela Davis are just some of the speakers at Mozilla Festival (MozFest), this March 20 - 24 online. The works of Davis, Smalls, and le Bonniec exemplify the many forms of collective power — whether it is speaking truth to oppressive political institutions, advocating for better labor rights, or calling out Big Tech’s violations of people’s rights.
Indeed, this year’s MozFest theme — The Collective Power of People — explores how movements are core to catalyzing change online, and how people-driven technologies can address critical issues at the intersection of tech and society.
‘This year we are holding conversations on how our social and political realities interweave with the technology we build,’ says Sarah Allen, Mozilla Festival Director. ‘Social justice movements advocating for human dignity, fairness and equity are heavily rooted in activism — and we want to ignite the spirit of activism in how we approach AI.’
Social justice movements advocating for human dignity, fairness and equity are heavily rooted in activism — and we want to ignite the spirit of activism in how we approach AI
Sarah Allen, Mozilla Festival Director
MozFest is a unique hybrid: part art, tech, and society convening; part maker festival; and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world.
The festival will feature 8,000+ participants; 400+ hands-on sessions; and 30+ lightning talks and art exhibits. MozFest will take place online, and tickets are available here as pay-what-you-can.
MozFest 2023 Key Highlights:
400+ interactive sessions. These sessions teach and immerse audiences to think about critical topics such as privacy and security, AI transparency, and the ethics of AI-generated art. Here are just a sample of sessions:
- Is my phone listening to me? | Speaker: Thomas le Bonniec
- Can AI Art be ethical? | Speaker: Azariah Cole-Shephard
- The World According to TikTok | Speaker: Salvatore Romano
- Meet KOWA – An African Ancestral AI | Speaker: Aishatu Gwadabe
- AI Transparency in practice | Speakers: Ramak Molavi, Jesse McCrosky & Borhane Blili-Hamelin
30+ lightning talks. Lightning talks provide TED-style conversations on topics like tech diversity, climate change, cyber safety, and more. Here are just a sampling of talks:
- Digital footprints. The compromise to Cybersafety.
- Climate Change and Internet Disruption: A Case of Floods in Pakistan
- Encryption Post-Roe: The Future of Abortion Activism?
Dialogues & Debates. These centerpiece panels unpack urgent issues at the intersection of tech and society. Here are just a sampling of talks. More information available here.
- People Make Movements | A look at activism and movements in digital spaces. Speakers: Valeriia Voshchevska, Ukrainian human rights activist, and Tara Aghdashloo, Iranian writer and filmmaker. Moderated by Pulitzer awardee Alia Malek.
- From Civil Rights to Labor Justice | Angela Davis, a renowned scholar, author, and advocate for human rights, and Chris Smalls, a labor rights activist and founder of the Stock-Shop Alliance, share their insights and experiences on mobilizing grassroots movements for change. Moderated by Mozilla’s J. Bob Alotta, VP Global Programs.
- Funding Ethical Tech & The Next Mozilla Chapter | Mozilla is turning 25 this year, and is growing to include new entities such as Mozilla Ventures, which provides 35M$ in seed funding to organizations building ethical technologies. Speakers: Mitchell Baker, CEO Mozilla Corporation, Imo Udom, SVP Innovations Ecosystems; Mohamed Nanabhay, Managing Partner, Mozilla Ventures; Pelonomi Moiloa, lelapa.ai, and J.Bob Alotta, VP Global Programs Mozilla Foundation. Moderated by Mozilla’s Carys Afoko, Communications Director and External Affairs.
Conversations with artists, activists, and even chefs reflect on ‘Parable of the Sower’ teachings. MozFest is in its second year of integrating the beloved sci-fi tome “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler. This year, the parable experience tackles the roots of systemic oppression and community-led solutions in the face of climate catastrophe, criminalization, and exploitation. Notable speakers include; Salimatu Amabebe (they/he), a trans, Nigerian-American chef and multimedia artist whose work centers around diasporic culinary traditions and Black queer/ trans liberation; and musician Toshi Reagon - writer and performer of Parable of the Sower rock-opera, inspired by Butler’s work.
Kevin Zawacki | [email protected]
Tracy Kariuki |[email protected]
Helena Dea Bala | [email protected]
Press Pass for Mozilla Festival available here.