Neurodiversity at MozFest 2021: A space for diverse minds

Mozilla Festival

By Mozilla Festival | Feb. 6, 2021 | Mozilla Festival

back background with a collage of colorful brain icons. At the bottom of the image, purple box contains words: Neurodiversity at MozFest 2021
Photo courtesy of the 2021 Neurodiversity Space Wranglers

MozFest is a unique festival of diverse global movements advocating for a more humane digital world. It also promotes a full range of ways of perceiving the world through its Neurodiversity Space.

Although creativity as a concept is most commonly associated with the arts, creative thinking encompasses plenty of other areas of daily life. Science, technology or architecture, all these fields and more require imagination. AI has made huge strides in creative and technical fields, and is most likely to make even greater leaps in the future, but there is something unique about human cognition, our empathy, curiosity and imagination that AI will most likely never replicate. AI can however inspire us to think deeply, allowing us to do what we are uniquely meant to do, to promote human diversity and challenge homogeneity through neurodiversity.

Colorful sky image with a silhouette of a face on the left side. Text reads Neurodiversity
Photo courtesy of the 2021 Neurodiversity Space Wranglers

Neurodiversity is a concept that includes multiple facets of the functions of the brain such as Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, Synesthesia and AD(H)D. The neurodiversity movement advocates that being neurodivergent (the opposite of neurotypical) is not a deficit, but rather the result of natural variations in the human genome and is simply the way the world is experienced by many individuals.

In order to create new experiences and collaborative interactions that inspire, engage and amaze, at the Mozilla Festival creatives, innovators, advocates and thought leaders will present their work and specialisms in relation to varying types of neurodiversity within the intersection of Art, Media, Science and Technology.

Black background with an image of a person with a headset looking at a computer with their back to the camera. Text reads: Digital Neurodiversity in teal letters.
Photo courtesy of the 2021 Neurodiversity Space Wranglers

Technology can be either empowering or disabling. Our neurological differences shape the way we experience the web and technology so it’s time to embrace digital neurodiversity. Digital neurodiversity acknowledges that human cognitions and perceptions, some of which are triggered, transformed or influenced by digital technology, have tremendous variations especially in the confines of today’s attention economy. If we have been motivated to pay attention to the way technology impacts our brains and relationships by the digital well-being trend, the movement of neurodiversity helps us to understand that these effects can bring benefits as well as challenges.

Colorful mixed media artwork with silhouette of human head in the center
Photo courtesy of the 2021 Neurodiversity Space Wranglers

Exploring the Neuroverse at MozFest

From sessions exploring the concept of universal language to diverse attention spans, with a flow of art-practice and social consciousness, a neuroverse will emerge.

Promoting an empathic culture of neurological differences and the need for pockets of serenity in the age of digital distraction and information overload, the Neurodiversity space aims to create a virtual safe space in which the lines between 'neurotypical' and 'neurodivergent' thinking and creativity, art practise, and scientific study can be explored.

Celebrating a thriving neurodiverse community full of detail, nuances, patterns, specialisms, sounds, pictures, deep thinking and creativity, we will challenge the manner in which we relate to the world, ourselves and one another, addressing established preconceptions and inequality.

Through a wave of cutting edge human creativity and innovation connecting the world of arts, neuroscience and education, explore how today's diverse thinkers will shape tomorrow's creative future.

Join us in the Neurodiversity Space for a virtual MozFest, starting March 8th, 2021. Secure your ticket today for all the awesome sessions packed with interactive experiences, artworks, live demos, storytelling and stimulating talks.

Leena Haque | MozFest Wrangler

About the Author

Leena Haque is currently a Senior UX Designer at BBC and co-founder for BBC Cape (Creating A Positive Environment) the BBC’s multi-award winning neurodiversity initiative which advocates innovative design solutions that understand, appreciate and accommodate our Neurodiversity. Leena also happens to be neurodivergent and is passionate about inclusion, raising awareness for Neurodiversity, intersectionality and promoting different thinking styles. She has developed diversity training workshops, produced creative short films including a 360 Virtual Reality film and she has written various blogs for different online publications. Her goal is to remove barriers and inspire the young, talented creatives of tomorrow so they can fulfill their aspirations regardless of disability or impairment. She has facilitated sessions for 3 years and was a first time Wrangler in Mozfest 2019.

MozFest is 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. To learn more, visit www.mozillafestival.org.

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