As a college student, Lujain Ibrahim has a passion for the internet and its impact on day-to-day life for today’s youth. Through word of mouth, Lujain learned of MozFest and now she can’t stay away from the community she’s been looking for, and now has found.
We caught up with Lujain and asked her to share her story. Here’s what she has to say.
I was introduced to MozFest through my good friend Alia ElKattan who was involved in the MozFest community through her Mozilla Foundation-funded project Survival of the Best Fit and through being a MozFest Wrangler. At the time, Alia and I were college students working together on Multiplicity, a digital curation of the Internet’s impact on young people’s lives around the world, and were seeking communities working on and organizing around Internet health.
As a college student in the Arab world trying to understand the sociotechnical complexities of the technology I was studying and building, I didn’t know many people in the tech and society space at all, let alone many young people. The MozFest community drew me to the festival; it was the international, diverse, and vibrant community exploring and organizing around tech and society issues that I was looking for but could not easily find. I’ve since attended the festival, served as a Wrangler and Wrangler mentor, and invited new Wranglers and facilitators to MozFest. Earlier this year, a couple of MozFest community members and I also talked about MozFest at a session at Bread&Net — an annual conference that promotes and defends digital rights across Arabic-speaking countries — to further engage Arabic-speaking civil society members in MozFest.
MozFest extended my network and introduced me to researchers, artists, organizers, and more community members working on issues that matter to me professionally and personally at the intersection of tech and society. Some of these MozFest community members even participated in curating the second edition of our project Multiplicity. As a researcher, MozFest has also been an incredible avenue for learning about how vast the Internet health space is, helping me clarify and expand some of my research directions.
I am now in Beijing finishing my master’s degree in global affairs, technology, and policy at Tsinghua University as a Schwarzman Scholar.
Next year, I will be continuing my studies by starting a PhD in Social Data Science at the Oxford Internet Institute to use computational methods to dig deeper into critical questions in AI & emerging tech policy. I’m definitely planning on attending MozFest this year as well as helping plan it by returning as a Wrangler mentor. If we have similar interests and/or you have something to share, do reach out!
This story is part of the Where Are They Now series, spotlighting ‘MozFest Movers,’ the amazing people and projects that have used MozFest as a catalyst for their ongoing work. The series uplifts opportunities for the internet health movement to be a part of the exciting solutions coming out of this work.
Lujain Ibrahim is an incoming PhD student at the Oxford Internet Institute studying AI policy and a research associate at the Hong Kong-based think tank Digital Asia Hub. She spent the last year in Beijing studying global affairs, technology, and policy as a Schwarzman Scholar. In her free time, she enjoys film photography and watching food tiktoks.